I'm Dolly — a Nashville based branding photographer for small business owners & a systems + workflow educator (and Podcast Host) for creatives who want to be more streamlined and organized with Systems, Workflows & Dubsado. I'm here to help you look awesome (for your photos) & feel great about workflows!
(*Just a friendly PSA: I do not have any or all the answers to why we are facing this crisis. I am purely writing this series because I see the need to encourage other small business owners and to encourage others to stand courageously in the midst of chaos. Even though we do not know what tomorrow may bring, we can still be filled with hope!*)
Typically, whenever we have a job to do, we’re given a deadline. We know, “OK, I’m going to work really hard for the next ten days and then this will be over!” But now… who knows how long we’ll be in quarantine mode? There is no deadline, and that can feel overwhelming.
However, this uncertainty doesn’t have to paralyze us.
Instead of panicking, shutting down, or sitting in your bubble bath crying with a bottle of wine (no judgment here…), it’s time to figure out how to pivot.
I’m not talking about making a 180-degree change to a completely different business, but instead finding strategic ways to make your business possible (and hopefully profitable!) online.
It’s not enough to just cross our fingers and hope for the best. Now is the time for smart, strategic action.
I graduated from college in 2007, as the world was on the brink of a global financial crisis. I’m no stranger to an uncertain economic environment. A business that can thrive virtually is one of the best safeguards against economic uncertainty.
I’m a photographer, so almost all of my work requires me to meet face-to-face with clients. With a quarantine and “safer at home” orders invoked, that’s pretty much impossible. So I’m actively thinking of ways to use my skills to benefit others in a purely digital way. I can’t take photos virtually, but I can educate and use my other skills to create an income stream. And even if I do not pick up an additional income stream online, I still am using this time to lay a better foundation for my business for when life picks back up. Either way, I am using this time to pivot and to reassess what areas of my business need to be streamlined, need to be organized, and need to be updated! (AND GUESS WHAT? I actually have an online onboarding course I WILL be offering to small business owners and businesses in the next couple of months that is purely all online…I’m very excited to offer a new service within Dolly DeLong Photography, and several businesses have already benefited from this specific service! Curious to find out what I’m talking about? Well, you’re going to have to wait until I make the official announcement!)
1) What skill sets have you neglected that you could pick up, dust off, and put to use?
2) Where can you cut back to lower your operating costs and expenses in the short term?
These are the questions we need to be asking ourselves! Learning how to operate in a leaner, more strategic way can save jobs and entire businesses.
I want you to feel strong in the waters of uncertainty, and I think the best way to do that is to pivot your business to an online model, even if that means shifting from your current offers or taking your business in an unexpected direction.
The truth is that everyone is going to need to wear a bunch of different hats in order to make these pivots work. Be willing to try things in a completely different way than you’ve ever considered before! Use this as an opportunity to stretch your entrepreneurial skills and tap into resources you’ve previously ignored.
None of this is easy, but your employees, clients, and community need you to be transparent, honest, and faithful. Don’t throw in the towel because things seem impossible.
Dig down, find your deepest motivation, and pivot to something that will work for the time being. None of this is forever, but we can’t just sit around and wish things would go back to “normal.” Being proactive now is what matters! It just might keep your business dreams alive when it feels impossible.
Again, I wish I had all the answers to help guide you through the COVID-19 crisis, but I don’t. What I can offer is some encouragement and to remind you that literally everyone is facing this together. It’s just how you decide to handle it will shape the outcome of your business. If you’re running a side hustle, and not a full-time business, this still applies to you and you can still use this time to prepare best practices for your future full-time business and how you would want to run your business in times of stress. And one more PSA: *If you are reading this during the COVOID-19 crisis and are quarantined at home, now would be the perfect time to start researching some small ways you can pivot your business. Use this time wisely to not only grow your business but also learn something new!
Now, if you are at a point in your small business where you are ready for a complete branding session (in the future) and you need content, not just for an updated profile picture, but you need professional photo content for your social media and website to boost your online presence, I would love to chat with you about capturing and best illustrating the message behind your business through a branding session! If you are not based in Nashville, then I strongly encourage you to find a local photographer who lives in your city who specializes in branding photography who could help elevate your social media presence with images that will match the message behind your business with consistent and professional images. To schedule a branding session with me, please click here.
I love encouraging other small-business owners and I love connecting with other businesses as I continue to grow my own small business!
Dolly DeLong is a Nashville-based family & branding photographer and a creative business educator & encourager. Dolly loves serving families, eloping couples, 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 through automation training, helpful blog posts, and her online courses. You can start your automation journey here.
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), eating way too many sweets, and listening to podcasts while running or walking. To work with Dolly DeLong Photography LLC, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out her contact form here.
Interested in elevating your business with some professional branding photos? Please click on the image below to schedule an appointment with Dolly DeLong Photography!
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!