Weddings on the weekends, constant editing throughout the week and portraits squeezed in between — “busy season” in the photography industry is real! Schedules are often tight in the summer and fall months for photographers, but getting to do what you love constantly is SO worth it. However, winter and spring months tend to slow down dramatically, freeing up your schedule to…do what exactly? Well, just because the season slows down, doesn’t mean that you have to! Check out Miilu’s list of ways to work on your business during off-season and make your photography business better than ever before!
- MAKE A PLAN: An important part of business is creating strategies and tactics to make the next season better than ever before!
• Use the quiet time to EVALUATE YOUR NUMBERS. Look at how much revenue you generate, how many expenses you had and how much you worked! What profit did you generate in 2019? Did you come out paying yourself enough?
• It is never a bad idea to ANALYZE THE COMPETITION. What are they doing and how are they marketing themselves? Conduct research to help you better understand what you need to do set yourself apart from the competition.
• This is also a good time to INNOVATE. Brainstorm ideas that could add value to your business and set you apart in the sea of photographers!
- TIME TO TALK: Off-season is the perfect time to create relationships and cultivate community!
• One way to connect with people all year round is through SOCIAL MEDIA. Make sure to keep your accounts alive and active! Show off your content from the past season, engage with and build your following, run contests… the possibilities with social media are endless!
• Get off the computer and take this time to NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK! Attend events and conferences that provide opportunities to gain partnerships in your business. If you are a wedding photographer, attend bridal shows to build relationships with wedding vendors. Make your business known!
- DON’T FORGET YOUR CURRENT CLIENT BASE: It is vital to continue building relationships with and utilizing what those who have used your services before can offer!
• Think about it: let’s say you shot a wedding for a couple, and a year later they have a baby and would like family sessions done. That could be an opportunity for you — and the potential to gain the opportunity is greater if you have a solid relationship with the couple! Continue growing relationships and CULTIVATING them by, for example, checking in on the couple six months after their wedding, and giving them a card saying you hope they are enjoying married life!
• Get CUSTOMER REVIEWS. Many people base their decisions on the experiences of others, so having positive reviews that you can use to promote your photography services can be incredibly helpful. Use this time to survey customers on their experience with you, and use your various platforms to promote your business in the off-season!
- MARKETING & ADMINISTRATIVE TASKS: Off-season is the perfect time to work on the marketing and administration aspects of your business!
• Take time to schedule out or draft potential posts for your SOCIAL MEDIA channels. You can take advantage of tools like Buffer, Planoly or Tailwind!
• Update your blog with your best work from this season! Make sure to prioritize the types of work you want to shoot, the venues you want to book and the vendors you want to work with. This is a huge help when it comes to SEO!
• EMAIL MARKETING is also a valuable resource! While you may find yourself too busy to focus on building your list throughout the busy season, reach out to past clients, promote your newsletter to your audience and offer free guides for those who sign up for your list. Then set a goal to send at least one newsletter per month if you’re not already! Use the off-season to create your email marketing strategy.
• This is also a good time to SET UP SYSTEMS that can help you with your business in the future. Make sure you have your contracts, proposals and invoicing systems set up to make it easy to book clients! Off-season is also the perfect time to create an account with Miilu and set up your favorite timeline and shot list templates.
Are you ready to get started working ON your business rather than IN it? To help you get a jump start on planning, we developed a checklist just for you!
What are other ways you work on your business during the off-season? Let us know in the comments below!