The Game Plan

A step-by-step, strategic, personalised branding, marketing & planning system

Are you a photographer who feels overwhelmed trying to juggle growing your brand, marketing and organisation, spending your days spinning plates and randomly completing tasks without a clear strategy or plan?
The Game Plan is a step-by-step, reusable, annual planning and organisation system for you to follow. Simple exercises and templates lead you through the entire process of developing your brand vision and marketing strategy, completely aligned with your own unique circumstances, brand, priorities, values, strengths and purpose. The end result is everything drawn together into one single, focused, easy-to-follow personalised growth plan for the year ahead.

I’m Anna, a family photographer and mentor living in sunny Manchester, proud mum to hilarious chatterboxes 14 year old Joe and 4 year old Huey. My images are inspired by my love of people, their character and their stories, and I specialise in honest, creative documentary family photography that celebrates real life, spirit, emotion and individuality.

As a past secondary school teacher, I’m hugely passionate about education and supporting others, and for several years now I’ve regularly run Roost family photography workshops, online courses and mentoring sessions for other photographers, helping them to develop and grow their own family and wedding photography businesses.

ANNA HARDY

THE GAME PLAN ENABLES YOU TO…

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Give your brain a rest by following a clear strategy and plan instead of tiring daily decision-making

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Learn how to stand out with your own unique, soulful brand

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Consistently magnetise your ideal clients

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Design an effective marketing plan to achieve your goals for the year ahead

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Create clear, accessible quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily plans for you to follow

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Enjoy calm, focused and productive working days

WHERE DID THE GAME PLAN COME FROM?

It feels very strange to be finally putting this out into the world, because the truth is, initially I just made it for myself 🙂
I was a reactive passenger in my own business. 

Despite being a photographer for several years, I’d always felt like a passenger in my business – that it was driving me, rather than the other way around. I had no strategy for gaining clients, no routine or system and my clumsy ‘marketing’ consisted of posting the odd image on Facebook, blogging shoots when I remembered, passively waiting for enquiries to come in with my fingers crossed, relieved if they did and panicked if they didn’t. I relentlessly went round in circles tweaking my editing/website/brochure and spent most days chaotically and reactively fire-fighting my workload, haphazardly completing tasks without any purpose or focus. I was constantly busy but felt like I was spinning my wheels and going nowhere.

Time for a change

In 2015, just after the birth of my second son, with less disposable time than ever, I decided things had to change – crossing my fingers and hoping for clients was clearly not a business strategy and I was sick of feeling overwhelmed. I invested a huge amount of time and money on self-development… a mentor, a business coach, branding, marketing and productivity courses & diplomas, articles, books, videos, blogs and podcasts… It was all completely invaluable but ironically the more I learned, the more things were randomly piled onto my ‘to do’ list and the more overwhelmed I felt.

Tired of trying to piece together a strategy from so many different sources and random articles and advice on the internet, I realised what I needed was a one-stop-shop, a system that drew together everything I’d learned into a single, step-by-step, comprehensive plan that I could follow each year. I couldn’t find anything similar anywhere for me to buy, so I decided to make it myself, and The Game Plan was born 🙂 It was a game changer. My salary increased, my productivity increased, I had the confidence to stop shooting weddings to focus on family photography, enjoyed a consistent stream of ideal clients and finally felt in control of my business.

Now I’d love to help you transform your business

Through running workshops and 1-1 mentoring, I started to hear SO many others voice the exact same struggles that I’d experienced myself. I see so many photographers who are such lovely people with crazy talent, yet who lack confidence and get tangled up with organisation. They’ve had the grit and courage to set up their own creative business but then feel so overwhelmed by the range of tasks facing them that they freeze and start to doubt themselves. Once I realised others needed the ‘Game Plan’ as much as me, it became a complete no-brainer to share it. It’s what I wish I’d had when I first started out and would have saved me a LOT of blood, sweat and tears 🙂 It’s taken over a year to formalise it all and transcribe my private scribblings into clear slides, videos, worksheets, templates and resources that others can understand, use and learn from… But finally I’m so proud to say that The Photographer’s Game Plan is here! If I can help even one other frazzled photographer to breathe easier and feel more confident, fulfilled and in control of their business then it’s been worth every second 🙂

The roots of problems & successes

During the past few years, learning how to more efficiently grow my own business and supporting other photographers to do the same, it’s become clear to me that to move forward you need a clear strategy that rides on mastering three crucial areas:

BRANDING

Clarity on your business’ unique personality and vision

MARKETING

Magnetising your ideal client through valuable and genuine connection

PRODUCTIVITY

Clear focus, planning, organisation and efficiency

The problem with this?
They also happen to be the three areas that come up time and time again when photographers say what they most struggle with:

Branding

“There are so many of us and I don’t know how to stand out”

“I struggle to explain what’s unique about me and my business”

“I’m struggling to attract the right clients / I’m attracting the wrong type of clients and don’t know why”

“I always end up feeling that I just have to compete on price”

“I spend a lot of time obsessing about what other photographers are doing and feel dragged in a million different directions”

Marketing

“I lack confidence putting myself out there”

“I hate marketing”

“I’m just not a businessperson and struggle with that side of things”

“I don’t want to sell out or be too ‘salesy’ but I really want to start earning a decent wage from this”

“I’ve no idea how to juggle all the different types of marketing and social media”

Productivity

“I just can’t get myself organised, I feel like I’m chasing my tail all the time”

“I’ve a massive ‘to do’ list but have no idea where to start or what order to do things in”

“I’m knackered and overwhelmed”

“I want to drive my business forward but still want to have time for my family and friends”

“I feel like I have no time for fun or creativity as I’m spending all my time buried in all the other aspects of running a business”

it’s geeky venn diagram time

Yes, I clearly need to get out more, but I bloody love a good Venn Diagram, and creating this was the ultimate in maximum dorky satisfaction 🙂 It’s the perfect way to illustrate the ‘holy trinity’ of branding, marketing and productivity so please excuse my embarrassingly geeky joy in sharing this with you 🙂

What I’ve realised over the years is that most photographers’ problems, including my own, stem from neglecting or struggling with one or more of these three key areas (see diagram above). Many photographers are strong in at least one of them, which gives them the momentum to get their business off the ground. Some photographers are strong in two, which carries them further and enables them to grow their business, but usually while experiencing struggles that aren’t sustainable or desirable. It’s when they’re strong in all three that the lightning bolt strikes and the magic happens.

Another problem with not working on all three is that neglecting one area can actually derail the others. Weak branding damages marketing, as it lacks impact on others or attracts the wrong clients, and reduces productivity as there’s no deeper purpose, passion or vision to drive goals and give direction. Weak productivity cause you to burn-out which can damage your own faith in your brand and make marketing seem too overwhelming to attempt. Poor marketing weakens your brand by neglecting connection with your ‘tribe’ and damages your productivity by running you ragged with a ‘hit and hope’ approach to gaining business.

Enter… The Game Plan (and a mega-dorky car analogy)

The Game Plan was specifically designed to assess and fix all three of these areas, and to be reused each year.

Life changes, your family changes, the photography industry changes, society changes, technology changes, you change, and your business has to change and grow alongside all of this.

So it’s not enough to look at these areas above once, and then forget about them – they need regular reappraisal and maintenance to keep them all running properly. Personal development and changing values or priorities might demand a rebrand… A new or discontinued social media platform might mean rethinking your marketing… A new baby or unexpected illness can throw productivity right out the window. Also, unless you’re completely insane, NO-ONE creates a detailed plan for further than one year ahead – so you’ll always have new goals and want to create a new plan each year, and this system is designed to help you do exactly that.

If there’s one thing my embarrassing old brain likes more than a good Venn Diagram it’s a good analogy, so ‘buckle up’ (see what I did there) for yes, you guessed it, a CAR ANALOGY 🚗 (please don’t hate me).

Your business is like a car – it needs to be reviewed each year. It runs best with an annual MOT (to check there’s nothing glaringly wrong that needs fixing) and service (to ensure all key parts are in optimum working condition). Yes, it can run without them, but not reliably and it’s more likely to break down, and you’d have far less confidence to take it on long or adventurous trips. Your business is no different – if you regularly ensure there’s nothing negative going on and that all its essential components are working as well as they can, you’ll have the tools and confidence to plan bigger journeys and drive it further into new territory. All you then need is a roadmap (to show you the route to the exciting destinations you want to go).

SO WHAT EXACTLY DOES THE GAME PLAN COVER?

The Game Plan covers the following 10 areas – and yes, I couldn’t help myself, I’m continuing the car analogy 🤓 because the easiest way to think of the Game Plan is like your business’ annual MOT, service and roadmap 🙂 Every area listed below is broken down into step-by-step, easily digestible, bite-size units… each containing simple exercises, templates and workbooks to guide you through it.

The 'MOT' Bit

1) An assessment of your current brand’s strengths and weaknesses, so that moving forward you understand exactly what needs to be kept, developed or changed (branding)

The 'Service' Bit

2) Discovery of your ‘WHY’, so that you develop a unique, fulfilling, memorable brand, intrinsically connected with the things you value most in life – differentiating yourself in a crowded marketplace with an individual and authentic offering and vision, rather than competing on price (branding)

3) A clear plan and simple techniques to magnetise your ideal clients (your ‘tribe’) – passionate, loyal, ideal clients who ‘get’ and value what you do (branding/marketing)

4) Design compelling products and services built around exactly what your ideal clients want and love, with simple and effective pricing strategies (branding/marketing)

5) A system to consistently generate powerful and engaging online content that your ‘tribe’ will love and that connects you to them (branding/marketing)

6) Create captivating and efficient online ‘shop fronts’, with an effective blogging and social media plan for the year ahead that’s easy to follow and maintain (branding/marketing)

The 'Plan an Exciting Roadmap' Bit

7) Set aspirational annual goals for the year ahead, with clarity on how they can translate into focused quarterly goals (productivity)

8) Formulate a focused 12 week strategy for the next quarter, intrinsically linked to your annual goals, with a clear written plan for how to achieve them (productivity)

9) Craft solid, focused and achievable annual and quarterly marketing strategies, with trusted, effective, gentle and accessible marketing techniques – marketing doesn’t have to be scary! (marketing/productivity)

10) Enjoy calm, focused and productive working weeks and days, knowing you’re always concentrating you energy on what’s most important (productivity)

What kind of results do people get?

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Laura Shaw

“I was very reactive to my business and unable to guide it in the right direction. There’s a lot of advice out there for marketing and branding but many felt quite disingenuous and rarely could you see proof of a thriving business. Anna is the polar opposite, she has a very successful business and is incredibly down to earth and relatable. The layout of The Game Plan is very easy to use, the videos are very helpful for us visual learners and the tasks are short, sharp and thought-provoking. I’ve been able to implement simple strategies to improve my client interactions that have seen my enquiries escalate. I’m already busy with new shoots. Finally I’m starting to attract my ideal client and shooting the type of work I truly enjoy. Do not hesitate to sign up. This is exactly what I needed for my business and I’m so thrilled I did it. I’ve already made the course fee back through new work and I’m only getting started…”

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Sarah Morris

“The minute you asked me to think of my brand as a human being I was hooked, I was expecting it to be all about logos and hashtags. It was, and is, a very illuminating experience and made me feel very differently about myself and my business. You make it so easily digestible, fun and interesting.”
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Hannah Brooke

“Since enrolling on The Game Plan, my website portfolio has massively improved, I’ve written blogs and I’m less inclined to take bookings that don’t feel right just for the money any more! I now have brochures for weddings and families and have secured my first bookings at my new prices. I’m doing ‘less’ bookings but I feel like the people who book me now are doing it because of me and my unique style, rather than it just being at a knock down introductory offer price!”

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Jordanna Marston

“I signed up to The Game Plan to sort out my marketing strategy for this year and going forward. It’s been so thought provoking and exploratory. I’ve now created so many templates for good working practices to streamline what I do. It has also helped me plan content and marketing strategies for the year ahead on well designed, easy to work through activities and pin-up-able worksheets. Anna is such a good educator – very generous with her time and support, approachable and fun. The beauty of The Game Plan is that it can be worked through yearly if you wanted to… it doesn’t expire and the activities won’t date… So, in my mind, it’s money very well spent. There is loads of content and I think anyone at any stage of their business would get a lot out of it.”

JOIN THE online GAME PLAN course

A step-by-step, strategic, personalised branding, marketing & planning system for your photography business

CURRENT INTAKE STARTED MONDAY 6TH MAY 2019

£695
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Personalised branding, marketing + planning system

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Lifetime access to Game Planners Facebook group

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5 x fortnightly live group Zoom coaching calls - an opportunity to ask questions and chat online

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Tasks and templates for you to complete at the end of each unit

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Start course whenever you want and work through it completely at your own pace

FAQ

HOW OFTEN DOES THE COURSE RUN?
The Game Plan will become available 3 times a year in January, May and September.
WHAT FORMAT IS THE COURSE CONTENT DELIVERED IN?
Each module is delivered in a series of units. Each unit contains a video with voice-over slides. At the end of each unit there’s a task for you to complete with a downloadable worksheet/resource to help you, so that by the end of the course you’ll be fully up and running and ready to crack on! There are also five fortnightly group Zoom coaching calls included in the price, which are basically like group Skypes where anyone can ask me questions about the course and their progress and I’ll answer them. So you’ll have plenty of opportunity to get continued personalised support as you progress through the course and regularly chat and ask any questions to real live talking people, myself included! 🙂
WHAT IF I WANT ONE-TO-ONE SUPPORT WORKING THROUGH THE GAME PLAN?

No problem! I also offer Laser-focused Skype mentoring sessions that you can book in alongside working through the course. I offer these at a discounted rate for Game Planners – they are £300 instead of £350 if they’re booked in within 3 months of you purchasing The Game Plan – I’ll just transfer the £50 back to you after you’ve purchased it.

WHAT IF I'M CURRENTLY BUSY AND MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO START / DEVOTE ENOUGH TIME TO THE COURSE AT THE MOMENT?
This is no problem at all – you can begin working on the course whenever you want – you don’t have to begin on the day or week or even the month the course opens, many people don’t! Once you’ve purchased it, you can work through it completely at your own pace – guzzle it all in a day, mooch through it slowly over several months/years or anywhere in between – it’s yours to start and work through whenever suits you. Do bear in mind that if you miss this intake then the course won’t become available again for another 4 months, so perhaps weigh up whether you’re likely to be busier then or now 🙂
As there are 5 free fortnightly Zoom group calls included in the course (starting when the course opens), you might prefer to be able to start the course within 10 weeks of signing up so that you can take advantage of some of these, but some people prefer not to join the Zoom calls anyway and just like to work through the content on their own without asking questions in a live chat. You’ll also have permanent access to the Game Planners Facebook group, so you’ll always be able to ask any questions about anything relating to the Game Plan at any point in the future – this isn’t just restricted to the Zoom calls. Whenever you choose to start and whatever pace you work at, all the content is yours to access forever (including recorded replays of the group Zoom calls), so you’re able to revisit any of it at later dates if you want to 🙂
WHAT LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE SHOULD I HAVE?
This course is for photographers of all levels of experience.
WHAT IF I'M NOT ABLE TO ATTEND THE LIVE GROUP ZOOM CALL(S)?
Don’t worry at all – although the Zoom calls are live, you don’t have to attend them if you’re not able to or don’t want to. You’ll have the opportunity to submit your own questions for me to answer beforehand, and whether you’ve submitted questions and/or attended live or not, the recorded replay of the call (including my responses to all questions) will be available for everyone to watch afterwards 🙂
HOW LONG DO I HAVE ACCESS TO THE ONLINE COURSE?
Always! The system is designed to be re-used each year so it’s yours to re-use and re-visit forever. There are 3 intakes a year, but once you’ve purchased the course during one of these intakes, it’s always available to you, 24/7, 365 days a year 🙂 The course may increase in price to new intakes but you’ll never have to pay any more and will have permanent access to all the resources.
HOW DOES THE GAME PLAN DIFFER TO THE ROOST?

Although they might seem like they have some overlap (as both mention branding and marketing) these two courses are completely different. The Roost contains generic advice specifically relating to growing a family photography business whereas The Game Plan is a system of personalised templates and exercises that you work through to create a bespoke strategy for your own photography business, and is applicable to any kind of photography – wedding, family or otherwise. For example, The Roost discusses the importance of branding and gives general advice about finding your own style and approach, whereas The Game Plan leads you through the detailed process of actually creating your own unique brand so that you have a full brand profile at the end of it. Similarly, The Roost advises you about the types of marketing that work well for family photography, whereas The Game Plan leads you through the process of actually creating your own annual and quarterly marketing strategies.

Ready to have a simple system to follow where you can stand out with your own unique brand, consistently magnetise your ideal clients and enjoy calm, focused & productive working days?
30 DAY SATISFACTION GUARANTEE

I want you to love your course and get amazing results. If you don’t feel that my coaching can help you develop the skills you need, then let me know and I’ll refund your purchase. No questions asked. I’m sure you’ll be delighted though!

ANNA

FOLLOW ME

Manchester family photographer, for down-to-earth, adventurous, big-hearted families all across the North West, London and UK

Creative, documentary family photography in Manchester, Liverpool, Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire, London

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