Business, Work it Wednesday

February 21, 2018

Finding your voice

First of all, I want you to take a big breath and hear these next few words loud and clear.

Finding your voice in entrepreneurship, finding your voice in blogging, finding your voice as a photographer

You are important. What you have to say is important, and the world needs to hear your thoughts and ideas.

Now, write that on the back of your eyelids and let’s get started on figuring out your voice in this big land of the internet. I can hear you right now, ‘Ashley, I use my voice all day! Why do I need to figure out my ‘voice’ for the internet? What in the world are you even talking about?’

Have you ever sat down at your keyboard ready to write your heart out in a blog post or on facebook or instagram and had no idea what in the world to write? Or maybe you had an idea of what you want to say but you couldn’t get the how to come out right. It just sounded weird and unnatural… it just wasn’t you. Girl. I hear you!! Nobody likes feeling awkward or unnatural, and nobody DEFINITELY wants to read something that feels forced so finding your voice is super important (no pressure, right?) but it doesn’t have to be stressful.

Let’s start with the basics.

How are you presenting yourself?

What I mean by this is what kind of internet ‘presence’ do you currently have? To be considered a professional business I believe you must have at least these:

  1. A professional website. It doesn’t have to cost a million dollars but it does need to have a personalized domain (none of this business) and it needs to look like it was designed within the last 5 years. You can get beautifully designed templates on Squarespace for $12/month and Google Domains are $12ish/year. This is a small fee for a beautiful online presence. I personally have moved to Showit5 + WordPress which I love and they are much more customizable. I still use Google Domains for all of my domains and I set up email forwarding to a gmail account instead of setting up a google email suite for each website which saves me about $5/month. You might be able to get away with a less user friendly site if your ideal client isn’t the type to care about website design/aesthetics but you need to take a good long look at your site and be honest with yourself, most of society today does care about websites.
  2. Professional Email. Again, once you have your domain set up in Google Domains you can use their email forwarding to have a professional email forwarded to a generic gmail account. However, keep that gmail classy none of that… I mean, that totally wasn’t my email or anything 🙈  The email I use for forwarding now is — nice and easy 🙂
  3. Phone Number. I think this goes without saying, but your business needs a real phone number with a professional voice mail where they can leave you a message. Also, just a note, but be prepared for lots of spam calls once you publish your phone number. I rarely answer numbers I don’t know anymore because real clients will leave a message and the spammers are literally the worst.
  4. Google My Business. This one may be a surprise, but you really need to get your business listed on Google. To do this you create an account on Google business listings. When I’m looking for something the very first thing I do is I google it. If it’s not on google it practically doesn’t exist in my world so you need to make sure that your business is showing up on google maps and in google listings. You can do this by going through the process HERE.
  5. Social Media. And our big finale’ — here’s the thing though, you need to pick the social media that makes sense for your business. Your business needs to be present where your clients are, so pick the social media where your clients are. For me, that means that I need to be on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. For you that might mean you need a bigger presence on Linked In, or maybe you need to be on reddit, or maybe you only need to be on Facebook. The bottom line is, you need to know your ideal client so that you can focus your efforts on exactly where they’re spending the majority of their time.

What to include?

Here’s where we start talking about ‘your voice’. This is so individualized and comes down to how you choose to market yourself, but I talked about it in this Work it Wednesday video below that I think will help 🙂 Fast forward to 16:10 to find the fun!

Safe Topics

Something to keep in your back pocket for when your staring blankly at that computer screen having a mini panic attack about what to post. Come up with 5 topics that you could literally post about anytime. It could be 5 things that are totally unrelated, they don’t have to be related to your business necessarily, people love hearing about your personal life and hearing more about you! Mine rotate out but some of my favorites are talking about Disney World, coffee (of course!), weddings/love quotes (always a safe bet!), travel, or my family. Some other ideas may be your exercise regimen, favorite foods, your love of yoga, gardening, the lake, beach, mountains, your house (maybe you live in a farmhouse or have a pretty view), you could post encouraging quotes, talk about your morning coffee routine, post funny things your kids say, post how proud of your husband, etc. Come up with a few things in advance and just make a big list and have it on standby so that when you can’t think of anything you’ve got backup!

And if you’re still wondering how in the world you’re going to connect to your ideal client then hop on over to the ideal client worksheet I’ve made for you because this will help get those wheels turning on where your people are spending their time so that you can reach them in the most effective way possible.

And if you’ve got questions, comments or just want to say HI! Feel free to comment here or come find me on Facebook, Instagram or email me anytime 🙂 I’ll see you guys next week over on Work it Wednesday!!! xoxo Ashley

Charlotte Wedding Photographer Ashley Sue Photography

Ashley Sue is a Charlotte based Piedmont and High Country Wedding Photographer specializing in capturing the moments in between the posing. Ashley is energetic, optimistic, and a perpetual romantic.

While Ashley has photographed weddings nationwide from simple church ceremonies to elaborate ballroom receptions; her authentic + joyful style shines brightest in outdoor locations such as the Blue Ridge mountains of Asheville, NC and architecturally rich surroundings of Charlotte, North Carolina (and Paris. Always, always, always Paris.).

Ashley is available for travel world-wide + is passport ready. Contact Ashley today to book your family portrait, headshot or 2018 wedding.

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