I'm Dolly — a Nashville based family & branding photographer AND a systems + workflow educator (and Podcast Host) for creatives who want to be more streamlined and organized with Systems, Workflows & SOPS to better impact the backend of their businesses. I'm here to help you look awesome (for your photos) & feel great about workflows!
2019 was an incredible, whirlwind of a year! I’m excited to share a few of my goals for Dolly DeLong Photography in 2020 (if you’re thinking about eloping in Nashville you should definitely keep reading!) and help you figure out how to set big goals for your small business.
Can you believe we’re already in a new year? 2019 was a year of huge growth for Dolly DeLong Photography! I’m proud of myself for discovering my brand voice and finally investing in my business and in my photography skills. I established my specific photography “look” and produced consistent, high-quality photos for my client. I said “yes” to practically everyone, which led to a lot of fabulous opportunities… and the uncomfortable experience of feeling spread far too thin.
By the end of the year, I knew I needed to examine what had gone well and what needed to change. I couldn’t continue operating at the same rate in 2020 or I would soon be completely burned out! When you’re figuring out how to set big goals for your small business, the first step should always be an honest, unflinching reflection of how things have gone in the recent past. This reflection will help you determine what you do well, what needs to improve, and who you are made to serve. And, if you are in year ONE of your own business venture, this is definitely a learning process. So I hope to challenge you to think about who you would like to serve and connect within your business ventures!
Upon reflection, I discovered that there are three specific groups of people I am wanting to serve this year! Also, as soon as I niched down on who I wanted to serve within my business, I used these specific audiences to form my big goals for 2020.
Big Goal #1: Connect with the mothers I photograph in family sessions to help them feel confident and comfortable.
From the very beginning, serving families has been a consistent element of my photography business. I know this is one of my most important audiences, but I wanted to figure out a way to connect more deeply, specifically with moms. Now that I’m a mom myself, I truly understand the significance of capturing the fleeting moments of childhood. I want the moms I photograph to be excited about being in front of the camera. My big goal is to communicate the beauty I see in these mothers with them and help them feel as confident and comfortable as possible, so they see the joy in their photos that I see through the lens.
Big Goal #2: Shoot for a maximum of 12 couples eloping in Nashville or hosting intimate Nashville weddings.
I love a sweet elopement or intimate wedding! I really love being part of the magic of a couple’s wedding day, and I discovered that my joy and purpose is in truly getting to know the couple I’m photographing. That genuine connection wasn’t possible when I took on every couple who tried to book me. So for 2020, I’m focusing on serving up to 12 couples who are eloping in Nashville or hosting their intimate weddings in Music City. This focus will allow me to find those couples who are ready to invest in timeless, classic, and radiant portraits. The limited number of bookings will ensure that my clients and I are able to really get to know one another and share in the joy of the wedding day in a way that feels authentic and meaningful.
If you’re thinking about setting goals around finding a client niche or limiting your bookings, I know that it can feel terrifying! Saying no to money… are you crazy? But I have faith that God will bring me the clients I love serving and that the specialized service I provide will far exceed the expectations of those couples eloping in Nashville with me on their wedding team. Finding your niche and getting specific about who you serve will only strengthen and grow your small business!
Big Goal #3: Share my knowledge and marketing skills with new business owners.
I honestly had no idea how many hats I would need to wear in order to run a successful business while simultaneously caring for a tiny human. Being a mom in business can be a virtual circus! But thankfully I’ve developed my business acumen and knowledge over the years and I’ve been able to manage both jobs well.
Through Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and my blog, I’m connected to a vast array of business owners. It’s been on my heart to encourage this specific audience, especially newer business owners who are just figuring out the ropes. I’ve had my share of negative or challenging experiences while trying to learn from others, so I feel very strongly about making my little corner of the internet a true light that shines for others. So this year I’ll be focusing on building up new small business owners and sharing (for free, y’all!) tons of marketing tips, business strategy, and advice. This goal feels like a true embodiment of “community over competition,” and I’m so excited to help others grow their small businesses!
(Interested in learning how to best automate your small business but have NO clue where to start? Click here (or on the image below) to get started with learning the foundations of automating your business with Dolly DeLong Education! )
Well, there you have it! We’ve officially wrapped up 2019, though I probably should mention that the icing on the cake of last year was learning how to shoot film and integrate that within my digital photography business. I love being able to offer a hybrid of photography to my clients who now receive high-end, quality and timeless pieces when they invest in me. Moving into this new year, I hope to genuinely be a light as I continue to grow my photography business in 2020, and I hope that everyone who interacts with me leaves with a sense of joy and happiness! (Below is one of my favorite black and white FILM images I took in Arizona last November of a couple’s elopement!!!)
More actual marketing tips and advice to come in the next blog posts, but for now, I wanted to kick off the year with my big goals and to share some of the whys behind those goals. Here’s to achieving all of your big goals in 2020!
Will you comment below and let me know what some of your business goals of 2020 are? I would love to cheer you on in your journey as well!
Dolly DeLong is a Nashville-based family & branding photographer and a creative business owner who educates on all things Pinterest, Dubsado, Lead Magnets & Email Marketing (aka pretty much all the fun automation stuff centered around those business systems)! Dolly loves serving families, and business owners with her timeless, radiant photography. She loves capturing the joy and emotion in both digital and film photos.
She also has a heart for serving the larger business community. Dolly shares her knowledge of tools like Pinterest, Dubsado, email marketing, and business systems with new creative business owners in an encouraging and supportive way because she believes that even muggles can become automating wizards!
Dolly’s faith and love for her family motivate her to help other business owners find the joy and freedom she’s found in running a successful small business.
Whenever she has a spare moment, she enjoys watching TV (i.e. Survivor), loves eating way too many sweets, and listens to podcasts while running or walking. To work with Dolly DeLong Photography LLC, please email her at email@example.com or fill out her contact form here.
Or maybe you're not really sure how you'd use your new collection of branded images? Download my free planning guide to learn how to plan an elevated brand photography session to impact your business!