Episode 31: Jean Smith on Starting up during a downturn and traveling the world

Jean Smith

International travel seems to be quite a trend in my interviews lately for getting people started in photography. When Jean and her husband, Travis, traveled to China for an internship for her husband, they knew that they wanted to bring a nice camera along. What they didn’t know was that this camera would change the course of their lives. Jean became obsessed, and after getting back to the States, she started her business.

They moved to Michigan soon after for Travis’ job, but when the economy took a nose dive around 2009, Travis was told that he needed to start looking for a new job. That’s when he jumped into commercial video and photography, making the couple completely self employed in photography.

A few topics from today’s show:

  • The one mistake Jean made in the beginning.
  • Building a brand.
  • How Jean approaches social media marketing and built a Facebook audience of 17,000 (50-75% of her business comes from social media).
  • How Jean and Travis took a full year traveling Europe and Asia with their four kids while working along the way.
  • Balancing home responsibilities when both spouses are self employed (hint: outsourcing helped).
  • Advice for beginners getting into business.

Check out some of Jean’s work below, and be sure to check out her website and Facebook page for more.

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