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What We’ve Learned In 12 Years Of SchlickArt

Kirsten QuinnAbout the Schlicks, Visual Marketing

Can you believe SchlickArt is 12?! Here’s what we’ve learned while building a business we love. 

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It seems like just yesterday we were sitting poolside with a couple beers and a couple of notebooks full of ideas for the future. 

We’d just finished attending the biggest photography conference of the year, WPPI, and everything seemed possible. 

The roots of SchlickArt were planted that day, and it’s been a dream ever since. 

That’s not to say it’s been without its challenges. 

We’ve worked long nights and even longer weekends, while we built a brand we could be proud of, in the community we call home.

Today, we’re celebrating 12 years of SchlickArt – and so many of those dreams scribbled on notebook paper that have come true. 

To mark our 12th anniversary in business, here are some of the most important lessons we’ve learned over the years. Hopefully they inspire you to continue chasing your dreams, too. 

What We’ve Learned In 12 Years Of SchlickArt 

Proactive Marketing 

B.C. Forbes, the founder of Forbes Magazine, once said: “If you don’t drive your business, you will be driven out of business.” As business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals, we’ve all experienced the truth in Forbes’ words. If we’re not looking ahead for the next turn in the road, then we’re simply driving aimlessly along without direction or purpose – and we’re much less likely to reach our desired destination. That’s why it’s so crucial to be thoughtful and proactive in all aspects of business, especially when it comes to marketing. Proactive marketing is based in research, influenced by data, predictive, anticipates potential opportunities, and includes a thoughtful plan for the future. At SchlickArt, we try to be as proactive as possible by planning our strategies on a quarterly basis and creating marketing materials well before we need to use them. 


Schlickart, schlickart santa clarita, schlickart valencia, schlickart saugus, schlickart canyon country, schlickart newhall, schlickart scv, schlickart santa clarita valueIn the early years, we tried lots of different strategies. We’d get started on one, and before long, we’d come up with the next big idea and “pivot.” But our pivoting was much more like “shiny object syndrome.” Over the years, by tracking data and seeing what actually brings in clients, we learned an extremely valuable lesson: The results are in the repetition. Choose a strategy that works and stick to it. Often, we’ll give a new marketing strategy half a chance to work, then cut it off right before the inflection point. Or we’ll commit to a New Year marketing plan but stop working the plan by February. But marketing is won with consistency. With so much change in the digital world, it’s easy to become reactive and get stuck there. This year, it’s important to slow down, plan ahead, and stay the course.

Who Not How 

As business owners, many of us start out as specialists in our fields. We began as photographers and video professionals, for example, before we started our own company. But once you start your own business, you’re responsible for a lot more than just the skill you got started with: billing, HR, marketing, and more. It all begins and ends with you. At some point, if you want to scale your business, you’ll have to hire other specialists to help you grow. You have to delegate – often and well. At SchlickArt, we’ve always believed in hiring the right person and getting out of the way. Though it’s taken us a while to stop taking everything on ourselves, less and less we find ourselves asking: “How can we do this?” Instead, we’re asking: “Who can do this?” 

Start With Strategy 

So many of us create content and post to social media over and over again without really knowing what the point is or how it’s bringing us business. It can feel overwhelming or even like a waste of time. To create an effective, results-driven marketing strategy, the first step is also the most important one: You must know the goal you’re trying to achieve. Without knowing your goal, you can’t accurately measure your progress or success, which makes it difficult to course correct if needed, too. 

But beyond that, your goal is important because it helps you determine who you’re talking to, as well as where they’re at in your customer lifecycle. For example, if you’re trying to attract new leads, then it doesn’t make much sense to create a video that dives deep into the details of using your product or service. You want to attract new eyes and be memorable – not overwhelm your viewers before they’ve decided to trust you. You have to speak to them where they are because that’s how you move them forward. 

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Over Under Through 

Whenever we run into a problem in the studio, Lindsay has a saying: over, under, through. Essentially, it means there’s got to be a way around the problem. All you have to do is find it. 

It’s a reminder that there is a solution – no matter how impossible things might feel in the moment. But that simple mindset shift can be profound in those critical moments we all face as business owners. Why is it so powerful? It turns a dead end into a treasure hunt. This simple mindset shift takes you from a stuck place into a creative place – all in the turn of a phrase. When change starts to feel out of control, this one mindset can put you back in control … and on the hunt for a creative answer.

Progress Over Perfection  

When you care so much about what you do, it’s hard not to get stuck in perfectionist tendencies. What you put out into the world is a reflection of you, your brand, and your work. So of course you want it to be perfect. But here’s the thing: There’s no such thing as perfect. So if you keep trying to achieve perfection, then you’ll never get to done. 

Developing an online presence grows more and more important every year. However, the number one thing that usually stops us from creating consistent and relatable digital content is the desire to be perfect. That’s why we’re saying perfectionism was so 2023. We simply want to show up as we are – and get shit done. After all, it’s more important to simply have a digital presence than it is to have a perfect one.

A Rising Tide Raises All Ships 

This is one we live by. It has proven true time after time, in business and in our personal lives. 

In essence, this beautiful mindset reminds us that we can all accomplish more together. By supporting each other, we can create bigger and better outcomes than if we go it alone. 

How does this translate to business? Start by finding your people, investing in your community, and approaching opportunities from a place of abundance instead of competition or scarcity. Get curious about how you can work with others instead of seeing competition first. Look for people who align with your beliefs, values and offerings. Then figure out how you can help them before you consider how they might be able to help you. Show up for your community, and they will show up for you. 

Know Your Worth 

One of the toughest lessons to learn – in life and business – is the value of your own worth. Whether you’re deciding how much to charge or getting ready to launch something new, it’s hard not to take business personally sometimes. It can feel like you’re putting yourself out there, and other people get to decide how much that’s worth. But the truth is, you demonstrate your value every time you help a client or solve a problem. With each act of service, you’re showing your worth, not only to your customers or your audience, but also to yourself. So don’t forget that! You have unique value to offer the world, and no one else has the right to take that away. All you have to do is keep serving your clients, friends, and community with the same commitment and dedication – and take a minute to remind yourself of all the ways you make a difference. That’s your worth, and no one else can quantify it but you.

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About SchlickArt 

SchlickArt, a boutique photo and video studio in Santa Clarita, started in March 2012 with the simple idea that empowerment creates a kind of beauty and authenticity that shines through every camera lens. Built on a philosophy — rather than a product, service or person — SchlickArt has rapidly evolved, meeting professional portraiture, business photo and business video needs as diverse as the community we capture. It’s the desire to take care of you, the client, that drives us at SchlickArt.