9: Why In-Person Education Matters

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What could investing in your education do for your business? Could it increase your profits? Improve your photography skills or other services? In today’s episode, I’m talking about the immense importance of investing in education and the impact that continuing education has had in my own business trajectory. 

The Shoot It Straight Podcast is brought to you by Sabrina Gebhardt, photographer and educator. Join us each week as we discuss what it’s like to be a female creative entrepreneur while balancing entrepreneurship and motherhood. If you’re trying to find balance in this exciting place you’re in, yet willing to talk about the hard stuff too, Shoot It Straight Podcast is here to share practical and tangible takeaways to help you shoot it straight.

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Review the Show Notes:

My favorite type of education opportunities for entrepreneurs (1:28)

My first paid education experience (2:14)

Investing big in in-person education (3:07)

The longest-reaching positive impact of in-person education opportunities (4:09)

Taking the leap (7:00)

Action steps to take this week (9:19)

Opportunities to learn in-person from me in 2023 (10:47)

Mentioned in this Episode:

Root to Rise | Family Photographer Mastermind & Retreat

Photo Native | Use Code SABRINAPN23

Elevate Summit | Use Code SABRINA200 for $200 off

Reset Conference | Use Code SABRINA for $100 off

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Review the Transcript:

Welcome to the shoot it straight podcast. I’m your host, Sabrina Gephardt. Here I will share an honest take on what it’s like to be a female creative entrepreneur. while balancing business, motherhood and life, myself along with my guests will get vulnerable through honest conversations and relatable stories because we’re willing to go there. If you’re trying to find balance in this exciting place you’re in, yet willing to talk about the hard stuff to to shoot it straight podcast is here to share practical and tangible takeaways to help you shoot it straight.

I love education. And unless you’re completely new to my audience, you have probably heard me talk about it so much over the years. Continuing Education makes us better humans, better business owners and better service providers. Continuing Education keeps us on our toes, it makes sure that our businesses don’t get stale, and it opens the doors to new opportunities and new people. As an entrepreneur. Education can look like a lot of different things. It might be watching YouTube videos, or subscribing to lists so that you can grab that interesting freebie. It can also look like online courses, memberships or masterminds. There are also a lot of in person education opportunities, like conferences, workshops, retreats, and mentorships.

Today, I want to talk about why above all else in person education opportunities are my absolute favorite. So over the years, I have personally done a lot of education. And really, I have participated in everything I just mentioned, from the free stuff to the online stuff to the in person opportunities. And I can tell you with an overwhelming confidence that the in person opportunities are always the best experience. The first two years I was in business, I only took part in the free stuff. And that’s totally normal, right? I read all the blog posts, and I watched all the videos. And I was learning for sure. But it was very, very slow. At that point, I learned about an online course opportunity that sounded interesting. So I decided to pay for my first education experience. It was only about $300. But at the time, the investment felt big and scary because I had never paid for education before.

Fast forward to the courses and and I realized how insanely valuable my investment had been. You see, when you pay for education, you actually put more time and effort into it, then you do the free stuff. You take it seriously when you have put money towards something. My success and growth after that course proved to me that paying for education was the right way to go. And from there, I decided to go big and try in person opportunities. I thought, well, if I learned that much from an online course, how much more would I learn from something in person. So the following year, I invested really big. I attended an intimate three day in person workshop in someone’s home. I also attended a big in person conference with a variety of educators and topics. And I attended a very small one day in person workshop on a specific subject.

Yes, it was a lot of money invested in education in one year. But that was my turning point. My business has a very clear before and after Mark, both in the look of my physical craft my photography work, but also when you look at the profits and the way that my business was run. That year in person education gave me incredible growth in so many ways, including the types of images I was capturing my editing style, how to find and market to the clients, I wanted my pricing and most importantly, my community grew. While the education stuff definitely made a massive difference in my business and its trajectory, the relationships built and the community growth has been the longest reaching positive aspect of those in person education opportunities.

Imagine being brave enough to show up to an event where you don’t know anyone, but you automatically have a lot in common with all of the other attendees. That bravery. That willingness to step out of your comfort zone is what allows you to make industry friends and business besties if you are newer in business, you probably don’t have those relationships, and things probably feel lonely from time to time. Sure. You have regular non entrepreneur friends and Maybe you have a partner to share things with, but no one really gets it. They are happy to listen, but they will never understand. cultivating relationships with industry peers is a game changer. Not only will you have people that truly understand your business and your experiences, but you have that common ground to build upon. You’re both creatives, you both have business struggles, you both have complaints and wins and ideas to share, you can help one another solve problems, because you both understand what it is to be a creative entrepreneur. Thinking back to those first three in person education experiences that I had about nine years ago, I am still friends with so many of those women, we have supported each other through ups and downs of both entrepreneurship and life, the relationships have been invaluable. That year, I decided that I would always invest in in person education opportunities, because the value and the experience is far greater than anything else you can get.

Yes, the price tag is higher. Yes, it likely involves traveling, maybe even across the country or across the world. And traveling might involve having to arrange childcare or take time off from a full time job. But this is definitely one of those times that you get what you pay for. The bigger the investment, the bigger the return. Here I am having been in business for almost 12 years, and I still participate in in person education for myself, every single year. Because even though I teach, and I offer my own in person opportunities, I know that I will never stop learning, I will never stop pivoting, I will never stop growing. And I will never stop wanting to meet new industry friends and build connections and relationships. And I never want to.

So hopefully I have convinced you to take the leap and invest in an in person learning opportunity. I know what you’re thinking. But Sabrina, they’re so expensive. You’re right they are most in person education experiences are at least $1,000 Just to register, not including travel. And there are many that are closer to $5,000 or more. Yes, it is an investment. And I’m not telling you to go into debt to make it happen. But I want you to make a plan to save for the experience, don’t just write it off and say I could never afford that or I never want to pay for that. So it’s not going to happen. Make a plan. For many of these opportunities, registration opens months and months in advance. And often to register, you may only need to pay half of the balance that makes the entry more accessible and will give you time to save and plan for the balance and any travel fees that may be included.

But if you’re still nervous about finding the money, plan for an event that is even farther out. If you know you can’t swing a highly sought after workshop this year, you can expect that the host will offer it again next year. And you can start saving now and plan to register for the next one. The same thing goes for conferences, figure out which one is the best fit for you. Or maybe you already know, because you’ve been watching it happen online and you’ve been having FOMO for years, figure out the best fit, and then map out a savings plan board. And again, like I mentioned earlier, this is really a case of you getting what you pay for meaning the more expensive the experience, the more the transformational of the outcome. Okay, of course, I cannot speak for all educators.

But in my experience as an attendee, and also as a host, I can tell you that this is true, the higher ticket offerings are high ticket because of how much gets poured into them because of such a drastic transformation. So if you’re looking for a really big impact, if you know that you need a complete game changer for your business, you might want to consider a bigger investment. So I want to leave you with a couple of specific action steps this week. Number one, look around your industry and different in person education opportunities and start a little spreadsheet. How much do they cost? Where are they located? What are the dates? What are the interesting features or opportunities included, et cetera, and then number to review your list and rank them in order of importance to you. So after you review the spreadsheet and all the details, I think you’re going to see an obvious winner or two, right a couple of them that are really jump off the page as this is exactly what you need. Choose one of them OHS and make it your goal.

If registration is open and you have some extra cash in your business account sign up immediately do it while you are motivated and inspired, you will not regret it. However, if the registration event is closed, or maybe it’s sold out, or you aren’t financially ready to sign up yet, make a plan for how you will save for it. Could you run a flash sale or take on a couple of additional clients or just start setting aside a percentage every month for the event? Whatever your plan is, map it out with the goal in mind and trust that this is going to be such a big moment for your business. Before I go, I could not possibly leave this episode without telling you a few ways that you can learn from me in person in 2023. If you are interested in attending a conference, I will be speaking at three different ones in early 2023. And I will be teaching my own High Level Mastermind for photographers that also includes a three day in person retreat, you can get on the waitlist for the mastermind, and learn all about the conference opportunities at the links in the show notes. And that is it for you today my friend. We’ll see you next week. Thanks so much for listening to the shoot it straight podcast. You can find all the full show notes and details from today’s episode at Sabrina gebhardt.com backslash podcast. Come find me and connect over on the gram at Sabrina Gebhardt photography. If you’re loving the podcast, I’d be honored if you hit that subscribe button and leave me a review. Until next time, my friends shoot it straight.

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