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Guest Post: “Faith is the New O.S.” by Ali Brown

Note from Dan:
Since I am fortunate enough to have many women photographer subscribers, I’d like to introduce you to Alexandria Brown – usually called, Ali. I have watched her grow her business for several years now, and I have been very impressed. She has mentored many people growing businesses, both men and women. Lately, she is focusing more on helping women grow their businesses, but I though this would be a good guest post to share with all you of you. Over to Ali….

Alexandria_BrownIn 2002, I had been married two years to my first husband, whom I’ll just call “G”. While we each had our own reasonably successful business ventures (I was just really starting to ramp up my online business), we were still struggling financially, living in a rented one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles, and carrying more than $30,000 in credit card debts. It was surely causing a lot of stress in our marriage.

A friend of ours invited us to attend a “money mindset” seminar that sounded perfect for our situation. Although the event was free, it was still a big decision to take three days off, drive down to San Diego, and pay for a hotel.

Once we arrived, our initial skepticism transformed into excitement and hope, as we listened to the information, did verbal and written exercises, shared, cried, sang, and broke boards with karate chops. (Yep, we drank the Kool-Aid.)

I remember driving home with G after that event, listening to him talking with a friend on his cell phone, and he sounded different—positive and confident, like the man I had originally married. It was so attractive! I felt different too. I was so excited for us to grow together, to have a bright future, to live together in this new positive mindset we’d found. I could barely sleep that evening.

The next morning, I got out our workshop materials, and we continued the work we agreed to do each morning. The first week was no problem. Then, the next Monday morning G made some excuse, and the next day, and the next day, and that was the end of that. I kept doing them alone.

The next time we took our weekly walk along the beach by the large and stunning multimillion dollar homes, I told him I wanted to start going to open houses… to set the intention we’d one day have a gorgeous home like these. He said, “Why should we bother? We’ll never have a house like this. We’re in tons of debt.”

I went by myself. (And, later, I actually bought one of those houses… but that’s another story.)

In the months that followed, my business began to grow, and more money started coming in. I excitedly shared these results with G (“See? It’s working. Isn’t this exciting?”) and gently encouraged him to get back on track. Finally I realized he didn’t even want to hear about my success. He finally got angry and said, “Listen, I did the seminar, I get it… I don’t need to do that stuff every day or think that way, OK….”

I didn’t make a big deal out of it, and I let him be.

But as I grew, both personally and financially, and began investing in my growth via trainings, workshops, and coaching, G became more stuck and frustrated. I tried everything… helping him with business ideas, getting us counseling, hiring him a coach, and more.

And then one day, I realized his negativity had become absolutely toxic, and I just couldn’t carry him anymore. I was heartbroken but knew I had to move on. (He didn’t argue with me.)

What was the difference here? Was it really my attending seminars and getting the coaching and doing the personal work that made me successful, and not G?

Well, no. Because you also see a lot of folks going to seminar after seminar and not getting results.

Really the core difference was that I was learning to live in faith. It was truly my new OS (operating system), and still is today.

While unpacking boxes with Brett at our new home in Scottsdale, I came across a great book a friend introduced me to years ago. It’s by Robert Russell, and it’s called God Works Through Faith.

(And if you’re not comfortable with that G word, whatever. Just insert your own here, like Source, Spirit, Universe, Higher Power… just stay with me here.)

He writes, “Faith is the belief that you have the power to do all things. It is a magnetic power that attracts the answer to your prayer. Results do not come by chance, accident, or fate. They are molded by your faith in your power through God.”

Faith is belief in what you cannot see and cannot understand. It’s belief in a power greater than you.  And when you align with it, stay in faith, let it flow through you, and follow its messages, miracles happen.

This doesn’t mean I don’t have my moments of worry, fear, or doubt. But the key is simply catching yourself when you go to that place. Take a deep breath and gently redirect your thoughts to what you want to happen, how you want to be, and how you see your life and business evolving.

One of my favorite teachers on worry is Joyce Meyer. She says worry is negative prayer—it’s essentially praying for what you do NOT want.

Worry is a huge problem for most of us, and especially for women. I come from a long line of worriers, and this is something I have to continually monitor and manage. If I don’t, it will just eat me alive.

I seem most vulnerable to this right when I wake up in the morning. My to-do list comes crashing down on my head as soon as I open my eyes. An endless list of things for the business, the house, the kids, my mom. If I don’t immediately take control of my thoughts in a positive way, my brain will instantly start spiraling downhill. (And now that I have children, this has also seemed to double, by the way.)

To shift it, I take a deep breath and move into gratitude… I think about all the wonderful things in my life right now such as my twin babies and their dad, our beautiful new home in the desert, having a business and clients I love, and the exciting opportunities I know are in front of me. That seems to get me in the right direction, and all the little things in the way seem to lose their power over me.

There’s a lot more to it, but that’s what gets me started in the right direction. Because I found faith to be such a powerful part of what drives me and my success, I’m hosting a call next Thursday, May 8 called “Revelation! 3 Keys to Honoring Your Highest Calling” and it’s free! You can find out more and register free here.

Question: How do YOU stay out of fear and in faith?  Please share your BEST way below! I’d love hear about it in the comment section below. ~Ali

© 2014 Ali International, LLC

“Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow a profitable business that make a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Success Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at www.AliBrown.com

How to Sell your Digital Photography at Stock Photo Sites

Orange-Arches-02-Web With today’s advances in digital photography and communications, many of our hobbies can be quickly and easily be turned into business ideas that can make money. And as a digital photographer you’re right on track to take advantage of this. Here are some ideas on how to start out doing just that.

Today’s digital cameras allow us to capture a wide variety of photographs in a wide variety of formats. For example, you may remember going to a carnival and having your photo taken in an “old timey” setting, and getting the photo in the old looking style called, “sepia.” Today, many digital cameras allow you to create that same effect right in the camera when you take the picture or later when you digitally edit the photo.

Well, stock photography is one of the quickest ways to “break into” the online digital photography market. Many people sell photos to others who need pictures for websites, newsletters, magazines and e-zines and other media. Look at the internet today. Often, many photos look the same. But your photos may add a new sparkle and style to what is usually available. It costs almost nothing to experiment, and hey, you never know, you just might sell something.

Some quick background. People who need images for various reasons can buy or rent images, license them, from Stock Photo Sites. The license can be perpetual or just for one use – with differing costs for either situation. There are even some sites that make photos available to use at no charge, users just have to give the photographer credit and a link back to the site – that’s how new photographers can get known.

Generally, you can make more money with some sort of an ongoing license rather than just selling the image outright (which is called a, “buyout.) With a buyout, the purchaser gets to use the image forever, and you cannot sell it to anyone else… whereas with a short term agreement, the first user uses the image, and you can still license it to another user for their project. Though you get a lot of money for a buyout, you may very well get more retaining the rights to the image yourself and making it available for repeated use – and repeated income.

Woman-SweepingStart by researching current stock photography sites, for instance, like iStock. Find one that suits your needs, is easy-to-navigate and easy to do business with for customers. Create an account and begin, “testing the waters” to see how well your photos sell.

At this point, the driving factor in your work should be quality. Good color, well composed, and sharp photos will usually be most in demand, so you should make every effort to offer only high quality photos – it would most likely be a waste of your time to offer anything less. Look at other stock photographs, and make sure the photos you offer are at LEAST that good.

Also, discuss with the stock photo company you select what types of photos are selling well. Take photos that are in good selling categories, but add your own creativity and originality to make your photos stand out – and sell. Don’t worry about offering good creative photos. The market will decide what it wants, and if your photos are right, they will most likely sell.

Finally, you should start your own web site to start showing off your work. From there, you can link to the stock photo companies that are featuring your work.

DanSig-02

Earn Money From Home

Living Landscapes – Review of the Excellent book by Todd and Sarah Sisson

Living Landscapes by Todd and Sarah SissonAs photographers, we’re always looking for great books to learn or improve the techniques we use to create great images. I recently purchased an excellent one on Landscape Photography, Todd and Sarah Sisson’s book, “Living Landscapes,” a great find! I liked the book very much, and have a review of it at: http://www.greatphototools.com/blog/photo-book-review-living-landscapes-by-todd-and-sarah-sisson

If you check out the review, you’ll find that I highly recommend it. (As you would expect, this is an affiliate link, which means that if you purchase Living Landscapes through this link, I will get a commission, though it costs you the same either way. But also as you would also expect, I only recommend this book because I purchased it myself, like the book very much, and really trust and respect the sellers and their content – the review says it all.)

Enjoy the book…

DanSig-02

Your Own Successful Wedding Photography Business

Successful_Wedding_BusinessHave your heard recently how much Wedding Photographers charge to take pictures at a wedding? It is pretty exciting!

Have you been thinking about starting your own wedding photography business? Photographer Nick Smith has a very exciting, and astonishingly reasonably priced book, Digital Wedding Secrets: Tips Tricks & Techniques for Breathtaking Wedding Photography, available that can put you well on your way. It is pretty much a step by step answers to ALL the questions you might have about starting up:

  • What type of flash, camera, lenses do I use for wedding photography?
    Yes, it should be a Digital SLR, but it doesn’t need to be the most expensive
  • How do I shoot in low light church conditions?
    External Flash to augment the camera’s flash should do the trick – here’s how
  • What camera settings should I use?
    Many times the camera’s automatic settings will do the trick – other times you will want some adjustment
  • How to set my wedding photography pricing?
    The toughest question for any business – answered
  • How do I market and get my first client?
    Web sites, blogs, how you can easily and profitably make your appearance on the internet
  • How do I build a portfolio to show to brides?
    Online portfolios and literal portfolios – how to build them and how to use them
  • How do you get your name out there so people know you are a wedding photographer?
    Advertising and P.R. gets you and your business known – here’s how
  • How do you create those wow pictures and albums?
    Photoshop tricks and techniques to create sparkling images that your clients will love

My wife, who is planning to start her own photography business (including weddings), is using Nick Smith’s book to get herself up and running before she shoots her first wedding in a few months. Of course, she has an excellent start… she is already a great photographer, but now she wants to formalize it as a business, and people are already willing to hire her. So she is using Nick’s book to help her get started right. The forms and agreements, business plan, and other bonuses Nick is giving with the book are alone worth the price, but add the book, and you have a winning start to YOUR business.

By all means, click over and check out Digital Wedding Secrets and use it to start your own Wedding Photographer Business.

Quick Start for Your Photography Business

Digital SLR CameraOne of the hardest things for anyone to do is start a business – especially if you don’t have a lot of, well, “startup capital” to invest in equipment, advertising, and everything that you need to get a business going. Unlike most people starting businesses, the one thing that photographers do have, generally, is most of the equipment they need to actually go out and start taking photos that people need and are willing to pay for. The question is; how does an unknown photographer connect with all those folks and start getting paying work?

Well, my friend Roy Barker, from the land down under – Australia (a land of really great people from my experience down there a while back) – has a new, “Quick Start – Kick Start” course to get your photography business up and running and generating income about as quickly as you need. As always, the harder you work, the faster your results, but, what has always been my experience, where do you start!? Well, Roy’s course answers that and can get you up and creating income very quickly. When I recommend it, it is one thing… but I’d rather let Roy himself introduce his course and let you know about all the bonuses he has to offer when you sign up – so take a look.

Here are some of the topics he covers:

  • How to easily and inexpensively create one (or several) business models – 12 choices over the 12 months of the course
  • How find and get customers fast, really fast!
  • How to get paid quickly, very quickly!
  • The techniques to increase sales from existing customers over and over
  • The subtle ways to grow your customer base
  • How to get repeat business time and again

You’ll choose your favorite (one or several) photography business model(s) from a 12 choices over 12 months (you’ll learn about one each month) and, best of all…

You’ll get special FREE Skill Enhancing Photography Bonuses over the twelve month course period as well.

All in all, Roy’s course will get you going quickly… and that’s what you need… RIGHT!?

 

By all means, check it out!

 

Plus, over the next several posts, I’ll be adding some of my thoughts on using Public Relations (PR) as an alternative to expensive paid advertising, so sign up for my RSS feed to you keep up to date on those!

Fantastic News – Green Screen Photography After Christmas Sale

Fantastic News!

Were you thinking Boxing Day? Well, the great people at Green Screen Wizard just opened an After Christmas Surprise – for YOU!

From now through the end of January, take 20% off any software or background disk purchases. Now it’s easier – and cheaper – than ever to get started producing outstanding green screen effects for both your still photography and your videos!

Simply enter coupon code GSPP20XMAS during the check-out process.

Important! This coupon code is valid NOW through 1/31/13.

Visit GreenScreenWizard now!

Start Your Own Web Site – The Really Easy Way

Site Build It!Many of you want to own a web site – and you should, and are looking for a simple way to start a web site and use it to generate some leads and some business. One of the best tools that I have found is Site Build It! A great tool from Dr. Ken Evoy that leads you, step by step, through finding the right way to position your web site, selecting a site name, registering it… then they make the difficult stuff easy… building it. Ken’s easy to use 4 Step program:

  1. Create In-Demand Content
  2. Attract Targeted Traffic
  3. PREsell Those Visitors
  4. Monetize PREsold Traffic

… will guide you to a productive web site, even if you are starting out knowing absolutely NOTHING!

Look at what Photographer Nick Stubbs had to say about how easy Site Sell is to use… and the results.

“I sat at my PC and just typed and typed. I knew absolutely nothing about the internet, websites, HTML, or anything… I just typed. The great thing about SBI is that they do all of the hard (and necessary) work for me. That frees up my time to do what I do best and love the most… write, teach, play, and learn.”

Nick Stubbs
All-Things-Photography.com

I use Site Build It!, and highly recommend it. Check it out!

Now here’s a great concept – “Sell Your Digital Photos”!

Kryzer-Goldsmith Book - Sell Your Digital PhotosExcellent for “Stay at Home Moms” and “Work from Home Dads,” Selling digital photos is becoming one of the fastest growing ways for people to work their way toward financial freedom while enjoying the photography not only as a hobby, but also as a business that give us control over the our financial future. As we learn to take better portraits, landscapes, and digital photos in general, how would you like to be making some very good money with them?

Here’s an opportunity from another of my partners. And it doesn’t matter where you live. Thanks to the Internet there are more opportunities for freelance photographers working from anywhere adn everywhere in the world.

By all means, Let Michael Kryzer and David Goldsmith lead you to profitable photography sales.

A Great Starting Point

As you can see, we’re just starting up here, so keep visiting, and you’ll find more content as we go.

Site Sell LogoFor starters, one of the best tools I’ve found for organizing your business’ visibility on the web is Site Sell.  These folks offer a comprehensive program that really works, based on their stragegy of developing Content, generating Traffic, PreSelling, and creating income (Monetizing) out of that traffic.  Using their outstanding research tools that are built into their system, you can really laser target your market and get up and running quickly. Remember, like any business, this is NOT a path to, “get rich quick.” It is a path to a successful BUSINESS based on sound knowledge of your market and where your skills fit into that market – or from the other direction, quickly finding the market that aligns with your skills – and then adding your own work.  It’s not someone else’s, it’s YOURS! I’ve know and dealt with these folks for quite a few years, and find them first and foremost, honest.  But then they help you develop your own, no B.S. web site that will be a wonderful complement to your photography business.

Take a look at SiteBuildIt to see how it will benefit you and your business!

Welcome Aboard

Hello Everybody…

We’re just getting started, so drop by every once in a while to see what we have for you and what you may like to add.


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