2018 Goals – Personal!

January 3, 2018

Iโ€™m Manali
Coach, editor & brand photographer based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. When I'm not behind a camera or teaching about systems, you'll find me at a vineyard or cuddled with my cat Keegan on our cozy couch!
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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Back here after a bit of hiatus! I loved spending time with family and friends during the holidays and enjoying some quality down time ๐Ÿ™‚ Makes it feel super good to be back and working again, crossing all the to-do’s off my checklist. As I’m sure you know if you’re reading this, I am a total organizational nut. I live off of my to-do lists and out of my planner, and am all for accomplishing those big goals by breaking them down into smaller tasks and getting through them.

Last month I did just that, I sat down in a coffee shop for a couple of hours and reflected on everything that I had accomplished in 2017 in terms of photography and made a list of everything that I wanted to improve upon or get done for this upcoming year. My long term goal is of course to go full time with wedding photography, but before I can get there, there is a LOT to get done! This year, I’m looking to keep building off of the momentum from last year to keep moving towards that end goal. It’s scary thinking of putting these out there because what if I fail? It’s possible that not all of these will be accomplished. But as I’m sure you’ve heard, goals are only good if you write them down and get them on paper so to speak. If you look wayyyy back through my blog posts you’ll see that I actually had written down my 2017 goals. And looking at those now I’m laughing because they seemed very basic and kinda easily accomplished! I want to change that for this year, I want to dream bigger & better. And despite my fear of failure, I’m publishing these goals here on the blog today so hopefully I can look back next year, laugh to myself, and keep pushing for even more success ๐Ÿ™‚ But until then, here goes nothing (this is kinda long and detailed so bear with me):

  1. Shoot 3-5 solo weddings
    • Increase consultation proficiency
    • Create sample album & update sample gallery
  2. ย 3x increase in revenue, showcase value
    • Set quarterly booking goals
    • Photograph 10 seniors at UVA in 1 weekend
    • Upgrade experience pages on website
    • Build relationships with 3 planners
    • Standardize pricing, upgrade pricing/informational guides to include answers to frequently asked questions
    • Attract ideal clients/solidify brand
    • Narrow down to couples & seniors, offer limited time sessions for family portraits/events
    • Create & distribute bridal guide!
  3. Upgrade quality of images
    • Get off camera flash equipment (OCF)
    • Spend time on OCF education
    • Practice OCF to become proficient
    • Implement OCF at each wedding
    • Upgrade detail shots quality
    • Invest in 50mm f/1.4 and 100mm f/2.8 lens
    • Nail down posing system for seniors & couples
    • Easy self-access to favorites/portfolio shots
    • Organize OneNote photography book, implement a system to be reminded of all the stuff I’ve learned from webinars/education
  4. Customer Relationship Management
    • Invest in & set up HoneyBook
    • Consistent payment handling
    • Questionnaires for seniors, proposals & couples
    • Set up reusable email templates within HoneyBook & Gmail canned responses
    • Consistent branding throughout entire client process
    • Track inquiries on a monthly basisย 
    • Implement follow up system to better convert inquiries
    • Update contracts & have a system to store these
  5. Legitimize business
    • Business license
    • Track expenses & pay taxes
    • Separate bank account to handle finances
    • Track mileage for each shoot
    • Triple backup system
    • Consistent gallery system
    • Consistently post to social media
    • Create an investment plan, track it in Excel, follow through with it!


Obviously, this is A LOT! But, since each of these large five areas has smaller tasks underneath them, I’ve already crossed some of them off within 3 days! Now that’s progress, and I don’t know about you, but for me once I’m able to cross a couple things off a list, it’s a lot easier to keep going and getting more things done!

For anyone else that’s going towards a big goal, I suggest you put it all out there! No, you might not get everything done but it will give you a good big picture idea of where you’re going towards with small, actionable steps you can take to get there. Here’s my exact process for how I came up with all of these for anyone else who’s trying to accomplish something HUGE this year, but is overwhelmed as to how to figure out just about everything they need to get done!

  1. Make a list of everything you accomplished the previous year
  2. Make a list of all the things you did not accomplish/could have done better the previous year
  3. Make a list of what you are looking to get done the next year
  4. Look at your three lists and make a master list of what you want to do next year
  5. Look at this big master list to figure out if you can come up with 3-5 categories
  6. Categorize this master list under your 3-5 topics
  7. Assign tasks to each month of the next year
  8. Give yourself a month or two that have less tasks than most others in between, it’s always good to have a buffer to avoid stress!
  9. Schedule check-ins on a quarterly basis of your goals
  10. Find someone who will hold you accountable to your goals on a monthly basis! This I think is the most important part of all of this!!! I can’t tell you how many blog posts would not be up on here if my brother did not ask me when the next one was coming out, multiple times a week!!

That’s all I have! If you guys have any additional tips, feel free to shout them out in the comments! If you made it to the end of this, you deserve a cookie ๐Ÿ™‚

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