Posted by: draknor | February 8, 2012

Hustling, Continued…

Do you ever have days when you kinda sorta forget to eat?  I had a bowl of chili last night at about 9pm, and that was my first real meal the entire day.  And to be honest, it wasn’t like I was starving myself all day — I was just really engaged in what I was doing and wasn’t even thinking about food!

Yesterday I was a rockstar — today I’m going to keep my “tour” going. And dang, it feels good!

But before I get to yesterday, I want to back up a bit and talk about last weekend; my grandmother had slipped & fallen on the ice a week or two ago so I took some time to go visit my grandparents for an extended weekend.  It’s quite a drive — about 7 hours each way, and since I left on Friday & returned on Monday my  girlfriend couldn’t join me (since she was working).  14 hours in the car, by yourself, is a lot of time for thinking.  Some might say a dangerous amount!  I thought about business, photography, relationships, motivation, organization, web design, marketing, parking tickets… and what the LD50 level is for coffee & Diet Coke.  I’m typing this today, so either I didn’t reach it or I’m really lucky 😉

Besides just chilling with my grandparents, I also spent a fair amount of time this weekend re-designing my photography website.  I found a theme with the layout I wanted from ThemeTrust (Clarity, if you are curious) on a buy 1, get 1 free sale.  I setup a test site with the theme, figured out my layout, and then Saturday night updated my live site and created my real estate listings.  I also setup a trial account on Zenfolio.com, since I want an elegant place showcase my non-real estate photography without cluttering up my website.

So, fast forward to Tuesday.  I was meeting marketing consultant Vicky Jones in the afternoon to discuss my marketing plan for the upcoming real estate agent conference that I’ll be exhibiting at.  I had promised to prepare certain materials for her, so I spent most of the morning thinking  & writing about my target market, ideal customer profile, features vs benefits, etc.  (A big shout-out to Ramit for all the amazing content — both free & paid — that helped me think about these things!)  Then I wrote a first draft of my “Top 10 Rules To Improve Your Real Estate Photography” (will link to final edition once I finish & post it!).  This will be a one-page handout at my booth and I have aspirations to turn this into an ebook, overflowing with visual examples of why these rules are important.

Side note — its a pet peeve of mine when content “tells” rather than “shows”.  Of course “showing” is harder & takes more work, but especially in photography — c’mon.  A picture is worth a thousand words, yo’!

Prep done, I quickly shower, change, and head over to the coffeeshop we’re meeting at.  What was supposed to be a 1-hour meeting talking about preparing for this conference ended up being a 3-hour chat session about cats, vacations, marketing, websites, photography,… and oh yeah, the trade show.  Vicky is just an awesome person and I look forward to working with her in a variety of capacities in the future!

It was an incredibly valuable experience for both of us — she ripped apart my marketing brochure, gave me lots of ideas for a new slogan, gave me crucial advice for making my appearance at this conference a huge success.  Did you know that 85% of vendors at trade shows never follow-up with the people (aka potential customers) they meet?  Neither did I. But now I know what I’ll be doing after the show!  She gave me some great ideas for how to attract attention to my booth during the show, as well as valuable ways to keep people engaged at my booth once they get there.

I also had some great ideas for her — she’s got a wealth of experience & stories, but her own website is an ancient relic and she really hasn’t embraced online marketing for her own business (despite being an invaluable resource her clients’ online businesses)! So I sent her some of my ideas & suggestions and who knows — maybe there will be a possible joint venture in our future?

I left our meeting feeling like an absolute rockstar, because I really applied myself and the ideas & creativity just flowed!  It was a great feeling and I’m super-excited to keep it going.

This morning I attended a different BNI chapter meeting – I’m just sort of shopping around a bit right now (I talked about this a bit last week).  I had a great experience with this group — they had great energy & they do a lot of great networking with each other.  I’m excited to join one of these chapters really get my business launched!  Although, I’m less enthusiastic about the weekly 7:30am meeting time 🙂

Next on the docket for today is to work on the content for my website (besides just the home page), and taking care of my monthly bills.  Not as exciting, considering the income side of the equation is still pretty much zero.  I have high hopes for the next couple of months though!

And then a very special “date night” tonight — can’t say anything else about that just yet…

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