Creating a Stronger Business Brand with Leelou Long

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November 24, 2019

Do you wish your branding on your website was amazing and doing what it is supposed to do; Create trust, better serve your clients and position you as a leader in your field? Well no matter your budget, I believe you can do exactly that. Let’s dig in and give you 5 ways you can better use your branding on your website.

 

On the podcast today, we give you 5 ways to Creating a Stronger Business Brand, with Graphic Designer Leelou. For full disclosure, Leelou is my wife so I might be a bit bias, but I do think she is so talented and she has one of the best boutique design agencies in Melbourne; By Leelou.

5 ways to better use your branding on your website

  1. Layout, layout, and layout! Any website is as good as the layout and it is the perfect way to showcase your style and branding with not much extra effort. You can purchase a beautifully designed website easily and use a layout from a design or you can spend the time to create amazing layout yourself. Really think about usability when creating the layout and keeping things simple and easy for the user.
  2. Write down and brainstorm, exactly how you want your business to be perceived by your audience. You can create a colour pallet and use fonts that will best portray how you want your traffic to feel and how they interact with your brand.
  3. Playing it safe in 2019/2020 is more dangerous than ever before. Think about how you can use your branding and website flow to create a different and more memorable experience for your traffic. Live a little dangerous and experiment. Not everything is going to work but it is worth testing out different layouts on pages, the colours and fonts and just how you use your branding as a whole.
  4. Targeting everyone is never a good idea. “The riches are in the niches” has never been truer than today. When you niche down, everything becomes easier. You need to let your traffic know, exactly what you do and how you do it. You need to let them know, you are the exact right fit for them. This will bring you in loving and loyal clients and you can save time and effort with marketing.
  5. Consistency is key. Think about the colours you use, the images you show and the articles you write. People love consistency and people dislike surprises. Consistency throughout everything you do with your brand, website and social media will help you create a brand that people love and trust. And that’s what it is all about, right?

 

Leelou Long

Leelou has just released website templates for wedding photographers and I think you should definitely check them out. A template just makes things so much more affordable and you have a good base to work off and customise so it’s your own. When I spent $10k on the design of my own website, years ago, I wish templates like these were available. Would have made my life so easy.

website templates

If you want to hear the full episode, jump over and hit play. Promise it is packed with good stuff and it will get you thinking about your own website.

I wrote a blog post to give you 4 ways to better use your website. CLICK HERE to read.

 

 

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Do you wish your branding on your website was amazing and doing what it is supposed to do; Create trust, better serve your clients and position you as a leader in your field? Well no matter your budget, I believe you can do exactly that. Let’s dig in and give you 5 ways you can better use your branding on your website.

 

On the podcast today, we give you 5 ways to Creating a Stronger Business Brand, with Graphic Designer Leelou. For full disclosure, Leelou is my wife so I might be a bit bias, but I do think she is so talented and she has one of the best boutique design agencies in Melbourne; By Leelou.

5 ways to better use your branding on your website

  1. Layout, layout, and layout! Any website is as good as the layout and it is the perfect way to showcase your style and branding with not much extra effort. You can purchase a beautifully designed website easily and use a layout from a design or you can spend the time to create amazing layout yourself. Really think about usability when creating the layout and keeping things simple and easy for the user.
  2. Write down and brainstorm, exactly how you want your business to be perceived by your audience. You can create a colour pallet and use fonts that will best portray how you want your traffic to feel and how they interact with your brand.
  3. Playing it safe in 2019/2020 is more dangerous than ever before. Think about how you can use your branding and website flow to create a different and more memorable experience for your traffic. Live a little dangerous and experiment. Not everything is going to work but it is worth testing out different layouts on pages, the colours and fonts and just how you use your branding as a whole.
  4. Targeting everyone is never a good idea. “The riches are in the niches” has never been truer than today. When you niche down, everything becomes easier. You need to let your traffic know, exactly what you do and how you do it. You need to let them know, you are the exact right fit for them. This will bring you in loving and loyal clients and you can save time and effort with marketing.
  5. Consistency is key. Think about the colours you use, the images you show and the articles you write. People love consistency and people dislike surprises. Consistency throughout everything you do with your brand, website and social media will help you create a brand that people love and trust. And that’s what it is all about, right?

 

Leelou Long

Leelou has just released website templates for wedding photographers and I think you should definitely check them out. A template just makes things so much more affordable and you have a good base to work off and customise so it’s your own. When I spent $10k on the design of my own website, years ago, I wish templates like these were available. Would have made my life so easy.

website templates

If you want to hear the full episode, jump over and hit play. Promise it is packed with good stuff and it will get you thinking about your own website.

I wrote a blog post to give you 4 ways to better use your website. CLICK HERE to read.

 

 

So why is a website still important in 2019/2020? Some say a website is not as important as they used to be and I do agree with that to some degree. But I could also argue that a good website is more important than ever before.
I think if your website is built right, has loads of relevant content to what your traffic is looking for and is visually pleasing, it can turn your traffic into clients and fans.

It is important to know what the purpose is of your website and how you can build it to best serve your business and best serve your clients. Also, it is good to know what content you should publish and put more time in. Things change so fast in the digital world and the way people use websites has changed dramatically even in the last few years.

For example, 4 years ago, I would publish new weddings on my blog and website pretty often. I would do that because I could see that is the type of content my traffic was trying to find when they came to my site. You can track things like that with great tools look Google Analytics. If you don’t have Google Analytics set up on your website yet, I recommend doing that sooner rather then later.

Today, not many people go to my website to see my portfolio. Mostly because they now spend a lot of time scrolling through Instagram and they are happy with my portfolio on my social media. So when they are heading to my website, they are looking for different content, such as blog posts that will answer questions or help them with their wedding. Or to find more about my packages and what I offer and a means to contact me and send an enquiry.

On the podcast, Episode 11, I talk about these 4 things:

USER ABILITY:
– mobile-friendly
– Is it google voice friendly?
– Do you have subtitles on your videos and content?
– Can anyone read the text? Is it legible

BRANDING
– Not over complicating the website
– How can you connect with your clients with your brand
– Does it best represent your services and what you are about?
– Does it represent the quality of your work?
– Does it represent trust?

CONTENT
– Is it informative?
– Is it relevant?
– Is it interesting?
– Is it binge-worthy?
– Video + text?
– Should you use a copywriter?

LEADS
– Seo – Optimising your website to work well with search engines to get organic traffic.
– Social channels – Make it easy for your traffic to share their favourite content.

Convert traffic into clients and even fans!

Also, if you struggle with your SEO and would like to do it yourself. Check out my friend Dylan’s SEO course.

FUEL YOUR PHOTOS

Use code: Jai for 10% off

In this episode, I got did a shoutout on Instagram to see if anyone wanted to take over my Podcast show and ask me any questions. I think it was a good way for someone to connect with me and ask all the things that want to know. It would have been an amazing opportunity for me when I first started out; asking an established photographer any question I had!

Daphne Sky is a wedding photographer based in Queensland, Australia. She has done some mentoring sessions with me so I know her a little and I have been helping her out with taking her business to the next level. It has been a really fun project to work on and I know she will be killing it next year with all the work she is putting into her business.

She asks loads of interesting questions and be warned, this episode has a few swear words!

Daphne asks me, where did the name Free The Bird come from? How did I start workshops and what is my take on spirituality and religion. It is really interesting listening and I hope you guys enjoy it!

This episode is brought to you by Vision Art Wedding Albums.
Use the code: MAKEYOURBREAK for 30% off your first order.

 

You can find Daphne Sky on her Instagram and website

In this episode, I talk about hiring your perfect team and how to go about it. I have been hiring people to work for me since I was 20 years old, when I ran my first business, a cafe called, Buddha Belly. Diving into hiring and creating a team without any experience was a huge learning curve for me and something I continue to learn about every single day.

I’ve hired and sometimes had to fire people but what I really want to tell you about is how I have grown as a leader, which didn’t come naturally. No matter where you start in life, you still need to hone your leadership skills to be able to steer the workforce.

If you have the ability to listen to the people that work for you, you are off to a great start because most people just want to be heard. We’re all human beings, and when I talk about my employees or hiring someone, I am talking about a real life human that experiences the same things I do that has dreams and goals, and all those wonderful things that I have too. They are real life humans and step number one is, treating them like so.

The other thing about working with humans, is that we are emotional. As a leader, you need a certain degree of EQ, emotional intelligence. In fact, I would argue that, it’s the most important attribute you could have as a leader.

I have a full time editor at Free The Bird Weddings and he basically runs the daily tasks of the business, including editing. It is amazing having him here with us and taking a chance on him was definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made. He started back in 2016 and he really was fresh. Still at university and didn’t really know what he was doing. I made sure to put in as many hours as I could to train him up and today is produces incredible work. It’s not all thanks to me sitting over his shoulder though. But it is thanks to the experience I have had, being a leader. I give him the space and time he needs to learn and I listen to him. I push him enough so he is always growing and I make sure he learns it all on his own.

So before you decide to hire anyone, take a step back, and think, do I have what it takes to be leader?

 

ALBUM ACADEMY is LIVE!!! Hit this link to see what it’s all about.

In this episode of ‘Make Your Break’, Jarrad Seng shares with us how his career got started and some of his career highlights. Then myself & Jarrad dive into a quick mastermind to talk about ways you can either identify an opportunity or create an opportunity from a situation. I think it is inspiring to hear from people like Jarrad, just how he has created his career into what it is today.

 

Jarrad Seng Podcast

My highlight from this conversation is when Jarrad is telling us about a story from a few months ago, drinking with Ed Sheeren for his birthday at Pizza Hut and buying a house on a whim over the internet in the early hours of the morning. It sounds like such a typical rockstar story!
Here are the 5 different stories Jarred and I cover in regards to creating or identifying an opportunity:

 

  • “Fake it till you make it”. A story from Jarred about how Adobe contacted him to be a Lightroom expert and how he navigated around the opportunity
  •  “Opening a door”. I talk about how I sold my car to invest in my business and used the money to create a portfolio of work
  • “Get yourself in the room”. Jarred tells us about how he got on to the TV show, Survivor.
  • “Turning a disaster into an opportunity” Jarred smashed his friend’s camera and got a job working with Canon as a result.
  • “Doing what you love, no matter the cost”. We both talk about shooting for free and not letting rules stop us from achieving what we want.

 

 

My online course ‘Album Academy’ is about to drop. So if you would love to start designing and selling albums, this course is going to be a game-changer. To get started, you can download the free tip guide and join the waiting list.

If you would like to internet creep Jarrad, check out his Instagram here. I also suggest googling his name and watching some of the funny things he has been up to over the last few years.

 

 

 

In this episode, we dive into something I think is very important to any business: Up-selling and add-ons. A good add-on will bring extra revenue into your business, which is important because you need to make your business as profitable as possible so you can continue to grow and provide the service your clients love. I talk about eight tips to help you start up-selling and creating add-ons and no matter what industry you are in or what you decide your add-on will be, this episode will really help you.

I have also put together a workbook for this episode so if you would like to download the workbook and follow along…

DOWNLOAD WORKBOOK

Now, before we get started, I want to mention I have just put together my first ever online course called the Album Academy. It is a complete 4 step course from designing wedding albums, how to sell albums and how to make your workflow super fast. This course is available from the 4th of November for 2 weeks only.  If you are a wedding photographer and want to make extra money in your business, speed up your workflow and better serve your clients, this course is a game-changer.

To find out more about the course THE ALBUM ACADEMY

So let’s not waste any time and dive straight in.

What is the difference between upselling and add-ons, also known as cross-selling?

Upselling is encouraging the purchase of anything that would make the primary product more expensive. For instance, A wedding package that now includes a wedding album. Or buying a camera and having the option to have a memory card, battery and camera strap.

Cross-selling is the suggestion of any other product to be purchased in conjunction with the primary product —

Buying a microphone? Maybe you need a microphone stand.
Buying a plant, Maybe you need a new pot. Or some fertiliser.

I call Add-ons, cross-selling because It is an add-on that is relevant to the client’s purchase.

Ok, we all know what they are, let’s talk about the why.
The most obvious reason is to make extra revenue for each sale. We want to do that for two different reasons. One, because we need to make as much revenue as possible so we can create a better service and just keep our doors open for longer. Did you know it is much cheaper to sell to an existing client then it is to get a new client? You have already paid for the ads, you have already put the leg work into marketing and you have already converted your client into a fan.

It is expensive and time consuming to gain an extra client. The second is because we want to better serve our clients.

That’s right, most people don’t associate upselling with serving clients but today I am going to see if I can change your mindset on selling.

Here is the thing. Your clients love you and what you do. They probably wouldn’t have hired you otherwise. So that is a pretty safe bet. They respect you as a professional and they value your professional opinion. So with an upsell of a larger package, if you are anything like me, I wouldn’t upsell a large package to anything that I don’t think would benefit from it.

For instance, if I get a wedding client asking about my photography packages and which one they should book. I ask them about the wedding and what they need. If they are having a small wedding with 40 guests and its all in the one location, I won’t be trying to upsell them a big package because they don’t need it. I will advise them on my smallest coverage and tell them exactly what they need and how we can make it work.

If I have a client with 100’s of guests and a very complex wedding, I will be advising my biggest package plus the extras that I believe will help them make their wedding day easier and what will be more cost-effective. If they want a wedding album, I let them know that it is much cheaper if they just choose my biggest package with that included and its better value for money.

Your clients trust you because you have earned it. So my biggest piece of advice is don’t take advantage of someone’s trust and sell them something that is not exactly what they need.

Your clients are looking for the products they want and if you don’t have those products because you believe you don’t like upselling, you are actually not serving your clients in the best way possible.

I get enquiries every week from other photographer’s clients asking if I can create them an album with their wedding images because their photographer doesn’t offer that service. I even book a lot of clients just because we have the extra add-ons they were looking for and others didn’t offer it.

People love shopping. And People love choice. So if you are not giving them that experience, you are doing more harm than good.

the album academy

1/ Personalize

I believe the more your personalise an add-on for your client, the more likely they are going to feel looked after and more likely to purchase. For example, If you are trying to upsell a videographer to muir clients and they have expressed they don’t want video, it’s a safe bet to say you won’t get a sale. But if they really love photos and they are there most important, upsell an album and talk about why you believe this is the perfect product just for them.

2 /Choice

Your clients trust you as a professional and they believe and even want to buy, products that you believe in and curate just for them. People love shopping and they love the power of choice. If you don’t give your clients choices, it can feel like you are pushing a package or product onto them with no options and it can feel like a one-size-fits-all’ type of thing and most people don’t like that.

On the other hand, people don’t like too many choices. And with too many choices can cause the same reaction as not enough choices. Your client will get confused and it simply becomes easier to just not book you…

Just like when you walk to a drink fridge and there are 50 choices of drinks and it gets way too hard to make a decision.

3/ Get your language right.

Some of the best upselling examples get this right by making visitors imagine how they could make use of the upgrade, or by triggering the fear of missing out (FOMO). This is psychologically proven to help make more sales. Good copy to communicate what your packagers and offers will do for them is key.

4 / be honest.

You don’t have to be a salesman to sell add-ons and often that is exactly what your clients are afraid of.

Be honest with your opinion and make sure you have your client’s best interest at heart and not your agenda to make extra sales. If you are going for an upsell, talk them through why you believe it is the right choice. Being genuine and transparent is always going to trump sleazy sales tactics.

5 / Reward loyalty.

I know discounts are never a good thing because you will become a discount wedding photographer or a discount designer. But I believe once someone has booked your services, there is no reason why you can’t treat your clients with insider specials and discounts or even something else, like a thank-you card or a gift. Or even a voucher for a future purchase or a discount on a product that you know they will love.

6 / Visiualize.

People have a hard time visualising something that is not right in front of them. So it is important to have examples of what you have on offer and if they can touch it, hold it and feel it, the product will sell itself.

For example, I sell wedding albums to my clients and I love the albums I sell. I believe they are the best money can buy and I believe they are an amazing investment for my clients. But it is hard for me to just sit there in a client meeting and tell them that. It is much easier to put a sample album into their lap and let the product sell itself. And if I am telling them all the facts and features of the albums, at least they can hold them in their hands and see why I am so passionate about what I am selling.

Album academy

7 / Make it easy!

With any kind of add-on or upsell, it needs to be an easy process. From the choice, all the way to the payment and delivery.

There are many programs out there that help you sell add-ons upon checkout or upon booking your services which means they don’t need to get out their credit card twice and it becomes one easy transaction.
Also offering things like free delivery, free gift-wrapping or any other way to make it easy and desirable for your clients, the better.

I would also make it easy with pricing. People hate hidden fees and extra credit card fees and extra tax fees and all the other things to stop people from buying. The easier and more painless you make it for someone, the more sales you will get. So next time you re complaining about the credit card fees you have to pay, just remember that you may have made a lot more revenue this year just because you made it easy for your clients and you accepted credit card payments or even payment plans.

8/ Educate

Most of the time people don’t even know what they want until you show them what they want. Educating people on your products makes it much easier for people to buy your products because they know what they are, how to use them, why they need them and just simply, so they know your products exist.

You can educate your clients through your mailing list, blog, social media platforms, in person at meetings and many other ways.

So I want you to have a think about what you offer and how you can educate your tribe on what you offer.

Ok, I am going to have to wrap up this episode. But I could literally talk about this stuff for days. I am passionate about it because I love the fact that I can make more money for my business which means I can employ people, give my clients a better service and live the life that I want. So it really is an amazing tool to be able to offer the products your clients actually want.

Again, my new course ‘The Album Academy’ is almost here and I can’t wait to start teaching wedding photographers how to sell albums effortlessly and bring in more money for their business. The course will be available from the 4th Nov for two weeks only. So it’s only a small window, but seriously guys, this course has so much value and I am excited to be bringing this to you.

So last recap before we end the show,

Tip1 – Personalise

2 – choice

3 – get your lounge right

4 – be honest

5 – reward loyalty

6 – visualise

7 – make it easy

8 – educate.

Don’t forget to download the free workbook for the show.

See you next time.

In this episode, I chat about how we need to change our mindset on the concept of ‘busy’. Being seen as busy is over-celebrated and far too glorified in our culture. What does busy even mean?

Being busy can simply mean that you’ve sat in your office chair all day and kept yourself engaged in low-value tasks just in order to “keep busy”. Being impactful, however, is using what little time you have to make the biggest impact…and, therefore, the biggest splash.

There are so many ways to make a bigger impact on a day-to-day basis. One of my first pieces of advice is to arrange your tasks and give them a number marking the highest value task to the lowest. Then work out if you can delegate, delete or do something else with the lowest value tasks so you can free up more time to spend on high-value tasks that bring in more income, grow our business and  – yep, you guessed it – make the biggest impact.

In this episode, I mention a couple of programs that I use – here are the links:

ACUITY – Client booking and calendar system

ASANA – Everyday management system

STUDIO NINJA – Client management system (CRM)
Promo code: MAKEYOURBREAK (50% off  your first subscription payment)

“We need to change ourselves from being bust to being impactful and effective”

 

 

Make Your Break Podcast

 

Subscribe on APPLE PODCAST or SPOTIFY

 

This episode marks my first ever podcast interview. Dan O’Day joins us to have a chat about his relationship with money and how taking control of his finances and setting personal goals has been a real game-changer.

I remember having a good discussion with Dan a few years ago in which he told me about how he was going to buy his first home. This is a goal that many of us share but can sometimes feel unachievable. What I loved about the conversation was hearing how Dan was taking action and making steps towards that goal. We chatted about the importance of having a professional financial advisor in your corner to help you along the way.

I’ve put together a few tips on how to find the right financial advisor for you. The world of financial advice can be hard to navigate and I understand that many people don’t even know where to start. So let’s change that right now!

 

Tip One

Ask around to see if you can find a good referral. As with any service, it’s always easier to talk to someone you trust by getting get a first-hand recommendation. If no one in your immediate friend circle springs to mind, think of anyone you know who may use a financial advisor and reach out to them for some direction.

 

Tip Two

Now you’ve shortlisted a couple of advisors, go and meet them to see if the two of you will get along. Hiring a financial advisor usually means that you’ll be working with them for years to come, so it’s important to have someone you can trust and with whom you can communicate effectively.

 

Tip Three

Find out how they expect to be compensated. Sometimes you’ll have to pay for one upfront, while others will receive commissions from products that they’ll try and get you to purchase. I always go with someone that I pay directly and who I feel has my best interests at heart. Sometimes you can set them up in your super fund so that you’re not out of pocket straight away.

 

Tip Four

Be honest with both your advisor and with yourself. Tell them your goals (even if they seem impossible) and be candid about how much you really earn and spend. They’ll be able to help you on the way to achieve these aims and it will be incredibly beneficial to have an exact number of what you need to make as a target to aim for.

 

I hope that these tips will help you find the right financial advisor; now check out the podcast episode and hear more about how Dan O’Day has approached his journey towards financial success.

 

 

Dan O'Day

In this episode, I have a conversation about the (sometimes uncomfortable) subject of money.

Ah, money… It’s so interesting that it sparks such different views and personal relationships within all of us.

I know for a fact that, as creatives, many of us feel guilty about making money; this sounds odd but it’s true. We actually often stop ourselves from making money without even knowing it.

It all comes down to our individual mindset and relationship with money, which can be formed from so many different experiences in our lives. Some people may associate money with evil, perhaps because their parents used to fight a lot over finances when they were younger.

Maybe your parents worked hard to earn a lot of money and therefore weren’t around when you were growing up?

Or maybe you have a different view. Maybe your parents made a large amount of money and you saw them help all the people around them; you got inspired by how they could help your family and community and provide everything that you needed and wanted. Or maybe they were around all the time exactly because they weren’t hung up on making loads of money.

Maybe it has nothing to do with your parents at all and you’ve become inspired by other people around you. Maybe it’s not even people but movies that serve as your inspiration? Only you know where your mindset and relationship with money comes from.

But the chances are that no one ever taught you about money. Not your parents, your teachers or your peers – this is usually because they also don’t know about money.

Ah, money! We all make and use it in such different ways. Some of us swap different things for it, some people are able to make a lot of it and others struggle to make any at all. Some people save it and store it and others use it.

One thing that I believe is that money isn’t talked about enough. And that is why today we’re taking a deep dive straight into this hard subject. I think that the more we open up and have conversations around money, the easier it will be for people to understand its whole concept, function and utility.

Here are a few reasons why I think people don’t talk about money:

We can feel insecure. Maybe we don’t make as much money as our friends or co-workers, or we suspect that we don’t and would rather not know.

Or maybe we make more than others and don’t want people to feel bad…or jealous, or envious.

Another reason is because we tend to shy away from things we don’t know much about.

Also, we don’t get taught about money in our schooling system, besides the fact that you need to get good grades so you can get a good job and start working and essentially exchanging your time for money.

It may lead to an argument, especially if it’s a topic you don’t talk about much with your partner.

We also don’t like to talk about it because sometimes we know we’re in a bad situation and would rather bury our heads in the sand rather than dealing with it directly.

Another reason why we don’t talk about money is that we often associate our personalities and character with the amount that we earn: what class we’re in, what friend group we’re in, etc. If we admit to people that we don’t actually have control over our finances, we may feel as if we could lose our identity.

You see, we usually associate ourselves with earning more money than we do. That’s why we borrow money that we don’t have to buy a car we can’t afford, all to build an image that we’d like to portray to the world. If we admit to our friends that we’re actually not doing as well as we may seem, we may lose the identity that we’ve created for ourselves.

“Some people are able to make a lot of it and others struggle to make any. Some people save it and store it and others use it.”

 

Make Your Break Podcast

 

In the show, I chat about my free eBook Cashflowing Like A Boss. I want you to download it to discover ways in which you can save money in your business. Even if it’s just a few dollars, it all counts. As the saying goes, “A small leak will sink a great ship.

Every year I go through the steps outlined in this eBook and find ways that my businesses can save a few dollars in order to relieve some of the financial pressure. This year alone, after a just day’s worth of work, I was able to save over $5000.

As always, if you have any questions about this episode, feel free to leave a comment below and I will respond.

In this episode, I tell some real-life stories in which I have made my own breaks. I define ‘making your break’ as creating your own opportunities that will significantly change your life, be it business or personal.

I want you to think about a time in your life when you actively went out and made your own break – you created your own opportunity or intentionally changed the course of your life and your business.

I’m fascinated by how successful people got to where they are today; what sacrifices did it require and what measures did they take in order to make opportunities for themselves?

I am also a big believer in being intentional, in the sense that opportunities won’t usually just come your way – you have to make them cross your path. This philosophy has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with intentionally creating your own opportunities. Whether that is deciding to be in the right place at the right time, making sure that you know the right people, or being aware of exactly what to say when it matters, you should always be intentional and have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. It is much easier to create your own break than to sit and hope that you’ll get lucky someday.

“It’s your life and your business and people can underestimate what you are capable of and give you advice that is not in your best interest.”

Make Your Break Podcast

Story Number One

“I drove to the job site at the same time as all the tradesman at 6 am, walked up to the site office and, with my heart sinking to the bottom of my belly, knocked on the door.”

I was 16 years old. I’d recently quit school and moved out of home.

We grew up in government housing and there was a lot of domestic violence and drug use in my house and neighborhood, so moving at such a young age didn’t feel like a choice. It felt like the first step towards taking control of my life.

I got a job working as a laborer and the guy that I worked for didn’t pay any tax so everything was dealt with in cash. As I already knew that this job wasn’t going to last long, every afternoon I would go to the phone booth and cold call businesses from the directory in the hope of getting myself a real job. This was the second step towards changing my situation.

Eventually, I heard from someone at work that there was a huge new construction site in town and the team there was building a new art gallery.

So that afternoon I walked into town and bought some new work boots and the next day I rode my bike to my mum’s house to borrow her car.

I wasn’t even old enough to drive at that point but that wasn’t going to stop me from making my break.

I drove to the job site at the same time as all the tradesman at 6 am, walked up to the site office and, with my heart sinking to the bottom of my belly, knocked on the door.

The foreman was encouraged to see me standing there saying that I was ready to start my new job that very day. He questioned my age but after I showed him my car, he was convinced that I must have been old enough for the job.

I did get the job and I started work that day.

I knew what I wanted and I wasn’t going to leave it to chance. I wasn’t going to let anything stop me or give myself any excuse for why I couldn’t have that job.

That day changed my life, as I made my own break; even though it may sound small, it had a huge impact on the rest of my life.

 

Story Number Two

“Why can’t I run my own business?”

I just visited my dad who was in rehab and really wanted to help him.

And I came to the conclusion that the only way I could help him would be to get him a job.

And I tried and tried. But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t figure out how to get a job for someone that was essentially unemployable.

Again, I came up with a new idea: What if I became an employer? And I created a job for him?
Why can’t I run my own business?

So my girlfriend Leelou and I set out to start a café. We got friends and family to come and help with renovations and everything else that we needed in order to launch the business.

Unfortunately, my dad died of a drug overdose just two weeks before we opened the doors of the café. We lost the whole reason why we were starting it in the first place.

I didn’t know a thing about business when we opened the doors. I just figured that if I sold great coffee and food, people would pay us money and we would be able to continue to provide great coffee and food. I wasn’t actually too far from the truth; I just didn’t know all the other things that you need to know in business.

Although I made my own break and created my own business, we closed the doors 12 months after we opened and lost everything.

Hey, I didn’t say that making your own opportunities will always result in a success story! Sometimes you do things to change the course of your life and have no control over the outcome.

But I do see that time of my life as a huge success and I learned so much of what I know now from those first 12 months in business.

 

Story Number Three

“I stopped myself from making excuses for why I wouldn’t get the job – instead I concentrated on GETTING the job.”

I was running the café and we had begun to lose money…big time. I realised that I was going to have to get a job and bring more money to the table in order to keep the café open.

The problem was, while I had finished my apprenticeship as an electrician before opening the café, my previous employer was withholding my Electrical Licence as a blackmail tactic to get me to come back and work for him. I’d finished a four-year apprenticeship and didn’t have an Electrical Licence to show for it.

So I started a job search online and found some great opportunities.

There was one electrical job that really stood out to me but I got a little disheartened when I read the description.

It said something like this:

  • You must have an Electrical Contractors Licence
  • You must have a cover letter
  • You must have a resume
  • And at least one reference from a previous employer

I didn’t want this job, I needed this job – my business and future depended on it.

So I stopped myself from making up excuses why for I wouldn’t get it and instead just concentrated on getting the job.

I Googled the business name and found a direct email address and the owner’s name.

Then I wrote a simple email to him that went like this:

Hey XXXX,

I’ve just seen a job advertised by you guys and I wanted to have a quick chat.

I don’t have a resume or a cover letter because I am too busy working hard in my own business most of the time.

But I can tell you this: I will work harder than anyone else and I am ready to start work tomorrow.

I promise that you won’t regret hiring me.

Looking forward to your call.

Jai

 

I got a call back within the hour. I went for an interview and started the job the next day.

When I asked him if there had been any other interest in the job, he said he’d had over 300 applications over that weekend and there were mountains of resumes to go through. But when I emailed him, I was the only person that had said that I would work hard.

(He never even asked me about my Electrical Licence but I did find out down the track that he knew I didn’t have a license but also felt that I was more ambitious than anyone else, so he couldn’t not give me the job!)

 

Story Number Four

“I wasn’t looking for someone to apply for the job, I was looking for someone to TAKE the job.”

I recently took out a job ad for a Project Manager position in my business.

Within a week I had about 20 resumes to look through. It was hard work because most of the resumes didn’t even show me a picture of the person applying for the job. While I don’t want to judge a book by its cover, I do like to see what the person looks like when I’m reading their words; it just makes me connect with them on a different level.

Make Your Break PodcastI got an email in my direct inbox that turned out to be a job application, which was weird because I didn’t put my email address out publicly.

It was from a person called Zoi who had created a whole webpage on her website dedicated to the job application, which included a bit of her personal background, her core values and a statement regarding what she was going to do for me and what she can bring to the table.

This is what I had been waiting for: someone with enough ambition to reach out and take the job, not just apply for it.

Needless to say, I got her in for an interview and she started work right away.

She made her own break and, as an employer, that is exactly the type of person I was looking for.

Shoutout to Zoi who is now working for the workshop business and together we are going to create some amazing resources that will be available to you guys.

“Thank YOU Jai!!!! It was honestly life-changing for me. I’ll be doing more one on ones with you. I’ll see you next year to shout you that drink when I book those 40 weddings!”
~ Prue Peters

 

wedding photography workshop Melbourne

 

It was no suprise that this Melbourne workshop SOLD OUT in record time, full of keen creative business owners ready to take control of their business and up their game. The feedback has been incredible and it is so rewarding to read through all the reviews, emails and listening to feedback. It just confirms to me that the workshop is making such a huge impact on so many creative businesses.

This workshop was held in a warehouse in Abbotsford called Small Talk. It was the perfect venue and it really had that cool Melbourne vibes. Such an easy location for everyone to get to, especially when they fly in from interstate and book accommodation right in the city.

For me, every workshop is different and every student is at a different level or different part of their journey. So it can be hard to navigate around and make sure I don’t teach anything that will go over their heads and it has to have enough so they can see the middle moving for their business. At the end of the day, everyone has a goal and this workshop is a BIG stepping stone to get them that one step closer.

 

Free The Bird workshop

The workshop is spread over two full days and you would think that is plenty of time, but even at this workshop, we didn’t get all the way through all the content. There is just so much to go through when you are knee-deep in business and trying to take it to a new level. Even if you are just starting out, you still have a ‘to-do’ list longer than you want. But having said that, I made all the content digestible and easy to implement in a step-by-step format.

Melbourne wedding photography workshop