2020. The start of a new year, and a new decade. There is no better time to lay out some goals for yourself to give yourself a roadmap to success. 2020 is going to be your year. You are finally going to book that perfect number of weddings, hit that revenue goal, or film at that venue you’ve been wanting to shoot at since you started.
In the last post, we talked all about finding your why, and staying true to that. If you missed that episode, go ahead and listen to episode 3 so that we can be on the same page. If you did the work from that episode, and have determined your why, that will help you find a more clear vision of what you want moving forward in 2020.
As wedding filmmakers, we are both artists and entrepreneurs. We get to be constantly creating, and we have new opportunities to grow and hone our craft every weekend. But we are also business owners. In order to make this career of wedding filmmaking sustainable, we have to hit a few specific goals in order to make this a worthwhile career.
Today is going to be all about goal setting. And we are going to talk about goals in 4 major areas.
Good vs Bad Goals:
But first, let’s talk about what makes a good goal. Yep, there are good goals and bad goals. A bad goal looks like this: I want to be the best videographer in my area. Like, what does that even mean? Does that mean you make the most money? Does that mean your films look the best? That’s a bad goal, because there’s no way you can measure your success, and there’s no clear way to get there.
A good goal looks like this: I want to successfully fly my new drone at every wedding this year. And I want the footage to be usable in my films. That’s a good goal, because it’s specific and measurable. You either accomplished it, or you didn’t. And there’s a clear path on how to get there: learn how to fly a drone, and practice. If you do those things, and actually commit to that goal, you are going to achieve that goal.
I’m sure you’ve heard of SMART goals before, but in case you haven’t, here’s a quick summary. Smart goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Basically, they are something that is within reach – so it’s not something like making 2 billion dollars. I’m not saying to not aim high, you should always aim high, just make it something in the realm of possibility. It should also be measurable, meaning there is a definitive way of knowing whether you hit the goal or not. You either did or you didn’t. Don’t be vague, be specific. So for every goal you set for yourself during this process, make sure it’s a S.M.A.R.T. goal.
So let’s apply that to our first goal: revenue. This is probably your most important goal, because it’s your livelihood. Hitting this goal will determine if you get to go on your annual vacation, or if you can afford to keep making car payments. It’s important.
So, I’m sure you know the number you want to hit. Most of us know how much we need to make in order to keep living the life we are accustomed to. And if you don’t know your number, then now is the time to pause this podcast and go look at your bank statement. List out all of the bills that come out, and all of your expenses. Figure out how much you need to make. And be sure to account for taxes.
Next, we need to figure out how you are going to hit that goal. If that’s just a random number floating around in your head with no clear path on how to get there, then it really doesn’t mean anything. Well, look at how much you’re charging for a wedding film. Then take your revenue goal and divide it by your average booking price. That will give you the number of weddings you need to book this year. Going after a specific number of weddings is going to be a lot easier to measure as a destination, because there’s a more clear path on how to get there.
So let’s talk about how you’re going to get there. What was your marketing strategy for last year? Did it work? Did you book the number of weddings you were aiming for? Spend some time thinking about your marketing strategy moving forward for the rest of the year. There are so many ways to do this. Just to brainstorm a few, you can attend a bridal show, you can have a paid listing on The Knot or Wedding Wire, you can focus on social media or building vendor relationships that will hopefully lead to referrals. There are tons of ways you can market yourself.
The next set of goals we are going to look at are going to help you achieve your revenue goal. At the end of the day, we should be focused on growth. We should be focused on always pushing forward in our businesses. Focus on getting better at every area. I’m not saying you need to focus on perfection, just progress.
So the next goal is going to be Quality. And we are going to break that down into a few different categories.
First, we are going to talk about the quality of your films. What can you do to make your films better? I’m sure they are great now, but how much more amazing could they be? The goal I want you to make in this area is this: what is 1 thing you want to do in 2020 to improve the quality of your films? Do you want to attend a workshop, take an online course, commit to practice flying that drone 15 minutes a day, or finally upgrade your camera set up? Maybe you need to practice posing couples, so you need to plan out a few styled shoots to practice with. Pick 1 thing and write it down. That one thing, if you focus on it and actually make it happen, is going to help you level-up the quality of your films. This is going to help you deliver tangible value to your clients.
Next in this category is the quality of your branding. Your branding represents the perceived value you deliver to your clients. How do your clients feel about you and your business. Do they feel warm and fuzzy when they think about booking you, like they know they picked the right person to document their wedding day, and they can fully trust you? Or, did they book you feeling like they got a bit of a bargain? Your goal should be the first one. You want them to feel good about booking you.
So take a look at your branding. And in this category, we are talking about everything in your business that you present to the world. Everything you put out onto the internet or in the real world, that can be seen as a representation of your business. Is your branding cohesive? Does your logo look good? How about your website? Your email footer? Your portfolio?
Does the way you deliver your films represent the way you want to be perceived? What’s one thing that you could improve in your branding that could help elevate you, and help you deliver a better perceived value? Pick one thing in the branding category and write it down, and commit yourself to accomplishing it this year.
The next type of goal we are going to talk about today is systems. I’m sure your business runs smoothly, but could it run even smoother? What’s 1 thing you can do in 2020 to make things even more efficient, and save you time.
There are so many apps and programs to help in this area. There are CRMs like Honeybook and Dubsado that will streamline your client on-boarding process, contracts, and invoices.
There are apps that help you schedule and post to Instagram. There are bookkeeping software options. There are so many things in the world that can make your life easier.
Or, maybe the system you need to improve is your workspace. Is your desk arranged in a way that helps you be productive? Are you storing raw footage in a way that makes it a pain in the butt to work with during an edit? Whatever it is, identify a system that you have in your business that you want to improve. Then identify a goal that you can accomplish that will improve it.
The final category is community. Community is a really important thing to incorporate into your business for several reasons: having a place to talk shop is important. My guess is that very few of your real-life friends know anything about being a wedding videographer. You can’t really talk to them about gear, techniques, or wedding-day strategies. So finding a community, and actively engaging in that community, is going to help you grow. Having a community will also help to inspire you, it will help to keep you going when you are feeling burnt out, and it can just bring some joy to your life.
So set a goal for building up your sense of community. Again, do you want to attend an in-person workshop so you can meet some other wedding filmmakers face-to-face? Do you want to join a Facebook group, or commit to actively engaging in one that you’re already in? Set a goal for yourself in this area. Maybe you want to commit to commenting on 3 posts per day in that Facebook group you’re in. Or maybe you want to find some filmmakers on instagram and start building relationships with them there. Whatever it is, just pick a goal for yourself that will help you build your community.
Your homework is to set some goals for yourself for this new year. We should always be striving for progress, for getting better, and for moving forward. I’m not saying you should aim for perfection this year, right out of the gate. You shouldn’t, because you might burn yourself out.
But if you find yourself accomplishing these goals quickly, then set new ones for yourself, and go after those! It’s ok to go through this process multiple times per year. Maybe you do it again in June. Or you do this quarterly, or monthly. However often you find yourself meeting your goals, keep making new ones to aim at.
If you focus on those small goals, and actually accomplish them, you are going to be a few steps ahead of where you were last year. And if you keep working through this process, year after year, you will keep moving forward in the industry as well, which means you’re making progress. And constant progress is an amazing kind of success.