7 Business & Photography Goals for 2018 | First Post

Welcome to my blog! I'm excited to start sharing more of my clients' stories as well as what's been going on behind the scenes at Xiaoqi Li Photography.

Actually, I'm still waiting for the excitement to kick in. I'm mostly just nervous at this point! For some reason, putting my words out there into the world scares me way more than sharing my photography. If any of you reading this have a blog, I would love to hear about how you got started. Leave a link to your blog in the comments and I promise I'll check it out! If you're feeling brave, maybe even link me to your first ever blog post.

If you've ever visited this section of my website before today, you might've noticed that it's said "Thanks for visiting - first post is coming soon." I didn't really have an idea of when "soon" would be, but it turns out the answer is about 6 months. Oops. It's finally going to happen though - I'm going to start blogging this year, with an initial goal of three posts a month. Three seems like a good number to start out with, right? 

My friend Manali (Manali Photography) wrote a great post about her 2018 goals. I think she gave some great advice on creating categories and scheduling check-ins with yourself. If you haven't had a chance to sit down and set some yearly goals, it's definitely not too late to do so - we're only a month in 2018! That being said, because I'm not good at following my own advice sometimes, I have not yet broken down my yearly goals. So here are 7 big tasks and goals I've set so far for 2018:

  1. Learn how to use Quickbooks:
    I know, I'm so much fun. But taking care of the boring back end things like bookkeeping is incredibly important for the long-term health of a business, even when - especially when - it's just getting started. I've seen this mentioned so many times online. I'm pretty proud of my DIY bookkeeping system in Excel, but I know I need to go with something more streamlined sooner than later.
  2. Find an accountant & lawyer:
    I've actually already done half of this! I connected with Nadia S. Anderson, CPA a little earlier this year. I knew I wanted to go with Nadia because she's someone that really supports small businesses and values relationships over revenue. I was thinking about hiring Nadia to help prepare my tax return. During our consult though, Nadia candidly assured me I could do it on my own if I wanted since my filing would be very simple this year. So if you're still looking for a CPA, I highly recommend talking to Nadia!
  3. Social media goals:
    There's been a bit of a hiatus recently as I prepared for the new & final semester at UVA. I want to go back to posting 2-3 times a week on Instagram and sharing more albums on Facebook. My mid-year goal once I'm out of school is to invest more time interacting with people on Instagram. I always really appreciate all the interaction from you all and definitely want to be better about being part of the community!
  4. Take creative control:
    Standing back and watching things unfold is a major part of my style, but I also want to have a strong style when I am directing more aspects of an image. This might mean incorporating tools like creative gels and off-camera flash. The plan is definitely to take time this year to experiment and find out!
  5. Finish creating systems:
    Systems = efficiency, which I love and am looking forward to having these in place. I made a lot of progress in the past couple of months, especially during winter break. An early 2018 goal is to finish creating systems for everything I do, from answering client inquiries to sharing client galleries and keeping in touch with all the wonderful people I meet along the way. 
  6. XLP Shopping List
    I use a digital sticky note that keeps track of all the gear I want to invest in next. By June, I definitely plan on having a full frame back up body (ideally another mark iv). Next on the list are a 50 1.2 and 24-70 2.8, followed by the 70-200 2.8 and 85 1.4.
  7. Blogging
    Writing this one more time to help me commit to this.

Thanks for taking the time to read my first blog post! Until my next post, keep in touch with me on Facebook and Instagram. Let me know how your 2018 goals are going!