The Game Plan
A step-by-step, strategic, personalised branding, marketing & planning system
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.
THE GAME PLAN ENABLES YOU TO…
Give your brain a rest by following a clear strategy and plan instead of tiring daily decision-making
Learn how to stand out with your own unique, soulful brand
Consistently magnetise your ideal clients
Design an effective marketing plan to achieve your goals for the year ahead
Create clear, accessible quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily plans for you to follow
Enjoy calm, focused and productive working days
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.
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
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:
Clarity on your business’ unique personality and vision
Magnetising your ideal client through valuable and genuine connection
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:
“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”
“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”
“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
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)
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 '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?
“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…”
“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!”
JOIN THE online GAME PLAN course
CURRENT INTAKE STARTED MONDAY 6TH MAY 2019
Personalised branding, marketing + planning system
Lifetime access to Game Planners Facebook group
5 x fortnightly live group Zoom coaching calls - an opportunity to ask questions and chat online
Tasks and templates for you to complete at the end of each unit
Start course whenever you want and work through it completely at your own pace
HOW OFTEN DOES THE COURSE RUN?
WHAT FORMAT IS THE COURSE CONTENT DELIVERED IN?
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?
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?
WHAT IF I'M NOT ABLE TO ATTEND THE LIVE GROUP ZOOM CALL(S)?
HOW LONG DO I HAVE ACCESS TO THE ONLINE COURSE?
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.
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!
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
DOWNLOAD MY E-BROCHURE