Last Update: July 10, 2015
Do you find it difficult to develop enough confidence to sell your products and services? If so, it’s not uncommon. It’s a challenge that presents an occasion for young entrepreneurs to get creative and utilize every resource possible.
Just ask Chantel Jones, the founder of Chantel LaNeice Photography, a Dallas, Texas-based Photography studio that specializes in individual and family portraits and event photography. With limited experience and funding, Jones conquered her fear and through trial and error learned how to best communicate her business offerings’ value.
Learn how Chantel launched her picture perfect startup and overcame early-stage business challenges.
|Chantel LaNeice Photography
|Chantel Jones, 25
|Advertising and Marketing
How I Got Started
The idea of being an entrepreneur has always intrigued me since I was a young child. I tried every business idea that I could think of and subsequently lost interest quickly after only a few months. These initial experiences in entrepreneurship led me to question my true passion in life. I asked myself, “How could I use my desires and interests and combine them with my dream of being a business owner?”
After collecting my thoughts, and several journal entries later, I realized my interest in photography. After all, I had invested a lot of time and money in reading magazines just to look at the pictures, but I never once considered pursuing this interest. So, I decided to teach myself the art of photography. I decided to pursue — what was once a conventional interest and turn it into a business opportunity.
I purchased a camera and read all of the books I could to learn about my craft. I made a definitive decision to treat my passion as a professional business opportunity and over time I built my clientele through portraits and special events. I also began helping other startup business owners by offering artistic photographic images to enhance and define their brands.
When I started my business I didn’t have a budget for marketing and advertising so I began to think of all types of ways that I could gain local exposure. My first year in business, I had no idea how to generate leads for potential clients; therefore I had to get creative and utilize all of my resources.
On Halloween I dressed up in an old Wilma Flintstone costume and stood outside of my home with a bucket of candy to give to trick-or-treaters. I attached a business card to each piece of candy and gladly passed it out to market my business to local families. As a result, my phone began to ring and my website traffic increased.
From that experience I learned that you don’t need thousands of dollars to spend on marketing initially. Take time to embrace your creativity and put your entrepreneurial spirit to work.
I would have never imagined that my biggest startup challenge would be gaining enough confidence to sell my services. I had a difficult time attaching a dollar value to my business offering and conquering my fear of being rejected.
Through trial and error, I decided to associate the financial costs of my equipment, labor and talent into my service price. I realized that I would have to be firm and define my value if I was ever going to succeed as an entrepreneur.
I observed that when I undersold my services, clients did not book with me. However when I designed a specific price list and stuck to it I gained respect as a business professional and increased business opportunities.
Before you embark on any business venture, ask yourself one question – “If money wasn’t a concern in your life, what would you choose to do for free?” Then, pursue your desire and make sure you are passionate about your business. Be confident in yourself, walk in your talents and gifts … most importantly have faith that all things are possible!
Stay connected with Chantel on Facebook.
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