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5 mistakes I made...and lessons I learned

1.       Made my own Logo & Branding!

At the very start, I tried to do it myself after all I had no money to invest in this and I was reasonably creative and good on a computer.

It turned out to be an awful thing and as I went through my first year it just looked worse & worse until I paid a proper designer.
Do whatever you can at the start to get your branding right from the beginning….move mountains to get this right, I would beg or borrow now to do it right from the beginning.

2.       Designed my own Website!

Nothing available to pay a web developer so used a build your own website services. No big deal as more than capable, but sadly I opted for one where the layout and options open to me, after the first year, were simply too poor.
I have since redone my website, again myself, but having spent the time to research layouts & options on different providers it looks a world apart from the first one, and is now getting me leads from google.
However, if you can’t build a good website you really should find the money from anywhere to pay someone, it’s a brilliant investment.

3.       Got Social Media very wrong! 

How on earth can something be so simple, yet so many people can get it wrong. Clue is right there! Be social!
Yes share your stuff, but mostly just talk to people and be human - it works.

4.       Gave away too much “free” work!

My efforts to build a portfolio of clients meant my work ended up with no value…and it took me a while to get people to take me seriously as a photographer.
What I should have done was chosen a charity & ask clients to donate to them in lieu of my time, as then at least someone would have been benefiting from my time - my expertise would have had a demonstrable value from the very beginning.
I would advise that you just make sure people see your value, one way or another, from the very beginning of your business. 

5. Over Networking

There are just so many groups that it really is so easy to just do too much networking and if you go to every single event, everywhere people will rightly start to question when you ever do some actual work.
Even if you have the time in your early days as the work is not flooding in please do not just keep attending every networking group you come across.
Find a group that suits your style and focus on that, adding in a few other groups or local events periodically.
Build relationships based on trust and the referrals will come. 

Neil PorterComment