Episode 151: Empire Mentoring Session: Finding Focus + Client Insight, with Nicolette Fernandez - the Creative Empire podcast

Photographer and founder of Avner Road Photography, Nicolette Fernandez, is Reina and Christina’s guest on The Creative Empire podcast in this Empire Mentoring Session. The trio dive right into talking about focusing in on aspects of business and what rescue time really means.  They share how time tracking can really help you as a business owner, to see what parts of your business are taking the most amount of time. The trio also discuss finding focal points in your business and how client communication is critical to help your business grow. 

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Main Takeaways:

  • How to figure out where to dive in and focus on investing time in a certain area of business + rescue time [0:01:58]
  • How time tracking can help you figure out what you're spending your time on [0:03:30]
  • What working or in your business looks like + finding focal points [0:06:39]
  • Why to figure out where you clients have came from + ask them questions [0:12:52]
  • Why to trade your services to build your portfolio [0:20:52]
  • How to determine your focal points [0:24:46]
  • How listening to people can help you figure out how your ideal clients feel [0:26:53]
As soon as you call yourself something, it’s almost like you see everybody else who is out there doing it.
— Nicolette Fernandez
It takes dedication to not do all the things so that we can concentrate on the things that matter most to us.
— Nicolette Fernandez
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Nicolette is a wife to her sweetheart, mama to an active toddler and believer that joy can be found in the everyday. After 9 years as a college administrator, she took a leap of faith to stay home with her son and launch her photography business full time. She realized her business could be used as a way to pursue her passion of motherhood and serve her family, while using her creativity to encourage and serve others. Nicolette specializes in lifestyle sessions for newborns and branding for creative entrepreneurs. These niches allow her to run alongside her clients, celebrating with them, pouring in words of love and support, while providing images that share their story.

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71: Empire Mentoring Session: How to Transform Inquiries into Sales, with Maura Chamness - the Creative Empire podcast

Joining Reina and Christina for this Empire Mentoring session is Maura Chamness, product stylist and brand photographer. Maura's biggest struggle right now is how to convert inquiries into clients. Reina + Christina talk about her website + process of booking a client before giving her several key pieces of advice. 


Show Highlights:

  • How your service needs to match your ideal client's needs
  • How you can go to people who need your service instead of waiting for them to come to you
  • How to pitch your services in a way that makes your potential clients receptive to them
  • How to sell value not cost
  • How to figure out what to focus on and why it's important to focus for a length of time
  • How to use your personality in business
  • How to use the Social Glue Method of marketing
  • How to find value in masterminds

Show Notes:

Maura’s Bio:

Maura is a product stylist and brand photographer who helps inspired and creative entrepreneurs enhance their online presence with photos that complement the brand they’ve worked hard to build. Through her unique process, she guides them in honing their style to create custom stock and product photography that brings their work to life online. Maura currently lives in Houston, TX with her sassy Schnauzer, Gracie. When she's not in the studio or trying to tame the prop closet, you can usually find her working on a house project, going to yoga, or celebrating Taco Tuesdays - usually with extra guac and pun-ny Instagram memes!

Maura’s Social Handles:

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61: How to Unite Multiple Hustles Under a Master Brand, Empire Mentoring Session with Dannie Fountain - the Creative Empire podcast

Joining Reina and Christina for this Empire Mentoring Session is Dannie Fountain, a strategist, author, and educator. Dannie has several businesses and side hustles that she is wanting to unite and be more cohesive. Reina and Christina work with Dannie to get really clear on her core offering and how her other projects relate to it. They even discuss how to showcase her expertise on her website! Lastly they give her homework to check out the website of other creative entrepreneurs with multiple businesses and to get really clear on her five main thesis points when she pitches to clients. 


Show Highlights:

  • How there's always something that unites all of your hustles
  • How the more LLCs you have, the more diversified your portfolio is
  • What questions you have to ask to get clear on your purpose
  • How building a brand that's more about you + that houses your various hustles might be the right move
  • How being really clear on what your main offerings are going to be is great for your business
  • What prompted Dannie to write Side Hustle Gal
  • How to structure your website to house all your side projects
  • What other creative entrepreneurs do to showcase all their various businesses on their website
  • How your main 5 thesis points you have when pitching yourself convey your message to potential clients

Show Notes:

Dannie’s Bio:

I'm Dannie, I'm the founder of LE Consulting! I got my start in the marketing world in late 2008/early 2009 when I took on my first freelance client. I then did marketing for a State Senator campaign in my home state of Michigan, and between that first client and working with the Senator's team, I knew marketing was for me. I've since gone to college and earned a BA in Media and Marketing and Management and an MS in Human Resource Management to supplement that early "on the job" training. I got my "official" start on LE Consulting in 2012 and the rest is somewhat history! On a more personal note, I'm in love with traveling the world - I've been to 15 countries (4 continents) and half the US so far and I've got a few more trips coming up in the next 18 months (Thailand, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Turks & Caicos, the Dominican Republic, and Arizona, to start). I'm a certified scuba diver and have a student pilot certification, so I introduce myself to clients by first explaining that I can look at their marketing challenges from literally every angle. I currently live in the Chicagoland area but I'm a born and bred Michigander and still head home to Lexington, MI for holidays.

Dannie’s Social Handles:

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52: Empire Mentoring Session: How to Streamline Your Process with Ashley Takacs - the Creative Empire podcast

Joining Reina and Christina for this Empire Mentoring session is Ashley Takacs, jewelry designer behind A. Tak Crafts. Like most creatives, Ashley is multi-passionate and wasn't sure what to pursue next. We focused on streamlining her process at her current jewelry business so that no matter what she decides to pursue, she will be ready to tackle it head on!


Show Highlights:

  • What questions you need to ask yourself to figure out what to focus on
  • How anything you pursue in business provides valuable experience for future endeavors
  • How to streamline a product-based business, including batch ordering + less styles
  • How stories sell your products

Show Notes:

Ashley's Bio:

Ashley Takacs ("A. Tak") is the creative behind A. Tak Crafts. She's a theatre nerd, Longhorn, Houstonian, wife, and crafter of handmade pendant and tassel necklaces. Ashley is inspired the creative community she has found and is open to see where her path may lead. You can often find her acting as a sounding board and providing encouragement for her friends. Her favorite pastime, besides hanging with her husband, is helping fellow creatives through conversation or even just a big hug. Ashley is a lover of leopard print, chocolate, dance parties, and all things gold. She lives for genuine connection and meeting new creatives.

Ashley's Social Handles:

38: Empire Mentoring Session: How to Become an Industry Expert, with Julie Painter of Dallas Girl Friday - the Creative Empire podcast

This Empire Mentoring Session is with Julie Painter of Dallas Girl Friday. She is coming to Reina + Christina with the question of how to be seen as an expert. First Reina asks Julie what she wants to be known for. Then the ladies talk about pre-validating and beta testing an ecourse. Christina tells Julie the real secrets to being seen as an expert + asks Julie to name 3 things she could do between now and when her course launches. Both ladies encourage Julie to commit to this business. 


Show Highlights:

  • How to pre-validate and beta test a product
  • What the real secrets are to becoming seen as an expert
  • How everyone doesn't feel good enough sometimes, but we all have something that someone needs

Show Notes:

Julie's Bio:

I’m Julie and I’m here to help. You’re overworked and overwhelmed. Being a business owner myself, I totally get the deadlines, time management, and the wanting and needing to grow your business. Let me help take you to the next level. I started Dallas Girl Friday with sound organizational skills and a passion for systems. I’m a lover of creatives, iced coffee, Target, and the color teal. I obsessively love spreadsheets, to-do lists, and project management.

I’m a Dallas resident and I also opened and operate Events by Jules, a boutique wedding planning firm.

Julie's Social Handles:

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30: How to Scale Your Business for Rapid Growth with Melissa Cales of Brand Sweet Co - the Creative Empire podcast

This Empire Mentoring session is with Melissa Cales, of Brand Sweet Co and The White Desk Sessions. She is coming to Reina and Christina with the question of how to scale her business while experiencing rapid growth. The three ladies discuss outsourcing, systems, and developing passive income products.


Show Highlights:

  • How to hire before you're ready to avoid scrambling later
  • What you can automate to make life easier
  • How to make a minimum viable passive income product
  • How to collect ideas from your ideal client for passive income products

Melissa's Bio:

Melissa is a brand experience designer for creative entrepreneurs, combining drool-worthy visual design with kick-butt brand and marketing strategy. After her first failed attempt at a film photography business ten years ago, she made it her mission to learn everything she could about marketing, branding and business which lead to a successful corporate career as a Marketing Director and a successful senior portrait photography business. As Melissa went from struggling to thriving, her passion shifted to inspiring the same journey in other creative entrepreneurs. Today she combines her experience, skills and knowledge to help creative entrepreneurs build and grow their brands.

Melissa’s Social Handles:

14: Empire Mentoring Session: How to Market Without Sleaze with Ashley Cox - the Creative Empire podcast

This Empire Mentoring Session is with Ashley Cox of Ashley Cox Photography and Sprout HR. She is coming to Reina and Christina about how to market herself and her business better, without coming off as sleazy. Reina and Christina talk about how and where to give away content, and how that translates into more paid work. Additionally the girls are chatting about how your website should read to help viewers understand your business (and you!), and how to define what you do, concisely! 

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Show Highlights:

  • How to market and sell to people without coming off as sleazy
  • How to get more sales (*hint* it's about giving away content!)
  • How your website should read to help viewers understand your business (and you!)
  • How to define what you do, concisely

Ashley's Bio:

Ashley Cox is the owner of sproutHR, where she helps creative entrepreneurs learn all about how to hire, train, and grow a thriving team. Whether you feel like you're in way over your head hiring your first team member, or you're looking for someone to help you create a strategic long-term plan, she partners with you as your personal HR expert! She'll help you feel more confident in your abilities, while saving you the time and frustration of trying to figure it all out on your own.

Ashley’s Social Handles:

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