March 26, 2020
Today’s episode is a TREAT. Remember episode #17 with Brittani Hon? Well, today we get to welcome the other half of The Hons, Jon!
Jon Hon is the master marketer. Proficient in ecommerce and sales, and a guru of Facebook ads and sales funnels, Jon is known for his mind-blowing marketing methods. Co-founder of Hustle and Flow workshops and one-half of The Hons wedding photography, Jon splits his time between photography, educating wedding-industry entrepreneurs, and being a dad to his beautiful daughter, Pepper. You won’t find him on social media much but in real life he’s a fan of all 80’s music, foot massages and late night walks to the Deli for snacks. He’s nicknamed “Papi” because of his bad dad jokes and that he’s an old soul at heart.
If you’re a wedding photographer and you struggle with burnout and reaching a limit on how far you can scale your business or if you struggle with directly trading your time for money instead of working less and earning more, Jon is about to blow some MINDS today. He talks about passive income streams, ways to make more money doing less, and why systems and workflows are SO vital to the success of your business. There are so many practical, tangible tips and takeaways for wedding photographers on how to scale and expand your business and your income.
Jon is a MASTER at marketing and has one of the most brilliant business minds we know.
Jon is one half of The Hons Photography and co-founders of Hustle and Flow, an educational community that provides resources and information for creative entrepreneurs. They got started with photography about ten years ago and began Hustle and Flow four years ago.
They started wedding photography because they were both passionate about photography. Their parent’s friend’s wedding was what jump started their career. The normal growing pains of being lonely entrepreneurs is what prompted Jon and Brittani to start Hustle and Flow. Giving back education and empowering entrepreneurs are Brittani and Jon’s purpose and passion.
Most of the skills and tools Jon has learned, he learned from being in the trenches with his hands in the dirt. They built their business from the ground up and worked to keep it running, profitable, and scalable while still having time for their daughter. Jon has a programming background and understanding how people tend to do things on the internet gave him a slight leg up.
You have to make mistakes to learn. A lot of us are scared to lose a few hundred bucks on a Facebook Ad, but that is a great learning experience. You have to turn it around from saying you failed, and figure out how you can fix it and make it better. You have to continue learning. The environment we are in is so different from five years ago.
Make mistakes and don’t get down about it.
When you are in your 30s you start to think differently. Jon started to figure out what was realistic for him to do moving forward. He began to look into ecommerce and noticed that it was a bit more sustainable. As a service based business, you are just glorified freelancers. As an entrepreneur your business can keep going on without you being there. Jon started an ecommerce business and began to take note of what he constantly saw at weddings that he thought people will use.
He always saw ugly designs on robes, so he decided to design cool shirts that he could offer their clients to wear on their wedding day. This was how it began.
After his, he saw another pain point in their bridal Facebook group: what are brides doing with their dresses after their wedding? John began Wedding Dress Forever which allowed brides to send in their wedding dress to be cleaned, vacuum sealed, and sent back to the bride so they could keep it forever.
He found opportunities that didn’t require him to be there physically.
After seeing so many entrepreneurs, photographers, and planners getting burnt out after a season he realized they needed other ways to make money. This prompted him to launch an ecommerce course.
Ecommerce isn’t going to run on autopilot, but it doesn’t require you to be contracted on a wedding day.
Over time, you can have a seven figure business without you being there all the time.
An ecommerce brand is anything you post in a shopping store that doesn’t require you to get on the phone and sell. Ecommerce is where you can start selling your presets, your filters, etc.
It can also be things like digital products. You can set up a website and shopify to sell digital planners to help plan a wedding or a daily journal planner. There are so many different opportunities. It doesn’t have to be a physical product, it can be a digital product which is more profitable. An online course is also an ecom product.
When it comes to marketing, it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with what your potential market wants. Marketing is understanding human behavior.
You have to understand it’s not about what you want. It is what they want If you make a brand around your target market, regardless of what the product is, they will buy it because they want to believe in a brand. The proper way to do a brand in the online market is to tailor it directly to them.
A lot of the mistakes Jon sees are centered around people not doing the proper research on their market. This includes everything from the fonts you use to your captions on Instagram. You have to start looking at how people are posting on Instagram. Look at your clients and figure out what and how they are posting and how they are being influenced. You can start influencing them by similarly marrying what they are posting and speaking to them.
The biggest mistake is to post what you think your clients want as opposed to posting what they actually want to read, see, and consume. Instead of content consumers, Jon and Brittani became content creators based on what their market wanted to consume. Flip those things around and it’s so much easier. As a business, there is so much competition that you have to pivot, expand, and be fluid to appease to your clientele within your means.
When you start a business, you usually start because you want more freedom. When it comes down to business 101, you are a problem solver. If you decide you want to serve your clients, you are absolutely going to over deliver and have a beautiful experience.
Every business is a problem solving business.
Start with you. What are some problems you have day to day?
You have to have your values, purpose, and passions written down. What can you offer that aligns with your passion, purpose, and values and can provide a solution to one of your problems?
Break it down to solving a problem with something you are passionate about.
People buy based on what they believe in. If you believe in something so hard, other people are going to believe you. The best sales people sell something they believe in. People buy into a brand not a product. A brand is a promise that is made to your market.
Jon thinks it’s exactly the same. It’s still a problem they need solved.
The only difference is that as opposed to just marketing, there are operations. There are real costs involved when buying stock and quantity.
You can’t get your time back, but you can always get your money back.
Market to people’s problems and look for ways to solve them.
There is a stigma as entrepreneurs and creatives that we are supposed to be chaotic. There is nothing better than being a productive, organized, well oiled human that is operating on a system.
Having an amazing and consistent experience starts with having a checklist and a workflow that is meant to save you time. Your experience should be consistent every time regardless if it is a repeat customer or a new customer. Your experience should be top notch every single time.
Systems are a win-win situation. You can look like a genius without actually being a genius.
We live in a chaotic world and all crave order. Believe it or not, humans need order. If we don’t give that as business owners who are solving problems, how can we look like professionals?
If you set in place systems and tools, you will have more time to be a creative. Create a clutter free zone for creativity. Set up organizational structure in your business to know exactly what you need to automate and systemize.
Organizational structure is something you need to have done. As an entrepreneur you are going to wear a ton of hats, but identify them and put one hat on at a time.
As issues arise, document and make a system. For example, have emails set up for welcome, support, user name and a password, and tracking.
You have to start thinking systematically forward. Anticipate problems that might show up so you aren’t having to do the clean up work all the time.
Model after a successful company and make it your own.
It comes down to being afraid to fail. We have to take failure out of the equation. You have to be okay with pivoting and cutting something off that might have been a bad idea or an idea that wasn’t ready.
If you feel overwhelmed it’s mainly because you aren’t passionate about it, it’s not your purpose, or you feel like your idea might not be good enough. Write down your idea and ask others if they would be interested in it to get feedback. This is a great way to validate your idea and test if it should become a product or not.
A lot of people aren’t getting the validation they need to make something happen. So many of us have an incredible ability to solve people’s problems but are just too afraid to fail. Start it, see what happens. Go out there and burn the toast. If you burn the toast, get another one out and now you know you need to leave the toast in there for less time.
If you don’t know where you are going, you are just aimlessly going places and will tire out.
It comes down to what your value, purpose, and passions are. You have to get these down to have a value based business. Your purpose should drive your business. What’s the point in doing it all if you aren’t really happy? In order to get from A to Z you need to know what Z looks like as well as point B.
Fear, doubt, and imposter syndrome start to creep in when you don’t know what your core values are. Understand your why and have a game plan.
Write down your values, purpose, and passions. Put them in order of how you want them to be. Clear out the noise and now you know where you need to get to.
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WASSUP FRIENDS. We’re Evie + Lindsey, co-founders of this wild partayyy called The Heart University. Our goal is to empower entrepreneurs to kick freaking BUTT in their businesses, dive down into the heart of their why and how, and serve you with all possible tools you’ll need to up-level your business game and CRUSH those goals of yours.
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