08. How to avoid being a starving artist with Yvonne van Dalen

Yvonne van Dalen is a Business Beast and Marketing Strategist and Founder of the Creatives’ Coach Academy, where she helps struggling creatives entrepreneurs and photographers worldwide turn their passion into a profitable business. 

Her signature method has enabled her to make 6-figures while working only 10 hours a week, raising two kids, and having survived the depression. She now teaches this method to her 1-to-1 clients, membership, and group program students, helping them to make the transition into a full-time creative business, 30X their income, and even make EUR 26,000 in a single day. Many of her clients now run their own successful creative business that makes them more money in less time and attracts clients on auto-pilot. 

Her thoughts on sustainability

To Yvonne, sustainability came when she chose, first of all, the niche that she wanted to work in. Initially, she was working on fashion photography and it was exciting, working with models, photographing cool styles and trends, having her pictures on magazine covers, and so on. Over time, she realized that was not the niche she really wanted to work in. It may be the niche that suits someone else. But it was just not for her, and you need to discover that.

You need to identify who is your ideal client and surround yourself with the right people for YOU. Working with the right clients is very important to build that sustainability. Otherwise, you will end up accepting every offer and burn up over time.

Sustainability is not built by working long hours and having late shifts. You will get sustainability by creating systems with a business strategy. A strategy where you can make more money to enjoy life more. Just try to do things with a little bit more strategy behind you and you’ll end up in a much better place.

Check out The Sustainable Photography mentor program, where we work on building your business strategy and creating a profitable photography business. We get to dive into who YOU are as an individual so that you can do what works best for YOU. 

Build confidence in your business

Confidence might not be built overnight. It is okay to feel that you are not fully ready yet; actually, you’re never fully ready to do something. Learning is a constant process. It comes to taking small steps every day, giving the best version of yourself, and discovering your personal brand.

To build your confidence, you need to understand who you are. Ask yourself what you stand for and what values you believe in. And also the core message behind your business and personal brand.

You might want to check out the episode ‘The importance of branding’ with our guest expert Danielle Garber, where we talk in-depth about how to create your personal brand based on what really matters to you.

Listen to The importance of branding with Danielle Garber

Episode 4

Perfectionism is an illusion

It can be such a downfall when you want to have control over everything. Trying to make every detail perfect during the sessions, have perfect sales, or the perfect situation to do something. It is just never going to happen. 

Mistakes are part of the improving process. And every mistake you make in your business will help you to make it stronger and better every day.

Get out of your comfort zone 

Getting out of your comfort zone is what will take you to the next level. This will allow you to follow the dreams in your heart. In the beginning, you might feel uncomfortable turning down offers. These offers aren’t the best fit for your business or raising your prices to make your business actually profitable. 

But, once you start creating the portfolio you truly want and attract the customers you love working with, you will realize it was totally worth it!

 If you stay in that comfort zone, you can go into autopilot! 

Price your work

As a photographer, it is easy to think that you will get more bookings just because you’re cheaper.

It is such a common way of thinking. The reality is that it doesn’t get easier because you’re cheaper. It actually hurts your business and puts you in the market as a less valuable professional. 

Price your work accordingly and fairly, when you price your services low. Your potential clients are led to believe you’re cheaper. Why? It’s because your services aren’t as good as those who are more expensive. I’ll give you an analogy. When you buy a bottle of wine for the first time, you’ll likely think the one that costs $50.00 will be better than the one that costs $15.00. The same happens with your potential clients.

You don’t want to get known as the cheap one; you want to get known as the best one!

To learn more about money confidence, check out the episode Money Confidence with Jillian Todd. It’s where we talk about how to scale your business and build wealth. And what steps you need to take to stay on track with your ideal financial situation. 

Listen to the episode Money Confidence with Jillian Todd

Episode 2

Have a contract 

Having realistic expectations and being on the same page with your customer is very important for healthy communication.

A contract is an agreement between the photographer and the person getting the service. The contract should cover responsibilities, costs, and what to expect in various cases and events.  Having a contract will save you a lot of stress and get you out of certain situations and misunderstandings.

Besides, you’d want to protect your copyright and be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances. There are so many things that can go wrong.

I hope you find all of these helpful and make your business profitable and sustainable as the talented and valuable photographer YOU ARE. You don’t have to be a starving artist and go around offering discounts to everybody. Stand on what you offer and believe it in, and make it clear to your clients! Keep being creative in your own ways and give the best version of yourself. 

Want more?

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08. How to avoid being a starving artist with Yvonne van Dalen

hi, i'm ingvild

This podcast is all about education and inspiration for photographers. A sustainable business is profitable and lasting. Instead of short-term wins you want to make sure you’re doing things that matter. Both to yourself, and to create the business you want. The goal of this podcast is that it will help you build and structure your business around your life, instead of the other way around.