This week you are in for a treat, I got to speak with Nora Wendel from The Photo Forest – a new wellness stock photography platform showcasing diverse and real images that depict multiple cultures, beliefs, lifestyles, and people, with the aim of making sure YOU and YOUR TRIBE feel represented.
Nora was brought up in the wild dance of life that is South East Asia, the daily chaos of creativity has allowed Nora to be a multi-passionate female entrepreneur. She is a visual designer, a dancer, a yogi, a photographer and global gypsy constantly enjoying the beautiful adventure of life.
I found Nora while I was looking for stock images for my website last year via Instagram. She ran an absolutely amazing launch campaign and offers images that are unique and have a deep feeling of authenticity. That element of real people doing real things is what I love and want in my images.
Wait to your read about her social media skills – This girl Rocks.
Why did you start your business?
My background is in photography and graphic design. As a designer, I was often frustrated with the offerings on other stock photo sites and all photos from the free stock photo sites were overused. I also found most stock photos in the ‘wellness’ area were cheesy and cliché and didn’t represent the beautiful diversity of this world we live in.
The more I did my research by asking around in the Facebook groups I was a part of, the more I realized that so many of us didn’t feel represented online. Not all of us are the skinny white lulu lemon wearing flexible yogis, and this feeling of ‘not belonging’ is plaguing our generation as we are constantly being confronted with images online and offline of the ‘perfect’ life.
That’s a lie.
All our lives are perfect, we all are beautiful and we all deserve to feel represented.
This is the underlying message of The Photo Forest, it’s a stock photo platform whose mission it is to change the online visual narrative so we can all feel like we belong.
How has Social Media helped you to grow your business?
Totally, From my market research days when I was posting and asking all these questions in Facebook groups, to my launch strategy where I was doing weekly Facebook lives with marketing experts to how I find the photographers for The Photo Forest (through Instagram), without social media I don’t know how I would get the feedback, the photographers or the members for The Photo Forest.
What is personally your biggest challenge with Social Media?
For me it is always consistency, I am happy to show up and give it my all, but then sometimes I just need a break from always showing up online. This is where it becomes handy to have prescheduled content or a team to handle it for you!
What do you believe has helped you grow your business online?
Having a strong and CLEAR message. The more clarity you have in your mission and in your goals, the easier it is for people to understand what you offer. IT only takes a few minutes for people to resonate with what you stand for. They either are in or out.
What is your Social Media routine?
I plan my facebook and instagram a month in advance, it takes about two days to do this but then I don’t have to think about it anymore and can concentrate on the engagement and other things!
I show up daily in about 10 Facebook groups where I get a real sense of community and get great ideas and feedback.
What’s the best advice you have been given and why has it helped grow your business online?
Start small, with one product that you can sell, test it, test the market, see if people actually want it before you start investing our money to make it exactly what you think people want.
I made that mistake and I don’t regret it but now I know and apply this ‘lean start up model’ to every business decision. It saves me a lot of tears and money as so often what I think my members or potential clients want isn’t actually what THEY want….
Go read the book: “Lean Start Up” by Eric Ries.
When you get overwhelmed or frustrated what helps you stay motivated?
I believe every business owner should have a mentor who is just slightly more experienced than you because this means when you do get frustrated and just want to call it quits they are the ones who can motivate you again. They often have felt the same way so can relate and give you either kind words or a kick in the bum to get you on your path again!
What would you share with someone who is just starting out or new to the power of Social Media?
Choose one platform for the beginning, batch your content in one or two days and then preschedule it. This then free’s up some of your time for other more fun things (I don’t consider social media fun…)
What’s your favorite: App, Website tool & People to follow???
I am a big fan of marketing podcasts and get many of my marketing strategies from listening to people like Amy Porterfield, James Wedmore, Reid Hoffman and Michael Stelzner.
I listen to podcasts when I shower when I cook and on my motorcycle ride into my co working space here in Bali. It’s one thing I would truly miss if I had to be on an island with no wifi connection
You can see more of Nora over at her website www.thephotoforest.com