For many entrepreneurs and small businesses, social media can be an absolute game-changer! All it takes is one viral post and a business can suddenly take off.
At Like A Voss Social Media, we’re highlighting local businesses and entrepreneurs who are killing the online game. This week’s spotlight is on Kaley Crosson, Owner of Kaley Noel Photography!
Kaley Noel is a published professional photographer specializing in wedding, lifestyle & creative portraiture. Kaley serves the Kingston Ontario area & is available for travel worldwide. Kaley has documented love stories across Canada & internationally.
Our CEO Mandi interviewed Kaley about her secret to success in business and in life. We also got some awesome insights into what they think makes social media such an effective tool in business.
A Little Bit About Being a Female Entrepreneur
1: How long have you been in business?
I have been a full-time photographer for 10 years & I have loved every moment.
2: What made you decide to break away from the 9-5 and start Kaley Noel Photography?
I was 22 years old, I was overwhelmed and I was confused during this period of my life. I was a student at university and I was working full-time in a stressful environment. I always loved photography so during this time of my life I would offer fun, creative, free sessions to family & friends. This made me feel happy! I felt free when I was able to create art – I loved every moment (I still do).
The more portrait sessions I photographed – the more I made people happy! I then started seeing the rewards of my work, I knew I had to turn my passion for photography into a business. I dropped out of university in my third year knowing this would be a huge risk – however, I was willing to take it! I knew in my heart that this was the right decision for me & I could always go back to school if I failed – however, I needed to at least try.
I worked at my job for a few more years while also working tirelessly on my photography side hustle. I quit my job when I could match my photography income to my working wage. I worked from home at the start of my career to build my business & opened my first photography studio in Brandon, Manitoba in 2014.
With hard work and determination, I was able to make my dreams – my career. 10 years later, I do not regret my decision to leave university.
3: What do you love most about being a female entrepreneur?
I absolutely love being a female entrepreneur and it is the people I have met along the way that make my career so worth it.
My clients have touched my heart in many ways – I love getting to know everyone and documenting people’s most cherished memories! Every human has a story and being able to document someone’s story means so much to me – my work delivers memories that will last for generations to come.
Also as a female entrepreneur – I have the privilege to work with a large community of people in the business. I have met the most talented, kind, inspiring, creative, amazing entrepreneurs – these people inspire me & support me on many levels and without them, I would never be where I am today!
4: What is the hardest thing you have had to overcome as a female entrepreneur? Something you did not foresee when you decided to start your photography business?
The hardest thing I have ever had to do as a business owner is relocating my business. I moved to Kingston, Ontario after building a successful business in Manitoba. I was absolutely terrified to the point I felt like I was just going to give up. I let fear win for a while. I was truly feeling scared and insecure to put myself out there in a brand new city!
I spent my first year in Kingston flying back to Manitoba often to capture weddings & events – I also had a few destination weddings to keep me busy as I transitioned the move between provinces. Building a full-time photography business takes a ton of clients & a ton of referrals. In a new city, I felt really uncomfortable and unknown.
I then decided it was time to really push my work into the Kingston area. I was desperate. I used every social media tool, put up advertisements, and offered discounted packages. In Manitoba, I booked the majority of my year out from referrals so I really felt like I was starting all over again.
I worked HARD to get my name out in the area and expand my portfolio in the city. I noticed once I started to really put in the work and step out of my comfort zone – my business in Ontario really started to take off. I pushed through all my insecurities and absolutely LOVE working in this beautiful city I now call home.
I learned a lot from moving my business – opportunities are endless, we just need to not be afraid of them.
5: What is one thing about working in the photography industry that people would be surprised to learn?
I would say most people are shocked at the amount of work it takes to do what we do! As a photographer I consider myself an artist, I just don’t show up to click a button & edit photos. There is so much more that goes into everything we do! It can often be emotionally & creatively draining at times. I could write a list of the tasks we have as photographers, however, it would probably bore you.
I would estimate 20% of my career is actually taking photos. The remaining time is spent doing a million other things that go along with the business.
If I could just hang out and take photos all day – that would be the dream – however just like any business – it is full of hard work.
And Now Onto The Social Media Questions!
6: Do you have a favorite social media platform? Why?
I do! For personal use I love Snapchat. I love sending my family & friends photographs throughout day. I love to document everything.
For business I LOVE Instagram & Facebook, I find it a great way to showcase my work, connect with clients & find inspiration in others.
7: What made you decide to start using social media as a way to promote your company?
I started using social media by creating a business Facebook page to officially launch my hobby photography business back in oh 2011! I created a social media account to share my work. As things progressed and I became a legitimate business I went on to use more social media platforms such as Pinterest & Instagram.
8: How has social media impacted your business? Would you say that it’s an effective marketing tool?
Social media has impacted my business in many positive ways. I love how it allows me to connect to people. I love how we can all support each other by simply liking a photo! I love how it allows me to show my work to the world and reach many people in such an amazing way!
I believe Social Media is the best marketing tool we can use. It allows us to share who we are, shows our work & supports others on their journey.
9: What advice would you give to other businesses and entrepreneurs who want to use social media as a way to connect with customers?
Always be yourself – share what you love, share what inspires you, follow your heart & stop comparing your account to others. Social media can be intimidating – when I stopped comparing my account to others & truly just showcasing who I was as an artist – that is when I noticed an increase in my followers. Clients hire us on the fact they love what we do, who we are, and the services we can provide. If you just be yourself – promote your services & absolutely love what you do. You won’t fail! Always, just believe in yourself!
A Little More About Kaley
My work, my stamp here in this world are the photos I take and the stories I capture. The work I do is my passion. To document life, love, laughter, and joy is what I adore doing. I do work that will outlive me and tell stories for generations to come. One of my favourite things to do is look through old photographs, to know I told someone’s story through my lens is such a beautiful gift to my soul. Every time I put my camera to my eye I want to document real, authentic, emotion & love. I absolutely adore love. Candid, joyful, beautiful, emotional love, It’s what makes the world go‘round.
Connect with Kaley
Know Any Voss Babes?
Do you know a female entrepreneur who loves social media as much as we do? Contact us today – we’d love to tell her story!