Edna Eudave of Square Eye Photography is force. She empowers her clients to be themselves with bold, fearless wedding photography, and generously shares her passion and experience with other wedding professionals.
I interviewed this superhero to learn the secrets of her success. Here’s what she has to say:
Superpower: Authentic Connector & Referral Magnet
I connect with people. I LOVE people and I truly love my clients.
That translates. People feel it.
I spend some time connecting on Facebook and they involve themselves with me on my personal Facebook profile. I want them to feel that I am a person who is real.
People refer people not businesses. They refer people they like.
I meet with all my clients face to face. I don’t talk just business; I tell stories about myself and my daughter, we laugh.
If we don’t make the connection from the place of being friends, we miss out on relationship building, referrals and reviews. That connection a) lets me take beautiful photos b) gets them to refer me. I have a lot of walking billboards.
They like me, what I stand for, the kind of person I am and it translates to money at the end of the day.
The money is the gravy part of what I do. I want to serve people. I want to make beautiful work, I want to stand out. That’s who I am, and couples are impressed with the passion I have for my work.
Biggest Challenge Overcome: Knowing My Value
When I first started my business I was working full-time selling office furniture and shooting on weekend for high end studios in Orange County. I worked every day.
Someone gave me book and on the cover there was this snippet [paraphrased]:
“Every single second that passes, every single moment has infinite possibilities. All you have to do is ask the universe with real feeling and the universe will give it to you.”
I got down on knees and prayed to the Universe (though I’m not a religious person). “I have the talent, motivation, intelligence to start my own business, all I need you to do is remove the fear and I will do the rest.”
The next day I woke up fearless! I didn’t care about losing the house; I was gonna make it happen. I would sacrifice anything to make my dreams come true.
I put in my notice and within the first month, doubled my regular income. When I took the jump, I thought, “Enough is enough. I have to be fearless. I have to do this.”
A couple years ago I was undercharging. I was overworked and starting having health problems. I felt I was worth more than that. Deep inside I knew that I wasn’t where I wanted to be.
That October when things slowed down I could not get out of bed for weeks. I will never do that again!
You have to know what you are worth and how to balance living with working.
I raised my prices. Everyone complained about my prices before; now no one does! It was a mental shift.
Success Secret: Referral Program
50% of my business comes from referrals.
I have a strong referral program. Plus connecting with people intimately allows people to remember me.
For every client that refers a wedding where the couple books any of my standard packages, the referee gets a free photo shoot. Anyone who refers a portrait client to me gets a $50.00 credit towards their next shoot and the person they refer gets 10% off. I have cute business cards made up with a space for clients to add their name and give out my business card.
Edna’s Advice: Be Real
Err on the side of being less professional and genuine rather than stuffy and fake.
When I meet with my clients, I don’t wear a suit or look stuffy. I look cute and wear my business colors. I joke and tell personal stories.
I meet them in my home. They walk through my dining room to the viewing area. My home is decorated in my personal style, and that’s translating to people who I am. It’s an artist’s home, very eclectic, with lots of personal artwork. It’s who I am.
I always go through my clients pictures on Facebook. I want them to have me on their minds.
I even Snapchat with them, silly, fun things. They tag me on things, they Snapchat me. I see their personal lives and they see mine. Some of my clients are my best friends.
Charity of Choice: Charity Water
Everyone deserves basic human needs. Water is the most important. One in 10 people don’t have access to clean water locally, and Charity Water is changing that.