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Business

3 Easy Ways Creatives Can Turn Inquiries into Clients

One of the most popular questions we get is: Should I put my prices on my website, or not?

After years of trial and error on this topic, having our prices on our photography website, then taking them down in a panic, then putting them back up, then changing our prices, then finally finding a sweet spot and sticking to it, this is what we found worked best for us…

  1. Put starting prices on website.
  2. Add space for those inquiring to include their phone number on contact form.
  3. Call and/or send video email message first, instead of writing an email back.

That’s it. Those are our 3 easy ways creatives can turn inquiries into clients and take care of that nagging question regarding pricing on websites. Sound too good to make that much of a difference?

Keep reading.

Let’s see what this looks like in real life and talk about how you can maximize these 3 easy things…

Let’s say you’re a wedding photographer (stick with me if you’re not in the wedding industry; the principles apply to you, too). There is a couple who’s been eyeing your work ever since briefly meeting you at the bride-to-be’s cousin’s wedding a few months ago. Said couple gets engaged and sends emails inquiring about wedding photography to five photographers they think are super talented.

You are one of those photographers.

Put starting prices on your website…

Said couple allots $3,000 for their wedding photography. Your main package is $3,750. If that’s on your website, said couple might see it and run, even though they enjoyed bumping into you at their cousin’s cake table, because they have four other options.

FIX: You shoot elopements for $2,500. Put this as a starting rate on your website. It opens the door for conversations you wouldn’t otherwise have.

Said couple already likes you. Your goal is to get a consultation with them. Buy them coffee and a chocolate croissant, learn all about them, connect with them, show them your true colors, discover quirky likes and dislikes you have in common, they start to love you, they hire you and you give them the best darn experience as their chosen wedding photographer!

None of that can happen if they count you out because of that $3,750 price tag on your website.

It’s important to note you’re not trying to trick couples into changing their budgets for you. What you’re doing, is creating an opportunity for couples to get to know you and your brand better, which also, a lot of the time, increases their perceived value of what you have to offer.

We do this all the time in everyday life…

I see a shirt at Nordstrom. I think it’s super expensive. But then, I try it on. It feels so soft. I look so good! I buy the shirt because I changed my perceived value of what it can do for me.

Add space for those inquiring to include their phone number on your contact form…

Said couple sees your $2,500 starting rate on your website! “WOO HOO,” they think! She was so awesome and this might work out, after all. They email you, along with those four other wedding photographers, in hopes you’re available for their wedding date. You’re excited! You want to put your best foot forward and stand out from the crowd!

The biggest mistake most creative entrepreneurs make when they get an email inquiry is replying to the potential client with a regular, plain old written email.

Pick up the phone and give them a call instead OR send them a video message response instead of writing back! I know it might feel scary or weird, but I promise if you proceed with excitement for them and confidence in what you do, you will stand out (and, you might just make their day because in this busy world you took the extra time to do something thoughtful and personal!)

Call and/or send video email message first, instead of writing an email back…

When you do this, keep a few things in mind:

  1. Know your purpose for calling/sending video. If your purpose is to simply book a meeting with them, you might say (or leave a voicemail that says), “Hi _______! I just received your email and I wanted to call and say CONGRATS! I’m so excited because I AM available for your wedding date! I’d love to get together with you and your fiancé so we can see if we’re all a good fit! What works best for the two of you?!” Feel free to add more of your personality, a little on-brand touch or anything else that feels authentic to you and the reason you want to chat with this couple.
  2. Smile. Smiling is contagious, even over the phone. Especially when they see your face in a video. Show them you’re friendly and easy to talk to.
  3. Write out a script so you have something to fall back on if you get nervous or lose your place.
  4. PRACTICE!!! Send your mom a video message. Test out your call script with your husband.
  5. Follow up with an email, AFTER you call/leave a message. (If you are sending a video message instead of calling, you can include more details below the video in the same email.)
  6. Calling/sending a video message instead of simply sending a written email might seem terrifying to you! We totally get that. This is a great opportunity for you to get outside of your comfort zone for the sake of BIG things happening in your business.

In a perfect world (and once you’ve built a brand that attracts your ideal clients this will happen), dream clients email you and already know they’re going to hire you. But this takes time and relationship equity and trust. If you’re not at this place in your business yet, following these 3 easy steps will help you turn inquiries into clients because you’re taking a regular situation (getting an inquiry) and creating an opportunity for yourself to show personality and thoughtfulness and therefore, stand out.

Trust me, your potential clients will notice.  

Want more help from here, after you get that meeting with your inquiries? Check out our How to Close More Sales to increase your booking rate!

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Business

My 5 wisest words of advice for creative entrepreneurs

In the last 8 years, Jesse and I have created two businesses. The whole point of this entrepreneur adventure, for us, is to share all we have with the world and hopefully by doing this, we’ve made someone’s life better. Oh, and we definitely dig mid-day bike rides and soaking up sunshine on the coast (which certainly has something to do with us living and loving this gig, too).

Since a quarter of my life has now been spent in entrepreneurship, and I’ve had approximately 97 meltdowns along the way, I figured I’d share with you what I do know. My lessons learned over the years. My 5 wisest words of advice for creative entrepreneurs…

Grace
Take it easy on yourself. No matter what you do or don’t do; no matter if you meet your expectations for yourself or not, give yourself some grace. We are our own worst enemies. Think of the respect, grace and understanding you offer your best friend when times are tough. Are you that kind to yourself? I know I’m not, a lot of the time, because perfectionism wiggles its way into my mind and I can be really hard on myself. But the more intentionally I work on grace, the less disappointed I am. I am happier, freer and actually more productive and successful.

Boundaries
There are two ways I’ve learned to use boundaries to my advantage. The first is probably the most obvious: establish boundaries for work/life balance. Shut the office door at night. Put fun, social, personal things on the calendar first each week, so you don’t run yourself into the ground. Create office hours. STICK TO THE OFFICE HOURS.

The second way is this: Guard your heart. Not everyone is going to understand, be interested in or possibly even support your ideas and decisions in entrepreneurship. That’s okay. Keep those relationships about something else. Don’t pour out your heart about your business dreams to these people if you know their response will disappoint you. There are so many people who DO get it (umm, hello, we’re right HERE!!!).

Strategy
The fastest way to get to where you want to be is by having a strategy. This comes in all shapes and sizes, for all sorts of things like networking, how you spend your time working on your business and in your business, social media advertising, marketing . . . you name it, you need to have a strategy for it!

Ask yourself: What is my purpose? What can I do with this partnership, Instagram post or conference I’m going to that will better my business and take me to the next level? How can I make this a win-win situation for everyone involved? If strategy isn’t your strength (yet), write one of these questions on a Post-it and put it on your computer as a reminder to guide your business in that direction.

Persistence
Those who make it to the top of the mountain have had plenty of crummy days in the valley. But the reason they “made it”? Persistence. You will doubt your dreams. You will want to give up, for good. Don’t do that! Instead, cry it out. Do some yoga. Just breathe, and maybe get yourself a brownie, too. And then, tweak your plan and try again. Repeat after me:

“Fear, pride, comparison, naysayers, self-doubt and failure will not stop me from living to my fullest potential.”

Use those challenges and setbacks to grow and position yourself as a leader whose ways are tried and true.

Gratitude
Gratitude is a cure-all. It makes you feel warm and fuzzy and experience true joy. And it’s the absolute BEST way to start your day. Even in the crappiest of situations, there’s something to be grateful for. Nothing is too little to go unnoticed either! Wake up each day and set the tone for all that’s to come. Make it a new habit to inject gratitude into your day.

Soon, this new habit will shape your new sunshiny perspective. This is HUGE when you’re a business owner because there will always be ups and downs. The more successful you become, the more potential there is for complicated challenges. Gratitude is one vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to a solid mindset.

No matter what situation I’m in or challenge I’m facing, one of these words is usually the answer. Try them out. Let me know what words have taught you the most and help you be and do everything you’ve dreamed up for your business!

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Business

How to prevent entrepreneur overwhelm

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What we have for you here, is a little roundup checklist of years of experience: How to prevent entrepreneur overwhelm! Yes, you really can prevent it! And, it’s glorious when you do! These are the things we do so that hairy beast of a bad place doesn’t get to us in the first place.

Don’t wait until you feel like you’re going to crack, cave or cry. Be proactive! Start checking these things off the list and we promise your business will run smoother. You’ll feel happier and lighter.

Start a morning routine and stick with it!
☐Set realistic + SPECIFIC goals, that are still challenging.
☐Do ONE THING at a time. Multi-tasking is a myth.
☐Know what you want and be confident in going for it!
☐Get organized! Plan out your weeks.
☐Schedule YOU things (exercise, coffee dates, long lunch breaks) first, every week, every day.
☐Get your work to 90% and then move on. Done is better than perfect. Boycotting perfectionism is not being sloppy.
☐Do not go on social media until after 11am!
☐Read before you go to sleep, instead of scrolling through Instagram.
☐Know your ideal client so you can make fast marketing decisions that are valuable to her! Fast decisions = less time beating yourself up trying to figure it out = less overwhelm.
☐Tidy up your workspace. Shave your legs if you have to 😉
Stop procrastinating!
☐Read Essentialism and implement ASAP.
☐Surround yourself with like-minded people who just get it.

Adios, overwhelm!

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Business

Rip Off the Band-Aid

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You won’t see flat lays in our Instagram gallery.

A couple things to note before we get into this:

  1. In case you’re not familiar with the term flat lay, it’s this…styled photo of items. This could be: things on your desk, coffee + food, flowers, makeup, books, clothing, anything really! I’m sure you’ve seen them! They are typically clean, minimal + beautiful. An aerial view from above of a styled group of items.
  2. I do not dislike flat lays (I actually think they are very pretty!) or the incredibly creative + talented people I know (and don’t know) who curate, photograph and post them on their Instagram accounts. It’s just something I don’t do. It’s not how I think or dream or create.

And that’s okay.

In fact, it’s more than okay.

Think of that old saying…

“If So-and-So jumped off a bridge, would you?!” And we’re all like, “Duh! Of course not!”

But then we translate that to…

“If So-and-So (who happens to have 77K followers on Instagram) posts flat lays, does that mean you should to?!” And we’re all like, “Hmm. Not sure. Maybe?”

The answer is…
If you want to!
If it works for you!
If it works for your audience!
If it’s worth your time + efforts!
If it will get you where you want to go!

Once in a blue moon, you’ll see something sort of like a flat lay in our Instagram gallery. It’s not who we are, so we pour our energy elsewhere.

Now, this might seem suuuuuuper trivial. Like, who cares if we post a certain type of image on Instagram. But, it brings up such a vital topic, one we chat about regularly with our clients…

Just because successful So-and-So uses/writes/shoots/edits/says/acts/dresses/does anything a certain way (and it’s working really well for them), that doesn’t mean it’ll work well for you, or is you, for that matter. It’s less about the actual thing they’re doing that’s bringing success and more about how they’re tapping into their true, authentic self + brand…that’s what’s working for them.

This online world of comparison is getting out of hand. I see so many creatives trying so hard to be someone they’re not. And, I get it! It’s rough seeing her succeed when you’re trying hard and nothing is happening the way you want it to. But, I think that’s the problem…

Sometimes, we try too hard. We need to slough off the excess. The facade. The characteristics + decisions we’ve adopted + made because they worked for someone else. We need to say, “Forget flat lays! (And everything they represent in this example!)”

Get back to the core of your business. Get back to your talents. Your creative genius zone. Not hers.

Here are 3 questions you can ask yourself to get back to (or,  get to for the first time ever!) that space that is your very own, so you can make darn well sure that everything you’re putting out in the world (social media posts, emails, images, etc.) feels like and lines up with who you are + the essence of YOUR brand.

1. What are your strengths and are you making the most of them?
2. What do your clients + friends love about you?
3. What makes you different from others in your industry?

These are just 3 of the 16 questions we prompt you to work through in the first of four sections of our Brandmap. There are 4 key steps to creating a stand-out (and true to you!) brand in this noisy world. Being authentic (and ditching flat lays, if you want!) is the first piece of the puzzle.

TK finish…Brandmap button….

As you begin to gain confidence in your brand, you’ll find what works best for you. From there, you’ll create a masterpiece. A beautiful, successful business. A beautiful, honest life…

Categories
Business

What’s Stopping You?

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Is it fear? Well, we’re going to fix that.

I have an incredible imagination. I think and feel things in a massive, passionate and creative way. This works wonders in so many aspects of my life. It’s one of my greatest strengths. But, unfortunately, I’ve allowed this trait to get the best of me, at times. I gave my imagination the okay to let fear produce outcomes for my life. And that was such bad news, because I dreamed up so many scenarios of WHAT IF?! that I used to drive myself nuts and become stuck and frozen in limbo.

Before we started Limelife Photography in 2009, here are some things I was worried about..

I’m not as good as So-and-So.
We don’t have a website!
What if no one sees our website?!
How do we decide our business name?
What if we fail?
What if we don’t get enough clients?
What if we don’t make enough money?
What if I have to get a “real” job again?

Not sure about you, but the the anxiety and fear I used to allow myself to feel PRIOR to the actual event happening was always WAY WORSE than what I thought would happen. Now, we could get into psychology and defense mechanisms and all sorts of stuff, but the point is that because I was allowing fear to rule my emotions and decisions, I was paralyzed. And I didn’t even realize it. There were some very simple answers to the questions running through my brain. I know that now. But at the time, I allowed these questions to snowball together (into something MUCH larger than they actually were) and create momentum and power over my desires. Turns out, we spent too much time making things happen in the early stages of our photography business.

“What is it costing you to stay in the same place you’re at and not take the “risk” of moving forward?”
In recent years, in business and in life, I’ve learned to release that overwhelm and say SCREW YOU to the what ifs! Did I become careless? Far from it. We always calculate the worst-case scenario before making a decsion. And guess what!? It’s usually not that bad of a situation 😉 We ask ourselves this very important question that we strongly suggest you adopt into your thinking and language…

What is it costing you to stay in the same place you’re at and not take the “risk” of moving forward?

It might just be hours. Maybe days or weeks. Possibly years? Are you willing be in the same spot you are now for weeks or years because fear is paralyzing you?!

No, thank you!

And let me tell you a little secret, I’m on the other side because I invested in myself. I’ve spent time, money, energy and brain power to get to this place. And now, I am free and confident and know that I can not just make it through anything, but CRUSH anything I put my mind to. And the same can happen for you!! That’s our dream! That you would face your fears, get unstuck and move QUICKLY in the direction of your desires for your business and life. The best thing you can do for yourself right now is rip off the Band-Aid!!

Start here:

Look fear in the face.

Fear will get you good, if you let it. Sometimes it’s so sneaky, you don’t even notice it lingering in all the nooks and crannies of your mind and heart. But just like any unnecessary evil, once you call it by its name, loud and proud, in daylight, in front of others, its grip lessens. If you are serious about living out your purpose and making the most of your life, you must gather your strength and give yourself a chance. Get real with yourself. Get honest. What’s stopping you from achieving your goals? What’s stopping your from living your dream? It’s a vulnerable place. But you must go there, so you can pinpoint what it is! That’s the hard part. Now comes the fun part. Put up your fists and jab that sucker right in the face. YES! Well, done. Relief and freedom are in sight.

Make faster decisions.

This step is easier than you think. All you have to do is STOP PROCRASTINATING! You might be thinking, “But these are big decisions, I’m not procrastinating!” The truth is hard to swallow sometimes. If you want something and you’re not taking the actions you need to take in order to get to that place, you are currently procrastinating. This applies to decisions about your website and branding. This applies to getting more clients. This applies to becoming a full-time creative entrepreneur. This applies to ANYTHING you desire. We guarantee that if you start making faster decisions and making them right (aka simply following through with your choices and actions), you’re going to get to where you want to be way quicker than if you continue to sit still, frozen, beating yourself up, mulling over the “Should I or shouldn’t I?” in your head.

Move forward, confidently.

The cool thing is that the more often you do steps one and two, the quicker you’ll get to the other side when new fears arise. Each decision and action step builds momentum and confidence. There is no room for second-guessing. Once that decision is made, turn on the turbo-booster, because it’s time to really get cranking. Limbo is debilitating. If you hang out in limbo, you’ll feel scared and overwhelmed. So, make those quick decisions and then start making the next moves! You deserve to live the life you feel called to live. Stand firm in your dreams. Believe in yourself. Believe in the decisions you make. Trust your gut and get out there! It’s time.

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Business

Assholes Finish Last

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Here’s a stereotype for you: the arrogant businessperson. You know exactly who I’m talking about. These stereotypes treat their employees poorly, bully their clients and their partners into deals that benefit them alone, and at the end of the day, they go home to swim in piles of money (yes, that was a DuckTales reference, good catch).

Unfortunately, these stereotypes have a basis in reality. Steve Jobs was notorious for humiliating his employees and parking his Mercedes in handicap spots. Mark Zuckerberg drove his friend and co-founder out of Facebook. Travis Kalanick, founder of Uber has been in the news recently for threatening reporters and their families in pursuit of favorable press.

These popular stories of successful assholes have led to a nasty rumor:

You have to be a jerk to succeed.

We disagree.

I am a recovering business-jerk-aholic, and my business partner (Ben) is the kindest lumberjack you’ll ever meet. We have made it a mission to re-civilize the service industry, in a “good-cop / bad-cop” kind of way. You could say we’re bringing sexy back – if you think being nice is sexy.

Along the way we’ve learned a few things about balancing good business practice with good person practice. Here are our top four lessons:

Assholes finish last.
The days when arrogance and hubris sustained companies are over. Companies need repeat business to succeed, and no one wants to work with an asshole twice. People expect more out of their business dealings these days – they want authentic experiences with kind human beings. Don’t be embarrassed to whip out your inner pleasant-self. Pick up the check. Send a thank-you card. Your clients will appreciate the effort and your business will grow.

Boundaries are important.
Running a business and dating are not entirely dissimilar. Like any good relationship, it’s important to know yourself, and define your own needs before you negotiate with a potential client. Then, meet your clients with the idea that you are interviewing them. Saying no to a client who doesn’t fit your needs and desires not only saves you the drudgery of bad work, but can help to avoid the inevitable conflict that can come out of bad working relationships. Aim to achieve a balance of respecting yourself as well as the clients you’re working with.

The customer is not always right.
What happens when we get a difficult client? Sometimes a client will forget that they are hiring you for your expertise and they will attempt to steamroll you. My advice? Get angry. No, really. Holding it in will just shorten your lifespan. Find a way to vent your anger. Punch a pillow, listen to 90’s rock, or find someone you trust who will listen to your whining. Not only is this great therapy, it’ll help you move past the things that don’t really matter and pinpoint those issues that do. That way, you can return to your client with a confident, honest response: “I really appreciate your feedback. Let me explain the reasoning behind why I made that particular decision so we are on the same page.” Many clients will appreciate your confident honesty. The ones who don’t appreciate it probably aren’t listening to you anyways. That’s okay – Move forward and avoid those clients like the plague next time you see them.

Empathy is key for good creative work.
So much of what we do, as creatives, is based on good communication. To do good work, we must understand our clients and their customers well. It means we have to listen, and attentive listening always makes conflict easier. Since most conflict can be boiled down to a matter of miscommunication, as a creative you’re perfectly suited to resolve any conflicts that arise. Stay confident in your ability to manage that conflict, listen well and put yourself in your clients shoes every time you meet. If conflict does occur, try to pinpoint the specific areas where you are misaligned. Your client wants to be understood and will appreciate the effort to understand them better.

You can do it. We believe in you. If all else fails, go for a stiff drink.

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Business

Amateur vs Pro: Breaking Barriers

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We’ve all been there. At some networking event, a meetup for creative entrepreneurs or just some Facebook group, and we find ourselves feeling out of place. The room is full of amazingly talented people. They’ve been in the industry for years. They are the professionals that teach the other professionals. We look up to them. And we find ourselves feeling intimidated and a little lost. Why? Maybe we’re new to this. Maybe we are just testing out this whole entrepreneur thing. Maybe we feel like total amateurs.

Trying to achieve the elusive professional status may make you feel really important, but if it doesn’t help you live your life the way you want to live it or help your business grow, it’s only getting in the way. Let’s chuck this idea altogether. It’s not a tryout. It’s not like there is some switch the professional police flips and BAM, you get a certificate in the mail saying, “Congratulations! You’ve made it! You’re a Pro!”

In the wedding and portrait photography world, words like faux-tographer and mom-ographer are thrown around about those considered to be amateurs. These amateurs might have less experience or be self-taught. Some aspects of their business may be underdeveloped. Maybe they aren’t even getting paid! Who cares? Everyone has to start somewhere.

All that really matters is how you conduct yourself and your business. Being a pro means you pour your heart and soul into your business. It means you’re always learning. It means you’re always trying something new. If you fail, you try again. You keep what works and improve what doesn’t, both on the business side of things AND the creative.

So let’s all stop wondering if we are this or that. You get to make that choice. ACT like a professional, or don’t. Here’s the perfect place to start.

Be confident.
This could singlehandedly change your business. I can be pretty shy, so this hasn’t been something that comes naturally to me. Meeting with prospective clients can be intimidating! I’m a total woo (Don’t know what that is? Read Strengths Finders!), so in the first year of business, I was always worried about whether or not potential clients would like me or if I was going to say the things they wanted to hear. I found myself stumbling over my words, trying to guess what they wanted and sometimes even changing a service we offered right on the spot! I’m sure that looked desperate. Fear, the unknown and inexperience are the biggest roadblocks to being confident. The good news? It gets easier. Learn all you can. Go into every meeting, job, event or conference insanely prepared. Practice having conversations about what you do, how you do it and what makes you the best person for your clients. Sounds cheesy. But it works. Do these things often and you’ll find yourself looking and feeling confident.

Never be good enough.
If you are the best at something right now, but you aren’t working to get better, you won’t be the best for long. There is ALWAYS room for improvement. Things are always changing. Take social media, for example. Not only are new platforms always coming out, but the ones you already use are constantly changing. This concept can be a little daunting at times, but it’s something that I have come to love about being an entrepreneur. We also can get so caught up in the business side of things that we forget to continue growing as artists or in our creative field. Schedule time to practice and make sure to make time for the things that keep you inspired!

Do what you love.
No matter what kind of business you are building, it takes serious work. I couldn’t imagine trying to build something if I wasn’t passionate about what I was doing. It can be exhausting and draining, so without the passion to motivate you to push through, you could potentially find yourself in a pretty bad place. If there’s an aspect about running your business that you just can’t stand, or feel your time is better spent doing something else, then find someone else to do it! Outsource. Hire employees. Bring on an intern. Chances are they will do it better and more efficiently than you. You’d be amazed at how much brain power you’ll free up. It’s liberating.

Be consistent all the time.
What you do in your personal life and say on your personal social media platforms will affect your professional life. As an entrepreneur, people will not view you as “business you” and “personal you.” In my experience, I’ve come to believe people do the exact opposite. They will connect almost anything they’ve seen, experienced or heard about you to your business. (Side note: Use this to your advantage! This is SUCH an opportunity to make a connection to your audience and ideal clients.) YOU get to decide what kind of light people view your business in. Do this with consistency in your interactions with clients, others in your industry, on social media, when you are out for drinks with friends, on vacation or working at a coffee shop. You get the idea. The bottom line: there is nothing more unprofessional than seeing someone’s business life and personal life not match up. Chances are, people will remember what you don’t want them to. So, only give them the good stuff.

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Business

Why Creative Entrepreneurs Should Hire an Accountant

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I worked hard to put the initials C.P.A. after my name but in my heart, I relate to all designers, photographers and lifestyle bloggers. I could have stayed in a firm and crunched numbers all day, but I used every free minute to figure out a way to get closer to my own creative bliss. Working with passionate creatives is the perfect mix in my world of spreadsheets and numbers. And I can help you (maintain your sanity) and your business (stay organized and follow financial rules).

As a creative, it can be incredibly daunting dealing with the money side of things. Let me paint a different picture for you. I’m talking game-changer status different picture.

You are juggling all you can handle, just staying on top of your business and now you’re being told you have to add spreadsheets and tax law to the mix? Accountants, CPA’s in particular, are required to keep up with Federal and State tax laws by taking continuing education courses every year. It is a good thing to have someone who does know these things on your side.

Your accountant can help hold you accountable and keep your financial records up-to-date. It is tough to make ourselves keep up with the mundane tasks like bookkeeping. Bleh! One way to stay on top of things is to set up quarterly bookkeeping reviews with an accountant. I’m talking peace of mind, people. It’s worth it. As a bonus, you will be able to see where your income is throughout the year and respond quickly, when needed.

Accountants can help determine what you’ll need to pay for estimated taxes. This takes a heavy weight off your shoulders as the end of the year approaches. We can also can help you understand the financial ramifications of choosing to be a sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), and S-Corporation, as well as walk you through the steps. We can also help you determine if a 1099 or W-2 needs to be sent to the IRS and your state. Heck, we’ll even prepare these for you.

If you’re not sure where to begin with a bookkeeping system, that’s the perfect reason to make an appointment with an accountant. You may be really comfortable with a spreadsheet, but if you’re not into formulas and hand-entering everything, your accountant can recommend programs that automatically pull in transactions so you just have to categorize them. Check out Freshbooks or Wave. It is really important to have a good system in place. Something you’re comfortable with and something you’ll stick to the whole year.

Bottom line: hiring a good accountant WILL benefit your business. It will reduce stress and leave you with much more time to spend on your craft and generating income! Don’t let your finances run you; find an accountant and let them run the numbers.

7 reasons why creative entrepreneurs should hire an accountant:

1. She is educated in Federal and State tax laws.
2. She will keep your financial records up to date.
3. She can review your bookkeeping quarterly.
4. She can determine what you’ll pay for estimated taxes.
5. She’ll explain what it means to be a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC and S-Corp.
6. She’ll advise you on Freshbooks, Wave and other at-home accounting systems.
7. She’ll free you of stress, so you can get back to work.