Ep 105. Creative Video Marketing Ideas with Joy Michelle

video marketing
I'm Ashley!

My mission at The Purpose Gathering is to help driven momtogs like you level up, so you can build a sustainable business AND a fulfilling family life. I do that through authentic brand photography for mompreneurs and my signature program for mom photographers: Side Hustler to CEO.

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Is video marketing apart of your strategy?

If you have no idea where to even start, we’ve got you!

Today, my guest is Joy Michelle, a fellow photographer, educator and YouTuber who is a happily married mom of two. Through her work, Joy specifically helps photographers to step into the role of Photo Boss, so that they can make more money and work with the clients they love, and have a better work life balance that they enjoy. She will be explaining the importance of including video in our marketing and she will be sharing three important ways to use video within your business right now, to help you stand out from the competition. So let’s dive in!

Ashley: Will you share with us a little bit about your journey through photography and how you got to where you are today as an educator and a YouTuber.

Joy: So I started my business in 2013, which now feels like a lifetime ago. But I started out in the wedding industry and have photographed specifically weddings and love stories, portraits and weddings. I got into this because I was in school, engaged to my husband, and hired our wedding photographer.

When I saw the business that she had built, it kind of opened my eyes to what was possible for me as a photographer, as someone who just enjoyed photography, but never thought it could be a career.

So seeing her business was super inspiring for me, and I just dove headfirst in. I ended up working for her for a while as an intern, and then a second shooter for her and that was the beginning of my business.

A few years later, I was prompted by my brother to start a YouTube channel. I thought about it for probably a year before I ever actually created and published videos. I decided I’m just going to start sharing about my business, about the software that I’m using, and the gear that I’m using, and what’s working in my marketing. To hopefully help some people that are a couple years behind where I am.

So I started my YouTube channel, in 2017 and that grew into the Facebook group and grew into Photo Boss, which is now this community of almost 10,000 photographers. That has just continued to grow and evolve. Starting these YouTube videos really is what kind of kicked off my whole almost accidental education business and now is what makes up the large part of what I do every day. I’m still a photographer, but my heart now really is in helping other photographers reach the goals that they want to achieve in their businesses.

Ashley: We share a commonality in the sense of how we got started with photography. Because same thing happened to me. Although I sort of didn’t have the best experience with my wedding photographer and I was like if he can do this, and charge that much money, I could do this way better. So that’s how I got started in weddings too, so I think that’s cool that we share that.

Where To Start

Ashley: I think as photographers and really just any entrepreneur in general right now, we keep hearing that video is the future. I feel like a lot of photographers still might be hesitant about jumping on this bandwagon. So can you sort of give us your take on that, why you think it’s important and maybe where can photographers even really get started with doing video to help market their business?

Joy: Yes, I think this is super common to have this reaction of being like  I’m seeing the reels, I’m seeing Tik Tok, I’m seeing where these platforms are very obviously going and what they’re promoting. But just still feel a little overwhelmed by video and especially by YouTube. So I get asked about YouTube a lot because I am a YouTuber, but I also feel like video marketing in general needs to be discussed because as busy moms, there comes a time when we feel like we cannot be everywhere. We can’t be on all the platforms and we can’t play to every algorithm.

The obvious answer to this is to be somewhere with a little more depth, so you can only pick a handful and then go deep on those platforms. 

I think video needs to be discussed, because the lifetime value of a piece of video content is so much longer than a text based post, and can be used to enrich something that you’re already doing in a text based post. I have three ways to use video in your business right now, ways that you can be thinking about putting video into what you’re already doing, and how you can take that next step.

Visibility Marketing

So the first way is the visibility marketing strategy of your business. So this means your blog, your Instagram, your Facebook, your social media, really getting the word out about what you do with your service and what you do with your clients and your photography that you offer. This is I think the most obvious way, and that’s where we think I’m going to have a video and it’s going to help me get clients.

Client Experience

It’s also really important to be thinking about your client experience. Part of our marketing is giving a fantastic client experience, so that they might come back, or refer you to someone else or leave you a five star review. So video should be extending to this part of your marketing strategy, so that you can carry through this experience of excellence in everything that you’re doing. Thinking of it as something that’s outward facing in your visibility from someone who hasn’t booked with you, but also thinking about how marketing with video could fit in to where someone has already booked with you.

A great way to do this is to record a short gallery tour video for the your client after they have gotten their images and you explain how the gallery works.

You explain how to download their images and what they can do next for getting a tangible print or a canvas or working with you to create a custom album.

Another way to think about this is what frequently asked questions do you get asked almost with every client.

  • Picking out an outfit
  • Session timeline
  • Location questions

The important thing here is that you’re addressing these questions and you’re coming to them with a solution and you’re doing it with video. The cool thing is this can sometimes also double as your visibility marketing where you might do something for your clients and explain how your gallery is working and they love that. They feel like they just got a more excellent experience and then you end up sharing that publicly with your visibility marketing. You might put a little clip of it onto your Instagram, and make it into a reel to showcase the level of attention that you’re giving to these clients inside of a gallery, by letting them know how it works. So it’s serving you on both ends.

Integrating Video on your Website

Another place that you could put a video is your website. I think specifically your About Me page is a fantastic spot for a video and a thank you page after someone has inquired with you. That’s a great way to pop up, and be a face right away. They know exactly who’s taking the pictures and they kind of see the face behind the brand. I don’t think a lot of people are doing this and it can kind of feel like a race to respond to these people, if they’re inquiring about a portrait session for example.

One way that we can make that genuine connection immediately is by having a video thanking them for inquiring with you, letting them know how excited you are to work with them and letting them know when they can expect to hear back from you.

The reason that I love video so much is that I feel that the trust factor for video is just so high. In order for me to build as much trust as I’ve built in just two videos on my website, they would have to read dozens of my blog posts or my Instagram posts. Those are great and they still have a place in my marketing, but as a busy mom, I just don’t feel that I have the time to be posting every single day in these places. So I know that if I create a video, it’s going to last longer, and it’s going to cause more trust in the end as voice and video connection are just higher than reading a text based post.

Ashley: But you mentioned two things, two out of those three things that I’m like, wow! I don’t think I have ever done that. I might have thought about it, but I never actually did it. But I loved having video be part of the client experience and that also really helps you, as the business owner not have to continually send out the same email. But just sending out this video and just having it be something that is so valuable to your client, I feel like just levels up your business so much. So I appreciate you sharing that for sure.

Joy : It feels a little more scalable. It’s something you can repurpose and reuse. I love the idea of something being reusable, but I also love the idea of using video on a one to one basis.

I have an app that’s free that I love called Bonjoro and through the Bonjoro app, you’re able to send someone a really quick little custom message.

So it pulls up their email, you can type a little message, say, Hey, I just got your inquiry and it will be face to camera, you responding and it kind of just packages it up really beautifully, and sends it their way. It also could really help for standing out, when it feels like it’s a pretty saturated market. I feel like that’s all we hear as photographers is how saturated it is. You know while that can be true on some levels, that there are many photographers to choose from, there is more that we can do to stand out, especially in the way that we respond. So even considering responding with a video can be a tremendous way to stand out. Because how many people are going to take the time to do that?

Ashley: Yes, and that’s so true. I think as busy moms Joy, you and I can both relate to this, that it takes a lot longer to type out a message than it does to speak the message. We sit and fine tune it and try to make it perfect, when in the end really, it’s about speed.

You want to get back to someone as quickly as possible, and in a personalized way.

If it’s personalized and quick, people are going to be like, “Wow! Okay, if this is how she’s responding now, like I want to work with this person.” So yes, I think it’s easier.

Joy  It absolutely is and you said fine tune it and I want to talk about that for a second. Because I think we can be perfectionist and get hung up on did I put the right sentence? Should I put pricing? We have all these nitty gritty details, when really we could get in our own way, if we’re not just showing up really quick, saying I’m just going to give myself one take. I’m just going to say, Hey, I got your inquiry. I’m so excited to connect with you, here’s the Gallery link, send. That authenticity will resonate and I think people appreciate that, especially now that that authenticity is going to be obvious very quickly, whereas it’s a little harder to tell in an email.

Ashley: Right, you can’t hear tone, you can’t hear excitement. Like that I think is something that we’re just missing in today’s society in general. Which is why I love voice messages over on Instagram, which you and I are so good at.

Because you can almost feel like you know someone when you hear their voice and you’re instantly connected, which is why podcasting is so great.

But what I’ve also realized is with YouTube, you not only hear them, you see them and that’s just like such another level, which I think is so important.

Joy : It is and it does take an extra time, right to set up more than just a microphone. Like I will admit that adding video to voice is another layer, but like you said, it then also takes your marketing to the next level. So you do get the reward for it.

Ashley: I agree. And I just feel like it helps someone like you mentioned earlier, will know, like and trust you faster when they see and hear you versus just hearing or reading, so I love that. Then you mentioned using video on your website for your about me page. Taking a minute to just touch on that. I have been scouring the internet trying to find photographers websites that do this well, so that I can share it with my own students. Wanting to give them more examples than just my own website. I want to show them other people in the real world and it almost seems like about 80% of the websites I find, their About Me page is literally about the photographer. This is what I like, this is who I am. I’m so passionate, I love photography.

The About Me page really should not be about you, the about page they really just want to know what do you do, who do you serve and how are you going to help me solve my problem?

So do you have something to add to that about, what should the About Me video really be?

Joy: This is such a good question because you think at first blush, the About Me page is about me. Like of course, I’m going to write that I love red wine and long walks on the beach. But from a marketing standpoint, it’s exactly what you’re saying, it’s  I want to know about you as it pertains to me. So flipping it around saying, what can you tell someone about yourself that then actually is relevant to their decision to decide to book you as their photographer. So yes, it’s about you and I mean, I still want to know little tidbits.

  • Are you married?
  • Do you have a family?
  • What are some of your favorite things?
  • I want to see pictures of your face for goodness sake!

If you need the other one, perfect, but put both. I think it’s so important to sit here and go back to the basics of what problem are you solving and how do you uniquely solve it,

What are you creating for them? Paint that picture.

So you can kind of frame your About Me page as what you do for them. It is about you, it is about you as a photographer, and your journey and when you got started and what kind of person you are behind the camera and how you draw out your clients in your unique way. But everything has to come back to them. And so you need to figure out what do they want, like what do they really want? Yes, photos, but photos for what purpose and of what emotions?

What are they worried about and how are you solving it?

That is just a little extra work and homework, but it’s essentially going to work as a sales page for you. The reason why this is worth your time as well is because your about me page is one of the most visited pages of your website. So it absolutely is going to get views, so the time is well spent.

Ashley: Absolutely, I agree. I think even in addition to adding a video, you should still add the text for those people who prefer to read texts versus watching the video. So I think having multiple mediums for people to absorb your content is perfect. But then also, just a quick note on this is bullet points or very short to the point sentences is going to improve readability. Because a lot of people I see are doing huge paragraphs still and I’m like, people skim. No one reads word for word verbatim on your about page. So if you’re not keeping that in mind like how you would read a website, then people are probably going to skip the really important stuff that you just took a whole bunch of time writing, because it’s not conducive to the amount of time that we have these days.

Joy: You’re right. When using video, that is a great point.

Always add text, always, because you want the search engine optimization part of it.

Video is going to help add to that, but you don’t want it to be only that. So Google owns YouTube, so if you host that video on YouTube, whether you decide to be a consistent uploader on YouTube or not, they are going to already rank that page a little bit higher, especially if the video itself says something similar to what the page is about. It’s further confirming that this page is what someone is searching for, but we still want text, right. We still want images with good SEO strategy built behind them.

Ashley: So before we go to the next question that I had actually prepared you with, I think it’s really important that we sort of connect to these. In the sense of when we’re talking about visibility and using marketing or video marketing on the outside like attracting people in. Can you give us some specific examples of how you would do that before we talk about the gear and software?

Joy: Yes, I think that a good way to start with this, especially as photographers who have probably already created some good content..

Go back to the blog posts or the pieces of content that you’ve created on social media that have resonated well.

This is often a really good starting point, if you just don’t know where to go. You go to your analytics, whether that be Google Analytics, or your Instagram analytics panel and look at the posts that you have created that have resonated well and have caused good conversation or that led to conversion. So I think that’s a great starting point for the topics that you should be thinking about when creating a video.

From there, you can decide, to add on a video to a blog post that already is doing really well. If you have a blog post that is your most popular blog post, and leads people closer to that buying decision, and they’re getting nurtured and closer to being confident and inquiring with you, then I would go ahead and work as those are your list of content pieces that would be perfect to go ahead and add a video to.

I also think a good way to do this is to share maybe a little behind the scenes of you as what it would look like to work with you. Because I think that’s one of the biggest things that people are looking for when they’re deciding whether or not to invest in a photographer..

..they want to know what is it going to feel like to work with you.

So whether that be a little bit of a behind the scenes of you giving a tip or two for your clients, the big thing here is that they get to see you, your body language and they get to see you hold your camera and be excited. If you can have a behind the scenes video clip of you talking and directing your clients even better. But don’t let that hold you back from being able to start with video on some level at some capacity. You know giving a tip or two about choosing a location or an outfit or looking more relaxed in front of the camera is going to position you as the expert and that’s exactly what we’re angling for here.

Ashley: I love that you touched on showing behind the scenes and really drawing people in that way. I have heard a lot of photographers say before, like well, I’m the only one at my shoot, like who’s going to take behind the scenes for me? I think sometimes we hold ourselves back by not allowing ourselves to get creative. So I bring my 10 year old daughter with me and she’ll take behind the scenes for me. I pay her like five bucks, and she thinks it’s great and I think it’s cheap and it works. I’ve also hired one of my good friends to come with me and take behind the scenes. The other thing that’s super easy if it really is just you, is to bring a tripod for your phone and just set that up.

You have to get past this mindset block and we need to step out of that victim mentality and step into asking a better question of how do I do that?

Joy: You listed three incredible ways, maybe you ask one of your clients to hold the camera. I’ve had people bring a family member or a parent to their family sessions and I’m like, Okay, grandma, like you are now taking behind the scenes footage and they love it. Even just propping your phone with just on the front facing camera to do some behind the scenes footage wherever you are like that is totally valid and it’s video.

Ashley:  The other thing that you just mentioned was, you said grandma, or someone that comes along to take the behind the scenes for you. But then also going a step further, tagging your client in that photo and I guarantee they will share it. Because they want other people to see the behind the scenes of them at their session. So I just think that’s just another way to use video to market yourself, using your clients to help out as well. I wanted to circle back again to one thing that you mentioned about having photographers repurpose blog content that they’ve already created.

I can already kind of hear the questions in my head of well, I don’t have a blog, or is that even necessary in today’s age? Both you and I have anchor content. You have a YouTube channel, I have a podcast, that’s our anchor content. We create new content, then you’re able to use that content to further spur your videos, as you were mentioning. I think it’s so much easier to start with a piece of anchor content than to try to create 10 little video content pieces off of different ideas. So do you want to elaborate on that?

Joy: Oh, it’s so much easier.

Because if we can start with one pillar piece of content, that one core idea, you can then kind of have a trickle-down effect on whatever platforms you’ve decided you want to show up on.

I like this to be a blog, I do get asked, do I still need a blog? No, you don’t need a blog, but I will say if you’re not going to be blogging, you need to have another visibility strategy. It’s the same with social media, I don’t think you have to be on social media, but you do need another visibility strategy. I think a blog is just smarter than relying solely on social media that does tend to change. It’s smart to have a blog post and it’s also wonderful, because you’re going to get that search engine optimization.

I know you do this for your podcast, I do this for my YouTube videos and it’s more likely that my videos are going to be found because they don’t just exist on YouTube, or Vimeo or wherever you upload that video, as they also exist on the home of my site. So like you said, if you have this mother piece of content at the top, and then everything trickles down from there, what I do is I think of the video in its full form, the entire thing that’s going to be my blog post.

Then from there, I know that I’m going to get a smaller clip and break that down into a few things. I’m going to put that on my Instagram Stories, if I can repurpose that into a reel I will. I almost am always able to grab, whether it’s a behind the scenes clip, or even a teaching clip, and just repurpose that into a reel. Then I’m not starting from nothing with reels because they know reels can be both time consuming and frustrating.

Appropriate to the Platform

But we know that they’re kind of this like necessary part of marketing right now, if we’re taking Instagram seriously. So then seeing it as like, okay, it started as one video, but now it’s IG TVs, it’s on my Instagram stories, it’s a reel or two. It’s on my Facebook as smaller clips and I think oftentimes thinking of how can I change this to make it appropriate to the platform. So I’ve experimented with putting an entire video on a Facebook group or a Facebook page. But I think what is better strategy, and I have done this and proven this on my own page is:

  • Get a shorter version of that video
  • Add some closed captions (because most people are doing social media without sound)
  • Call to action to your blog post, or “get the rest of these tips” or “see the rest of this behind the scenes footage on my blog or on YouTube”

You’re going to actually drive traffic where you want it.

So really thinking in the context of how can I just take a little 30 second clip of this larger, maybe five minute video and put it where I’ve decided I’m going to be consistent. I also think if you start with the blog post, it’s also easier to work Pinterest into your strategy, because you’re pinning directly to your blog, which is what Pinterest wants. Thinking of it as like a triangle and then at the very, very top is your pillar content, and then everything else is underneath. So this has helped me a lot even in showing up on social media. I no longer have to think okay, what should I say on Instagram? What am I going to post in my stories or what should I even be posting for my captions?

You can repurpose not just the video, but the text, especially when you start with one strong pillar piece of content.

This actually makes everything a lot easier, rather than kind of just this like spray and pray method of like throwing things up everywhere and hoping for the best.

Ashley:  I love that you share that. And one thing I wanted to add to that, for this pillar or anchor piece of content that we’re talking about. Because I do know that a lot of photographers feel like they’re going to do this blog post on this wedding that they just did. Then they get sort of caught up in not understanding like what SEO is looking for, and what people are really looking for. So I personally do not go to a photographer’s website and read a blog post about the wedding.  I want to see pretty pictures, but how could you take what happened at that wedding and make it into a piece of content that more people would be attracted to.

So if it’s raining at the wedding, for instance, maybe you throw in like three tips for how to photograph a rainy wedding, and then write down some ideas for that. Maybe you went to an engagement session, and they met at work. Maybe you could say, three ways to incorporate how you met into your engagement photos, or something like that. It’s a little bit more applicable to your ideal target audience and not just randomly like this cool wedding I shot over here at the Botanical Gardens.

How can you really use your photography sessions to turn it into something that’s a learning experience for your listener or viewer?

Joy: Yes, I love that and I think that the way that you were framing the titles just sound more interesting and click worthy than saying, Sarah and Greg’s wedding. It’s how you can incorporate two reception dresses at your offbeat wedding. It’s like, oh! I kind of want to click on this and see what should those two looks look like and at what point in the reception do I switch. Like this is engaging me.

Ashley: Yes, and then you just weave in your photos throughout the blog post, and then say, want to see the full gallery? Click here. Then it’s gives your reader something else to do. They want to stick around and they also probably want to keep looking at your blog, because they’re like, Wow!  This blog is different. It’s actually teaching me something right. So I think that’s really important.

Joy: Yes, I think what you’re talking about here is..

..really stepping into this mindset of being a content creator, not just a photographer sharing photographs.

Ashley: Yes. So important, especially again as we talked about standing out as a photographer. We want people to stick around, and beautiful photos are great, but they’re not going to be what keeps someone on your page on Instagram. We talked about this earlier, this idea of branding and infusing yourself into your social media, into your website. Not just showing up one time with your cute headshot, but infusing yourself into your brand. So do you want to touch on that for a minute, before we get into gear?

Joy: Yes, and I was just talking to someone about this and I was saying, it seems as if it should work this way, that if you’re really, really talented photographer, that you get the most bookings. Or if you’re really good at what you do, you get paid the most. In photography, this could not be more false. But for the large part, myself included, there is no way that I can just ride on beautiful images, it’s just not going to take us very far. It’s also not really going to keep them scrolling or reading or feeling connected to us.

What it comes down to is something we can actually control beyond being better photographers is building a brand that stands on something, believes something or solves something, and hopefully is all three of those things.

So the solution and the answer to this feeling of being a little bit lost in the mix of there’s a lot of people doing what I’m doing, how do I stand out? It’s you. The best way to display you it’s what you do with your craft for your client. So not just you, but how you uniquely come into the marketplace and solve your client’s problems with your work and your services. How you create albums or lead them through the whole process in such a seamless way, that it becomes a part of your brand.

The Gear

Ashley: I 100% agree and I love that we touch on this. I just think that every episode I do, I almost always try to bring it back to the fact that you have to stand out and you have to sometimes be willing to do things that are uncomfortable, like getting in front of the camera and being on video. You really do want to be able to capitalize on this and being an entrepreneur, you have to be flexible and be willing to pivot when things pivot.

You have to be willing to not dig your heels in and say I am not going to do this.

I’m not saying that you should jump on every new shiny object, but I am saying that  when you see the marketing trends starting to change, you do have to adapt. So Joy can you share with us, like how do we get started? What gear and software can they use to really step into this confidently and not feel like it’s so overwhelming?

Joy: Well, fortunately for photographers, they have a lot of this gear. So I don’t even allow the excuse of I don’t have the gear because your DSLR or your mirrorless camera are way more than enough. If you don’t have an awesome DSLR, your phone is way more than enough. I will say use what you have, the best gear is what you have.

The one area that you do want to think about and you do want to be intentional about when you’re starting is your sound.

Because that’s one thing that I don’t think people can kind of just push past, especially when consuming video content that has you talking, If someone is a headphone user, it’s a little abrupt if it’s popping, there’s background noise or echo or they just can’t hear you or the audio is all over the place. So the audio is one area that you’re going to want to think about and invest in from the very beginning.

I have a couple of mic recommendations and I’ll share my curated Amazon list so you can see what mics I’d recommend. There are affordable mics you can get on Amazon, that you can actually just plug into your phone and are lapel mics that you could put on your shirt for talking, for speaking. Even if you’re just using your phone, like if you use a little tripod for your phone, and then you still have a microphone, that is perfect. It can be awesome for behind the scenes content as well.

So getting started with good audio is key and then a couple of my favorite apps for editing in your phone are Mojo and In Shot. Both of them are free, I think they have in app upgrades, but you can do so much with these apps. I have content that I’ve created, repurposing content for reels. I have videos, entire videos that I’ve created just in my phone.

But if you’re looking for something a little bit more robust, there is an app called D-script that is a computer software for actually editing audio and video. It’s really user friendly and can be a great place to start. But I will say my first 50 or so YouTube videos were just edited inside of iMovie, which has the free editing software that comes on your Apple Computer. I think almost every computer has some kind of free editing software and I think that for me personally that held me back for so long.

I’m just a photographer”, I thought. I don’t know how to edit video.

Am I going to be able to make it seem succinct and professional? Because I have a brand that is a little bit more established and then I’m starting video, right.  I will tell you that these apps have gotten better and better and iMovie is perfectly acceptable for just streaming together, syncing together some clips that you might want to put together. So those are some really great ways to start with your gear and with your software.

Ashley: I love that you mentioned like it doesn’t have to be complicated, because here we go again, us photographers always trying to complicate things. Oh, maybe it’s just me and you. But I think everyone else listening can relate. We always think that if it’s going to work, it must be really hard. You know if it’s going to be something that is going to be a long term play, it’s just got to be really complicated.

Joy: That’s perfectionism when it comes down to it, because I have found this to be true in every piece of video I’ve created. Even the reels that I’ve made, the less amount of time that I have spent making a reel, the more views I get. I have a reel with 2 million views on it that took me like 30 minutes maybe, to find the audio, record it, throw text on top, find hashtags create a cover. Like I’m talking 30 minutes start to finish and if I didn’t do a cover or any of that, it would have been less. It has 2 million views, and that just sort of prove my point on against myself, when I think I need to spend more time on this, in order for it to be worthy of views or for it to grow my business.

That’s our perfectionism getting in our own way, when really done is better than perfect. 80% is all you need.

Like if the video, we’re going to give it a B, let’s shoot for a B. Because if you can get to a B, it’ll probably get published. Otherwise, if you’re waiting for it to look a very specific way, it’s very likely that that YouTube channel, that video, that reel, it’s never going to get published. Like how many of your ideas and concepts that you could be putting out into the world, that could help someone or could book your next wedding or your next portrait session, are never going to see the light of day because you can only press publish if it looks a certain way. If that’s resonating, that’s perfectionism.

Ashley: Oh my gosh! Yes, that’s so resonating, because I am a perfectionist at heart. I really have had to take a really close look at that and do exactly what you said and just be okay with B work.

Be okay with “done is better than perfect” and honestly, when I really lean into that, things get done!

I am able to help people and that’s really what this is about. Your great ideas can no longer help anyone, has no potential if it stays in your brain.

Joy: Then we’re left frustrated saying, I don’t have enough time and if only, if only. I feel like what happens for me, and maybe this is true for someone listening, I check myself when I start feeling a little jealous. Like when someone else does something, they launch the YouTube channel, they start making their reels, they start doing stuff, and I’m like she’s doing what I want to be doing. Then I’m like, wait, I could be doing that.

That means I should just go do it, not feel that feeling of she’s running circles around me. It’s like, no, she’s just pressing publish on things that she probably isn’t super confident on either and you’re too scared/nervous/fearful of whatever could come. So really getting out of our own way and identifying that is huge. I have found one way for me to push past that, is as soon as I identify that it’s happening, I set a time limit of we’re going to press publish, press go on this vlog or this reel at this time. I would literally set a timer on my computer, or I’ll put the date in my calendar, and I make a deal with myself that it’s going to happen, we’re going to move forward on this.

Because I think the longer you think about it, the bigger it becomes in our minds and it’s not even real, we’re just blowing it up in our minds to be so much bigger than it is. I think it can also just be true of showing up authentically like in stories with your face. We overthink this and so sometimes I just have to whip out my phone and I’m just like, I’m going to make a story. It’s not going to be great but I’m going to make a story because I know as soon as I press publish, I’ll be like, I’m now someone who posts stories instead of thinking about how I should, should, should. I’m actually doing it, so it’s like I’m bringing myself into alignment with what I really want, which is to grow my business.

Ashley: Oh 100% And you totally brought up something that made me think about us as photographers. Like can you remember the very first photo that you ever took?

Joy: I mean the first photo? Probably not.

Ashley: Like I’d be so embarrassed to show someone the first photo that I took versus like my photos now. I think that just goes to show is your first blog post is going to be crap. Your first video is going to be crappy, like just be okay with the fact that it’s not going to be what you want it to be. It might not be what Joy Michelle’s look like, because she’s been doing this for a while right. So it’s like just take the first step and this is what I tell my kids all the time, is like you don’t get better at something by never starting. You have to start.

Joy: But we as humans don’t like that answer. We want to be better without having to do the work and I am now back in this position of like super beginner, with my new podcast that I’m starting. I just have so much admiration for everything that you’ve built here and you’re over 100 episodes.

Because it is so hard to do something that you know in your mind what you want to be.

It’s the same with photography, we knew when we took the picture like what we were picturing and what we were trying in our minds.

There’s a discrepancy between what you think you’re capable of and what’s actually coming out of your camera, that is so hard to push past that and say I know I can be better, you can’t see it. Most people at some point in that messy middle, lose motivation or get super discouraged and can fall off of that vision of where they want to be and where they want to go. Because it’s so hard, it’s uncomfortable to be not great at something. But like you said, if you want to be good at something, you have to start and when we start, it’s kind of cringy.

Ashley: I feel like we could talk forever and I do want to say one more thing. So I’m training for a half marathon right now and I actually have already run technically four. I’m getting ready to run this marathon next month, and my husband is running it with me. Let’s just say I’m not in as great of shape as I used to be pre kids.

I ran five miles yesterday, which is the most that I’ve run in a very long time. Reminding myself, every step was getting me closer to the end of that five miles. I feel like the same is true with my podcast. I didn’t look at how many episodes am I going to do before I’m done. There was never an end in sight, it was just I’m just going to do the next episode. I’m going to put one foot in front of the other. You know it’s just taking the step to just continually move forward.

It’s just staying consistent and the motivation will come. I think that’s really important is you have to be consistent and commit to the plan and then the motivation to do the plan comes.

Joy: Yes, that’s so good and that’s so deep and I think it can apply to so many areas of life. But as you’re saying that it kind of brought about the quote, like action brings clarity. A lot of times I want the clarity before I take the action. I want to know where the heck is it going, like exactly where is it going and exactly how is it going to look. How much am I going to make and how happy am I going to be and that’s not how life works. You have to take the first step and then this is challenging me today.

Connect with Joy

Ashley: We’re going to have you back on the podcast and we’re going to talk about other things, because I know you have so much knowledge. But before we wrap up, will you share with everyone where they can find  you, connect with you, work with you all the things?

Joy: Yes! My website is now and you can find my YouTube channel if you search Joy Michelle Photography on YouTube.  I would love for photographers listening to join Photo Boss with Joy Michelle, which is my Facebook group and those are going to be some great places to get free resources, downloads and all the goodness of working together to make your photography business what it could potentially be.

Ashley: I love that!  Share with us just a little bit about your podcast, because when this airs, I think your podcast will be out.

Joy: Yes, It’s very new, t’s very awkward. For me listening to my voice is very new for me, but I’m pushing myself to do this because it’s been something on my heart for a few years. So the podcast is named Called to Both. It’s going to be a combination of just really practical tips of how this can look of scaling a business and building a life that you love, both in your home and in your business.

But also some interviews, so I hope that you’ll come on my podcast at some point. I have a notion board with my podcast dream guests, and you’re on my list. But yes, I’m just thrilled about it and it’s really cool to be able to share more of my heart, more of the backend of my business even beyond photography. So I’m very excited about it because I think it’s going to open up a whole bunch of new content possibilities for me.

Ashley: Well, I’ll be sure to link to all of these in the show notes, along with that gear for your Amazon shop that you mentioned.  I have learned so much through this episode, and I just know that everyone listening has as well. So thank you so much Joy.


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My mission is to help fellow momtogs (mama photographers!) experience success in business and in motherhood. As an Arizona brand photographer for mompreneurs, I’m passionate about capturing authentic images that show off my clients’ unique personalities so they can connect with their ideal clients. And as an online business coach for momtogs, I LIVE for helping mamas experience incredible transformations that help them build a business they love, without sacrificing their precious time with their littles.

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