- On March 30, 2021
- In All Things Chicago Post Covid Travel
- Tags: Chicago, Chicago Tour, creative photography, only1chicago, photo tour in chicago, photography as therapy, Photography Tour, phototour, post pandemic tour, poweroftravel, small business, travel to chicago, urban environment, visit chicago covid, walking tours, woman owned business
Out Of The Fog and Into Restart
It’s March 2021. Period. If you’re reading this, you and I made it through 2020, though not even a little bit unscathed. Feeling that head fog? From lockdown or shut down to gradually reopening but still unable to operate to now, I’ve had all the emotions. I’ve doubted whether I’ll have a business at the end of this, doubted my photography and questioned a restarting path forward. Personally, the pandemic came during a time I was already suffering a severe injury at the same time my photo hard drive had just crashed stealing all my work. The pandemic was simply a footnote. Now, I realize it was more than that, an allowance – that permission we oft refuse to give ourselves – to heal both emotionally and physically. My micro business hasn’t officially operated in a year, had only a few tours in 2020, but the fixed expenses were still there reminding me of the business’ existence.
I was still a business owner and entrepreneur but without business
And now Spring 2021 is here, and I’m a Spring baby in love with all it brings – nature’s first buds, people being outside more, increasing temperatures, longer days. I’m asking myself how to take all that crap in the previous paragraph and breathe new Spring life into it. That moment began today when a global tour industry business held a roundtable of small tour operators to share, discuss and question restarting our businesses by going back to the basics.
💡Light Bulb Moment 💡
That’s it! I’m not restarting from where I left off in 2019, I’m beginning my business again almost as if it was the first time. Oh my, that first soft launch tour was almost 10 years ago! This year should be the 10th anniversary of Tour Through A Lens!
It still is. I’m not starting over from the beginning, I’m beginning again with all I’ve learned over the ten years! Tour Through A Lens may need to go back to the basics where the world and the world of travel and tourism has changed, but I can approach it with experience and knowledge under each arm. And I have my awesome clients (Have I told you I have the most awesome clients of all tour companies??)
Shift and Refocus <– Get it??
Have any of you been grappling with similar thoughts? Whether you own a business or are just preparing your re-entry into the world outside, we are ALL going through questions, emotions, doubts, confusion and, let’s be honest, some grief.
And this is why I’m deciding to make 2021 a year of tours focused on:
- using photography to help clients clear the “head fog”
- helping clients reintroduce themselves to the urban environment
- providing an opportunity for even locals to once again be in their own city as a tourist
Tour Through A Lens has been about providing custom tours built with a client’s goals, interests and camera equipment in mind. For 2021, clients will have a choice when booking the One Focus Tour or Half-Day Tour to use the time as a re-entry, creative, therapeutic space. With each client that chooses this type of tour, it’ll be much more interactive with me and the city as I intend to work more hand-on through photography exercises and tips.
My relaunch will be your relaunch! 😃
I really want to help people through this strange time in history. To do this, I need your help.
- REVIEWS If you’ve taken a tour with me and didn’t take time to write a review…and would like to…please write one now. Last year, I kicked off reviews on my Google page, I’m still on TripAdvisor reviews and I accept reviews by email that I upload to the TTAL website.
- WORD OF MOUTH MARKETING That tried and true WOMM (lol) Share with your peeps (It’s almost Easter time and, therefore, Peeps!) Seriously though, small business owners around the world are in need of your word of mouth
- HASHTAG I’ve seen clients using the “downtime” to go through their photos and relive trips and experiences. If you’re sharing photos of our tour time, add #tourthroughalens to help me a bit with that ever-changing SEO. People talking about it online gives Google that needed nudge to say “hey, let’s inch her up a bit further in those search results”.
- LOCALS If you’re a local previous client, I’m looking for people to come out with me to take photos of you/us with masks. One tip those marketing people keep mentioning is to show customers wearing masks to help sell tours, but you’ve gotta have tours to sell tours, right? This is the “back to the basics” I did when I started the business. If you’d like to help me with this or have family / friend that would be interested, please email me with “MASK MODEL” in the subject line.
One thing that hasn’t changed for me from pre-pandemic: I look forward to seeing you and meeting new awesome clients!! Let’s get out and explore together
Did you know I’m an affiliate marketer for two great photography products?
CreativeLive to kickstart your learning, teach you something new or download John Greengo’s Fast Start of the new camera you got. Clicking on this link will allow them to share some of your purchase pennies with me for telling you about them
SmugMug to give you a place to share your portfolio and/or sell your photos. They also offer unlimited photo storage without compression – full resolution! Clicking on this link will allow them to share some of your purchase pennies with me for telling you about them