One of my favorite things in the world is a brand new planner. The crisp pages that seem to hold so much possibility. The new cover that hasn’t been bent or stained by coffee (yet!). Even the smell. To me, it carries the same feeling as freshly washed sheets, a new pair of boots, and the start of a new year.
Call me strange, but every January, my favorite part of the New Year is the resolutions. I love getting a fresh start. I love the time that I spend with my planner and filling in all the boxes and what they represent.
Looking back on 2018
I am excited about what 2019 will hold. 2018 wasn’t a piece of cake but I am happy of some of the goals I set and what they allowed me to achieve. 2018 was the year of social media for me. I had fought committing to it for so long and realized that I was making a mistake. A big one.
Through posting regularly on social media here are some things I’ve been able to do for my business that were a struggle before:
- Filled mini sessions and classes easily.
- Booked more of the types of sessions I enjoy and less of the ones I don’t.
- Attract large clients that I wouldn’t have dreamed of hiring me a few years ago.
- Allowed me to meet and interact with thousands of people all over the world that I would have never known otherwise–seriously, that’s amazing.
Goals for 2019
- Step up social media even more. I’ve been very consistent on Instagram but I’d like to post even more in Facebook and really work on Pinterest as well.
- Make Hello Stock the most helpful resource for women in business. I have big plans of ways to support all the #girlbosses–just like me.
- Blog regularly – once a week with helpful info for Hello Stock and once a week for my photography clients.
- Collaborate with other women in business and bring value to everyone.
- Host several challenges where we all work on different social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Linked-In) and learn together.
Have you thought about your business goals for the year yet? If you haven’t already, I’d really encourage you to take a look at your social media. I’d love to help you with that in any way I can. One way, is obviously through social media images and stock photography. (Grab 10 free images here to get you started.) But, what other ways can I help? What resources would mean the world to you?
Owning a business can threaten to take over your life–fast. I know when I began trying to learn best practices, I got overwhelmed very quickly. What do I do first? How often do I post? What platforms should I be focusing on? Where do I get the hundred of images that I would need to make this happen? How do I come up with caption ideas that compel? And on and on.
Three steps to amping up social media this year
Here are three steps I’d highly recommend.
1. Slow down. Breathe. You don’t have to tackle every platform at 100%. Pick one to focus on. I started with Instagram and focused primarily on that. I spent some time learning IG and a it was a lot of trial and error. If you add one small step each month or even every several months, you’re doing more than before. Don’t look at the influencers with teams of people and years of experience and compare yourself. One step at a time. 🙂
2. Outsource something. Whether it be your image creation, content writing, or both. Curating gorgeous images that will stop people’s scroll takes time. A lot of it. We produce an average of only 40 great images each week. And that’s because it’s our thing. Adding hours of photography to a list of what you’re already doing can take over your life.
I created Hello Stock for this very reason.
We’ve created hundreds of stock photographs that you can use for your own business in a fraction of the time. They are designed to be plugged into your feed easily and give you a consistent beautiful look in almost no time. (We launch in three short weeks!)
I know small businesses don’t have the time and money to invest into custom photography for each post every day. Even if you’re just beginning with Instagram, that’s 30 great images needed each month! When I hear of a business owner that can spend an extra 4-5 hours with their family and friends–that makes it all worth it!
3. Learn to automate what you can. I use an app called Planoly for my Instagram account. There are several good ones out there, but I love Planoly because I am able to plan my Instagram from my desktop computer and not just my phone. I love being able to quickly type captions and move images that I just downloaded with east. I can set up a months worth of images with Planoly and even have the captions ready to go in a fraction of the time.
Meet Edgar for Facebook, Instagram, & more
Tailwind for Instagram and Pinterest
Hootsuite for Facebook, Instagram, & more
*You may encounter affiliate links. Please note, I would never recommend anything that I don’t personally love.
Alaina is so much fun and has tons of personality! She was ready to rock her session with an artsy feel. When we met to plan, we decided Akron, near Luigis would be perfect for her style.
We began in the studio with makeup (by the incredible Haley Litzinger) and captured a few with her music and acting props. One of my favorite shots from her session came from this. (In fact, you may just be able to see it now hanging in the studio if you stop by.)
Akron was a blast though too. I absolutely love shooting near Luigis because there are 1000 backdrops—literally something everywhere you turn. Check out the variety available.
Alaina left us this review and I have to share it: “I am just absolutely in love with how they came out. Like honestly. She captured every part of who I am. We had some studio time and then went to Akron for some outdoor urban stuff. Amy is so kind and fun, if you’re looking for someone to do your senior pictures, she is the person to do them.” Thanks Alayna. This literally makes my heart happy. I really do work hard to make every session amazing and when people LOVE their session I am thrilled.
If you’re a senior in Northeast Ohio who is starting to think about your own senior pictures, check our our Senior Personality Quiz. Answer a few questions about yourself, and we’ll suggest some great Ohio locations you may just love!
Have you ever bought someone a present and you’re sooo excited about it you just can’t wait? So, you start dropping hints completely spill the beans about the gift? Yep. Me too. AND, that’s exactly how I feel today.
What We’ve Been up to Behind the Scenes
I’ve been working on something behind the scenes for months and months. Every week, we’ve planned and designed and photographed and I can’t wait one more minute to tell you what we’ve been up to! In just two months, we’re officially launching a stock photography site for any small (or large!) business to find stunning images for their business. They will be available to purchase individually or as collections. And, the best part? If you choose to subscribe, you’ll get the entire gallery–hundreds of images for your business use. And, every month, we’ll add at least 4 new collections (20 images each!)
Every week, my team and I have been gathering the prettiest props we can find. We work an entire day to produce images that I just know you’re going to love. You’ll find collections designed with office scenes, working from bed, mockups with stationary, seasonal images and so, so much more. Most of the images are fairly neutral with a slightly feminine feel. And, every single one, is gorgeous.
Each collection is fashioned to work well with the others to save you from hours and hours photographing for your social media. Simply download the images you choose, mix in a few of yourself and your products if needed, and boom–you’ve got your Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest images done! And, not only do we help you with your photographs, our monthly content creation guides, give you 20 suggestions for those days when you feel stuck and can’t write one more caption.
My Gift To You
I’d love to share 10 FREE images with you all. I hope these free up some time for you to do what you really enjoy. Scroll down to have them delivered straight to your inbox. And, when you use them, tag me at @helloamylyn. I’d love to see and share what you’re all working on.
One of my favorite things in the world is a brand new planner. The crisp pages that seem to hold so much possibility. The new cover that hasn’t been bent or stained by coffee (yet!). Even the smell. To me, it carries the same feeling as freshly washed sheets, a new...read more
Alaina is so much fun and has tons of personality! She was ready to rock her session with an artsy feel. When we met to plan, we decided Akron, near Luigis would be perfect for her style.We began in the studio with makeup (by the incredible Haley Litzinger) and...read more
Have you ever bought someone a present and you’re sooo excited about it you just can’t wait? So, you start dropping hints completely spill the beans about the gift? Yep. Me too. AND, that’s exactly how I feel today.What We've Been up to Behind...read more
I’ve known Kaitlin for quite a long time now. My son and her brother are in the same grade and we all spend a lot of time at games together. She has always been a sweetheart. 🙂 I think she’d tell you that having her photos taken did not sound...read more
Want to see something fun that I'm pretty excited about? When I teach my photography classes, I send the notes and slides via email each week. I've thought for a long time, it would be really nice to give each student a jump drive with all the material on the...read more
As August gets going and summer winds down, I find myself desperate to hold on for just a little longer. Here are five things we recommend before school begins--to get all we can out of these last few weeks. Visit local eateries, coffee shops, and boutiques. We don’t...read more
I, probably like many of you, made several goals for 2018. First, I wanted to make my Instagram really shine and it's definitely getting there (follow me here!) so now I am moving down the list and I am dying to jump back into blogging. It's been far too long! I...read more
This family is very dear to me. I have enjoyed being able to photograph so many of their milestones--Bryan & Jen's wedding, their son as he's grown and continues to grow, and now these adorable twins. As I was looking through...read more
Zhara came for her Senior Portrait Session with her friend Paris (with awesome names like these, these two could have their own t.v. show!) and we were immediately struck by her gorgeous dark eyes and long silky hair. Zhara is soft spoken and has such a natural...read more