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Hello. Hello. I'm so excited to be here today. I had kind of dropped some hints in a previous episode that I was going to be bringing on a personal brand specialist. And today is the day that I have my friend Matt on and she is a brand photographer. She's amazing. She knows how to get your brand to speak your language and your ideal customer's language. And I just love that about her, but Maddie, tell us a little bit about you. Hi, Rosa. I'm so excited to be here today. So, uh my name is Betty. I am a personal brand photographer and coach based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. So what that means is I specialize in not only um personal brand photography, which is photography for, I work with a lot of um like solo preneurs entrepreneurs who are really the face of their brand. But I also work with commercial brands because I think that they're is space for personal branding even in the most corporate of environments because people connect with people.
So I'm working only with businesses, whether that is a one person show or a large corporation. So that's the photography side. Um And then I also coach other photographers how to transition their business into personal brand photography. Um because it's been such a game changer for my life and my business, it allows me to work during the day, during the week. I have, I mean, I don't necessarily believe that balance exists 24 7. I think there's seasons definitely. But for the most part, I feel like I have such a great work life balance. And so much of that is because of the schedule that I can have with this kind of photography. So I've been a photographer for about 10 years and I've been coaching since 2020. Um I am a wife, I've been married for 10 years and we've got three kids who are, let's see, 75 and almost three and mentioned we lived, we live in Sioux Falls. We just built a home. Um last we moved in in August. And so it's been such a fun first year of like getting to know our new neighborhood and our new neighbors and it's just been awesome.
Oh, that's so amazing. All of those things. Like it's funny to me how much you and I have in common honestly, as you were saying that I was like, oh my gosh. Yes and no wonder we're friends. I love it. Oh my gosh. I love it. And one of the things that I really struggled with in the beginning was that personal brand and being the face of my brand. I even tried to get away from being the face of my brand for a while because I just felt it felt so heavy on me that yes, this was what people were actually here for like and that was hard. That was hard for me. And you make it seem so effortless and easy and the work you do with entrepreneurs just shines a light on them and lets the personality come out. And I think that that is something that so many entrepreneurs are missing. And so the fact that you do that for them and then coach other people to do that is phenomenal.
Thank you so much. It's really been, you know, when I first got started with photography, I loved it. I'm a very visual person as so many, you know, creatives are. And so I love photography, but I had friends who would say things like, oh, I could shoot a wedding every weekend and never get sick of it. Or like, I can't wait until I book my next newborn session because I just love working with babies or families or whatever. And I never felt that way about other types of photography. Like it was, it was great, it was fun. But like, I didn't feel that like, fulfillment from it until I found brand photography and I have a background in marketing and I've been really fascinated with business since really day one. And so it was just such a natural fit. And then the more that I have explored it and grown my own brands, the more that I have realized, I think you're exactly right. Personal branding is the piece that so many business owners are missing because it is terrifying. Like we don't need to pretend that it's not, it's incredibly scary, it's really vulnerable, but there's so much good stuff, there's so much connection and fulfillment on the other side of it.
And so I just want, um, you know, every day that I'm showing up in my own marketing or with my clients or whatever it might be. I want to make it clear that I think there's such value for you in your business. Like you, you bring so much value to the table. You are the one thing that nobody can compete with and that is a very vulnerable and scary thing, but it's so important. Yes, exactly. Like there are people, how many photographers are there in the world, you know, seems like it seems like an oversaturated market. But the thing is, is that nobody else is doing that the way you're doing it because nobody has that same creative mind that you have and you need to be able to show that to people. But the same thing goes for any product based business or coaching in any other realm. You know, you think of coaching really kind of exploded during the pandemic because it was a high topic area. People had the time to sit down to learn how to do new things or to really hone in on skills that they had been putting off learning.
And so coaching kind of exploded. So there's a ton of people who do that. You know, whether you're coaching, I used to coach teachers or now I coach small business owners and you coach photographers and how do you stand out in a market that seems like everybody's doing it now because, well, really they're not, but I found that people that were hiring me were hiring me. They weren't hiring necessarily even my knowledge or my certification or the experience that I had, they were connecting with me as a person. And how do you do that? How do you draw people in because a, they don't want to pay you top dollar and what you're worth. If they just happen to stumble upon you Instagram, you know, you have to bring them in and that's where your personal brand comes in. You have to be able to do that and the way you work with women in that is just awesome. Thank you. Thank you so much. Yeah, I mean, you're, you're spot on. I, and I think, you know, we, we make it complicated when it's our own business because we're so close to it.
It's like hard to see, you know, anything further. But when you really think about experiences that you've had when you've purchased something like why, why did you make a purchase? Yes, maybe you needed that product or needed that service. But at the end of the day, why did you choose the product or the service provider that you chose? I think we forget that people want to like who they do business with, they want to have a relationship with them. And this is just allowing for that to happen Oh my gosh. Absolutely. So you are going to be one of our speakers at the upcoming Woman To Woman conference. We're so excited, so excited for. And I, what you just said reminded me of like, ok, so you have, I don't know if it's an obsession but a really fond liking. Yeah. Or you can call it whatever we want. It's, I would say maybe obsession is accurate with Taylor Swift who had her own right is a marketing genius.
And if it's not her, she's at least been savvy enough in her business to surround herself with people who are marketing geniuses. Not only are you obsessed with her music and who she is as a person? Because why wouldn't you be? But you're also obsessed with her ability to market herself. So let's dive into that a little bit because I'm here for this. Yeah, I'm a yes. And I it's interesting. I have been so I actually go to, as we are recording this, I'm going to the concert on Friday. So in like four days and I've been thinking a lot lately about like kind of how this obsession started and it was really a slow burn. I am not an Og Swifty. Um I did, I was not a huge fan of her in high school. I was always fascinated by her because she's like a year older than me. And so that was so interesting to me that someone else at who's my age could have this level of success that was wild. Um But I, when she first started doing country music, I was not that into country music.
So I'm not, I'm not an OG and I feel bad about that every day. To be honest with you, there's a little bit of guilt there, so much guilt. But as I have gotten older, obviously, like I started noticing her music and really enjoying her music. But 1989 album, I just fell in love with it. And once I was kind of in her world, it became so clear to me how brilliant she was from like a business and specifically marketing perspective. And I think she probably has the right people in the right seats. But I also think that she is really good at it. Like, I think she's extremely strategic and she knows what she's doing when it comes to her, her fans and her, her relationships with them and how she kind of puts herself out there. And the interesting thing about Taylor Swift, I wasn't gonna go in this direction, but now I'm now I'm going to um because you, we talked about, we talked already about how it's really vulnerable to like put yourself out there and be the face of your brand. And something that people will often say to me is I want to do what you do.
But I'm a really private person. I want to do what you do, but like, I don't want to put my kids on social media, which I really don't. That, that is kind of a boundary that I have. Um But you know, whatever insert thing here, I don't want to put my face on out there or whatever. And my response to them is always, I am also a very private person and I think that it is really interesting what people assume when you tend to have AAA personality or a brand that's a bit more public. Um because certainly there are a lot of things that I put online and that I share, there are a lot of things that I don't and that I never will. And that is also how Taylor Swift runs her brand. I mean, when you, when you, everybody knows who Taylor Swift is, right? Like unless you're living under a rock, you know who this woman is. But do you know what her favorite color is? Do you know what her favorite lunch is? Do you know, you know, like there are so many details that we don't know even with her relationships, like the the relationships themselves who she's dating has maybe been public, but like the details of them.
Like what, where do they live? Where do they, we don't know that we don't know anything about that. Release a song about him. And this is true. This is true. But like that's so strategic, strategic, that's controlled. She is controlling the narrative, which I think is so interesting and really good personal branding. Yes. Oh, my gosh. Absolutely. And I just, she's one of those people that I've just always been very intrigued by very same reasons though. And that's the key to her success is you don't know those things. I don't even know if Taylor Swift and I could really be friends in real life. There's a lot of celebrities that I could say like, oh, hands down, we could be besties if we ever met. Like, it would just happen, we would just be friends with her. I don't even know like really if we would be super great friends. But the way she carries herself, the way she handles her fans and the amount of respect that she has for them, just even in this tour, all of the people that she's been bringing on stage and the decisions that she's making and performing and pouring rain, you know, all of these things that she's doing that really shows her values as a person.
And to me that's what speaks louder than anything else that she does in her career. And I think that that's just so cool. She does such a good job of sharing just enough. Like we know what her cats names are. And so we, we feel like we're friends with her because we know what her cats names are. But again, there's just so much that we don't know. And so I, I think that that's really cool and that's why I, one of the many reasons why I really like looking to Taylor for inspiration in the realm of branding because you don't have to share everything. I, I feel like she is actually a pretty private person. You even if you just look at the last couple of weeks with her, like quite public breakup and the way that she has again controlled the narrative and she's had the, you know, paparazzi walks that if Taylor doesn't want to be seen, like if she wants to go under the radar, she will and she can, she's done it before. But if she wants to be seen, the paparazzi are right there and she's in control of that. So for those of you who are interested in personal branding, but feel like you can't do it because you want to maintain a level of privacy, just know that that is entirely within your control.
It does not have to be one or the other. Um Taylor also, I think the way that I look at personal branding is like a Venn diagram of who you really are and also who your people are. So in Taylor's case, fans, in our case, maybe like our audience, our clients or customers and she does such a good job of considering both of those things, which I think you need to because if you're only thinking about yourself, then that's gonna start to alienate your audience. And if you're only thinking about your audience, it becomes really easy to create a brand that you actually don't even really like you. It's performative. You're just like putting it out there for people. And I think, I, I think Taylor does a really good job of considering what do I want, what's important to me, what are my values and also what do my people want and like, what are they here for? And we can learn a lot from that. Yes, I completely agree. That's one of the things that I actually work on with women who have the product based businesses. You know, you do the exercise where you find out who your ideal customer is and what they like, what their values are and all of these different pieces and then you have to align them with yours.
You can't, you know, for me, I'm pretty public about my faith and, you know, wanting to inspire women and creating products that will do that and set intention for them throughout their day when they use these products. And if I choose an ideal client who has never, who has never heard the name Jesus before, like, that's probably not gonna be a good match for me, you know, like, or someone who has very little um, desire to ever run a business or be a boss or do these things like that's not really my ideal client. So for me, I have to look at my values. Does my client you know, does my customer have to have every single one of the values that I hold? No, but we need to have those overlapping pieces just like you said in that Ven diagram model. These are mine, these are my ideal customers and this is where we meet in the middle. And so you're not alienating people that don't necessarily line up with everything you believe, but you are also not speaking to the masses where you're not speaking to anyone.
Right? That's exactly right. It makes your marketing and your messaging so much easier. It's like giving yourself the gift of clarity. It doesn't, I talk about this a lot with photographers because the topic of niche is really scary. Um I think for a lot of people but especially for the clients that I work with and I relate to that. It was terrifying for me, but it has also freed me up of so much like I have so much clarity now on who I'm talking to, who that person is. What does their life look like. So I know exactly who I'm talking to. And also there are still people who come in who are not, maybe that quote unquote ideal client who might still be a really great fit and it's not alienating them by having lock tight messaging, right? Like they're still gonna be able to find you and then once they, once they kind of into your sphere and say, hey, I wanna work with you. I want to book you whatever you get to decide. Ok, do I wanna, do I wanna pursue this? Do I think that I could help this person? Are they a good fit or are they not a good fit?
You get to decide it doesn't mean that no, you know, no one outside of your i ideal client is ever going to come to you. That will probably happen more because your messaging will be so good. Yeah. Exactly. Oh, my gosh. Exactly. Because I definitely struggled with that. Starting off. I was like, I, if I niche down too much then I put myself in a box. Such a fear. Yeah. Yes. Yeah. And that's definitely not what happens at all. And for you, the type of photography that you niche down into when you talk about the freedoms, it gave you more than even just like freedom within your own business. It gave you that balance that you were looking for, to be able to be at home on nights and I'm weekends you, if you were shooting weddings every weekend, you would be away from your kids and your husband every single weekend, being able to take time to recharge and do things as a family wouldn't happen during your busy seasons, which I think is one of those things that burns a person out on and totally for those people that weddings light them up.
Like that's awesome. Good for you. But I struggled with that with teaching when I was coaching teachers, they're only available on nights and weekends and all day long. And then I had to have availability at nights and on weekends to coach these other teachers. And pretty soon, uh, my schedule is completely booked and it took a while for me to be able to say no, this is my boundary. You know, right now we have no day care. It's like, you know, extremely difficult to plan and run my business without being able to say, ok, I have this four hours today. I have this four hours tomorrow that are blocked off where I have child care. So now my availability is from 11 to 12 on days that I, you know, so my husband can come home and take his lunch break during those. So here we are recording a podcast at noon because that's literally the only availability that I can guarantee for people that my husband can come home on his lunch break from the farm. Have our kids hidden in the basement so they are popping in and making their own appearance in the podcast episodes.
Yes, and being aware of that Ven diagram, what do I want and what do my people want or need allows you to be able to make decisions like that. Like I think it does two things, right? It helps you be realistic because you know, if you want to only work with teachers and this is what a teacher schedule looks like. Well, that kind of helps you realize, like, how is this possible? And also then taking it a step further and getting really curious about it, let's say you were, let's say you were like dead set on wanting to just work with teachers like that. That was it, get it instead of allowing the, you know, those kind of doubts to seep in and be like, well, there, there's just no way that this is going to work, getting really curious and saying, well, how could this work? Like, what could I do over lunch breaks or what would it look like if I put in that boundary and then just let them figure it out and maybe it would be terrible, right? Like maybe it would crash and burn and not work. We don't know, but, but maybe it would work, right? Or maybe you could still have a few teacher clients that you really, really love to work with and then also have, you know, other clients over here.
Like I think we, we miss out on a lot when we don't get curious about what it could look like. I know, I see that really often with photographers who want to do a specific thing. Uh only shoot families, only shoe brands, whatever that might be. But the, it, it's doubt that immediately pops in and is like, Well, that, that, that's not gonna work. I can't make a full time income just doing one type of photography. I can't do family photography if I'm not gonna shoot nights and weekends and maybe that is true, but that's not a very helpful thought. So instead thinking, how could I make this work? What could this look like? How can I get creative here? Like we are, we are creative beings at our core, We can figure this out. We can kind of turn it up, turn it on its head and think about it differently. Yes. Flex those problem solving muscles. Yes. Exactly. I taught kindergarten for almost a decade and that was one of the biggest things that you have to teach those younger kids was how to solve your own problem.
And the amount of things that I've brought from teaching kindergarten into my own. Oh, my gosh. I bet it's insane. Like, I could probably do an entire podcast series on things that I taught my kindergartners that are now useful to me. Totally. Yes. It, it, it is though. It's, it's basic skills that actually kids are probably oftentimes better than adults because they haven't had the, the life experience to, like, kind of beat them down. You know, like they, they just, yes, exactly. Like, they just are curious and they just want to figure things out and they're maybe a little bit stubborn and then, like, those are actually really good qualities to have as a business owner. Yes, I keep telling my husband we have three girls and they are 46 and eight and our youngest one, like, our first two are stubborn. Our tiny is, it's like a whole new level and I'm like, if we can just harness it for good and not evil, we're gonna be doing all right. If we, this, like, she is gonna do things in this world and we've come up with, um, my brother-in-law is in politics and he thinks she might be a politician and I'm like, or she might run a multimillion dollar company someday.
We don't really know. But so yes, it's one of those things where you have to just be aware of your surroundings and take in all of the different pieces, but don't allow it to keep you stuck and pass those mental blocks that are like, oh, I can't do this or I won't be able to do this. I can't be the face of my brand or I can't possibly share all the things online because I don't want people to know Xy and Z and I really struggled with that right away because I came out in that teacher world and teachers are so trusting and they were speaking to other teachers. And so it seemed ok to share every detail. I mean, when I first started my teacher journey, people were sharing exactly how they decorated for Christmas on their Instagram stories. And going live and like showing their Amazon cart and what they were buying and just, it was a very weird time to enter the entrepreneurial journey, I think because it was so new and I felt like if I didn't want to do those things that there was no way that people could fall in love with me and with my brand and become loyal customers.
And so it's been really refreshing to learn that it's ok. I don't have to show my kids' faces on my Instagram to prove that I know how to balance running a business and having kids at home. I don't have to share every activity that we're doing, you know, to boost my own ego that look what I'm doing. Like it's, it's, I've gotten away from the validation seeking piece of sharing my brand. And now I'm now that I've been able to draw that line. I feel like that's been really helpful in knowing what to share, what not to share and how to build a brand without feeling like I need to bear my entire world to everyone. I love that. And I think it's important to realize that you got to that point by trying it, right? Like by experimenting and I, I think that that's the thing that holds so many people back because again, we're not pretending it's not scary. It is scary, but instead of kind of working through that fear and doing it anyway or taking baby steps or whatever, that looks like they just kind of stay stuck and think.
Well, I, I don't know what to do. I don't know how to do this. Perfect. I don't know how it's gonna look like for me. So I'm just not gonna do it but anybody who's ever figured this out, you know, like you and I, who are sitting here right now, like we didn't start out doing it very well. I, I can show you my first Instagram stories or emails or posts or whatever, absolute horrendous trash. But like that was how it started. It cannot get better if you don't start, you can't figure out what you feel good about and what you don't feel good about if you don't experiment. Exactly. So this is my husband's big thing is it, I did a lot of pivoting, you know, I'm a huge friends. Um I love friends and, you know, we that meme over us with the couch pivot, pivot. Yeah, that's been the story of my entrepreneurial life and my husband's like, so have we found our thing yet? Like are we here yet? Like, but the problem is is that I could have just stayed where I was when I first started and probably grown a successful business.
But I don't know that I would have ever been as authentic as I am now. And so the people that came on in the beginning of my journey and have watched this entire journey take place. Can see that I went from wanting to sell teaching resources online and making millions of dollars coaching small product based businesses and owning my, owning my own, which was never a part of the dream that was never part of the plan, but it just, it just came to be. And if I had just said no, I can't possibly add anything else to my plate and I didn't start my product based business, you know, last fall, who knows where I would be right now. I may have just given up on entrepreneurship altogether at that point. You know, and so being open to that pivoting and transitioning and not allowing to stay stuck, I mean, there's plenty of times where I was stuck for a while, but the key was was that I never stopped. It was slow progress, but it was still progress.
Yeah, I, and I, I think you build so much trust with your yourself when you do that. Like we were this, this last weekend were kind of casually myself and my siblings in law are talking about maybe possibly, who knows, buying a business. And we were, my sister in law was like, well, what hap, what happens if it fails? And I just kind of like cocked my head. I was like, that was not even a thought in my mind because I know it won't like, like, and I also think I, I look at failure so differently. Now, if it, if we start doing it and it doesn't work and it was very clearly a bad decision, then we will end it or get out or whatever. And that would not be a failure because that would be the right thing to do. You know what I mean? Like I just look at failure so differently and I thought it was such an, this, um, my sister in law, it, it hasn't, um doesn't have experience with entrepreneurship at this point. And I thought that that was just a really interesting conversation from someone who's been doing it for, you know, 10 years versus someone who has a really incredible job.
That's just not entrepreneurial. And uh it was, it was a cool moment that I realized like, oh, I've built such trust with myself that, like, I'm not concerned about that. It won't fail. Like, failure is not really a thing that I think about, you know? Right. Yeah, I've completely even removed failure from my vocabulary. It's what did I learn from that or exactly where we go from here to adjust and adapt and keep moving forward. And so it took my husband a little bit because he farms, it's a family business, he's self-employed. So he understands business ownership and what it takes and all of those pieces. But his was so built before him because it's been around for over 100 years. That was not in those beginning stages. He did not know what it was gonna take to start something brand new from scratch and have to develop it and how that has changed. And I'm like, if you were to go back to how the farm started 100 and 15 years ago or whatever it was and the way it looks now they would laugh at.
So different. Yeah. Totally. Totally. But that's what it takes, you know, when the thirties came through and farming tanked and all of this, you know, the eighties and the droughts and the different things that they've gone through. Did they ever just stop and say, well, it was a good run, I guess we're done now. We're done being farmers now. Yeah. Yeah, it's so true. And that's not to say that there aren't times that are, that are like that. It's never not scary. Like, they, it scary all the time. It's scary all the time. Last summer I had a major drought in my business. Like, it was last summer was really slow and scary. And this, I, I run a group coaching program and this last, um, it ended up really great but, like, for a while it looked like I was gonna have absolutely nobody. Like, so there are still times where I'm like, what am I doing with my life? Like, yes, for sure. But it's just interesting how, like, how you perceive success and failure changes after you're in your own business. Yes. No, I, I love that.
Oh my gosh. Well, this has been like an amazing conversation better than I could have ever dream. It was so fun to connect with you. I cannot wait for the conference. I cannot wait to talk more about Taylor Swift and personal branding. It's gonna be so good. I am. Yes, I am like giddy every time I think about it. I'm like, oh, it's not really almost here but it's closer to being almost here. So yeah, so excited. But I have one last question for you. What are you wearing to the Taylor Swift concert? Because I wanna live vicariously through you. Honestly, I'm really stressed about it. I've been, I have ordered so many outfits and like none of them have worked. So I did buy a pair of sequin shorts that are super cute and then I have some like Taylor Swift. I have like a cruel summer graphic tea and like some cutoffs. And so I'm thinking I'm gonna go that route because it'll be very comfortable. It's still got sequence. We because I needed sequence um gonna do like, you know, crazy makeup and body glitter and like cute hair and all of those things.
So I, I think I'm going more on the casual route, not for lack of trying but, but we still have sequence. So it's ok. Oh my gosh. I love it. Well, we're gonna need a picture of that, you know, and I want you to be in the moment at the concert. But if a video happens to hit my timeline, I won't be mad. I have given my husband strict instructions because I need to be like completely present. But he's like, you know, a Taylor Swift fan by marriage. So I'm like you can film everything, film me, film Taylor, film, the reactions, get it all that I OK. So I am not one for like putting my whole life out there. But there are so many minutes in my day or in my life where there's just moments with my kids or where I'm being present that after the fact I'm like, man, I just wish I had my own camera crew. It was just here. It just for my own personal like satisfaction of getting to like, relive that moment because it was so good. So the fact that he's gonna be along to kind of do that for you top notch.
I love. Yes, he will definitely need instructions because there have been many times where, like, I'm being really cute with my kids and I'm like, hello? Are you like, take your camera out? Yeah. My husband also needs that reminder. Yeah, a lot. Yeah. You just don't get anything at all. But that's right. That's right. But I have faith. So it'll be good. I, I, yes, I also have faith in him. I think he's gonna understand the assignment and fingers crossed he knocks it out of the park. Oh, my gosh. Well, is there anything else that you just think that you need to share with us before we end our conversation? That you will be sad if you don't. The biggest thing is please feel free to connect. I would love to connect with you if you're coming to the conference or even if you're not. But definitely if you're coming, like send me ad m on Instagram, I hang out there probably probably way more than I should. Um And I would love to connect with you beforehand so we can get right to it on the day of the conference. I can't wait. Oh, that's awesome. And I will link all of the things in the show notes. So her Instagram, her website, all the things, all things are gonna be in the in the show notes and yeah, we hope to see you.
And in September the first weekend in September, Josh is gonna be here before we know it. It really is so great. It's such a relaxed atmosphere and just a really inspiring time. People from last year's conference are still reaching out to me and saying, you know what it was so inspiring and I just walked away with such a warm heart afterwards and that's the exact vibe that we're going for and we hope to see you there. So thank you so much for being here and I cannot wait to chat again soon. Thank you for joining us for another episode of the Marissa Raider Show. Our goal here is to support and encourage female entrepreneurship along with managing the everyday chaos life throws our way. We strive to help women who want to take their lives and business aspirations to the next level and know that takes focus, dedication and hard work to get there. For more great content for Marissa. Be sure to check out her website www dot Marissa Raider dot com or follow her on Instagram at Marissa Raider coaching.
See you next time on the Marissa Raider Show.