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51- How to be a Marketing Magnet (Amy Zellmer)

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Have you been struggling to attract paying clients for your photography business?

Watch today’s show with Amy Zellmer of My Photo Biz Coach as she shares her tips for becoming a photography marketing magnet. We talk about using social media, in person networking and special events to boost your promotional strategy for getting actual paying clients based on Amy’s 10+ years as a working photographer.

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Guest Bio:
Amy Zellmer began as a wedding photographer working from home. In 2003 she opened a storefront studio in downtown Shakopee Minnesota and now runs a successful full time studio photographing boudoir. She is the founder of My Photo Biz Coach which helps to inspire photographers to realize their full potential.

Take Away Tips:
-Why you shouldn’t compare yourself to your competition,
-Practical tips for growing your Facebook fan base,
-Why using Facebook and email is not enough to market yourself,
-Why face-to-face networking is so important to building your business.

Links mentioned:
Amy’s coaching website My Photo Biz Coach
FREE Radio show MAKE MORE MONEY

Goodie Giveaway:
Amy has kindly donated a Rockstar 101 Self Study course worth $149. To be eligible to win enter below, you only have 7 days to act!

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What are YOUR take-away tips? Add your COMMENTS below…

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Thanks to our friends at Video Pixie for editing this episode.

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Why I walked away from a $20,000 offer

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{In case you missed it, read Part ONE and Part TWO}

Part THREE: Why I walked away from a $20,000 offer…

I’ve learnt never to despise small beginnings. They can be frustrating, but life is a tapestry. We have to weave each line one by one to build on the next, when finally the big picture will appear.

As a 13 year old growing up in South Africa, I soon realized being a prima ballerina wasn’t going to be a “real job”. By the time I graduated high school in 1994 it was the year that Nelson Mandela became president. Our country was in a political upheaval, threat of civil war loomed and fear turned into unrest. Schools and universities were closed because of political demonstrations, roads were blocked off and there was a feeling of little hope. I remember this bumper sticker “EGBOK” people had on their cars which stood for “Everything is going to be OK”. Our small sliver of hope.

So at 18 years old I decided to go work and skip college until I could find the right opportunity. I heard that the Director of a TV promotion agency was looking for a personal assistant, so I applied and got the job! I was thrilled! Those were the days of VHS tapes, analogue Avid and dial tone telephones.

Working at the TV agency didn’t get me on TV sets as I had hoped, but it did get me closer to people. I had the opportunity to meet some high profile TV celebrities. At this stage, no one was using the internet to promote themselves so I approached two broadcasters, Candice Hillebrand and Peter Ndoro, and sold them on the idea of creating their websites. It was an awesome learning experience for all of us as their websites boosted their following and got them paying jobs!

I so badly wanted to learn about TV that I signed up for a TV presentation and training course with broadcaster Nadia Bilchick. Her training school gave me the experience with speaking to camera, reading off auto-cue (that’s South African for telepromter), using an earpiece for life director prompts, dress, posture, script and more (today Nadia lives in the US and works as an anchorwoman for CNN).

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After the training I was fired up and ready to do TV, but it was not meant to be. My husband and I had the opportunity to work on our website design company full time, so we left our day jobs and went after our dream of self-employment. Six months later I gave birth to my first daughter. We had no guarantees, we held onto our dream and put our faith in God that He would provide for us.

After 2 years we had the opportunity to immigrate and move our Internet firm to England. To say it was a cultural shock would be an understatement. Even though in England they speak English like we do in South Africa, the culture and way of living were totally different. We had to adjust to the weather, the indoor lifestyle and the stress of trying to build a business in a country our accents made us feel like we were speaking a foreign language!

During this stage my creative outlet was taking photographs of my kids on my film camera Pentax MZ-50. I was that snappy happy mom documenting every step, every smile, every event. It soon became an expensive hobby, shooting on slide film at £1 an exposure. With little money I had to figure out how to get it to pay.

I heard that a group were starting a local TV station. They were looking for volunteer talent who could help with their magazine show “York Today”. As soon as I heard that I jumped on it!

I dug out the old archive footage that was converted from the PAL VHS tapes and I cringe. Girl, what was I wearing??? With no funding the show had no budget for make-up or a wardrobe stylist, so I had to style myself. We would arrive to shoot on location and the director would hand me the brochure and say;

“Ok love, read through that and see what you can talk about.”

I learnt to talk to camera and build the story with no script. It was thrilling stuff! The job got me skiing down an indoor ski slope, climbing four story walls, driving around a skid pan race track, waxing lyrical about caves four stories underground (wearing an awful hot pink jersey), learning the cha-cha-cha, and meeting lots of interesting people. I just loved talking to people and telling their stories.

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When the TV station folded, I was disappointed but hopeful. I could make a business out of my photography. When my son was 2 years old I decided to go back to night school and pursue a year long digital photography class at our local college. Once I got into that dark room I was hooked! Being naive didn’t stop me, but I got out there and networked, called, visited, and haggled my way into getting 4 wedding bookings before I had shot a single wedding! I was in business.

After 3 years of building up my successful wedding and portrait photography business, we had the chance to immigrate AGAIN to the USA (crazy people aren’t we?). Starting both my hubby’s internet firm and my photography business again meant building clients from scratch, but at least experience was on our side.

Fast forward 8 years, we are still living in the USA, my husband is still running his internet business, and I had built my photography business and brand. I had written a book, had another baby, spoke at several conferences and was comfortable.

Remember that thing in part one about comfort zones?

During the summer of 2013 I had the chance to finally share my story on a photography related podcast, PhotoBizX with Andrew Hellmich. After our interview, I felt this nudging that this is what I should be doing.

After reading a blog post by Seth Godin I decided to pick myself! I took the leap and launch my own web based TV show. Mimika TV was born!

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With my TV experiences doing a live show I thought that is how I should do it. I wanted to produce a professional looking product so I found a company called OvalEyeTV that could be the producer/director/editor/mixer.

The first show went well and as soon as we cut and the live feed ended I started crying. Not because of the nerves from doing it live, but happy tears from the feeling that this is what I was meant to be doing!!!!

Seeing the comments and the feedback roll in confirmed that what I was doing meant something to someone. It mattered. Something just clicked.

So I was on a roll and booked two more live guests for November and December, Lauren Manning of Artsy Couture (my favorite lab by the way), and the fabulous Gary Fong.

When I first approached Gary Fong on Facebook he thought I was spamming him! Being a real person with a passion definitely does help, and once we got to know each other better, he agreed to be one of my guests. This was huge for me!!! His support was invaluable in reaching people and building my audience. Finally people were listening to what I had to say.

In January 2014 I had the opportunity to be a speaker for the third time at the SWPP (the Society of Wedding Portrait Professionals) convention in London, England. While there I met a gentleman who owns an Irish photography related product business, and he loved what I was teaching. He proposed the idea of me helping him bring his products to the American market. On the plane home to the US I had a lot to think about.

Once home I found myself at yet another cross roads. I’m passionate about building my big idea of helping people through Mimika TV, but the burden of doing it all myself with no funding was putting a strain on me. Then came the big doozie….

He offered me $20,000 to help him to bring his business to the USA!

Wow I was stunned. Here I am, struggling to make ends meet on this “passion project”, still working as a full time photographer, and a solid offer on the table.

Well, after much deliberation and sleepless nights, I felt I just had to say no. I turned down the $20,000 offer.

“That inner voice was nudging me to walk away.”

It was so hard to have something tangible on the table, yet feel it wasn’t the right thing. I’ve felt torn for months about my direction and this only made it harder. From a business prospective, I was daft to walk away, but I couldn’t go through with something that just didn’t feel right.

I’m a gal of my convictions, and first and foremost I like to do things that have a positive impact on other people. I believe that MimikaTV has a greater purpose, a mission to reach people and to give them hope with tools to build their own missions. Even though the road has been rough and the future uncertain, I’m too stubborn to give up now.

Read what our community have to say…

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Each step of the journey has had its ups and downs, and we all have our own story to tell. Someone out there can learn from your story. Having interviewed 50 guests over the past year I can tell you its so true! Every obstacle, every win, every lesson learnt are stepping stones. Someone can learn and leap frog our mistakes.

My personal mission is to reach more people yearning to learn and grow and MimikaTV has proven the conduit. There are so many more things I dream of doing with it, but there are still obstacles to be faced. To me its been about a higher purpose, a calling.

I would love to create more segments covering life balance, motivation and tools of the trade but time and money are limited. The show is provided free of charge to anyone who is willing to listen, and to make this happen it does take time and resources.

If you feel it in your heart to back this mission, then would you consider being part of our story?

We’ve celebrated one year and 50 shows of MimikaTV and it wouldn’t’ be possible without your support. Will you help me continue the mission of changing lives and become a legacy member? Here is an offer for you to OWN part of the MimikaTV mission and be part of our growing community. With your help it will help me invest in making MimikaTV a much better place for creatives to feel at home.

TAKE ACTION: Please help keep us on air and become part of our community as a Legacy Member by buying the first 50 audio downloads of Mimika TV. This is your chance to own a piece of the story for less than $1 a show!

Thank you for being part of our growing community I so appreciate your support!!!

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Click to BUY the first 50 mp3 audio downloads of MimikaTV for $49

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If any part of this story resonated with you, add a comment below I would love to hear from you.

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Have you been dreaming of starting a business but didn’t know how?

Watch today’s show with Erin Smith of The Starters Club for inspiration and courage to take the first step to start the business you’ve been dreaming of.

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Guest Bio:
Erin Smith started her entrepreneurial journey 13 years ago when she started investing in real estate across the country. Since then, she has started and sold several other businesses in various industries. After being told time and time again by others they would like to start a business, but just didn’t know how, she launched The Starters Club.

It’s a place to learn business fundamentals to help get the business you’ve been dreaming of, off the ground and making money. Erin is also a speaker who teaches about business and what it means to really follow your heart.

Take Away Tips:
-Why it’s important to specialize,
-Find a super niche you can’t appeal to everyone,
-Saying no to the people you don’t jive with is only better for your business,
-If you try to enter a market by charging less you are de-valuing the whole industry! Don’t devalue yourself.

Links mentioned:
Erin’s website The Starters Club
The Starters Club podcast on iTunes
FREE Download Top 5 things to get ready for your business

Goodie Giveaway:
Erin have kindly donated a One hour Consulting POWER hour worth $375. To be eligible to win enter below, you only have 7 days to act!

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What are YOUR take-away tips? Add your COMMENTS below…

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My big leap of faith

If you missed the first part to this story CLICK HERE to read Part ONE “It started with a dream”…

Part TWO: My big leap of faith…

Walking away from something you’ve put your whole heart and soul into can be one of the most difficult choices to make. I knew something had to change in what I was spending my working hours on.

In part one I talked about this dream I had that kept gnawing at me. It was like I could see what could be, but the steps to get there were not 100% clear.

Sometimes we end up in a place, a good place, and we can get comfortable there. But even though a comfort zone is a beautiful place, nothing ever grows there. It was time to stretch myself.

During this time I was still running my portrait photography business while pursuing my “big idea”. I’m passionately mission minded, often times to my own detriment. I’ll do things that I feel have a bigger purpose, leave a legacy or pioneer a way. Sometimes the rewards are slow to materialize but I’m too stubborn to give up easily.

So my searching led me (thanks to my husband’s recommendation) to listening to the audio book “Book Yourself Solid” while I was driving my daughter to a soccer game. As soon as I heard the principles I was hooked, I wanted more. Soon after that I came across this offer for personal coaching with the man himself, Michael Port. The 4 week intense program was an eye-opener, like I finally found people just like me who were yearning to grow!

The program reinforced the principles from the book but with the twice weekly coaching calls, it helped to keep me accountable and moving along toward my dream. The sudden access to so many like minded business people felt like I could share my frustrations, ask questions and build my confidence. The BYS program taught me excellent strategies in an easy to implement structure. It validated that the 8 years I had learnt about business and marketing could actually prove to be useful in the future!

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I love the methods Michael Port teaches (they totally work) and I love to help others grow, so I signed up to become one of his BYS coaches. But soon after signing on the dotted line I realized something just wasn’t right, this wasn’t “the thing” I was meant to be doing (that inner voice still nudging me). The Book Yourself Solid system is fantastic but being a coach wasn’t meant for me.

So reluctantly, I withdrew my application to be a coach and went back to the core of why I was searching in the first place. It meant taking a big leap of faith and no guarantee of immediate pay back or a guaranteed pay check.

Thanks heavens for little miracles, and although I was no longer part of the BYS posse, I did make some great connections with people. One of those connections led me to a branding strategist Jocelyn Ring. Jocelyn believed in my vision for doing something meaningful, reaching people and changing the world. She kindly spent 2 hours of her time for free helping me work through my idea.

I still remember the moment during that call when her thought provoking questions brought me to a realization;

“Why not? No one else has the same vision I have, and no one else can offer the world what only I can offer.”

That was it. I decided to do it…

COMING UP: In part three I’ll share why I walked away from a $20,000 offer!

CLICK HERE to Read Part THREE

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Have you ever wondered how using free written content attracts actual paying clients?

Watch today’s show with photographer Scott Wyden Kivowitz as he shares how he uses freebies to build a client base….

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Guest Bio:
Scott Wyden Kivowitz is a freelance photographer, blogger, author and educator. Scott has over 10 years of experience photographing portraits, landscapes and businesses. He is the community and Blog Wrangler at Photocrati Media where Scott provides blogging, virtual and face-to-face education around WordPress, photography business, marketing and search engine optimization.

Before wrangling at Photocrati Scott developed the social media marketing campaign for the world’s largest camera warranty company and marketing campaign for a leading IT security firm. With a background and education in photography and marketing, he uses his expertise and passion in his blogging and workshops. Scott has been a guest blogger for popular websites like PocketWizard, Moz.com, MCP Actions, Social Media Today, Social Media Journal, Black Star Rising, The Photo Brigade and many others.

Take Away Tips:
-Why writing good content helps to sell photographs,
-How to show potential clients that you are the authority,
-Why consistency is so important (colors, imagery, social media content),
-How your About me page is one of the most important pages on your website,
-How being personal is the key to connection.

Links mentioned:
Scott’s Photography website
Scott’s Wedding Conversion Kit
Photocrati WordPress Theme
NextGen Gallery WordPress Plugin
Photocrati Pricing Tips

Goodie Giveaway:
Scott and Erick from Photocrati have kindly donated 1 year of NextGEN Pro Ecommerce (retail value $99). To be eligible to win enter below, you only have 7 days to act!

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What are YOUR take-away tips? Add your COMMENTS below…

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It all started with a dream a “What if?”

Today is the first birthday of MimikaTV and YOU’RE INVITED to our party! Come along and learn about our journey as we count down to the celebrations…

Part ONE: It all started with a dream a “what if?”…

Two years ago I was extremely frustrated with my business and how it was affecting me personally. After pursuing my passion for 9 years of being a full time photographer, I hit burn out. I had tried so many things (some were a success some were failures), yet I never felt I had found “the one thing” I was really meant to do with my life.

People would say “You take such beautiful photos!” and I’d smile and say thank you. The compliments and accolades were nice, but it still felt like they really didn’t know the real me, or what I was really capable of.

Sure I enjoyed photography, I had been obsessed with it for years. I’m the type of person who throws herself in, boots and all, when I decide on a direction. I learnt a lot and met so many wonderful people, but something was missing.

To the world, everything looked A-OK. I had published a book, had another baby and went right back to running my busy portrait business from my home. But inside I felt like a frustrated creative. I was wearing some else’s shoes and they didn’t quite fit right.

Then I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore. I hit burn out. I lost my passion for photography, I couldn’t even bear to pick up my camera. I had to take a step back and recover physically, emotionally and spiritually.

I started to look at where I was and realized it had been my dream 9 years ago, but things had shifted and now I ached for something more. How could I walk away from something I poured my heart into? Sounds crazy right?

When the heart pulls you toward something you better listen.

Ignoring that inner voice slowly started to eat at my peace. I had this dream of standing in front of an big audience sharing my story, and how it was positively changing lives. In my vision, what I do and who I am stands for something. It matters.

Don’t get me wrong, I never been enamored with fame or celebrity, instead I’ve been drawn to a higher purpose. There is more to life than the pursuit of money or fame.

It’s hard to explain but ever since I was a little girl, I saw myself as somebody destined to do big things, irrespective of the obstacles I had faced. Even when things got really tough (like when my parents divorced when I was 10 and being physically bullied at age 13) I’d hold on to the hope of something bigger. I could see it in my heart but it didn’t seem like it would ever become reality. A pipe dream. {Image below Mimika Circa 1980}.

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It felt like I was the understudy who had practiced and practiced and practiced for the chance to be the prima ballerina, but had never been given the chance to perform.

PART TWO: In the next installment I’ll share about a very hard choice I had to make and my very big leap of faith.

READ PART TWO…

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Do you struggle with getting more leads, more clients and more photography sales? Your online marketing can be the missing key to your business success.

Watch today’s show with Nigel Merrick as he shares his tips for using online marketing to bring you paying clients.

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Guest Bio:
Nigel Merrick is originally from the UK but now lives in Tennessee, USA. He has been involved in the photography and computing world for over 25 years. Nigel focuses on helping professional photographers succeed in their business, by improving their online marketing, with strategies that work AND save valuable time, through his membership site Zenologue.

SEO, WordPress, Social Media, Blogging, and much more – Nigel believes the future of online marketing for the professional photographer is very bright and full of opportunity!

Take Away Tips:
-Giving away free content or services is not a good marketing strategy,
-How to use the attract, connect, convert strategy,
-Why your text copy and written content is so vital for SEO,
-Reasons why you need more than a social media strategy.

Links mentioned:
Nigel Merrick website
Nigel’s Podcast Photography Masters
Nigel Merrick on Facebook
Nigel Merrick on Google+

Goodie Giveaway:
Nigel has kindly donated a Professional Website review worth $97. To be eligible to win enter below, you only have 7 days to act!

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What are YOUR take-away tips? Add your COMMENTS below…

Thanks to our friends at Video Pixie for editing this episode.

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Do you sometimes feel like you don’t know where you fit in the market? Want to know how to find your ideal niche and become known for it?

Watch today’s show with lifestyle photographer Brittney Kluse as she shares her tips for standing out.

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Guest Bio:
Brittney Kluse is a lifestyle photographer based in the sunny, eastern corner of Washington state. She is best known for her bright, bold, and colorful imagery. Her background in business, marketing, and branding has helped shape her into a sought after mentor for photographers around the globe. Since launching her business in 2008, Brittney has evolved her vibrant and loud style to match her equally-as-loud voice.

She has is a member of Clickin’ Moms Pro, a Chic Critique Celebrity Photographer, and has given workshops to other professional photographers.

Take Away Tips:
-If people are asking you to do what you love it’s a good sign,
-The way to find your signature look is to turn to yourself and look within,
-If you’re not proud enough to show your photography work on your walls you’re in the wrong niche.

Links mentioned:
Brittney Kluse website
Brittney Kluse Instagram

Goodie Giveaway:
Brittney has kindly donated “Getting it right in camera” PDF worth $125. To be eligible to win enter below, you only have 7 days to act!

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What are YOUR take-away tips? Add your COMMENTS below…

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Thanks to our friends at Video Pixie for editing this episode.

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Want to know how to do what you love by following the money? Often as creatives we think we have to live like starving artists but that is not true. Discover how to build your business around the craft of what you love to do, but being financially successful.

Watch today’s show with renown author Lewis Schiff as he shares insightful tips based on years of research.

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Guest Bio:
Lewis Schiff is the chairman and executive director of Inc. Business Owners Council, a membership organization for Inc. Magazine’s top entrepreneurs. He maintains a blog about behavioral entrepreneurship on Inc.com.

Schiff founded Advanced Planning Group, which led a team of private wealth experts who specialized in the needs of high-net-worth clients globally. Schiff also co-founded CEG Worldwide, a high-performance coaching program for financial advisors.

He is the author of “Business Brilliant: Surprising Lessons from the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons” which explores the common myths about wealth and how the self-made wealthy differ from the middle class. He co-authored “The Armchair Millionaire” as well “The Influence of Affluence”.

Schiff is a speaker and has been featured in Inc. Magazine, Forbes, CNNMoney.com, TheStreet.com, and InvestmentAdvisor.com.

Take Away Tips:
-How to do what you love but follow the money,
-How to scale your business through delegation,
-How to build a business based on value and culture,
-How to execute on something simple very well to create wealth,
-Why you should imitate not innovate,
-Why the “Big Idea” is a fallacy,
-Why its important to know people who know people, than to know a lot of people.

Links mentioned:
Lewis Schiff website
Business Brilliant website
Buy Business Brilliant book

Goodie Giveaway:
Lewis has kindly donated THREE copies of his book “Business Brilliant” worth $30 each. To be eligible to win enter below, you only have 7 days to act! We will pick 3 separate winners.

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What are YOUR take-away tips? Add your COMMENTS below…

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Thanks to our friends at Video Pixie for editing this episode.

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Want to know how to be so good they can’t ignore you? Watch today’s show with photographer and educator Liz LaBianca.

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Guest Bio:
Liz LaBianca is a natural light lifestyle photographer based in Frisco, Texas. Her work is fresh, whimsical and unmistakable for its sun-infused imagery, that she travels the country for photo sessions. She’s passionate about stepping into the world of a child to capture their personality and natural expressions. She teaches and mentors photographers and moms with cameras through her Pixie Dust workshops.

Take Away Tips:
-How to charge your friends for your photography while building the business,
-How to find the image that moves you and makes you the artist,
-How to keep your passion alive while taking the money shots,
-The danger of faking it to you make it and being unauthentic,
-Why it’s important to breathe – it’s not a race to the top!

Links mentioned:
Liz LaBianca Photography website
Workshops and products for photographers

Goodie Giveaway:
Liz has kindly donated a 1 hour Skype session and copy of the “Momtering Manual” worth $350. To be eligible to win enter below, you only have 7 days to act!

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What are YOUR take-away tips? Add your COMMENTS below…

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Thanks to our friends at Video Pixie for editing this episode.

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