You sacrifice a lot when you take that leap to start a business and every year has gotten better for McA Media. I’ve learned about what it takes to have a thriving business (hint: a lot of hard work and dedication!). It feels like I am always working, and taking a break feels much more intentional and purposeful than it used to.
2020 was looking like a major growth year for the business! I kicked off the New Year by filming 20 Monroe Lives NYE Party and we had multiple projects lined up for the spring-it felt like the sky was the limit! Then, as we all know, COVID-19 happened. 2020 became an unpredictable, go-with-the-flow type of year, which is extremely stressful for business owners. I didn’t know what the year was going to bring!
Starting in April I went on unemployment and did what I could during quarantine to make life more manageable. At first, it felt great being able to wake up when I wanted, read all day, binge watch shows, and have a break from work. That feeling went away very quickly and my anxiety started to set in- “what’s going to happen to my business?” “Will I need to give it up?” “Should I look for another job?” All of these uncertainties started creeping into my mind making it challenging to just sit around and do nothing.
So, I started to take the time to educate myself further on videography! I would watch other videographer’s videos and taking notes. I’d watch tutorials on editing techniques, familiarizing myself more with my own equipment. I created a music video to Dolly Parton’s 9-5 but from my two dogs’ perspective. I found ways to stay connected to the creative world for that time when things did open up— I didn’t want to be “rusty.”
During quarantine, projects I had scheduled were getting cancelled or postponed. I was getting by with my home video creations and online education, but I knew I had to start thinking about the future of my business. What should I be doing to ensure that my business doesn’t go under once this is all over? Marketing has never been something I’ve put a lot of time into while owning McA Media. I would always get so busy with projects I wouldn’t set aside the proper time to dedicate to THE business. I knew that this area needed some attention so I had reached out to a marketing guru in Grand Rapids to see if she could help.
It was perfect timing because she was beginning this virtual consulting program for small businesses! She challenged me and educated me more and more about what types of things I need to be doing on the backend side of my business. She also guided me on how to fulfill these goals, so it didn’t feel like I was figuring this all out on my own still. Doing this program has changed the way I operate my business. Now, instead of playing ‘catch-up,’ I make sure I carve out that proper time to get the business projects done so I can stay on top of my marketing and engagement.
As businesses started to re-open and some COVID restrictions were lifted, I started to see inquiries come in from past clients and new clients looking for photography and videography services. Once mid-July rolled around, I was finally able to get consistent work! Normally, my May-November months are full of weddings and this year, I had only one wedding. Instead, I started working with a lot more businesses and creatives in the area. This allowed me to challenge myself with having a variety of projects. I’ve always loved having versatility in my portfolio. I enjoy creating content for people who want to get their message out there and share their story in a truer, more authentic way. I truly believe that everyone has a message or story to tell— I love being able to do that through videography!
Overall, 2020 hasn’t been complete bust. I was able to take some time for myself to regroup, educate myself on my craft and grow my business and my relationship with others. When I think about this year, I’m grateful for lessons I’ve learned and the relationships I’ve developed. Many of my personal relationships have gotten stronger in 2020 and I’m seeing great growth in my business— all of this excites me for what 2021 has to offer. I am going into this next year optimistic and excited to see what the future holds!