Investing in Mentoring Tips + Tricks | for Photographers

 

Oh good morning friends!  I hope this lovely Tuesday is treating you ‘swell!  I am so excited to be talking to you today about one of my favorite things: mentoring.  Often I have photographers ask me, “What’s been the best investment you’ve made in your business?”  Well, this friends is the best.  Mentoring, is typically, a one-on-one with another photographer or business owner who can walk through some of the things in your business that you might be struggling with.  They push you to follow your dreams and also give you realistic goals and expectations on how to achieve them!

I’ve blogged before about both of my experiences with Katelyn and Natalie as my mentors.  Each of these women have been more than open to sharing the insides of their business with me, walked me through everything from finances to client experiences, and have let me ask them hard questions!  I can honestly say that without these two being so open to me, I would never be where I am now.  I would’ve made a ton of easy to avoid mistakes and would probably be photographing clients that aren’t a great fit for me, instead of clients that are the BEST fit!  I am forever grateful that I made these investments, and they’ve now yielded more than just business success, but also friendships that I couldn’t be more blessed to have!

So, hopefully I’ve now convinced you why a mentoring session is important, but now I want to give you a few tidbits on how to prepare for a mentoring session:

 

  • Come prepared- When I showed up at Katelyn’s door, I had a huge long list of things that I wanted to ask her!  I was so grateful for that list because she made sure we covered absolutely everything before I left and didn’t skip over the hard questions!

 

  • Know who you’re doing mentoring with- This may sound a little bit silly at first, but having a general idea of how the person who is offering the mentoring session runs their business is a huge part of selecting them!  For example, Katelyn has built a lot of her following and her business off of blogging.  If I wan’t comfortable at utilizing the same tool, one of the biggest tools that she uses, mentoring with her probably wouldn’t have been a good fit!  If I wasn’t looking to get a lot of information on client experience and her use of social media, which are huge platforms of Natalie’s business, then I shouldn’t have looked to her for mentoring!  See what I mean?  Having a general idea of how the mentor runs their business is important for your own expectations!

 

  • Find two or more mentors- I think that this one of the lessons that I am so grateful that I learned early on in my business.  Katelyn and Natalie have both served as amazing mentors and have been completely open to my questions and made themselves available to me when I needed them.  When I first did mentoring with Katelyn, I was so brand spanking new that I didn’t even know important features of my camera!  I was so embarrassed!  This played a big role in how I chose to run my business: I remember thinking, oh well this is how Katelyn did it, so I should do it that way too!  Please know, that this was nothing Katelyn encouraged! Really she encouraged the opposite, but because I didn’t really know who I was myself, I found myself trying to replicate what she was doing for her business, instead of figuring things out for myself.  As similar as Katelyn and Natalie are, they both run their businesses very differently, and so when I added a new perspective to my business, I realized that instead of asking how they would do it, I started deciding for myself what should be doing instead!

 

Phew!  That was a lot of info, so if you stayed with me through the whole thing, props to you!  I hope that this was helpful to someone and gave them a new insight on mentoring and the power of it.  If you have more questions either about mentoring or about other things, please feel free to ask me at lauren@laurenrswann.com!  I can’t wait to hear from you!

A Romantic and Relaxed, Old Westminster Winery Wedding byDC + Maryland Fine Art Photographer, Lauren R Swann

Posted:

January 20, 2015

comments +

  1. Dani says:

    Such great advice! And two seriously amazing mentors!!

  2. Brooke says:

    Great tips, Lauren!! You worked with such great photographers :)

  3. Natalie says:

    i simple adore You and have enjoyed being A small part of your journey! Xo! Love you!

  4. Caitlin says:

    i love this!! Such great advice :):):)

  5. We did mentoring twice last year and it was so amazing to learn two different perspectives! I definitely agree about finding a second mentor :)

  6. Lauren says:

    I love what you have to say about mentoring with more than one person. Thanks for the tips! Joyfully, Lauren

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Wife, mama, wielder of light & joy, and capturer of moments.  I thrive off of conversation and genuine connection.  In between wrangling our kiddos, and hanging my husband, you'll find me dreaming up my next idea or creative endeavour.  It's these things that culminate to give my imagery a warmth and joy to them - the greatest compliment I could receive.

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