#026 – How To Freelance for Brand-Name Clients with Andy Burgess

Since switching to vertical, his life has been on the up and up.

As an Internet filmmaker and storyteller, Andy Burgess’ career rise is as exciting as the content he makes. Starting off as a creator on Snapchat, Andy’s obsession with crafting vertically cinematic stories quickly gained attention from companies looking for quality content. After his Snapchat code was displayed in the heart of Times Square, New York, his exposure has blown up exponentially which has allowed him to work with some of the biggest brands in the world and fulfill his dreams of traveling all at the same time.

Learn how Andy strategically carved out a name for himself, his approach to getting handsomely paid and why he thinks it is important to carefully choose who you do work for.

“…If a brand cannot afford my rate at the moment, then it is probably not the right brand to be working with…”

This is On Purpose.

In this Podcast, you’ll learn:

  • How to find your ideal client
  • Gaining confidence in your pricing
  • The importance of networking
  • Why quality content matters
  • & How personality can make or break your business

Explore with Andy:
IG: @andyburgess

Book: Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World

Spark a conversation! Leave a comment below or say hello @alexbeadon on Instagram.

Transcript Available Below

Alex Beadon 0:00
You’re listening to Episode 26 of on purpose with Alex Beadon. Today’s guest episode is with Andy Burgess, where we talk about how he became a full-time freelancer. And he shares how he found confidence in his pricing, how he’s been able to land big brand name clients like Forbes and Samsung, and how he more than doubled his Instagram following by doing one simple thing, it seriously blew me away. Welcome to on purpose. Do you ever feel like you’re trying to balance it all, nourishing your health while growing your business and living a life well lived. And no matter how hard you try, sometimes you slip from purpose driven into autopilot. Take a deep breath, relax, and let’s get you back to where you belong. On purpose.

Hey, friends, today I speak to Andy Burgess, an internet filmmaker and storyteller, someone who I’ve been avidly following online since 2016. I first found him on Snapchat creating these epic highly produced cinematic vertical videos. Since bursting onto the snapshot scene in 2016. He’s quickly become one of the most recognized creators on the platform. And this year, he became a Shorty Award finalist for Snapchatter of the year, which is a huge accomplishment. For the past year, it seems like he’s constantly traveling the world and has been working alongside brands like three Samsung Forbes Joby, NASDAQ, and College Humor. Today’s episode is a great one if you want to know more about what it’s like to be a full time freelancer. And I especially love today’s episode, because Andy really holds nothing back. He’s super upfront and honest about exactly how he’s created so much purpose and success in his life. And this is an episode I think you’ll truly love. Enjoy. Andy, thank you so much for coming on the show today. I’m so excited that you’re here.

Andy Burgess 2:06
My pleasure. Thank you for having me. I’m so excited to talk to you. Yay.

Alex Beadon 2:11
So one of the questions that I normally ask people when we first start with the podcast is what do you find most nourishing about having your own business, but you’re kind of a unique guests, because I’m not really sure if you consider yourself a business owner, or if you consider yourself more filmmaker. So before I asked you that question, I was like, I think the first question I want to ask you is like Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur?

Andy Burgess 2:38
Yeah, for sure. Like, I definitely, I guess I class myself as like a freelance filmmaker. But my name and what I do, I guess is my brand. So in a way, like I mean, I don’t have employees or staff. I haven’t brought anyone to work with me. Yeah, it’s definitely something I’m thinking about, like down the road. But yeah, like right now. It’s kind of made, but I still treat it in the exact same way. Every day. Yeah, it’s it is my job is what I get up and do every single day.

Alex Beadon 3:10
Awesome. So in that case, the question stands, the question is, what do you find most nourishing about having your own business

Andy Burgess 3:20
and being able to so I used to work actually, in social and marketing before I started making videos, and I kid I can’t really work for other people. And that’s not that I’m not great at working in teams, or whatever I just I love, I’m most creative when I have the freedom and the time to do it in my own way and don’t have sort of other people. kind of always dictating, like sort of a routine and I have to, I have to stick to it. I love the freedom I love being able to travel and work from anywhere in the world. And I don’t need to when I started making my videos, I was just like, I can just put them out whenever I want I can I decide when they go live and I decide how they’re structured. And and then I just get feedback from people who are watching.

Alex Beadon 4:14
So I’d love for you to tell us about your story because I feel like you kind of got into it a little bit. But from from my perspective, I feel like you kind of it’s interesting because I feel like you burst out onto the scene in the days of Snapchat, which is awesome. You’re definitely like, hands down. One of the most creative people I’ve ever seen use the vertical storytelling through Snapchat and Snapchat was how I found you. But it really seemed like very quickly like you just took it on as your profession and like this is what you’re going to do. So I’d love for you to tell us your journey from working a full time job to decide and you know what, I’m gonna quit and work on this full time.

Andy Burgess 4:54
Yeah, for sure. Um, yeah, so Snapchat is definitely kind of where I started off. That’s where people will recognize me from when I sort of built up my audience. That was about beginning of 2016, I was playing with Snapchat, I was really enjoying what was going on on that platform that was probably like, peak Snapchat days, like every update they’d put out would be fire. They were like kind of unstoppable at that point, it seemed. And I was making these stories. And I think it was when I was on a trip to Switzerland. And I was like, how do I make my stories like short cinematic films, because on Snapchat, I was watching everyone’s stories, but no one was really telling stories, they were just sort of posting quick snapshots of their day. And I didn’t really know much of the influencer scene or like other creators on the platform. So I kind of just started playing around and trying to make these short films for the whole week. And, and they started to take off. And I just kept going, I became obsessed, and I started making like, short documentaries on Snapchat about the town that I lived in. And at the same time, like I said, I was working sort of a nine to five marketing job where I was making short videos, but they weren’t, it wasn’t really fulfilling my creative ambitions, I guess. And, and then towards the end of the year, I kind of was in a position where I could, I had some money saved up and I decided that I was gonna just leave this job and move to New York and see what happened there. Because within those six months, my snapchat had grown quite considerably. It definitely wasn’t enough. It wasn’t the point where I was like, Okay, this is what I’m going to do is like a job, I’m going to move to New York and kind of make it as it were. But I kind of just went out, as I’ll go out for three months, meet a bunch of people see what it’s like, and go from there. And then when I moved to New York, about two weeks in, I think I started working with NASDAQ, and I did a Snapchat takeover on that account, and then they put my snapcode up in the middle of Times Square. Yeah, it’s just like, what the hell that my Stalker was like, up and like 1000s people were seeing it, and then from a bunch of brands saw me on their account. And then I started to work with like, Forbes and sweet green, and sta travel when those freedoms became a bit insane in New York, and that was when I was kind of like, okay, I probably can make this like, a career in video, I can do this. And then from there, it just, I was traveling for the rest of the year, constantly making Snapchat stories, every single day speaking in places like VidCon about it, and then it kind of branched out over to Instagram. And I was just trying to the level of, I guess, my storytelling and after that, the production of the videos. And so now I kind of have like an Instagram series on IG TV, like two episodes a week where I’m putting out like high produce videos and like using cameras and the law and and then like working alongside brands, either to make them like bespoke content for their platforms. Or occasionally I’ll do like the whole influencer creator route and like, put something on my story.

Alex Beadon 8:22
That is super interesting. Okay, so my next question is, I’m really curious about how your business model is currently laid out in terms of what would you say are the main streams of revenue because I know you said, you’re doing both like influencer type things where they’re paying you to post things on your platforms, but you’re also doing work for other brands. So which one of those is really like the bigger piece of the puzzle right now for you?

Andy Burgess 8:50
Definitely the brand side, like their bespoke content for them. That’s where I started as well. When I when I did site in New York, I was growing, my accounts were growing, but they weren’t at a level where I was like, I can, like, I can do like influencer deals or whatever. And I don’t really like branded content that much. If I do you do it, it is they the brand has to really align with what I’m doing. And it has to fit really smoothly. Like I don’t want to kind of be I never look, I’m not looking at the short term game. So it’s like, people who can offer you like a like, maybe shout out this like, game app or talk about this for x amount. But like, if I’m not really into that, I don’t want to I don’t want to put that on my audience. You know, I kind of want to build an engaged audience actually just care and what I do. So the where I find revenue, where I get my revenue and bring it try to bring it in, is making the content for brands. I’m like, hey, I can make bespoke content, for stories or for any vertical platform or just anything in video, but that’s like my specialty on short form content that an audience actually wants to engage with. But I also I understand the brand side of it. So I can we can bring it in and make it branded to an extent. But also, it’s engaging for people to want to watch. So I will kind of work with them on that aside, sometimes that bounces over into me sharing on my account, especially if I’m working with a travel brand, perhaps they’ll send me to a specific location to shoot stuff for them. And that also allows me to make my own content for my account. That’s just sort of travel related.

Alex Beadon 10:32
Wow. Okay, so I’ve so many questions about that. So firstly, how do these how do these brands find you?

Andy Burgess 10:40
So this is kind of like my little, I guess, it’s not really a secret. But this is how I do it. And everyone’s a bit shocked. But this is how I find brands on I use LinkedIn. Like, I’m so big on, like, pushing on LinkedIn. I was where was I? I was, I was at VidCon. In Australia, about this time last year, I was watching a panel and they were talking about LinkedIn video, and it just dropped. So this is like 2017. And they were saying the engagement on like organic reach and engagement on LinkedIn video was huge. And I just got back to London, and I started putting in just not even that much work like maybe, like 20% of my week, 10% my week, just sort of connecting with a bunch of brands, or people in London and surrounding areas. And every time I sort of made a big video, I would repurpose it natively for LinkedIn. And I was just shooting like social, I’d write a caption and post it. But instead of tailoring it more towards sort of my audience of filmmaker and travel lovers on Instagram, I tailor it more towards the brands behind it and be like, Hey, I made this video for this company. These were kind of the goals. Do you do you guys incorporate, like short form Instagram content into your like campaigns. So I’m talking directly towards like, the people who are working in these companies and get people to just comment on that. And from there, I managed to just like build up connections, or people would like then come across that or they’d be searching like, Instagram stories on LinkedIn. And then like, I’d pop up and then like connection there. And that’s probably where I get like the majority of the bigger brand work I’ve done is kind of through LinkedIn,

Alex Beadon 12:35
that is so smart. I freaking love that. Okay, my next question is what how would you describe your ideal client? Like, do you have a client that is a like am is ideal client? I mean, like as a brand like is it mainly travel companies is there like a certain type that you seem to be getting again, and again and again.

Andy Burgess 12:54
So at the moment, it seems to be travel and I guess tech slash sort of filmmaking by equipment, so I work a lot with free the phone network in the UK. And so for them, they have a big campaign called Go roam campaign, essentially, you can go abroad to a certain amount of countries and you can use your Sim like with no added like costs for data. So they sent me to Peru in like July for like a two week trip. And that was kind of like the ideal trip because it was like 10 days, or like 14 days can’t remember exactly. Being in a different country getting C’s amazing places. And all they wanted me to do was kind of make stories for like my account, and then some short form videos for them, and then a wrap up video at the end. And it was exactly what I do anyway, because it was just like making great, like travel content.

Alex Beadon 13:56
And fathers as a really good. Yeah,

Andy Burgess 13:59
so that was like so much fun. And then also there’s stuff that I can do back in the UK with them. Like regarding phones, when they recently fare, I can talk about that. And I like I used to like shoot everything on my phone for Snapchat. So it all feeds in really nicely on each other. And it’s just what I really liked about those guys is they know the content I make. And they they like respect it so they kind of know what they’re gonna get. So they’re not very pushy on like, Hey, can we maybe do it more like this? If they’re hiring like the Creator to do something, they kind of want what you can do. So that’s kind of like the ideal client. Yeah,

Alex Beadon 14:38
that’s amazing. So how did you because I know you said you first started playing around with Snapchat in 2016. So like, it has not been long that you’ve been doing this and you’re already working with one of the biggest companies in the UK. So I’m curious, how did you find confidence in your pricing? Like how did you know what to charge these bigger companies?

Andy Burgess 15:00
Oh my god. So that has been like a whirlwind. Yeah. And like, I love talking about this with people because I think everyone kind of is in the same boat no one like what at least I found, especially in the freelance creative world, everyone, I it’s been so much better when I talk to other people about it. And weekend, everyone has a similar thing. So I mean, I guess when I was last year was just crazy nonstop Snapchat videos that I was making every single day. And I didn’t really have as much time to focus on okay, how do I scale this and sort of charge more, and then I started to do a lot more freelance work in January. And I probably like for the first month for this year, my pricing was way off. Like it was way below what it like, currently is, and and then I think that can like also, like, affect you in a way that like people sometimes don’t want to work with you. Because they’re like, oh, maybe like they’re like, Okay. Yeah, exactly, exactly. Right. But then, like, if you’re charging way too much, people are gonna be kind of, like, I don’t know. But I think what I have found from brands is the, like, if they can’t really like afford my sort of right at the moment, then they’re probably not the right brand to be working with just because they’re not in there. If they’re not at the same level, like with the type of content that they’ll they’ll be wanting. So it’s a lot of trial and error. I started I guess like after each gig, I would kind of raise it a bit. And I think it was when I did some work with Samsung on the new S nine phone. And they basically came to me like, hey, we want this for like one night and like we’re willing to like pay this much. And I was like, Oh, well that’s like way above like, what like my day, right? is already and stuff. Okay, great. Let’s let’s kind of go over that. And then each time I slowly like maybe put it up like 15% and and then once I had a I think a brand came to me No, it wasn’t a brand. It was just like a it was just like a dude, like a production company. And they just wanted like a short video made for their socials. And it was really like left field to what I normally do. But they’re like, Hey, we saw your Snapchat and we, we think you’d be really good at making this. And I was like, Okay, this is very different. But I was like, so busy at the time. And I sort of gave them the same the same rate that I did for the last thing with Samsung. And they were like, Yeah, sure. And then that was the moment where I was like, Oh, wow, like, okay, and then I found once you saw start doing those sorts of gigs, and you’re raising your price, you’ve done a few of them, and you’re very confident enough to then like back yourself. Because sometimes like, like brands can be like, Okay, well, why are you charging this much. And then you can you can like one I can kind of justify from all the other jobs I’ve done. But then I found it’s really good to break down how much time and what is involved. So I’m like, okay, pre production, I have to plan a script, I have to get another cameraman potentially have to hire this gear. And then there’s the editing, I’ll say this long. You want X amount of amendments. And then I found once you’ve broken that down, they kind of understand it. But um, it was it took a couple of months to kind of like work out what I should definitely be charging and my current rate. But I think it I think the best advice I found from it is just talking with other credits as well. And having that sort of like open conversation,

Alex Beadon 18:41
which I feel like it’s something you’ve been really good at is building a community like you. Like I said, I keep saying this, you’ve only been around for two years, and I’ve seen you meet so many people and really become a part of the community. So like, has that been really easy for you? Is that are you just like a naturally extroverted person? Like, was that something you did on purpose? Talk to me about about building those friendships?

Andy Burgess 19:05
Yeah, but that’s so funny that you mentioned extra because I’ve been looking into this a lot recently about like, if I’m an extrovert or an introvert. I feel I can really introvert.

Unknown Speaker 19:16
I interesting yeah. I like if

Andy Burgess 19:19
I’m, if I’m like gonna go out on a weekend with like my girlfriend to a pie, I need like, four days notice to like, prepare for that I’m not like, spontaneously go out. And like a party or whatever. I’d much rather be sat at my computer like making a video. But it kind of all started when I did go to New York. So just a little bit of context on that because I think I missed over that. When I went to New York. It was just for like, a couple of moments and it’s kind of when it all started off. And I decided that like I knew no one there. But I hate seeing these creators around and collaboration is kind of like one of the best ways to grow. Um, so I just started reaching out to people on Twitter and Instagram and Snapchat and just like, hey, this is what I do. I love your work and finding a way to bring them value is probably the best way and then connecting with them through social and I found just from meeting a bunch of people who love and do the exact same thing as you. Like, I’d never met with another us like Snapchat or who’d spent as much time as I had like setting up a shop for like something that would disappear in 24 hours. And it kind of like blew my mind. And then I just found that that really worked. And that was a great way of helping me grow. And it’s also like surrounding yourself with other creators. It’s, it’s so inspiring as well, like, I look at all my friends that are doing like similar things where I watch someone that blow up, and they have this video, and I’m just like, This is so cool. And I treat that as that’s like as much. That’s like, as important as sitting down and like kind of sending out the emails and like editing. For me, like, as long as if there’s something going down like I was in LA, like last week. And the last four days was just that Tabak seeing other creators collabing with them, seeing what we can do in the future, building out relationships, meeting kinds of their friends and building out my network. So kind of down the road I like if I go back to LA, there’s more opportunities there for me as well.

Alex Beadon 21:25
So does that exhaust you or freak you out or overwhelm you as an introvert is like going to LA for three or four days? And literally it just being back to back seen people?

Andy Burgess 21:36
Yeah, so kind of not really, I have this weird thing. So I think of that as like, okay, that’s what I this is what I love doing. And I know those people do. So I kind of have a, I think I can click with those pupils straightaway. And I know it’s fine. It’s kind of more if I’m would have to approach someone out of the blue, I’m probably not as good as that. Like, if I connect over the internet, I really feel like I know that person really well. It’s kind of weird, like, but it does, it is exhausting. Afterwards, when I get it, I’m just like, it’s just like, go go go. But I

Alex Beadon 22:12
totally know what you mean. Like I think meeting people who do what you do, and who understand the intricacies. Like even what you just said about spending so long setting up the shot for a video that’s going to disappear in 24 hours. To most people sounds crazy. But when you meet someone else who does it, you’re like, oh my god, you got it, you know, so that’s frickin awesome. Okay, I want to ask you about what made you decide to go into the direction of doing freelance for bigger brands, as opposed to doing freelance for like, let’s say, like wedding videography or videography, for smaller businesses. Was that ever, like a decision in your mind? Or was it just very natural? You’re like, Okay, I’m gonna go into the brand direction.

Andy Burgess 22:51
Yeah, I guess it was kind of just like a natural direction from in the early days of Snapchat, I would work with some brands or do collabs. And it was just to grow an audience, right? It was just like, oh, you take this account. And it Yeah, it started with NASDAQ, that kind of wasn’t a paid gig. But like that turned into like, but like the growth I got from that and the other brands and they continue to work them down the line was really beneficial. So that was kind of that’s just kind of what I stuck with. Like I do small work sometimes with people like depending like if they come along, but I’ve been very fortunate to work with some like really cool brands, but like wedding wise, I, I have friends that do weddings, it scares me so much the fall of just having that footage. And then like, if you lose it like you’ve ruined, like their biggest day ever. Yeah. I was actually at a wedding three weeks ago in France. And I have my drone. And I was like I was the best man. I wasn’t like filming. I wasn’t like videographer. But I was like, Oh, well, I’ll get you some drone shots for your wedding. I can send that to you. And I basically lost my drone in this lake. And I was just like, Oh my God, and like, I was just more upset because like I couldn’t then give them like this footage. So like, that was like a paid gig for me. And no, I couldn’t do it too stressful.

Alex Beadon 24:19
That’s so funny. I actually used to be a wedding photographer, and I totally agree with you, like so stressful. It’s also so much work like you were on your feet. And you have to be you have to be alert, awake thinking and yeah, it’s the whole time. It’s a lot of work. And that’s why I always tell people like when you’re choosing which direction you want to go in your business. You really need to look at your personality, what works for you what doesn’t work for you. Some people love wedding, some people are fantastic, like actually doing weddings and second shooting with other wedding photographers showed me that like actually I was the worst person to be a wedding photographer. Because these like I remember one woman in particular she was just full of so much passion for the day. And she was just so much energy than just loved it. And the entire time I was like, Oh my God, when will this be over? I just want to go home and like have dinner. So yeah, that’s that I totally understand what you mean. So do you consider yourself successful? Because I’m sure when you started back in 2016, if you could look at where you are today, you’d be like, Whoa,

Andy Burgess 25:19
yeah, that’s such an interesting question. Because I, I take it is, every day, like, for me in my head right now thinking about where I am, and all the things that I like and wanting to do coming up. I feel like I’m only like, kind of near the bottom of the ladder, like, and I kind of, like, I feel like there’s so much more I want to do and can do, but I then stop. And I have to kind of look back sometimes at these moments. So to what is it now 2018. So two years ago, I was still working that job and kind of learning to do more stuff on Snapchat to be a freelancer and like, cut jumped to like, April this year, I was a Shorty Award nominee for Snapchat over the year. And I made it to like the final six. accomplishment, which was like, thank you. And it was like I was in this room with like, all the biggest people on YouTube and on the internet, and like they do amazing work. And like, the Mark has brown Lee’s and Casey Neistat sort of world and all those people and it was just like, This is insane. And I was kind of on like the same playing field as these people. And like, I guess the year before that, I’d seen people nominated for a Shorty Award for Snapchat, I was like, okay, cool, maybe one day, and then a year later to be on there. So I do, like I this year, I’m trying a lot more to kind of look at those moments and like, appreciate them and see where I’ve come and my growth. But I am very much kind of focused on like the next thing. But I do think it is important to like, see, like wave done. But like, I’m always kind of looking forward.

Alex Beadon 27:02
But one of the reasons why you’re so interesting to me is because while you were huge on Snapchat, right? Like you, you really blew up on Snapchat. And then of course, Snapchat kind of took a turn to the worse. And now everyone’s moved over to Instagram. And I’m sure that you’re following on Instagram, and the views that you’re getting on Instagram is a portion of what it was on Snapchat. Is that correct? Yeah, yeah, for sure. Yeah, exactly. So I look at you. And it’s like you went from this huge platform Snapchat really making it over there. And now you’ve had to like kind of like switch lanes and come on over into Instagram, and you’re still doing it. And you’re, you’ve got your YouTube channel as well. And it’s like, I look at you, and you’re such a professional and your quality of work is just amazing. Like, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone put in so much effort as you it’s just so impressive. And yet, you’re not like a a huge, super famous star. You know what I mean? Like, and that’s one of the but yet you behave as though you are like, you still have that level of quality that you’re dedicated and committed to. And it’s almost like the numbers don’t really bother you or you’re not even really focused on them. Like you’re just focused on putting out good work.

Andy Burgess 28:10
Yeah, pretty much. I mean, I’ve seen so many people get beat down in the numbers and like the view game. Yeah, it just kind of like tears them apart. And the beauty about Snapchat in the beginning days, when I when I started heading to New York, this kind of career trajectory of like where I was, and where I ended up on Snapchat is when I did the first Nast, that gig I was on maybe before I had maybe like 200 people viewing my snaps. And on Snapchat, you can’t see views or followers, you can only judge on the quality of the work. So that’s how I kind of got that gig. And then after that it just kept growing and growing. And it was the same with other creators and you and you, you’re just judging everyone on the work. And then by like, just before the update here actually, the update didn’t affect me too much on Snapchat, because I had just got verified so then made my account discoverable. But it was getting like between like, I think like 40 or 50,000 views at some point. But then it wasn’t Yeah, but it was so and this was the weird thing about that at the time. It was a bunch of people coming over from Discover on Snapchat, and they were like, all new and then the comments were coming in, but it wasn’t like my original audience and my original audience weren’t being able to see a lot of my work because Snapchat was not showing it to them anymore. So at this point, I was like, Okay, I have this kind of old audience, you don’t see what’s going on as much anymore. And this new audiences that are kind of coming and going because I’m like, like, otherwise each day I’d have to be making a new video explaining like who I was. And yeah, it just felt a bit weird. And so I eventually just I’m gonna move over onto Instagram. And I was for a couple of months and not really sure about, like, where to be posting or what to be posting, I’m probably still always going over in my head anyway. But I was like, Okay, I’m just gonna fully focus on Instagram. And it’s, for me, it’s always been about the video that I love waking up every day having a video idea by the end of the day publishing it. And just having this finished piece of work, and the views and stuff haven’t mattered as much to me. But like, it’s slowly going, I did like, a really cool thing about being in LA last week, I met up with another coach in LA who’s really similar to what I do, and

Alex Beadon 30:43
was really cool. Yeah,

Andy Burgess 30:45
so yeah, and it was so much fun. And he’s kind of working with like, yes, theory and a lot of people out there, and he’s kind of blown up. And we did this clap. And then like, my account, like, I woke up the next day, and I was over, like, I think I was before the club, I was in like, 4500, or something. And then I was like, up to like, 11k, or something. And it was like, insane. Because we were just and I think it kind of all aligned, because the video was great. We’re so similar in what we do, he had a hyper engaged account. And they could just see that I wanted to jump over. And that’s great. Like, I’m, I’m like it put me up there. I’m doing like a couple more things. Now it’s kind of helping out. But it hasn’t changed how I make my videos are how I think about that. Like, that’s never kind of been the case. I still manage to like get work from these companies, because of like the videos I’m making. And I can, it looks like brands are also seeing that quality is like a big deal now rather than like quantity in like numbers all the time. And it’s moving away. So I’d like to try not to focus on that, because I see a lot of people getting beat down by that I just kind of doing what I do, and then just see where it goes.

Alex Beadon 32:04
Yeah. And it’s like you said at the beginning, you were like, you know, you’re really focused on the long term, you’re not focused on the short term. So I love that so much. And I think, you know, brands have probably been burned many times by like these big influencers, who, it’s interesting what you said earlier about the quality of the audience, like if people are coming to your, to your videos and watching them, but they’re random, and they’re just off of like, the Snapchat explorer discovery or whatever. That’s not really that helpful. It’s kind of like, there used to be this website. I can’t remember what it was called. But you’d basically get featured on their sites, and it would bring me so much traffic, but it was like really low quality traffic people who wouldn’t they’re not good fit for me or my brands, you know, was that for Snapchat? No, it wasn’t for Snapchat, it was for something else. I can’t I can’t remember the name. It was some website where you basically go onto the website, and it’s for people who are bored, and they just press refresh, refresh, refresh, and each time a new page comes up that someone else has recommended. So like, it was great when my site would get featured, because I’d have a huge spike in traffic. But it was also like totally pointless because none of them were really into my kind of topic or what I do. Do you know what I mean?

Andy Burgess 33:15
Yeah, yeah. And it’s all about returning that and keeping like that engaged audience while using on Snapchat after a club. is I tell I be like, Hey, thanks, everyone who came over, send me like a DM, say who you are, and like, what you’re up to, and whatever. And I would send like a video response back to every single person. And I still try to reply to like every single message because I’d rather have. I always says like, it’s probably better to have like, 1000 people watching your Snapchat your Instagram story, who was super engaged with you and sending you DMS back and like doing like, and like really into what you do, then having like, 100,000 people watching it, but like getting like no DMS or anything?

Alex Beadon 33:59
Yeah. 100%. So just how you’re talking about how you did a collaboration with someone in LA and you said your numbers went from 4500 to 11,000. Are you talking about story views? Are you talking about follows Oh follows? Oh, wow. Dude, that is insane.

Andy Burgess 34:14
I know. It was like, I woke up and I was like, no, what, like, had gone up and then we were talking about it. And he’s like, Yeah, and it was like kind of that a combination of some friends could see it happen. Like they were watching it. And then they were like, hey, and then they started like sharing this my stories as well. And like pushing people as well. So like it kind of just like rolled over and like a couple of days.

Alex Beadon 34:39
Wow, I am like I mean you more than doubled your audience.

Andy Burgess 34:43
Yeah, I know. And like it’s a bit baffling. And that’s why like now so I’m trying to like talking this out. Now. It’s actually really helping because I’ve been like, since then I’ve been focusing on the stories because that’s what people know me for. That’s the best work because I always struggle with what to post on like the Instagram feed like, do you stick to like, what the algorithm wants? Or do you just do whatever you want? Or like, do you make it look pretty and like, I’ve never really been able to find the right fit for that. So I’m kind of just like, focusing on the stories, because that’s what people are watching to see the views on that like, like being consistent since it’s happened. So like, that’s just kind of worrying about focus, and then like, kind of like, look at the feed when I can.

Alex Beadon 35:27
That’s amazing. Yeah, I was thinking about that the other day, actually, because that’s something that even for me, like, I teach Instagram stories to business owners, and people always ask me about the feed. And I think that feed is like this weird place where it’s like, it, it has to be like a higher quality, it has to you feel like it needs to be like magazine, glossy and pretty and everything. So part of me is just in this space, where I’m like, Listen, I’m gonna focus on my stories. And I’m going to focus on creating epic content. And like, when I have a picture to post, I’ll post it but at the end of the day, like most people are following me for my stories and not for my feed. You know, exactly.

Andy Burgess 36:01
And it’s like, if a lot of people are like, I don’t really know how the algorithms working with stories, but if people are like watching your stories a lot, you’re going to appear at the top. And I see a lot of people now that kind of they just tell the stories are not necessarily going through the feed, because you can tap a story and then like everyone’s will keep rolling through. Yeah, yeah. Like I don’t like or if I do, I’m not like, kind of that interested in it. I’m probably gonna post this week to see what happens. But like, story wise, it’s like going really well. And that’s kind of like what I’m happy with. And then like, playing with IG TV and stuff and seeing what’s good

Alex Beadon 36:37
for you algorithm algorithm or the algorithmically as well. It’s interesting, because you’re also using IG TV, dude, you’re killing it on IG TV. I’m just like, loving watching you on IG TV and on Instagram stories. It’s so cool. But to also then use like, live, which I know that you sometimes do. And then coupled with the feed, like I think Instagram, that must be something in the algorithm where when you’re using like the platform as much as you are, like, you must benefit from that. So I guess it is still important to post the feed, but definitely not obsess over it the same way that you do all of your other pieces of content.

Andy Burgess 37:18
Yeah, yeah, definitely. I think I’m like, Just there was a point where I would just post like, photos of me doing something because they would do so much better than like, a nice drone shot or something. And it’s just like, it’s like, oh, like now it’s like, kind of am I overthinking this, like, I’m not really like loving what I’m doing here. But if I can post these videos to like, here, like IG TV or like, stories, like that’s what I love doing. That’s what people kind of expect from me and what they want to see and my forte, what I love to do, yeah,

Alex Beadon 37:50
it’s really it’s one of those, I think everyone’s kind of struggling with it. Because you’ve gotten to a point where it’s like, everyone knows that posting photos of yourself. And especially like good photos of yourself are what do best, but it’s kind of soul sucking to only live your life or like only have an Instagram feed that’s really created to boost the algorithm. Yeah, and

Andy Burgess 38:10
it’s kind of it’s a weird thing, everyone. And I feel like a lot of people are talking about this this year. And I think I saw something like Joe Rogan’s podcast every day. And I was just talking about, like, how everyone’s only sort of showing their best life in like the answering Instagram feed, because it’s so like curated and like it’s kind of just going through and I’m kind of just like, Oh, I’m just like kind of seeing the same stuff. And like, I’m a part of it, too. Everyone’s doing it. Everyone’s just kind of sharing those bits. But stories you can really be like, That’s what I’ve always loved about like Snapchat and Instagram Stories is like so like, they’re in a moment or like you can like just like post something like really rotten, the live feature in it as well. It’s just like, just just really cool. So I’m kind of like, done with looking at a lot of the stuff on the feed, I saw something that someone said was really interesting. And we keep deleted or he archived all his, I think it was Craig Adams, he archived like, a lot of his feed posts, and he posted something about I don’t know why feed posts aren’t just 24 hours as well, because people don’t necessarily always go back and look at it. Understand, if you like kind of like a brand or like or someone comes to you, they want to see what you’ve done. And it’s a place to post like your best work. But it just like someone might consuming. Like it’s not like very highly, like likely that they’re gonna go back into your feed and like look at that picture again.

Alex Beadon 39:34
Yeah, it’s really I’ve actually been considering archiving, like most of my feed because I always had this thing where I was like, I don’t want to touch my like, I want to leave my feed since I first started my account back in 2000. And whenever that was 2000 I don’t even know. But now I have like 1000s of posts and a lot of them just aren’t relevant and no one cares and I just really think I’m gonna go through and just archive archive archive archive.

Andy Burgess 39:56
Yeah, I did that like a year ago. Yeah, I

Alex Beadon 39:59
think that That’s definitely in my cards. So I’m really curious. You seem to be someone who is like very forward moving like you seem to be someone who creates a lot of momentum. You know what you want you go for it, you don’t seem to be someone who really overthinks things. And if you are overthinking it, you seem to have an awareness that you most likely are just overthinking it, and you take action anyway, even if you’re feeling uncertain. So I’m curious, how do you go about like really creating the life of your dreams and really thinking like, what is it that I want for myself? And how do I get there? Like, is this something that you sit down and think about? Or are you just like, kind of having fun and seeing where things take you talk to me a little bit about that?

Andy Burgess 40:40
Yeah, I kind of like, I guess, in the long term, I’m thinking of like, I’m, like, naturally evolving, and what I’m doing and like, right now I’m getting really into the, like, higher produce stuff and making like longer form content. And I’m thinking of like, down the line, like, wanting to, like make a documentary and that kind of stuff. But like, on the day to day, I think just come like being able to live in London, and be able to, like, pay my rent, and like, eat, and like, wake up every day and do what I love doing for like a job. It just, like, motivates and makes me so happy. Like every day like that I don’t have to go and kind of sit in an office, like nine to five because like, that’s just not how I’m wired. I can’t do that. And that just like pushes me like every single day. And then like, being able to, even if sometimes I’m like, oh, like how is this going? Well, I have a bit of a slump. I’m like, Well, who knows, maybe the next video I make someone’s gonna see it. And then that’s going to allow me to go and speak in this place or like travel to this country. Some kind of very, like, just like day to day. But I am like thinking like down the line. What can I do? What’s bigger? Can I like right now my biggest dilemma in my head is do I take a pause on like some of the stuff that maybe in a couple of months what I’m doing on like HGTV? And do I maybe then focus on like, some longer form videos for YouTube or like for maybe like a documentary style thing. Because kind of that’s what I’m playing with at the moment.

Alex Beadon 42:29
That’s really interesting. And early, we’re talking about, you know, creative ambition and how working a nine to five even though you were doing some creative stuff, it really wasn’t fueling your creative ambition. So what would you say? Like, what do you want to be known for? Like, what what is it that you really like? What’s the name that you’re trying to carve out for yourself?

Andy Burgess 42:47
Oh, interesting. Um, I just, I’m really like, I really like being in this field. And this shooting video in a different way. It’s what people are kind of used to. And I’m I do like being able to push, push this like from forward especially like, on Instagram and people like the question of the thing I get most when people come over, it’s like, whoa, I’ve never seen something like this or like, there isn’t as much like highly produced stuff on stories. And I’ve always enjoyed that. Because it’s like a completely different way of like, filmmaking, but I think just making what I enjoy the most is seeing when someone sends me a comment about like how video has like made that day or it makes them kind of want to travel or see somewhere, I get a lot of people who say they love living vicariously through my travels and stuff. Oh, even like, like people I’ve never heard of, like I’ve never met, or like friends who I haven’t spoken to in a while, but that I love watching your travels. And I think just like, like keeping people entertained and joy and like letting them enjoy it and kind of bringing some value to them through my videos.

Alex Beadon 44:03
I love that. And I’m so excited to keep following you. Like I know that you’re one of those people who I’m going to keep following and checking in on your journey. I said that to someone the other day and I was like actually, that sounds like a really creepy thing to say. But I feel like your work is going to continue to evolve and grow and so I’m really excited to see where you go next. Okay, so to wrap up this interview, I always ask people the same final questions and the first one is what is one thing you do that has been a non negotiable in the success of your business?

Andy Burgess 44:37
non negotiable in the success of my business. What I like to do I don’t know if this is the I guess this is not I like to try and if I’m gonna like schedule meetings or anything else people want to meet. What I do now that I found is like really helped is I kind of tried to block them all together. So like mainly First thing or at the end of the day, because I found if I have to edit a video or like make an Instagram TV episode is that kind of like my priority two things I have to hit every Monday and every Thursday, I have to have a video out. And sometimes they can take between like, four to nine hours, like depending on how long it takes. And sometimes what I have last year’s, I’d be in a flow of like, Oh, I’m editing Oh, now I need to go to this 1pm meeting and like travel across town. And then I have two hour window with like an edit and then travel again. And I just wasn’t getting as much done. Because when you’re sitting down at editing, you kind of get an A flowing, you need a big block of time. And that’s kind of hard to get. So something that like I make as like a, like a non negotiable thing is like, I try to now schedule every meeting I do like in person, like first thing in the morning, or like in a block of time. So I can like get all that done. And then like focus on the videos for the rest of the day. And like, and also that’s kind of what it’s my favorite for them. Because if I’m like, hey, yeah, let’s do this meeting at like 8:30pm or nine, or whatever. They’re like, Oh, this guy’s either like he’s getting up early or whatever. So it kind of works out.

Alex Beadon 46:10
Awesome. I love that. Okay, share a mindset shift that has made the biggest difference in your life as an entrepreneur.

Andy Burgess 46:18
Just like finding a career path that I actually genuinely love doing and want to get up every day. And finding a way to make that like my work. And now is the best time to you can actually do that about anything. Like you could be obsessed with Pokemon. I don’t know why that’s coming to my head, but you could make a podcast about that. And like it, you know so much about it, you can like there’s an audience out there that also do and you can connect via the internet. And you can like, share all that knowledge, you know, and like, you can build a podcast or a YouTube channel out of it. And like you can you can make money from it. So just Yeah, kind of do what you love.

Alex Beadon 47:03
It’s interesting that you say that because I think most people don’t realize the shift that has happened thanks to the internet and the communities on the internet. I think we’re still at the beginning of it. I think most people don’t even realize it’s an option. So I love that you said okay, fill in the blank, the world would be a better place if more people knew

Andy Burgess 47:23
if more people knew to just just talk to people in the street, just to say hello. I genuinely think that like makes a lot of that makes like all the difference in the world. If I’m just gonna get a coffee in the morning, and I’m just like smiling. And like, and then like, you get like a lovely response from them. It kind of just makes you feel good. Yeah, when I was in New York, a lot of the time people are New Yorkers are really like, they’re not like friendly. I everyone always spoke to me was super friendly. And it just made me feel like really good. It’s a good way to set up today.

Alex Beadon 47:58
That’s amazing. Okay, the book that changed my life was

Andy Burgess 48:02
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk.

Alex Beadon 48:06
It’s a good one. It’s a good one. You’re right. And then lastly, I love doing this. So basically, every guest that I have on the podcast, I asked them to challenge our audience to do something this week to focus on taking an action step or some type of ritual or anything like what would you like to challenge our audience to do this week.

Andy Burgess 48:27
Um, I would say, look at something that you find like maybe a hobby that you really love doing. And perhaps look at how you could make that something you want to do in the future or career. It doesn’t have to kind of be video or photography, you could set up a podcast about that just kind of look at like, if you’re just in your like, day to day life, you’re like running along. Just see what you really enjoy doing is like a side, like hobby and kind of make that like a side hustle or something.

Alex Beadon 48:59
I love it. Andy, thank you so much for being here with us today. I really appreciate it. I loved everything you said. And I think this is going to be an episode that people absolutely adore. So thank you.

Andy Burgess 49:09
No worries. Thanks for having me.

Alex Beadon 49:11
And if before you leave, you just let everyone know where they can find you online.

Andy Burgess 49:15
Yeah, so the best place is Instagram. So it’s just Andy Burgess. Yeah, I’m posting stories like every single day and like big produced episodes on IG TV every Monday and Thursday at 8pm GMT.

Alex Beadon 49:34
Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode. If you enjoyed it, I would love for you to give me a shout out on your Instagram story or anywhere. Just letting me know what your biggest takeaway was. You guys have no idea how helpful and useful it is for me. When you message me telling me what your aha moments were telling me what it is that you took away from the podcast. It helps me understand what is most valuable to you. and it helps me understand how I can be of the highest service to you. So if you could take two minutes to do that, I would really appreciate it. Thank you guys so much for watching. I hope to hear from you over on Instagram. You can find me at Alex Beadon, and I will talk to you again very soon. Bye bye

#022 – Community Building Online and Offline with Asia Croson

Online communities are great. But how connected are you to your real-life community?

For Asia Croson, a professional photographer and budding philanthropist, connecting to others was more than just a passion. This is her life. As a College Senior photographer, Asia has been able to bring meaningful changes to her community through creating charity events that range from helping those through personal struggles to starting their own businesses.

“As much as I want to put myself out there online, I think it’s just as important to put yourself out there where you live.”

Learn more about her motivations, her backstory into her own business and why she thinks it’s key to reach out to those around you in a meaningful way.

“People wanted to get photographed by me because they knew me, liked me and trusted me…”

This is On Purpose.

In this Podcast, you’ll learn:

  • Turning hobbies into successful businesses
  • Forging relationships with your community
  • Introverts vs extroverts
  • Guerilla Marketing and how it can benefit small start ups.
  • & the importance of alone time

Join the Community:

IG: @asiacrosonphotography

Loved this and want more? Check out our other episodes here.

Spark a conversation! Leave a comment below or say hello @alexbeadon on Instagram.

Transcript Available Below

Alex Beadon 0:00
In this episode I speak to Asia Croson, who is a professional senior photographer. Asia is a pro when it comes to community building both off and online. And in this episode, she shares how she leverages her strengths to build that know, like and trust factor so that she’s the very first person her clients go to when they’re looking for a photographer. The best part is that her advice in this episode is relevant to everyone, regardless of your industry. It’s about the importance of knowing yourself well enough to create a business and a life that supports you exactly as you are, and sets you up to win. This is on purpose. Do you ever feel like you’re trying to balance it all? nourishing your health while growing your business and living a life well lived? And no matter how hard you try, sometimes you slip from purpose driven into autopilot. Take a deep breath, relax, and let’s get you back to where you belong. On purpose.

Hey, brands, welcome to today’s episode, I’m so excited to introduce you to my friend Asia, Asia Croson and I first met because she was actually one of my very first coaching clients back in 2012, or 2013. And I got to know her and just absolutely fell in love as you’re going to hear her personality is one of a kind. She’s someone who not only oozes talent when it comes to photography, but she’s an incredible human being who is using all of her strengths to create a life of impact, meaning and service. This episode is a fantastic one for anyone who is looking for the inspiration to be the best versions of themselves, and is trying to figure out how to put themselves out there without feeling all that fear. So take a listen to this episode. And let me know what you think on Instagram afterwards. Enjoy. Asia. Thank you so much for being on the podcast.

Asia Croson 2:00
I’m so happy to be here for the second time. Are we? Are we like allowed to tell people that?

Alex Beadon 2:04
Yeah, tell people. So basically, when I first started the podcast back Well, I first started recording episodes for the podcast back in December of 2017. And Asia was one of the very first people who I interviewed. And unfortunately, or fortunately, I think, fortunately. So true. We did our recording, and there was a lot of construction happening. What was it was in your building? Was it your neighbor’s? I don’t know.

Asia Croson 2:31
It’s just outside my building. It’s just like the plight of the world right now. Is it the whole, like our whole town has been under construction. So they’re oddly removing all of our parking lots and replacing them with hotels, which just feels like oh, and now we have no parking. And then there’s construction behind the podcast. So it’s, you know, it’s the worst, truly, it’s horrible. But I always like to say that God is the best secretary. And so he’s always moving things around in our favor. And we were just chatting before we recorded how that yeah, that’d be nine months ago. So many things have changed. And so I’m, we could have almost done that one and kept that content and read on a whole separate a whole separate episode. And it would have been two awesome ones. Totally, totally.

Alex Beadon 3:07
And I’m so excited to hear all about it. But before we dive into that, I’m going to ask you the first question that I asked everyone, which is, what do you find most nourishing about having your own business?

Asia Croson 3:20
Can I tell you that I like listened to every episode. So I knew that these were the questions that were coming, prepared for this. So I know that everybody says like freedom, I was just listening to promises episode. And that’s like, one of the things she said was like, okay, so people like know that freedom is super nourishing, but I wanted to get into a little bit more about like, why that’s so nourishing. And I feel like the first basic thing was like, I have the freedom to continue to nourish myself, since I run my own business. So I have like, of course, that’s like self care. And then with being like creatively fulfilled, I’m able to do that because I run my own business. So if I were working somewhere else, and I felt like maybe I couldn’t, I don’t know, take a break or I couldn’t do the things I need to do take care of myself, I wouldn’t be nourishing myself, or I felt like I was just, you know, working like a mind numbing job that’s also not nourishing. So I feel like really having the flexibility and the freedom. And then of course, one of my big why’s that I have my own business. So I can see my family, my sister, my nephew, and my whole extended family. They live up in Washington State and I’m California and so I’m able to go to go visit them and to go see them and that’s just like nourishing for my soul. So really the the freedom really is like the biggest the number one thing but it’s more than just like oh, I can like do whatever the hell I want. It’s the freedom to continue to nourish myself for sure.

Alex Beadon 4:34
I’m so curious what you said last time. I have a feeling you said something very similar.

Asia Croson 4:39
Oh my god, I’m sure I did. I know. We need to like listen and try to like, tune out the construction noise. Totally compare this so interesting. Totally. I would love that. I would so love that.

Alex Beadon 4:50
So for those of us who are listening and have no idea who you are, I would love for you to quickly tell us about what you offer your clients and how you might Make your money.

Asia Croson 5:01
Great. So I am a photographer. I live in the central coast of California, San Luis Obispo. And so I make all my money with photography, which is amazing. And I work primarily with young women, particularly sorority women out of the university, which is Cal Poly. And my main clientele is college graduation gals. And then I also do weddings, and also do braiding photos, and just so many great things with that. But over the last year, especially since we’ve talked recently, I am also I really hate saying calling this myself a philanthropist. But that’s really what it is. And I’ve been doing so many charity events in my community. And this year, my goal is to actually turn all that into a nonprofit. So I’ve always used I it’s a it’s a big deal. I cannot believe that wasn’t a thing in December. And now it’s definitely a thing.

Alex Beadon 5:50
You know, I feel like you had started doing it.

Asia Croson 5:54
Oh, totally. Because the funny thing like if

Alex Beadon 5:57
you were involved with the charitable organizations like I feel like that was definitely

Asia Croson 6:02
yes. So I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you the evolution of it. So I’ve always like my clap my, my social media platform. And just like my in person platform, I am all about like being out there and my community. And as much as like I want to put myself out there online, I think it’s just as important to put yourself out there where you live, always been super involved, I’ve actually never been involved with another charity organization, I’ve always just put on my own events. And I think that goes back to like the freedom one of my one of my biggest core values is autonomy. And so I just happened to find myself doing things on my own instead of initially connecting with somebody else, and then kind of bringing people to me to help me out. And so one of the biggest things that I’ve done is it just the clothing swap, and we bring all the clothes, you typically donate to Goodwill, and then we swap with each other. And then the remaining items, which is typically like 100 to 200 bags. So it’s so many items get donated to the women’s shelter here in town. And we’ve I’ve been doing that since since I was in college, it’s been a long time. And now it’s grown to having one time we had over 600 people come, it was humongous. And so we’ve always been doing that. And then another thing I do is called BYOB build your own business. And that’s for it’s not really just for women, but mostly it’s women who come to get them started on building their own business. And the tickets are just $8. And really, we just did that to make sure that people come because when people pay for stuff, they happen to more. But it’s really to invest more in the local like entrepreneurial woman side of the town. So those two and then the biggest one that I did in March, which is something that I was probably working on when we were when we did our first episode, but it hadn’t come to fruition yet. It’s called girls who handle it. And it is essentially an art gallery showing off Cal Poly women. So the university students who have dealt with anything, some of them really, really traumatic experiences, like boyfriends committed suicide, or their mom’s dying suddenly, or a sudden illness, etc, to things that are more commonplace, anxiety, etc. And then comparing that to their Instagram feeds. And really just like putting in your face that like everybody on social media is that’s like such a a farce, I guess. But it’s really as a highlight reel. And so we’ve been on this huge event where we had a picture of every girl and then two pages of their story, what they were really going through, and then their feet at that exact moment that those things were going on. And it was incredibly powerful. We didn’t it was one of those times almost like everything in my business where I started doing something. And then I realized like the impact it’s having or then I realized I started the business on accident or whatever. We didn’t realize it was a thing until we had about Yeah, that was was also about 600 people standing outside in the rain, wanting to come in, people were reading every single story that we had. And then people started donating. And we didn’t even ask for donations. And that’s when he has everything clicked for me. And I was like I have been doing all of these charity events and all of this like what would be considered like nonprofit work without being a nonprofit. And so I might as well like kind of make it official and really, like move forward with that. Wow. Yes, it’s been a big change.

Alex Beadon 9:16
That is amazing. It’s not a change. It’s more just like the direction has been unveiled. Unveiled. I keep using that word. It’s not a word revealed.

Asia Croson 9:25
revealed and unknown. Unveiled. It’s totally a word is it? Yeah, like it wrong. Okay, that’s not a word that’s true. Unveiled, revealed. Yeah, that’s exactly what it is like. And I kind of been joking. So John and I have been engaged since January 2017. So Oh, thank you. And I was joking to somebody recently, I was like, you know, my, my nonprofit is kind of like my marriage. Like we’re doing this thing anyway. Like the government just doesn’t recognize it. And that’s really how it is with with making everything that I’ve been doing you You know, I guess the goal is to make it into nonprofit but really having to discern why we want to do that. Because making into nonprofit doesn’t make it do anything different, like the three events are still going to be continuing on. So but yeah, you’re right, just having the direction be revealed and using, we’re all coming back to it, like my photography and my, my online and in person presence to, to bring attention to those things.

Alex Beadon 10:23
Yeah. Okay. So I want to get into everything. But before we, I feel like I need to kind of just bring it back to your business. And I really want to know, you got Okay, so how did you get started? Because I feel like you’ve done such a good job of really differentiating yourself as a senior portrait photography, which I feel was not something that was particularly big, where you were and when I say senior, I mean, like college students, yes. As opposed to like high school students, because I think the high school thing was the thing. Whereas what you created was specifically more for the college. demographic. Yes. So can you talk to me about that? Like, how did you figure that out? What’s What was your path with that?

Asia Croson 11:06
Yeah, that so for sure, high school, senior photos are like definitely an established thing. And college seniors we’re not. And the reason that I really pursued that is because that’s what I got started with. So I got started photography, my senior year of college with a girlfriend of mine who was graduating, I want to cut pictures and make her feel special. And so it was the only thing I knew in the photography world was like, I want to take pictures of people graduating college, because those people are my friends, and my friends, friends. And at the base of that I just liked making my friends and my friends, friends feel good. And so I didn’t have any kind of connection or like really motivation to pursue other things in the beginning. Because I was like, this is this is what I like, and this is what I do. And then I also connected so well with that, because I worked my ass off in college, I paid for my own way. And I really just became the person that I just like, fell in love with myself and my college process. I loved my friends I loved where I came to school in San Luis Obispo, and then I moved away for a year and coming back here and settling here. I love it here. And so I just felt like the end of your college career was so much more you than the end of your high school career. And though how I did that was so the reason I work so closely with sororities is because I decided to go through them to kind of funnel into the working with them one on one. And Alex, when you and I started working together, she doesn’t 13,014 When you were doing one on one business coaching 112 years ago, roughly. I know so long ago, I started doing this, this thing called fall photo off, which I’m actually currently in at this very moment where I take one photo of every single sorority house, and then I put it on Instagram, at the end of all the photos. And then they have essentially a liking competition on it. And it always changes and it was on Snapchat for a bit but it’s always been on Instagram, but now it’s just mainly centered on Instagram.

Alex Beadon 12:57
To be clear, it’s 100%, free like that, that part of it is free.

Asia Croson 13:03
Yes, yes. And all of that is free. So a free photo shoot for every single sorority. And actually this year, I’m really excited because what I did was offer them an upgrade, which is something I had never done before. And from like a business perspective, I was like, this is brilliant, because truly three shoot, but they were able to, to upgrade and get you know, more more individual photos as well. But the free photo shoot is just with the whole house. And then we do a couple ones of like first year, second year, third years, whatever, and then putting that on Instagram, and then they are putting it everywhere, etc, etc. And so that that has taught me so much about like guerilla marketing, essentially. And then also so much about giving free work, or however you want to call that this is really it is me giving them something for free. But just knowing that it’s planting seeds for them to want to come back to me, because I found that a favorite clients are the ones who I’ve thought about before. And so the more opportunity I have to photograph them in any other setting, the better. They are primed when they come to me later. And so yeah,

Alex Beadon 14:04
and that’s part of their like tradition. Oh, yeah,

Asia Croson 14:08
totally. I mean, it’s crazy how I’ve been doing this my sixth year doing it because I started in 2013 And so now it’s been a couple years where the girls are like, I met you my freshman year. Like I met my best friend at Fall photo off and I’ve been dreaming about taking my picture with you since then. And that is like oh my gosh, like moves me to tears like every time I like you don’t even know how much that means to me and like how cool that is. So definitely ingrained and I feel like it took a long time because like with everything you have to be consistent like the second year people still didn’t know what they were doing. And now I feel like it went by in the blink of an eye now I feel like all of a sudden I was well and they know who I am. But it did take a lot of work especially like you were saying in the beginning with the with the question was like it was a market that didn’t exist yet. So not only did I have to like essentially invent a market but I had to say oh and also pick me. So also do graduation photos, but also do them with me, not just with me. So,

Alex Beadon 15:06
so I want to connect some dots here for the people who are listening, if they’re thinking about like their own business and how to translate all of the concepts that you just shared, really what it’s coming down to is making sure that you’re inserting yourself into the conversation that that your ideal clients are having in some way, shape or form. And also making it really super easy for them to say yes to working with you, even if it’s initially for free. Knowing that you’re building that relationship, you’re planting the seeds, you’re investing in that relationship with them with the hopes that they’re going to see the value that you’re offering and providing and then end up choosing you as their photographer, or coach or whatever it is that you are in the future.

Asia Croson 15:48
Totally. And I think that I’m when I look back, I’m honestly surprised that the inside I was like 23, or something that like it was really playing the long game. I knew, like I wasn’t gonna get, like, let’s say that my first group of gals, I had, you know, a quarter of them first year, second year, third year, fourth year, I knew that those fourth years, were essentially not going to be my clients, because they only worked with me once. And I really was investing in those first year gals. And so I knew this was really going to pay off big time in four years, when they are in three years, whatever, when they were going to be becoming seniors and will have worked with me the whole time. And I was dead on the money with that. And when I had done it for three or four years, then I was completely fully booked. But I knew in the beginning, don’t get discouraged if this isn’t like immediately turn around with an insane amount of clients because they can only work with me at one point, which is a little bit different for other people, for like coaches, etc. Who can businesses can hire them at any time. But for me, I’m only doing graduation photos, so they can only work with me at a certain point. So I knew it was a long game to be to be priming them enough in the beginning to know that they want to know me like me and trust me to be able to hire me when they get to that point. But it really has planting seeds I think is so huge. I think there’s nothing wrong with and it’s better to play the long game for sure.

Alex Beadon 16:59
I love it. Okay, something else that I think you’re really good at is showing your personality online, like you went from blogging, and then you were making videos, and then you’re on Snapchat and Instagram. And so I’d love for you to share with us your journey of putting yourself out there online, and what the benefits were, if you had to overcome any hurdles. And yeah, just talk to us about that.

Asia Croson 17:24
Okay, great. So one of the questions you might be asking me maybe is like non negotiable stuff. And I have a separate answer for that. But that was one of the things that came up to my mind in the beginning was like sharing me and my life has always been like a non negotiable part of my business and part of my life. So from the very beginning, when there was no Snapchat and Instagram wasn’t like it is now because it was six years ago. It was about blogging. And so I used to blog and I loved it. And I started blogging before I had a business because actually, my blog was called because my grandma doesn’t have Facebook, because I wanted my grandma to know, like when I was doing because I lived in France for a year. And so no blog random things so that I could just connect with, you know, my loved one. And then I started I don’t know, at what point I realized that I’m kind of funny. I don’t know when that happened. And but then I started blogging, like really funny things that were going on. In my

Alex Beadon 18:17
videos, you’re like, you’re funny, but it also comes with a dash of wisdom, inspiration, like, I just love your vibe is so great.

Asia Croson 18:25
That’s so great. Thank you so much. Yeah, I used to, I would Yeah, I guess I would just bought funny things. But you know, I wasn’t super consistent with it. And so as soon as and then I did videos, which I also really loved and they were there was called taking shots, how to take shots the classy way, which I thought was incredibly clever. It was about obviously photography, and I really love that. But it was so cumbersome. It was like so much work. Oh my gosh, I mean, YouTube videos are a lot of like work in production. What’s that?

Alex Beadon 18:56
I said, it’s a commitment.

Asia Croson 18:58
Yeah, I totally is, oh my gosh, it’s such a blimp and I loved it. It was like it almost felt like more of a hobby. And it was so super fun. But then Snapchat came along and I was like, oh my goodness, I have like there’s all the cumbersome. pneus of it is now gone, I can just record it and then upload it immediately and no editing and no file saving and no exporting and importing. And it was like such a game changer for me. And it was really natural for me to share my life and my day on there almost immediately. And I remember in the beginning people would and I don’t think about it that much. I think that I have like a very thick skin against haters. I was bullied a lot when I was younger. So I think I’ve kind of just like learn to tune them out. But in the beginning people would always like make fun of me about like, oh, here we go again. You’re just gonna Snapchat like your walk to Starbucks and Oh, guess what, you’re at Starbucks again, or like whatever. And I’m like, Well, you’re the one watching. You don’t have to like every day like you know that I go to Starbucks every single day like you watch me enough to like be bothered by my ritual. Like I’m so sorry about that. Like don’t watch it. It’s not my problem. Um, but some people have asked me like, oh, you put yourself out there so much online? Do you know what do you how do you handle the haters? And I’m like, I’m do I don’t know, I’m sure I have any. But I don’t honestly don’t see them. Like, they don’t bother me. But so Snapchat was going great. And it was really being it was a huge part of my business. And I had once I started getting using a CRM, what is that called? Or a client management system? Yeah. I would ask people like, how did you hear me or what, what inspired you to choose me as your photographer, and so many of them would say that I follow you on Snapchat. And I thought that was so interesting, because the big difference between Snapchat and Instagram is, of course, not being able to upload photos that weren’t taking live. And so something I’ve done with Instagram has been able to put the actual photos peppered in with the behind the scenes. With Snapchat, I couldn’t do that. So I truly didn’t show off my work on Snapchat, people weren’t people were just seeing behind the scenes, they weren’t really seeing the actual photos, my actual work, which is what you would think, would make clients hire whoever it is. So not, that is so not true. I that is not true in any way, shape, or form. People wanted to get photographed by me, because they knew me like me, and trust me, and they wanted to be around me. And that’s what the experience they wanted to get their photos done. And now it’s so much easier with Instagram, because I can show off my work in addition to what it’s like to work with me, but it was it just really reaffirmed for me that I need to just be myself on Snapchat and or on whatever putting myself out there. And that will attract the right people to me. And also needs to do it in abundance, because I don’t know who’s paying attention and when they’re paying attention. And if I just like throw glitter up in the air, eventually I’ll catch something. And so doing it everyday consistently has been a huge game changer for my business. So Snapchat, then moved over to Instagram, I was incredibly resistant to moving to making the change because I had been doing Snapchat for like four or five years, consistently, it was like Snapchat queen. But I’m loving Instagram. Now it’s so different for sure. Like there’s so many like, psychological reasons. It’s such a different experience. But I’ve gotten a new routine, but I don’t do it. As the day goes on. I feel like it takes too much time. So I just sit down and do it for like 45 minutes at the end of my day, typically is what I do. And I don’t talk to the camera as much as I used to, which I’m kind of sad about I really miss doing that. So actually today a little bit I did but yeah, I used to talk to the camera all day. It was like a daily vlog but Instagram. So different, little more aesthetic. So working on the transition, but it’s going very well.

Alex Beadon 22:24
Is it interesting how it’s so different. It’s incredibly

Asia Croson 22:28
different. Like I could literally like write a book about it.

Alex Beadon 22:32
It’s funny, because it’s like the exact same format Instagram Stories versus Snapchat stories. But for some reason, what you would feel totally comfortable doing on Snapchat stories you wouldn’t necessarily feel 100% comfortable doing on Instagram stories.

Asia Croson 22:46
I think there’s like a different culture. Yeah, for sure. There’s also like an expectation because you can upload things later, you almost feel as if they should be higher quality, whereas Snapchat was like, it was just understood that you just snap the pic and you put it up there. Like you could put a blurry picture of like somebody running by with funny pants on and be like, Ha ha like those Funny Pants would never do on Instagram. Like that’s not a thing like relevance to your story. And so what I’ve been doing since starting Instagram, because I still have a couple, however, my a couple 100 People still following me on Snapchat. And so I’ve just been using Snapchat, it’s kind of like my camera roll, I’ll just take pictures and add it to that. And then I’ll save them from my snapchat later and kind of curate it into my Instagram. So yeah, it is so very different. But I enjoy it. I really like the potential in the opportunity to network with people that way to be able to tag them and, and show show off their stuff. You know, you couldn’t do that with Snapchat. And so I think there’s so much more a big thing that I’m just realizing is there’s so much more of a community on Instagram, Snapchat, I’m putting this out there, I have no idea what’s happening on the other end. But with Instagram, you know so much more and you’re able to connect so much more.

Alex Beadon 23:53
That to me was like the big thing about Instagram. I mean, besides the fact that everyone kind of left Snapchat. Besides that, yeah, there’s also the fact that like, you can actually see who’s looking at your story. And it’s not just like a random name. And then you go to their profile, and there’s nothing they’re like, you can actually file and see what they posted or see if they have a story and maybe follow them or leave a comment or it’s just so much more of like you said, it’s so much more of a community, which is awesome. So do not post to Snapchat at all anymore.

Asia Croson 24:27
Now I do the thing, like I said, I like use it as kind of like a camera. I literally just went in brief. And my story. I just added it all I don’t even look at it later on. And I was on there. And it’s kind of essentially a camera. And then because there are still some people who use it, but I totally forgot. Overnight, literally 90% of my followers disappeared. And then I would try to go watch somebody else’s story and I couldn’t figure it out either. So I was like, I understand why you can’t find me. So I Yeah, so that’s another reason

Alex Beadon 24:54
Oh, Snapchat. They really have thrown everyone for a loop in so many ways and like they’re really not listening to their are creators. It’s such a shame because I feel like they had so much potential like, and you and I both know, like, we were both hardcore Snapchatter

Asia Croson 25:08
Yes, we were, we were, we were doing so good with it. And I was just listening to your thing with promise. And she was talking about how she still blogs because she’s saying, you know, you have to go where the people are. And then they change their mind and blah, blah, blah. And it’s I mean, it’s such a thing. That’s still how was a Snapchat, but there’s always a replacement. So yeah, I feel I feel good about going like where the people are in. But I was I was very hesitant to move over to Instagram until it was like, wow, okay, I have to now because nobody’s like,

Alex Beadon 25:36
Yeah, cuz even last time we spoke, I think you were still more active on Snapchat than you are now.

Asia Croson 25:43
Very reads. It’s a very recent thing. I think I’ve learned to appreciate being able to do it all at one time. I feel like it really, with Snapchat, it was I mean, it was super easy. It’s not like it was really interesting in my day, but you didn’t have to add it immediately. So was even like minute interruptions, and I wasn’t as present. But with Instagram, you need to take a picture, you can do whatever. And then I have, like I said, like 45 minutes where I just sit down. That’s all I do. So I can really focus on it. And not have to interrupt like my experiences with other people throughout my day.

Alex Beadon 26:12
Yeah, I think that’s a big one for me, too. People ask me that all the time. They’re like, how do you? How do you post this and put so much attention to it and still be present? I’m like, because I don’t post it when I’m actually now they’re like, record it, save it put my phone away.

Asia Croson 26:27
Exactly. And they do it all later. Yeah. It’s way better that way, way better.

Alex Beadon 26:32
Okay, so my next question for you is, I’m trying to think what do I want my next question for you to be I have a list of questions. I remember last time, we spoke a lot about community. And I’ve, today, it’s been a day. Like I said, this is like my fourth interview of the day. So I feel like a lot has happened today. And I’ve not had a lot of the conversations that I wanted to have, because I ran out of time. So I’m like, let me just get to what exactly what is it about today, which is community like I feel like you’re someone who you’ve done such a great job of building that community offline. Sorry, online, and then made that translate into the offline space into like, the real life like actually here with you, in person. And it’s interesting, because I think your business as well lends very well to it. Because like, obviously, when you meet with your clients, you’re meeting with them in person, you’re taking pictures of them. So I’d love for you to talk to us about how you have cultivated such a high quality level of community, I think it’s something really special. It’s something I myself am not good at at all. Like I’ve spent my entire life moving, like pretty much every three years, like from country to country to country to country. And so I’ve almost taught myself to really not rely too much on my community. Because in the back of my head, I’m like, well, you’re leaving soon anyway. And now I’m at an age where I’m like, I want to have connections with people who are like, on my safe weight, same wavelength and who I’m really cultivating a special relationship with. So I would love for you to talk to me about that and how you do that.

Asia Croson 28:11
Yes. I think that’s also a big reason why you and Laura are so close. Still. Because yeah, she’s so is your community, and how awesome would it be if you guys could be in the same placement, why it’s so cool for like when she comes down there and stuff. So yeah, this is a huge part of I mean, I only I can’t even call it a huge part of my life because it just like is my life is, is my community and my network. And I so you have a podcast called face to face with Paige Poppy. And it was about your online space and then being face to face and how people who can run their businesses online. Like you also need to invest in the in person, community. And then on the opposite side, people like me who, of course, I need to have an online presence. But you know, since I’m meeting with people face to face, my online presence isn’t as important but I need to be investing in that also. So I’ve always really understood the that the crossover and how important that is. And I think so much of that has to do with one the fact that I’m an extrovert and so me doing it by myself is not sustainable. For me. Of course, I’m not like needing to be around people 100% of the time, but I do get energy from being around other people. And especially other entrepreneurs who are super passionate, super excited, I totally feed off that vibe. And so for me, it just makes sense that I need to set myself up for success and be around people like that. Because it just gives me more energy. And then on top of that, like you are the five people that you surround yourself with or the average job or whatever. And so I knew how important it was to surround myself with people who would be uplifting to me and to be able to see them like not on a daily basis but actually literally probably on a daily basis. I see someone like that and so I’ve really made sure to to pepper that throughout my day to connect with people. But as far as how I did that I think I’m why know that I’m Very good at discerning between, if I don’t want to call it just like someone because that feels like very surface level and judgmental, but like, do I feel like this is an awesome? Is this gonna be an awesome, like friendship and networking relationship or not? And I realize that until someone recently was like, that’s a kind of a personal question like, I feel like you have, you’re really good at setting boundaries, and you have really great friends. And I never met one of your friends who I don’t like. And I was like, Wow, what a compliment to me. Like, that’s so nice. I just like collected humans, but I think it’s because we all have a quota of time, like the quota of energy, like it is, it is limited, it’s limited in our days, and we’re in our lifespan, and the time that you’re spending with people who aren’t doing whatever it is they need to be doing for you, or like feeding your soul or whatever is time that you are not spending, finding the other people or spending time with or investing in other people who would be doing that. And so I think that I have a very like cut and dry snot system, I don’t even realize I’m doing it or I’m like, No, they were fine, but like, probably not going to do anything with them. And then I’m able to really hone in on the relationships that I love so much. But one of the things that that I’ve done is with we’re connecting with humans all the time, we’re talking to baristas, as a photographer, I’m a makeup artist, I was a photographer, my clients are buying their clothes from somewhere there is already built in in our lives, like a network of humans that we could be connecting with. And I’ve just realized, like, it takes 90% of effort to like talk to them in general, or to connect with them at all. And if you just put 10% more effort into that, then it’s going to be you know, 100% and a very big deal. And so you might as well maximize those connections. So if I’m talking to somebody at all, I’m wanting to connect with them. I’m talking to the races already, I’m already talking to the makeup artist. So I might as well like really, really maximize that connection. And that in itself has just been huge for my community.

Alex Beadon 31:51
I love that so much. I feel like you also do a good job of reaching out to people and being like, Hey, let’s go and hang out. Totally. Yes. And not even just people that you know, but like people that you maybe just found online.

Asia Croson 32:06
When I Gosh, cool. Sorry about that. Actually what she may know already. But my friend Amy Young, she actually I saw her first. I first saw her video through the spark lounge. Yeah, which is amazing throwback. And she is a life coach, and she’s a YouTuber, and I saw one of her videos. And I’m not a big YouTube watcher. I think I watch Alex Beadon AMI on and that’s literally on YouTube. I don’t watch. But I saw her stuff. And I just loved it. And I subscribed to her email list and like, whatever. And I was like, kind of like in her like fandoms fear for a couple months. And then I was like, I checked out her website, and she had no photos of herself on her website. And she’s so adorable. No, she said adorable. She’s gorgeous. I’m adorable. Amy is gorgeous. There’s a difference. So I reached out to her. And I was like, I feel like you don’t have any photos or you don’t have any photos of yourself. I don’t know where you live. But I live in California. I love your emails. And like her emails were just so clever. They were essentially like a different blog. And then it would say in the middle of it like, oh, you can read more about this on my actual blog. And I just thought it was so brilliant. And so yeah, I reached out. And I was like, if you have any photos, I don’t know where you are. But I’m in California, if you’re ever out here, and like right in the middle of the state. And I would love to do photos of you. And so I she brought me back like a month and a half later. And I felt like Beyonce had written me. I was like, Oh, my God, this girl is famous. And she just wrote me back like, dinged when I was driving. And I remember like looking at it while I was driving, which is like a big no, no, but I was like, I’m gonna pull over, I’m gonna read this whole thing. I was so thrilled. And anyway, so we connected over Skype. And then she went flying out here from Boston. He did her first round of photos. And now she’s been out here four times. And one of those times she sat here for two months. And now she’s my best friend who just here she just left a couple days ago. So my god that was like, I really feel like in something even with the sororities when I first reached out to them. It’s so intimidating to reach out to somebody who don’t know, especially somebody who has either a reputation or an abundance of women in one place like a sorority. It’s that you’re not familiar with and I think one of the biggest things I’ve learned is like, literally just reach out to anybody. Like they’re all humans, you know, like, the worst thing they can do is say no or just not respond like whatever. And that’s like really done well for me with connections being like, oh, that person seems like you know, they’re just too big of a deal for me or whatever and but you might be exactly what they’re looking for in whatever partnership you’re you’re trying to approach with them. And for me, she was like, I love your photos so much. Absolutely. And I was like, Okay, great. Amazing. Like let’s be best friends now. Perfect. So yeah, kind of like not being scared to do that has and I’m sure that it’s affected my life in so many small ways and put I can think of like five huge arrays that I’ve had. And I think that’s a, that’s a big thing to reach out to communities. Everybody’s human and nobody’s like too weird to reach out to or too big to reach out to or whatever. So yeah,

Alex Beadon 35:11
I just love that so much. And I love that you’re so extroverted. And it’s so funny because I don’t think I ever really understood extraversion until I started dating my current boyfriend, Nick, because like, you guys are just the best people.

Asia Croson 35:26
But so great, like a new science because I think there’s been a couple like books that have come out about like, what it really means to be an introverted extroverted, and it’s really about like, where you get your energy. It’s not about being outgoing or shy. And I think that it’s really for sure helps the introverted community because I think they’re starting to understand like, I don’t get it I like people but like, I’m so dad at the end of the day. And so they’re starting to really get a little bit of just more strength and being like, it’s okay for me to want to be by myself at the end of the day. But I think, at the same time for me, I realizing it’s okay, that I want to be with people like it’s fine. And how can I intertwine that that’s why it’s so beneficial to know yourself. That’s why getting older has been so fun for me because they’re fun, fun. And like you when you’re younger, you’re like, oh, getting to myself, like who the eff cares. But the reason why it’s so important is because then you can make life better for yourself. So knowing I love to be around people is me being able to fix my schedule to intertwine all of my friends. And you know, some other people, if I’m by myself all day, I’m like gonna fall asleep or something. So I can’t do

Alex Beadon 36:28
the opposite. And it’s so funny because everyone’s like, Yeah, I like you’re so extroverted. And I’m like, I’m outgoing. And like, I like meeting new people. And I like talking to people. But at the end of the day, I really like being alone. I like reading my book, I like being in bed. Like even today, my boyfriend right before this interview, he came up to me, and he’s like, so there’s this art exhibition happening tonight. And we should go and so and so it’s going and I’m like, Oh my God, that sounds so overwhelming. You’re like, no, no, like, I’ve been speaking to people all day long.

Asia Croson 36:59
Like, I cannot do that. And I totally get it and my fiance’s the same. He’s the most, the most outgoing and like entertaining. Oh, wow. Like the, like, he likes to entertain a lot. But he is like the biggest introvert. Like he needs to be by himself a lot. But he works from home by himself. So he naturally gets a lot of alone time, which I imagine that you would as well, because you’re interviewing. And so that’s why that’s why that works for you guys. Because you have you already have built in just like I have built in meeting with people and even my photoshoots, which is the core of my job is with other people. So I know that that works really well for me. And I know for that with other people it wouldn’t and that was a big thing. When we talked in December, I was making an ecourse about networking. That was a big struggle for me because I was like, this is a networking course for extroverts. Because this stuff is not going to work if you don’t like or not don’t like being around people. But if that sucks your energy at the end of the day, that don’t do what I’m saying because it’s not going to be good.

Alex Beadon 37:52
Well, I think it’s a balance because like for me, it’s like I know it’s healthy when I spend time with people I’m like when I actually make the effort to go and meet new people and whatever I always enjoy it you know, finding the balance of like, not like maybe your level of social and my boyfriend’s although social is like just not my level of social like you guys are like, a whole next level which is totally great for you guys. Have you done Myers Briggs Personality Test?

Asia Croson 38:21
Yes. And I am an INFJ Oh my gosh. Yeah, that

Alex Beadon 38:25
sounds about right.

Asia Croson 38:26
I am Who did we just looked at that the other day? Because investment just did hurt your family?

Alex Beadon 38:32
When a no no then you must be ENFP

Asia Croson 38:36
Oh, you think so? Okay. Oh, I literally just did it. I’m gonna Google it, please.

Alex Beadon 38:40
Because I NFP and it wouldn’t surprise me if we are the same.

Asia Croson 38:44
Okay, okay. You’re an extrovert, though.

Alex Beadon 38:46
I’m an extrovert, but ENFPs supposedly are the least extroverted of all the extroverts?

Asia Croson 38:52
Oh, I am an ENFP I am. I’m not an ENFP How did you know

Alex Beadon 38:57
that? Wow, here we are together. We are together.

Asia Croson 39:00
This is amazing. Okay, so I have this says that I’m extroverted. 91%. So Right. Like,

Alex Beadon 39:08
yeah, it’s interesting, because yours will say so your says your 91% whereas mine is like, I think 40% or something like that. Okay.

Asia Croson 39:16
Yeah, but I think that like that 9% still plays into my day, every single day. Like I love to have like my morning routine has to be like literally entirely solo. And I mean, I, I just have also built in time to like, be where I am by myself. And so I think that it is so important for every human to be able to spend some time on your own. I also as I’ve gotten older realize that I like my own company. I like being with myself. And so that’s been that’s such a joy. And so I don’t mind being alone at some point and that is very refreshing. I used to call it stare at a wall time. It used to be me, me for family and friends. And I’d be like, I’m just gonna go stare at a wall because I just need like, I’m not tired, but I just need to like stare at a wall. So I make sure I get in that as well. out, but for like energy and you know, I want to use the word ignition but like when I want to ignites or whatever I have to be around people, for sure.

Alex Beadon 40:08
That’s really interesting. Okay, so takeaway for everyone listening is to know yourself. I think that’s really what we’re coming down to here. Yes, no true,

Asia Croson 40:16
so true. And then like, make it happen. You know, like, the first, the first episode of my podcast when I’m by myself was like, pay attention to your life. And it was like, pay attention to the things that you’re doing and the things you surround yourself with, and everything affects you and everything matters. And there are some things that are draining you and like, they’re either my mom used to tell me that friends are either rocks or balloons, like they either hold you down, or they bring you up. And I feel like it’s like that with everything in your life. Like, the way that you dress, the way you present yourself, the coffee that you drink, like what you’re seeing when you’re sitting in your office. I think all of those things, it’s such we live in a very holistic life. And that’s one of the things like does it feel good for me to be by myself all day? Or does it not? And then, and then adjust from there, you know?

Alex Beadon 40:57
Oh, my God, I love that your mom’s quote about rocks and balloons?

Asia Croson 41:01
My mom, she’s so wise. And I think, why is your parents are?

Alex Beadon 41:05
That’s just the best quote ever. I love it. Okay, so I want to kind of just touch on your, um, like, in between two questions right now, like, which direction do I want to take? I think okay, I think I know what we want to talk about. I want to talk to you about your sense of confidence and your sense of self worth, like you clearly are a very confident person. Like you said, you were bullied as a child. So you had a thick skin learn how to deal with with negative confrontation? Maybe? Yes. What advice do you have for someone who’s like, yeah, it’s so easy for you because you’re extroverted and like, you have a thick skin and you can put yourself out there and you don’t care what other people think? Or say, what advice do you have for people who are struggling with that?

Asia Croson 41:53
I feel oh my gosh, I wish you didn’t see me right now. I’m like moving all my body because they’re just like, so I just hate it when people. It just breaks my heart when people don’t have the competence to do that. And I think they think it’s different for everybody else. They think it’s like, oh, it’s easy for you. It’s not as easy for me. And that’s and that’s not true in any way. It’s not easy for anybody to do things. It’s easier when you start doing it. That’s the difference a difference? Isn’t it? Because you’re competent? Because you’re not competent? The difference is the experience doing it? And I think one of the things depends on how I’m feeling when I have this conversation, like am I feeling like nurturing? And I’m like, No, everybody’s beautiful in their own way. And that’s like one thing. But another thing is like, how does it actually affect you as to what other people think. And so there’s like a little tough love thing. And like, let’s talk about this for realsies. Like if this person online he’s never met before, says you have an annoying voice, go throughout your day and tell me how that actually affects your life. Because it literally does not like it doesn’t at all it doesn’t. And the only time that it does is because you’re thinking about it. And that’s something that I’ve had to learn, again, from a super young age, that what other people will think about you only affects you as much as you let it in a very real sense. Not this like hypothetical sense. And like, it literally doesn’t affect me at all. Like when I was in school, I could still get good grades, I could still, you know, be a nice big sister, I could still it didn’t affect me at all, unless I was thinking about it a bunch. And so I think with confidence has been all about how I’m showing up like, am I showing up my best self? And if I am, then I’m feeling great about it. And if I’m not, then I’m not feeling super confident. And then also taking into consideration Am I showing up my best self considering my current circumstances, like, I can’t expect myself to show up my best self, if I’m sick, or if I’m whatever. But if I’m doing the best job I can in that exact moment, I have the right to be confident doing that. And I think that a lot of it also comes for sure from my face, because I feel like that, you know, God has my back. And I know that he’s like doing things so I feel confident in the plan and in who he’s made me to be. And so again, I really feel like competence is a right for sure. And really does come with experience when you try to, you know, tell yourself and you’ve taught me this so long ago from a YouTube video. Like you just go out there and you’re like I’m the best photographer in the world. And just telling myself that when they go out to shoot like I’m the best photographer in the world helps me so much is that I’m like, okay, as the best photographer in the world, what would I be doing right now? And then that really shifts shifts my mindset. And so yeah, you feel I think I answered your question. That was a

Alex Beadon 44:22
brilliant answer. I now want to ask you. Sorry, did you say something?

Asia Croson 44:29
Oh, I said funsies.

Alex Beadon 44:34
That’s great. I love that word. Okay, so I now want to ask you about how you manage everything. Like what is your time management look like? Because so you have the business going on? You’re clear clearly, like have a very active social life where you’re investing time into your friends and your family. You also are now starting a nonprofit organization. I would love for you to talk to me about like how Are you managing all of these different things? And I know that you also don’t you have like, monthly events?

Asia Croson 45:07
Yes. Well, we got a lot of things,

Alex Beadon 45:09
a lot going on. I remember, when we spoke, I was like, How does she do it?

Asia Croson 45:16
So, okay, so the monthly events are the BYOB thing that build your own business. And that’s kind of encompassed in, in the nonprofit stuff. But what I found going back to extrovert thing is so many of those things are so easy for me because they feed into me. And so like BYOB, the monthly thing is like, it’s not it doesn’t take away from it’s not like, Oh, my God, how do you have time and energy for that? That’s what gives me energy, and therefore gives me time. And so I love doing those things because of that. And when I have less on my calendar, I am I don’t want to say less productive, because productivity is not the goal. But like, I am less energetic when I don’t have as much on my calendar. Yes, exactly. And then therefore, fulfillment allows me to be a you know, a better photographer, a better business owner, a better leader. And so being busy is how I am fulfilled. But it’s not. I have learned that it’s not just about being busy, and that I’m very, I can I can say no woofer the best of them, just like I am very picky with my friends. I’m like, I’m like, No, I don’t want to do that. Like, no, thank you. And so that’s super, super helpful. But on a practical level, I like a slave to my calendar, and all the best ways, I put everything on my calendar, and it says like, chill, eat lunch, like stare at a wall. It’s whatever. I like, I’m obsessed with my calendar. And I love it so much. And it makes it easier for everybody else to know what I’m doing and what that can be involved in. So that’s like one thing that’s really huge for me. And then another is that I have so much help. Like, I cannot tell you how lucky I am that I have three interns. I have one editor, all of the people that I’ve connected with who but anyway, are part of my business, all are so willing to help me out. And I just don’t know what I did to deserve all of that. Like, they’re amazing dedication to me. But I’m not doing anything alone. Like I’m going on on photo shoots, and I have an assistant with me who’s taking behind the scenes photos and who’s like fixing her hair and who’s doing whatever. Not that I had those things in the beginning. But right now it looks like I’m doing so much on my own. And I’m not I have so much help. And so it’s really allowed me to to let them do the things either that are extra and fun. And I couldn’t do my own. I can’t take my own behind the scenes photos, or to do the things that were kind of draining my energy so that I can really focus on doing super well the things that I’m super good at, does shine your

Alex Beadon 47:41

Asia Croson 47:47
Really good question. Not much. I don’t really like watching TV. And I know like saw this quote the other day. And it was like for those of us that you don’t watch TV, like you could just go like screw yourself. And I was like, well, for realsies I don’t really like sitting and watching to me like I don’t really John would be like don’t watch a movie. And I’m like, I would literally rather stay with him like dude,

Alex Beadon 48:07
Asia, I’m just like you and make us like, let’s watch a movie. I’m like, Ah, we have to. He’s like, let’s go to the cinema. I’m like,

Asia Croson 48:16
actually so funny. I love going to the movies. And like sitting at home and watching movies. I don’t know what it is like, I feel like that’s like a bad thing. I don’t know, but I don’t so much. There has to be something that drains my energy. And I have no idea what it is. But But if if there are things I would say that I have, oh, here’s an example, calling photos, cold like going through them and picking which ones to add it that drains my energy. And it also anchors down my whole process because I’m like, Oh, I don’t want to do it. And then I don’t do it for like two days. And then I could have just been done editing by then. But I didn’t do the first process. And so that’s been something that’s now part of my interns if she does that, and so that’s like so super helpful. So all of the things that drain my energy, I have worked out of the system. I’m like, Oh, I don’t want to do it. And so especially if they could be beneficial for somebody else to do or it’s somebody else’s, you know, like, area of brilliance or whatever. I’m like, excellent. You do that you watch all the TV for me and I have to

Alex Beadon 49:14
I love that so much. Perfect. Okay. To wrap up this interview, I’m going to ask you the questions that I asked everyone. And I’m pretty sure the last time we spoke about this, I was like I should have some fancy dancy name for the for the wrap up questions, but I don’t so I’m still calling them wrap up questions. The first one is what is one thing you do that has been a non negotiable in keeping your business on track?

Asia Croson 49:38
Two things one, for sure, like I mentioned earlier is like sharing my life somewhere on some social media platform. I also like that because I like to look back on myself and like see what I’ve done. It’s kind like a fun diary. And then number two is having my 9% of introversion time in the morning and I’m by myself I have my coffee and I read my devotionals and I just like sometimes just sit on the couch and like pray or just like thinking Be silent because I know I’m not going to be quiet at all the rest of the day. And that really like, fuels me up for my day and helps me be like a better person to uphold a

Alex Beadon 50:08
quick question on that, because I know everyone listening is wondering how much time do you spend in silence or like just this thing that?

Asia Croson 50:16
Yeah, this is my favorite thing about that is it’s as much time is I have and so I think some people are like, you don’t have 30 minutes, and you can’t do it at all, it takes me five minutes to read my devotional. So if I have an, I can also always be late, some to something by five minutes, unless I’m catching a plane. So even if I’m running late, I will literally sit down read my devotionals because like, I will just tell my client like so sorry, I need to read my devotional like my devotional like, whatever, it’s fine. But when I wake up, and I have like, the time that I would like, is about 30 or 40 minutes. And that’s what that’s typically what it is. But even if I’m rushing, it is like literally non negotiable. Like I unless I’m catching a train or a plane, I’m doing it. So yeah,

Alex Beadon 50:53
perfect. Okay, share mindset, a mindset, set, share, I can’t speak share a mindset shift that has made the biggest difference in your life as an entrepreneur.

Asia Croson 51:08
Oh, my gosh, in my life, not prepared, I was prepared for like in my business. Oh, my gosh, in my life is that I don’t Is that I have so much power and my decisions. And who I surround myself with and what I do, and just realizing like, oh my gosh, I can change something if I don’t like it. In my life has been huge. And if I want to do something that I can actually do, it has been like my nephew, for example, lives in Washington, and I want to see him all the time. So I’m like, Okay, well, then I should just make that work for myself, because that’s what’s good for me. And so I do so I see him every six weeks. And so I know that’s like, for some people, like that’s a lot, whatever it is, and anything for anybody that they like, and it’s different from other other people, it might seem like too much or whatever. But I realize I have the power in my life to do the things that I want to do and set myself up to do that. And like I’m not a victim of any circumstance. And remembering that. And if I wasn’t, I would be able to rise above it. So that’s helped me shift my mindset, my life that I’m not stuck in any way I really can make my life the way that I want it to

Alex Beadon 52:12
that is so powerful. I love it. Okay, fill in the blank, the world would be a better place if more people knew

Asia Croson 52:19
how to take care of themselves. That’s what I think how to live it, it’s important to take care of yourself. It’s not selfish to do that, because you need to be filling, you know, filling up your own cup before you can pour into other people. And so again, paying attention to your life and what would feel good for you and that you need to take care of yourself first before you can take care of other people are sure

Alex Beadon 52:38
the book that changed my life was

Asia Croson 52:43
free. So five leveling, which is huge. In my relationship just in my life with other people. Um, you are a badass was so good. And then a long time ago, you talked about raving fans. Remember that book, such a big, those three are sure these highly recommend.

Alex Beadon 52:59
Amazing. And then lastly, this is my favorite thing. If you remember I asked every guest to challenge our audience to do something this week to focus on accomplishing something or taking some type of action step. So what is the one thing that you would like to challenge our audience to do this week?

Asia Croson 53:15
Oh my gosh, fun. Okay, so talking about community, I would challenge to, like start pursuing a new friendship or to like, realize the friendships that you have that could be maximized. And like made and something more and like, be really grateful for them. I have so many friendships, I’m like, Oh, my God, like you are such a big deal in my life. And just sitting in that gratitude is amazing. When if you feel like you don’t have that and going out and like seeking one person that you could pursue in that way. Total Life Changes such a big deal. And so just thinking about getting in the practice of connecting with that person for sure.

Alex Beadon 53:53
Asia, thank you so much. I love you so much.

Asia Croson 53:57
This has been so fun. Round two. Can we do it every nine months, every couple months. I’m down.

Alex Beadon 54:03
Oh my gosh, I just love you. I love your energy. I think you you always just shine and I just love I love the we have not even been in the same place ever. And I feel like I know you so well. And oh my gosh, so special. And so magic. And I just want to I just want you to know how much I appreciate you.

Asia Croson 54:20
Thanks, Alex. I so appreciate you for sure. Always. You’re welcome.

Alex Beadon 54:25
Thank you so much for being here on the podcast with us today.

Asia Croson 54:28
Absolutely. I cannot wait to hear it’s gonna be so fun.

Alex Beadon 54:33
Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode. If you enjoyed it, I would love for you to give me a shout out on your Instagram story or anywhere. Just letting me know what your biggest takeaway was. You guys have no idea how helpful and useful it is for me. When you message me telling me what your aha moments were telling me what it is that you took away from the podcast. It helps me understand what is most valuable to you and it helps Have me understand how I can be of the highest service to you. So if you could take two minutes to do that, I would really appreciate it. Thank you guys so much for watching. I hope to hear from you over on Instagram you can find me at Alex Beadon and I will talk to you again very soon. Bye

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