Staying Productive in Slow SeasonSep 17, 2023
For so many of us, we have an ongoing checklist throughout the year and there are going to be things on there that just weren’t a high priority for us when we were busy so we put it off. Now in slow season, it is the time to go back through the checklist and start marking off some of those lower priority items that you didn’t get to. We also want to make ourselves a little checklist here of things that we want to add that will be beneficial for our business in the upcoming season. We want to take this time in our slower season to really set ourselves up for success.
1) Setting goals for yourself
The number one thing is something every single photographer should be doing. I typically recommend doing this earlier in the year, but it is something you can create now or make sure you are on the right track and update it. This is your yearly goals. It is really important for us to have goals in our business so we know what we are working towards. One reason that we get so burned out in business is because we aren’t keeping track of our future predicted income and if we are reaching those goals. Ideally, we want to say hey I’ve reached my goal for this future month and I am not taking any more weddings or any more sessions. This is going to allow you to avoid being so burned out. So how do we set our goals. For starters, we need to know what our breakeven point is. How much money do you need to make to pay for all your business and personal bills and to sustain your lifestyle. This is just a starting place because we don’t want to just break even and make enough to just live. We then want to decide how much every month over your need amount. This doesn’t have to be the same number every single month. We should be taking into account our busy and slow seasons. If you know one month is really slow for you, and maybe you just want to make $1,000 over your need amount versus a busy month where you want $5,000 over your need amount. This is going to look different for everyone based on what we want, our lifestyles, what do we want out of our business? Make yourself a little spreadsheet where you can input your goals and then you have a column for your projected income for that month and as you book more pieces of business just go in and update it so you always have a little snapshot there to visually see where you are at. We also want to sit down and make a list of goals that aren’t our monthly financial goals. Other things that we want to work towards for our business for the year. Some example of this, maybe you want to reach a certain number of follows on your social media, you want to get a certain number of Google reviews, you want a certain number of monthly views on Pinterest, you want to make x amount of blog posts for the year, you want to make new connections or go networking events, you want to get on some vendor referrals lists. There are so many goals you can make for yourself so you’ve got something to work towards.
2) Update your website
The second thing we can add to our to- do to list for slow season is to go in and update our websites. You can either do a simple update with adding new photos from weddings or sessions from the year or take the time to do a full rehaul. Here are some of the things I recommend looking at:
- Adding new photos from the year. But beyond just adding new photos, we also want to remove photos that are older that we no longer love, maybe they don’t fit your style anymore, or you ultimately just have better photos now. So go through and remove those photos as you are updating with new ones.
- Go into our reviews tab and add in some new reviews that we received from the year. These are great to sprinkle throughout your website as well.
- Take a look at your copy, what does your website say and is it still speaking to your ideal client? Have you gone in depth enough really showcasing the experience your provide? If not, this is a great time to add more to your website.
- If your prices have increased, make sure that you starting price or pricing on your website reflects these changes.
3) Network with vendors + building relationships
The third thing we can add to our to- do list for slow season is to spend time networking with other vendors. You can go to networking events, but you can also do one-on-ones, go have lunch or go grab coffee. This can be with wedding vendors or other photographers. Just spend some time in your slow season building your relationships so that you are going into your next season with stronger relationships and connections.
4) Blogging & Pinterest
The fourth thing we want to do is work on our blogging + Pinterest. I am all about blogging and how incredibly beneficial it is for our businesses, so I really want to encourage you to dive into blogging during this slower season. If you already blog your weddings or your sessions and you are on the right track there, maybe add in creating some more information or guide style blog posts. And if you are new to blogging, this is the perfect time to start diving in and spend some time creating blog posts for sessions and weddings you really liked from this past season. We are not going to stop at just creating the blog but we really want to complete the circle and drive more traffic to our blog posts by putting them on Pinterest. So after you create your blogs, you can go and create pins that lead back to blog posts. And if you are someone who already created a bunch of blogs, but didn’t use Pinterest, now is the time, go back and put all of those on Pinterest with the goal of 10 different pieces of content/10 different pins for every single blog post you have.
5) Get creative & spend time on education
The fifth thing we can do is spend some time investing in education whether this is a mentor, a course, a workshop, or a styled shoot. Just something where you are continuing to learn and grow. We want to come out of this slower season better and ready to take on the new year. Here are some offerings we have at The Creative Business Plan for photogs:
- The Workshop Collective - Workshops starting at $49
- The Wedding Mentor Course- a how to run & market a wedding photography business course
- Six Month Mentor Program - one on one coaching program
Whatever your checklist looks like or whatever during slow season, we just want to make sure we are taking the time to better ourselves. We don’t want to just take the entire time off, we really want to set ourselves up for success for the year.