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A podcast where you join me (Colie) as I chat about what it takes to grow a sustainable + profitable business.
CRM Guru, Family Filmmaker, and Host of the Business-First Creatives podcast. I help creative service providers grow and streamline their businesses using Dubsado.
Does the concept of a recession make you nervous for your business? You’re not alone! We’re all worried about the impacts of a recession, especially so soon after the pandemic, yet it’s something we should all consider preparing for. In this episode, Maddie Peschong joins me to talk about making changes and pivots in your business in order to survive during slower seasons. Listen in as she describes how much she accomplished and is proud of in one of her slowest years, along with her own experiences in making solid business decisions when faced with economic changes.
The Business-First Creatives Podcast is brought to you by CRM and Dubsado expert Colie James. Join Colie each week as she discuss how to build a business that brings you joy and a paycheck! From business advice with fellow entrepreneurs to sharing automation tips and tricks, Colie and her guests are sharing industry trends and resources, along with a little bit of sarcasm.
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Maddie Peschong is a branding photographer and coach who is obsessed with teaching creative entrepreneurs how to build a profitable business by being themselves. Through coaching, digital products, and personal branding photos, she helps women discover their magic so they can stand out in a saturated market, confidently scale their income without trading more time for money, and do only work they love. She is the leader of the Confident Creative Mastermind, host of the Take it Personally Podcast, and founder of the White Space Studio in Sioux Falls, SD, a place where creatives can design, dream, and collaborate while developing their own irresistible brands.
Here are the highlights…
[0:32] Get to Know Maddie
[6:39] Time Saved with Automation
[7:27] Non-Payment Followups
[9:58] Effects of Mid-Terms on Small Businesses
[13:04] Tracking Trends in Business
[16:12] Non-Growth Years
[20:37] Exploring New Services & Clients | Kardashian Style Group Photo
[24:15] Group Coaching Program
[35:45] Favorite Business Purchase
[38:19] 2023 In-Person Education
Episode 003 Business-First Creative Podcast with guest Maddie Peschong
Episode 53 Take it Personally Podcast
Review the Transcript:
Colie: Hello and welcome back to the Business First Creatives Podcast. My guest today is my second returning guest. It is Maddie Peschong. is amazing. She is awesome. by the time this episode airs, it will have been almost six months between her episodes and a full 30 episodes. So we are gonna talk about how much growth she’s had in the last six months, but I am gonna let her introduce herself, tell you where she is and what she does.
Maddie: Hello. Thank you for having me.
Colie: I’m so excited.
Maddie: Me too. I’m pumped to be back. I love chatting with you. So my name is Maddie, as Colie said. I’m a brand photographer and coach in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I’m also a wife, a mom of three. Um, I’ve been a photographer for about 10 years and specifically been a brand photographer for about four.
Colie: So Maddie is probably the only person that could ever get me to go to South Dakota. Just fyi, I have no interest in either of the Dakotas, but I tell you what, like visiting Mattie is probably high on my list. So Maddie, last time you were on the episode, it was for a client case study episode, and I had just done your Dodo v I p. and one of the reasons that I recorded your episode and actually put you ahead of some of the other guests that I had already recorded was
Colie: I now use your podcast episode as like a highlight in several of my welcome e email series.
Maddie: my gosh.
Colie: if you wanna know what it’s like to work with me, here’s a podcast episode with Maddie Pong where she talks about it. But one thing about pushing your episode up so far that I interviewed you like literally two weeks after I
Colie: you hadn’t even had any clients that had gone through your system. So now that there’s been a little breathing room, I know that you’ve booked some amazing clients using your new workflows.
Just tell me system is working for you.
Maddie: Yeah, it’s been awesome. I knew that I was like on the cusp of some, you know, pretty significant growth the last time that we talked, but I also tend to have, I tend to have kind of slower summers on purpose, and then this summer was particularly just kind of slow, so it’s been really fun now heading into fall, it’s kind of like my people wake up in the fall and they’re like, ready to go.
Ready? And so it’s been really fun to have this like, awesome proposal and all these great workflows to use as I get busier. The thing that’s so great about the proposal is how, customizable it is for different clients. Like we kind of did it through the lens of like, Okay, this is really great for like a personal brand session.
But then we also created different variations that were just like slightly different for, maybe like a headshot client or a commercial client or someone who wants multiple headshots. And so it’s been so easy where in the past I was like opening up these Google Docs and customizing everything I know.
Colie: You poor thing.
Maddie: it was not great, and it just took me time. I mean, that was what it came down to. And so then I would drag my feet and then not get paid soon enough because I was dragging my feet on sending these stupid proposals that weren’t that cute. And now it’s just so much easier for me to, like, if I get an inquiry from someone who wants, you know, 10 corporate headshots, I can go back to a proposal that looks really pretty, that I’ve recently sent and just like tweak.
Ever so slightly and send it off. And I had this awesome, situation. I’m still kind of going back and forth with this client to, um, it’s the, the thing with my commercial clients, cor, more corporate clients love them dearly, but like there tends to be a decent amount of dead space before they book because there’s so many powers that be, that have to like sign off on stuff.
I’m going back and forth with this client, but as soon as I sent the proposal to her, this was probably a week or two ago, she texted me cuz she’s also a friend of mine. She texted me the next morning at like seven 30 and was like, Maddie
Maddie: She’s like, Maddie, we are blown. Away by this proposal, they have this creative director who works in like Scotland or something, so somewhere not here.
And she was like, he could not believe it. It was so impressive. And, and so I told her, I’m like, Oh, thank you. Like I, I invested in my proposals and it’s been really cool to like see how well they’re doing and the feedback that I’m getting. And she’s like, Well, we are just blown away. And I do think. Even.
Even though to an extent, I think there will always be some of that back and forth with those corporate clients, it’s a lot less because we have like an FAQ section and the pa, the payment plan is super clear and the contract is like right there. So there’s less that they have to ask me. They just, they have to pass it around to the right people.
But there’s a lot less like actual back and forth because they have all the answers and that’s amazing.
Colie: I’m so happy to hear that. love, Cause you know a lot, some of the pushback that I actually get when I make proposals for people is, well, no co, I don’t need FAQs on there. They’re on
Maddie: No, you do. You need them.
Colie: But like, do you know that people are reading your FAQs on your website? And also, guys, I wanna say this because do not copy the FAQs that you have on your website onto your proposal, that’s not the purpose of the proposal. proposal FAQs should specifically be the objections that you get related to making the purchase.
Colie: if they wanna say something about, you know, reschedules or any of those kinds of things that are pertinent getting them to say yes, those are the only FAQs that need to be on your. Like the other fluffy stuff that you had on your website to get them to actually inquire with you in the first place.
Yeah, we don’t need those repeated in your proposal, but definitely like in Maddie’s case, if it has to get passed around to a bunch of people, there was probably only one person on her consultation call, and so all of the other people that have to look at the proposal in order to approve it, that other information, which are things that she probably highlighted on the call, but again, not have been on the call a commercial, corporate type of situation, so love to hear it.
Maddie: Yeah, it’s been great and as I have sent out more of these proposals, I’ve gone back and updated the faq. So like my FAQ for personal brand sessions is one thing, and my FAQ for headshots is one thing. But if it’s a corporate client who’s booking 20 headshots, it’s a totally different faq, and that has helped me a ton just like answer their questions before they even have to ask them, which.
Colie: That’s awesome. And I don’t mean to put you on the spot because I mean, I hate it when people ask me about numbers because I feel compelled to actually go dig and like calculate, but you’re not me. So maybe you won’t feel so put in a corner. But like if you had to guess how many hours you are now saving with.
Colie: you know, with the automated emails, the workflows, and sending the proposal and not having to go back and forth to answer those extra Like, how much time are you saving per client?
Maddie: oh God. Definitely hours. I, I don’t know. I, it’s, it would have to be, I would bet on average, um, depending on the client. It’s like three to five hours, not only like no more back and forth, but like the proposals are so much quicker and easier to send out. There’s. I think less follow up, like, because they just kind of, they have everything that they need and so I don’t have to be like, Hey, even the other day, one of the, one of my, favorite things that you set up is the, the thing that sends out when they have filled out the proposal and signed the contract, but not paid me
Colie: pay you.
Maddie: that’s, this happens all the time.
Colie: So, do you know Maddie, that it legitimately took me nine months of doing setups to add that email? Now I
Colie: like I had an email, but it wasn’t the, Hey, just so that you
Colie: one, you did step two, but you did not do step three. If you really want to be a client and you want this booked on my calendar, you must pay me.
And so that particular email, I didn’t have it in the sequence until like nine months after I was doing these, and then I had to send one myself. And honestly, that’s how most of the stuff gets into my setups. I had to send one myself and I sent it with like a really funky gift and I made a lot of jokes and I’m like, Yo, you know, you didn’t do this last step, so even though you think you’re booked,
Colie: then I was like, Oh, of my clients need this email too. So then I started putting it in there and some clients will have me tone it down a. Honestly, it’s the people that work with the corporate people because
Colie: want it to be like, you know, you’ve very professional and you know, you’ve done step one and step two. I just need to follow up on step three. Like, it sounds different,
Colie: has like a more personalized version of that. Oops, you’re not done yet. Please
Maddie: I, I love the, the wording of mine says something along the lines of like, this is, this is totally automated, so it doesn’t reflect any conversations we might have had, which I super appreciate. Cause I had, just, last week I had this client who was like, I knew she was gonna book, but she, she was just kind of like dragging her feet.
And I think it probably was, Her like waiting to have the money to book or something like that. And so I was being sensitive to that, but also like, we gotta lock this in. Like if you wanna shoot before the end of the year, we gotta go. And I loved that the follow up just kind of happened automatically and it took the emotion out of it.
It was just like, Hey, you, you did do step one and two, but you haven’t done three yet. If we’ve talked about this already, it’s totally fine. Like, whatever, but also you need to pay me. And that she paid me . I was like, Great love.
Colie: I love it when an automated email can help you avoid an awkward conversation.
Maddie: Same. It’s the best cuz I will avoid awkward conversations till the day I die. So,
Colie: I mean, that’s a conversation we could have about those Enneagrams, Right? But yeah, I love it when automated emails can help you avoid awkward conversations.
Colie: to be a tagline. Somewhere on my sales page, I’m gonna make a
Maddie: Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm.
Colie: So beyond the Dubsado setup from the last time, like what else is happening in your business that’s.
Maddie: I’ve noticed this really interesting shift, and I know that, you know, this is a topic that people maybe don’t love to talk about, but I have definitely noticed, that. So right now it’s fall. We’re recording fall of 2022, and I work with a lot of small business owners, like that’s my favorite type of session, is a personal brand session.
So with someone like you, with someone like me, and I think a lot of small business owners are getting a little bit nervous about a recession. . And so I have definitely noticed that in like, typically by, I don’t know, September, October, I’m booked through the end of the year and that’s just now starting to happen and we’re almost into November.
So it’s been, it’s, it’s been a little bit, not even slower because I’m still booked at a good capacity, but it’s a different energy. Absolutely.
Colie: I will 100% agree with you, Maddie.
Colie: I can’t believe you and I have not talked about this,
Colie: actually talked about this with someone yesterday
she brought in a really perspective. again, talking about the recording date, this is before day. Okay guys, so keep this in mind.
Colie: The person that I was having a conversation with said that she had recently heard where it talked about how slow. Entrepreneurship is Q3 and q4 in midterm years. I thought that
Colie: like, Yeah, there’s actually, there’s data on trends show that entrepreneurs are booking less, they’re spending less money, right around and midterms.
And I thought, well, midterm
Colie: not in general, but like, and she didn’t have the answer to that, but I thought that that was absolutely fascinating. And while you and I have not had this conversation, I have been having this conversation in many places. And hopefully by the time this episode airs, we’re gonna be right on the heels of q1.
Everything will be better for all of us entrepreneurs. But I do there is an incredible amount of buyer hesitancy right now.
Maddie: I a hundred percent agree. And I’ve, I’ve had that, especially this summer, I had that conversa, I had a couple sessions this summer and I would meet up with my client. I’d be like, How’s business? How’s everything going? And they were always like very tentative. And then eventually they’d be like, It’s slow.
And every time I was like, Everyone is saying that, like not alone.
Colie: to talk about
even yesterday I was talking to someone different than gave me the statistic and when she was commenting on how she didn’t have anyone booked for the rest of the month, I’m like, No, that’s not just you. That’s, that’s everyone. And like, I feel like we need to be having more of a conversation about this and I don’t know. If it’s like a trickle down effect, like maybe you had a slower q3 so you’re not spending as much in q4,
Colie: you do have actual hesitancy about all of the economic things that are currently going on, like it’s slow for everyone.
Colie: know if this is just our new normal if it’s gonna pick back up in q1 like it does because Maddie, one of the best things that I’ve done recently I set up my air table automations. mean, I had a sales. every single person who buys in my business except the photography side, which is a whole different story, but everybody who buys for Dubsado gets put into this hub, and I now have like a sales goal table I have an actual sales log. And so I can now like very quickly see how much I made q1, q2, q3, q4.
I made so much in Q1 versus the other ones, and
Colie: really dawn on me until I actually looked at the numbers. And I mean, I haven’t been doing Dubsado setups long enough to know if that’s like something that I should expect. Like people are always interested in getting their doto set up, getting new systems for the year, blah, blah, blah.
And like for you, I’m sure that you notice trends, like you said, you’re usually slower in the
Colie: you wanna be home for your kids. But like
is your busy season, Maddie? Because like for family photographers it’s definitely fall, You know,
may be going into q4, but what is it for you? Are you pretty good year?
Maddie: , it’s pretty, I I think that it could be pretty steady year round. I choose to have a slower summer. and so typically that means, what would that be, q2, kind part of q
Maddie: You going to Q3 is like very low for me and I do that on purpose. and honestly, I guess I don’t know any other way, but it, it seems to work for my people too, because a lot of the time I’m working with moms and their, their summers are busy and so they’re not wanting to do sessions.
Q4 and Q1 are like bananas. It’s. Bananas. Yeah, , which I like because I like, I, that works really well with like my kid’s school year. so it works really well. I do tend to take off like part of, or a portion of December, but because of the way that I set up like payment plans or more passive items, I can do that and still make a good amount of money in December.
December is usually one of my higher months, so, yeah.
Colie: have to tell
Maddie: Oh, go ahead.
Colie: enough for my photography, December has historically been my highest month
Maddie: Yeah. Mm-hmm.
Colie: babies, for people wanting holiday sessions because, you know, I don’t stand outside and take pictures in a field,
Maddie: right now.
Colie: looked at my historical data, like I usually make like a banana amount of
Colie: December in photography. And I’m not shooting as much as I am. I mean, that’s part of the pandemic. I’ve recently had a few episodes where I was interviewing other photographers about their experience during the pandemic, it definitely slowed down because I wasn’t going into hospitals
Colie: long time I wasn’t going into people’s houses.
And then when I started going into their houses, was limiting myself to one person a week so that I made sure that I didn’t spread covid all over the place. Things definitely look different now,
Colie: don’t really have like a, I’m trying to figure out what my new normal is,
I, I agree.
Colie: you said about Q2
Colie: the summer, like you’re actually kind of lucky that the summer is like the last part of Q2 and the beginning of Q3
Maddie: Yes. Mm-hmm.
Colie: two months, inside of those, each of those quarters can help you balance out what you’re actually making, for your quarterly.
Maddie: Yep, totally. I’ve had that same thought. It ends up balancing out pretty well, but yeah, it is, it’s an interesting shift that’s happening and I appreciate the people who are talking about it because I agree. I think we need to talk about it more. Like it it, like I, I recorded a podcast episode recently. By this point it’ll be out, but, On my podcast, I talked about how this year for me is a non-growth year from a financial perspective, and that was really hard for me to reconcile at first.
And then the more that I thought about it, the more I was like, Oh my gosh, there’s so much stuff that I got done this year that I would not have gotten done if I.
Colie: if you were growing.
Maddie: If I was growing from a financial perspective, and I feel so confident going into 2023, knowing that like, I’ve got these proposals and I’ve got a really good, group program, which we’ll talk about later, that I like, feel really good about the curriculum and all that stuff wouldn’t have happened if I was shooting three sessions a week, you know, so I, It’s weird.
To be as, as an Enneagram three, As as an achiever who’s like, I remember, last year my accountant or my financial planner asked me like, Do you foresee your business growing year over year? And I was like, What kind of a question is that? Yeah,
Colie: I do.
Maddie: And then this year, ironically it will not, and. I’m actually so proud of all the other growth that I had this year.
So, but anyway, to kind of loop back to your question, I, as I started noticing that shift, I think it’s very easy to go to a place of, how can I discount my sessions? How can I do things for cheaper? How can I, and I, I totally did that.
Colie: not let those words
Colie: your mouth.
Maddie: Nope. Yep. Exactly. And I, I was able to say like, no, like that’s not what we do.
What is another way to go about doing this? And I think that, this is one of the things I love about brand photography. Like yes, it’s specific, but. There’s, there’s still a lot of variety within the umbrella of brand photography, and so I just started getting curious of like, Okay, well what industries tend to grow in a recession?
Who tends to benefit in a recession? And I’ve been doing more of like the corporate and commercial, headshots or lifestyle type photography. I’ve shot so many effing banks lately.
Colie: That at last one. You did. You killed it though, Maddie.
Maddie: I’ve been loving it.
I have been loving it. I, and it, it also like, kind of re sparked my creativity because in the past when I have done bank headshots, I’ve been like, Okay, we’ll do the typical bank headshot. And now, you know, a combination of, I’ve been doing this for a while and I’ve got really, really awesome clients who are ready to push the envelope a little bit.
We’re kind of scheming of like, okay, how can we do bank head shots, but like in a really fun way that stands out and that makes a statement. And so it’s been so creatively fulfilling and I’m making a lot of money.
Colie: I mean, the one thing that I will say that I thought you were gonna say earlier, but then you didn’t go there. of the issues when you have corporate jobs, and I just wanna let everyone know out there, because when I’m in some of the Facebook groups, they’re always like, No, you make your rules. If you wanna get paid before the session, then you just tell them that.
And I’m like, Yeah, that’s not how corporate world
Colie: It’s not just slow to book corporate jobs, it is also slow to get paid depending on how many people invoice has to go through for to get paid. Like the bigger the company, the longer you wait,
Colie: doesn’t make sense to us cuz we’re like, you have the money to pay it. like the approval process in a corporate, know, world
Colie: you get that paycheck though,
Maddie: It’s a great
Colie: you’re like, Oh my gosh, I could go buy a car,
Maddie: Yes, it’s awesome.
Colie: last year I had a really big commercial job and had a new person working as my like in between. And it took long to get paid.
Like I wanna say, I didn’t get my final balance for like four months.
Maddie: my God.
Colie: long, Maddie. And then, you know, I got the check and I was like, Oh, that’s so nice. What am I gonna do all this money? But you know, and it. Like all the pain of waiting just kind of runs away when
Colie: see that invoice paid notification.
I mean, but that is a really good way to think about it. Like who is not being hurt
I will say it’s one of the conversations that I had with a lot of family photographers during the pandemic was everybody thought that the was like buyer hesitancy. And I was. No, all my clients still have, like, all my clients might be working from home now, but like their financial situation is not any different.
Colie: anything, they’re saving money cuz they’re not currently paying
Maddie: They’re benefiting.
Colie: So I was like, you know, You really do have to think about who your clients are and not just assume that you know, if there’s something that’s happening in the economy, that it is directly affecting your clients.
Colie: you going out and actually specifically looking for people who wouldn’t suffer in a recession and trying to get more of those jobs is just absolutely brilliant. mean, you know, you know, I know you’re brilliant, but that’s brilliant.
Maddie: It’s been really fun and I’m proud of myself because it. The, you know, the, the first place that I went to was like, what discounts can I offer? And I don’t wanna do commercial clients because they’re boring, like headshots like that are boring. And so the fact I, I think it does show a lot of growth that the fact that I was able to say like, Okay, but.
What if I, what if it doesn’t have to be boring? Like what if we can make it a Maddie pong session just for a different kind of client? And so that’s what I’ve been doing and it’s just been so fun and like to have, I’ve had a couple emails lately from these like big, you know, banks or whatever, and to be fair, they’re still like medium sized local banks, but they’re bigger than a personal branch.
And I get these emails. After I send galleries and they’re like, Oh my God, people are freaking out. They love their headshot. And I talk to so many people just in daily life who are like, I hate my corporate headshot. I hate the headshot that the bank hired me. Whatever. And so to hear from people and hear that they feel like themselves in their photo and they feel like it does a good job of like showing their personality and like they’re proud of it and they think they look good, like, that makes me so happy.
So it’s been really fun to figure out like, okay, if we have to. B quote unquote boring thing. How can it not be boring?
Colie: It’s so funny. So I, you know, cuz you, you accepted my connect this morning. I just joined
Colie: like I’ve never been on LinkedIn because to me for a family photographer there. Never a need.
Maddie: Yeah. Mm-hmm.
Colie: come hire me off of LinkedIn for family photography. That’s, that’s not a thing. And if you wanna argue with me, please come hit me in my dms and Instagram cuz I would love to hear from you.
But I finally joined and what I’m thinking of is, As I hear you saying that your clients are so proud of their headshots, like a difference would be those people are probably updating their LinkedIn profiles with your picture
Colie: before when they got that stale bank type of headshot, they’re like, Yeah, I don’t want that on, in on, on LinkedIn.
Colie: a personal image instead of the professional headshot that they are using on their corporate.
Maddie: Totally. Yeah. You had talked about the photo that I posted of the bank that I recently shot. Okay, perfect. I posted that on Instagram and I debated doing it because I was like, I don’t know, like, this is not my typical, I mean, it actually is my typical clientele, but it’s not typically what I advertise,
Maddie: um, because I love the personal brand sessions and so my thought process.
You know, whatever I post, I tend to book. So do I want to book more of this? And I was like, fuck yeah, I do. Like that would be so to do more like Kardashian themed bank photo shoots. Are you kidding me?
Colie: Now I was gonna say that, but I lit, I legitimately couldn’t remember if you were the one that called it a Kardashian style image or if that was someone in your comments. But yes, it
Maddie: I love it.
Colie: you, you should go to the show notes and look at this image. It was,
Maddie: It’s sweet.
Colie: group corporate shot.
Maddie: Thank you. Yeah, and I had somebody who was a really awesome personal brand client, but who Al she works at, she is like her, her own business, but she also works for a business and she commented and tagged a coworker and was like, We need a shot like this. And I’m like, that seed, That is why I posted it.
I, I will do your Kardashian photo shoots
Colie: I mean, I don’t think that this is a good transition into your group program, but I don’t really care. So Maddie? So one of the things that you’ve done towards working towards growing your business
Colie: growing your business is you’ve been looking for these, you know, brands, that aren’t gonna suffer in the recession.
The other thing that you did was you launched this new group program. So
Maddie: I did.
Colie: me what it is, who it’s for, and kind of your thought process in launching this, because is not your first avenue into coaching. So like why this program?
Maddie: Yeah, great question. So I’ve been coaching for a couple of years. I think my, I had done some events, but my first like mastermind group program kicked off January of 2020. So very interesting time to start
Colie: be in a mastermind. I’m just saying.
Maddie: Yeah. I didn’t know what I was doing and then suddenly I was coaching all these people through a pandemic.
It was great , but I, I loved it. And yet, I found like there were parts of. That were really difficult. I mean, obviously, but because I wasn’t coaching a specific niche of industries of people, it was creatives, just in general, creatives who want to grow their personal brand. And again, I loved it, but it was also really hard to come up with like topics and curriculum.
And so it was very like q and a based. yeah. And. As I, and, and also I was running it, I was running a six month program right into the next six month program. So
Colie: no space.
Maddie: was mm-hmm. and that was a really big reason as to my financial growth over those two years. But I was also, I wouldn’t say burnt out, but I was on the cusp of being burnt out for sure.
so when I looked at this fall, I took, I, I ran a small version of that program earlier. This. And then I took the summer off, and then looking at this fall, trying to figure out, okay, what’s the program look like in the fall when I would typically run another six month program? I was like, I don’t wanna do this again.
And I’ve learned to really listen to that gut instinct of like, This doesn’t sound fun. This doesn’t feel aligned. So something has to change, um, cuz it then I’m not showing up as my best self. And, and the thing that I have been kind of pushing down for the last couple of years is teaching specifically brand photographers, like teaching photographers who want to pivot into brand photography.
And that shift really scared me because. Ironically, my, Instagram audience, which is decently sized, is not primarily photographers, let alone branch photographers.
yep, I’ve done some polls and, just kind of like looked at the stats of my audience. And it’s not actually a lot of photographers.
There’s photographers there, but, that’s not the primary audience. And so, Not only am I only serving photographers, I’m only serving this very specific niche. Photographers. Yeah, exactly. The face you just made was how I felt.
Colie: like, Wow. just, I, I really wouldn’t have assumed that
Colie: me, I’m gonna let you finish,
Colie: a follow up question
Colie: Who’s your audience for your podcast?
Maddie: So if someone just asked me that the other day, and I want to get more information on this, I, I don’t have a ton of stats around it. I do think in general it tends to be creatives, not necessarily just photographers. I’m ki I’m trying to kind of skew it a bit, um, or grow it in that direction. But I would say at this point it’s more creatives.
Maddie: Yeah. So I, I had just kind of been like pushing this down. I, spoke at a conference a couple of years ago and the talk that I gave, I remember walking off the, not the stage, but the stage
Maddie: whatever, and being like, that’s a course, like that talk that I just gave is a course. And a client of mine was there in the audience and she was like, Yes, a hundred percent.
That is a course. And so it’s, it had been in my head for the past couple of years and I was just like, No, I can’t do that. Like, that’s not gonna work. And it’s so ironic because I had the same thoughts when I was nicheing into brand photography. It was like, I, you know all the thoughts you have when you narrow your focus.
Colie: you niche,
Maddie: When you niche. Yes. And I had to continually remind myself every time I niche, my business grows. Which is true, but I, it is easy to not believe that too.
Colie: Sometimes we need to see the data.
Maddie: we need to see the data. Yep. Mm-hmm. . And so I just kind of got to the point where I was like, Oh, fuck it. Let’s just try, this sounds really fun. I think I could have a really fun time doing this.
And I know historically in my business, when I follow the. Like, that’s what’s best for me. It’s what’s best for my people. And so that’s what I did, and it was the most successful launch I’ve ever had. It’s the largest program that I’ve ever had. I had a, I had kind of like a pie in the sky goal of 20 people, which felt really big to me.
And I think I ended up at like 14 or fif 14. 14.
so I was thrilled with that because all of my programs in the past had been like 10 at the most. And this was, yeah, more than that. So, I am so thrilled. I was so thrilled with the amount of people who said like, Yes, I’m interested, but even more so the, the conversations that we’re having in the group and just how it feels, very much like zone of genius.
For me, it’s been so fun. Like I look forward to the calls and I feel confident answering the questions and the, I can relate so much more to the women. It’s just been great.
Colie: Oh, that is amazing. And it’s funny that you were like, I walked off the stage and that’s a course because when people ask me, Well, how did you get started in dodo setups? It wasn’t a, it wasn’t a talk for me, or I guess it was, it was a podcast episode
Maddie: Ah, yeah.
Colie: time that I was on this. Can’t be that hard.
Anneme had me on there to talk about Dubsado CRMs in general. and like, I got off and I remember telling her, Yeah, I’m gonna, I’m gonna make a course this,
a course. And then like in September I took Amy Porterfield’s dca, and then
Colie: I had launched, you know, a presale or whatever.
Colie: I totally get, feel, you know, taking that gut, feeling Maddie and going with it because we. The worst that can happen is that you fail,
Colie: people are scared to fail. I’m never scared. Scared to fail because you learn something every time
Colie: when you come back and you modify it or you pivot it or you do something to it, or you go with something completely different, usually another breakthrough or another growth spurt right the corner. No, that’s amazing. And 1415, your first time is great
Maddie: I was, I’m thrilled.
Colie: gonna get all the testimonials from these people. It’s gonna be amazing. And the second time that you run it, you’re gonna be known for this, working with brand photographers now. And
Colie: second launch be bigger, better, easier.
Maddie: Yeah. Yeah. I’m excited. The interesting thing that happened to me, this was interesting. It’s actually not, it’s, when I think about it, I’m like, This is, Like, duh. But when I was in the launch, I noticed that my audience was growing quite a bit of with brand photographers. Like every time I would get a follow, it was a brand photographer.
And so I was in, I was originally going to run re rebrand, which is the name of the program for different types of people. So run it for brand photographers and run it for creatives and whatever, and. Rebrand is a process, so it’s something that I could take anyone through and on a one-on-one basis, I would still, I, I will still do that, but I think the program is going to be for brand photographers for the foreseeable future because that part of my audience is growing, so the people are becoming ready for it, which is really exciting.
Colie: Yeah. Those people that are joining, those are the people that are gonna buy in your second launch, you know, uh, tortoise and the hair. I can’t remember who it is. It might be Mariah. Cause someone gives a talk about and, and the way that people buy and some people are, are tortoise. No, that doesn’t seem like that’s the right analogy, but whatever.
Some people buy immediately
Colie: have to wait and see what happens.
all those people who are joining your list that didn’t buy the first time, they’re just waiting to see. They don’t wanna be your Guinea pigs.
Colie: make sure that when they pay you money that someone else has done it and someone else thought it was amazing, and then they will all of the money.
I totally think that’s what’s gonna happen.
Maddie: Yeah. Yeah. I’m excited. So it’s been, it’s been really fun.
Colie: Yeah, and it’s also very that you say, because when I created my course, the CRM Blueprint, everybody’s like, I don’t understand why it doesn’t say Dubsado in And I’m like, Well, because when I created it, I didn’t intend for it to be a Dip Dubsadoy course I was going to create this course for Dubsado users. And I was then gonna see who else was in my audience and basically build a version for
Colie: Build a version for 17 hats. And somewhere along the way I was like, Fuck it, I’m not doing any
Colie: gonna require too much brain I’m getting older. I don’t have that anymore. Let me stick to what I know.
So basically, you know, in 2021, All in on Dodo. I had the course, I had the v i P days, while I intended to like move on or at least expand from that initial offering, haven’t done it good or. There are some bad things, but I haven’t done it. it’s made the work that I do easier. It’s made my
easier because it’s no, like I can speak specifically to the things that Dodo does.
Like you keep on talking about these proposals. is the only one that has proposals like
I don’t, I don’t have to shy away from being like, No, these fucking proposals are awesome and everybody needs. I don’t have to shy away from saying that, but if I was teaching a course that included Honey book or hats, I couldn’t really place the emphasis that it needs on that particular item because then I would be worried about some people feeling left out versus others.
So I mean, that was a good decision with me. I think it’s gonna be a great with you, Maddie.
Maddie: Yeah, I think so too. And it’s cool to think about instead of having to completely redo my marketing or shift my marketing to attract the different audience, instead I can spend that time like making the program that much better or collecting testimonials or, you know, doing stuff that like really grows something as opposed to just kind of spreading myself thin, which honestly is what I’ve been doing.
So it’s a good shift.
Colie: And I just wanna give you a shout out. I, I mentioned this before we started recording, but I have now worked with two of your people and they’re both awesome. Like I helped Natalie with her workflows in Dubsado and I hired Amanda for a brand shoot recently. I mean, both of them were amazing. And the funny thing was like when I was on the phone with Natalie or in person with Amanda, I could totally tell that both of them had learned with you.
I mean, I could tell in Natalie’s Nav Sodo account because there were similarities to yours, but like Amanda, like I was like, Oh my God, that was you on the proposal that I built for her. Like, do you know? It took me that long to realize that, that it was
Maddie: my God.
Colie: it took me that long to realize. I just kept on staring at Ben and I’m like, Well, I know I’ve seen you on Instagram, but
Maddie: Oh God.
Colie: thinking of right now.
And I’m like, Oh, you’re on Maddie’s proposal.
Maddie: amazing. Yeah, I, it has allowed me to meet the best people who, like, I, I share so many similarities with, because we’ve walked such a similar path. Like so many of the issues that come up in the, in rebrand, I’m like, I, I get it. I have literally been there. Like I get it. And so that just makes it so much more fun and.
To teach because I’m like, I’ve walked this, I’ve helped clients walk this. We can do it with you two.
Colie: Mm-hmm. All right, Maddie, last question I’m gonna ask you. And you know, I normally ask the fuck up question, but guys, I’m not asking her the fuck up question because she answered in an episode three. So
Maddie: I did.
Colie: answer to that, go listen to episode three. It was a great episode. Actually, I’m gonna ask you two questions.
what was your favorite thing that for your business this year? And not me, Like, pick something else.
Maddie: what it was gonna be. Dammit.
Colie: but like pick something else
Maddie: Ooh. My favorite thing that I bought for my business this year. That’s a good question. Honestly, I think most of the time the best investment or the, the best thing that I buy for my business each year is investing in education like that.
I had a really big breakthrough this year that led to rebrand and led to this like format of how I’m going to coach people going forward, and it was something that I had been trying to create for the past, I don’t know, five years. And it it needed to take that long. I think like, you know, you have to kind of work through things and refine and all of that.
That breakthrough. I don’t know if that would’ve happened without, I don’t think it would’ve happened without the help of my coach. I really don’t. Most of the time I’m able to say like, Oh, it would’ve happened, but it would’ve taken longer. This specifically, like I give her a lot of credit for like pulling things out of me that I wasn’t doing.
also have invested. A lot more in my mental health this year, and that has paid off in my business a ton, like a lot of therapy and a lot of coaching and and it’s just, it’s paid off in every part of my life. It’s made me a better business owner, but I think it’s also made me a better human and that makes me a better business owner.
Colie: But so Mattie, like, I don’t know if you’re hearing about the same things that I’m hearing, but like even this morning or yesterday, there was a podcast episode where someone was talking about marketing in coaching industry, and
Colie: business coach was actually talking about it from a different angle the week before. so, One of the things that I laugh about is, you know, we’re always like, No, if you invest in coaching, it’s good for your business. And people are like, Yeah, but you’re saying that cuz you want me to hire you as a coach. No, I
Colie: as a coach.
telling you that the biggest growth that you can have in your business is where you pay someone. That is in a further place than you
Colie: to get their eyes on your business and help you improve it. And it doesn’t have to be me, it doesn’t have to be Maddie. Of course, I want you to vet your coach. But in general, if you are getting a coach that you know, knows what they’re doing, has a great has a great mentoring style, are going to grow and bounds by making that investment. that actually brings us to the final question that I’m gonna ask you, which was my original final question. Whatever, Maddie. What education in person are you going to in 2023? Because I
Colie: see you at reset.
Colie: gonna see you anywhere else?
Maddie: So I’m still kind of deciding. I will for sure be at Reset and I’ll be speaking at Reset. Um, one of the things that I, and I, I’ve talked to you about this, One of the things that I wanna do more of in 2023 is apply to speak at more places. And so I think a lot of those open up in January. So we’ll kind of see, after that what, what happens.
But I would love to speak at more conferences and I would love to attend more conferences cuz I. I have made so many amazing relationships with you, with Sabrina, you know, seeing people in person and meeting people who are kind of in similar business stages to me. So, I have a saved folder on my Instagram, and any time one of my friends says I’m speaking at this conference, I save it and I’m like, Okay, we’re gonna go through all of these and figure out where we’re going cuz I wanna meet more people.
It works really well. It works well.
Colie: So I’m gonna say I am not speaking, but I am attending the Creative Educators Conference
Maddie: That I was looking at. Yeah.
Colie: if you wanna go, I’m gonna be there.
Maddie: Okay. Love it.
Colie: one that I’m going to in is photo native that’s in Palm Springs. is
Colie: Maddie, I really need you to write this one down. I
Colie: I do think that you would enjoy that conference.
Maddie: I’ve heard that one.
Colie: of, Yeah, well, it, it’s been gone for a few years, so the last one that they had was like literally two weeks before the pandemic hit.
Maddie: Oh wow.
Colie: that was always intended to be the last one. So I don’t wanna say that the pandemic like closed it down because that was gonna be the last one and now it has been taken over by Hatch and so it’s coming back, you know, the same brand, the same conference, but it is run by someone different.
Maddie: Got it. Okay.
Colie: the third one that I’m attending March, addition to reset, is the family narrative family reunion. And
Maddie: Oh yeah.
Colie: yeah, I’m attending, I’m speaking at that one. I’m mentoring. I don’t quite know what the correct label is for that one, but I am so looking forward to like going. And seeing people and giving people hugs.
And like for the ones in Palm Springs, I’m the one that’s gonna be in the bathing suit, in the unicorn, floaty with a drink,
Maddie: I think
Colie: I mean, I’m Maddie, you should definitely come photo native. I’m telling you, you should. but yeah, and actually, you know, you know, I like to hear where you’re speaking.
So after you make those applications, me know so I can
Colie: Well, guys, that’s it for this episode. Thank you for being on here, Maddie. You know, it’s always a joy to have you on, so technically this won’t be every quarter, like, I think having you on the podcast twice a year is probably a good, I think
Maddie: love that idea,
Colie: mean, you know, I, I like talking to certain people over and over again, and every time I you, Maddie, you have such amazing and interesting insights for everybody who wants to listen.
Maddie: Thank you so much.