When we’re in a season of slow business, we can easily get stuck in the thought pattern “I’m all caught up so I’ll just rest”. I LOVE that thought process and I am SO on board with taking care of ourselves but it’s important to ask yourself if you are really just resting or if you’ve reached a point of being lazy, waiting for busy season to roll back around.
Slow seasons are SUCH a good opportunity to grow our business and improve the backend systems. It is a time to figure out where we are headed and what steps we can take to get there. Slow season is where we pour fuel on the fire, busy season is where we stoke it.
So let’s figure out what fuel you’re going to use to ignite the fire, shall we?
Do you know what your brand is? Many of us photogs would scoff at this and say “duh, of COURSE I know my brand” yet when asked what their brand makes people feel like or walk away with, your face would be blank faces hell.
Your brand is NOT just the color you choose for your instagram highlight stories. It’s not just the logo on your website or the font you choose. It is EVERYTHING MIXED TOGETHER combined with your goal as an entrepreneur, who you are as a human being, what you bring to the table and how you consistently leave your clients feeling.
“Your brand is a recognizable feeling that your business evokes”.
If you’ve been in the game for a while but have spent your days on Canva (which I love by the way) and playing with website themes until your eyes hurt, ask yourself this. Are you a natural when it comes to designing a brand? Are you a natural at recognizing which fonts will create more income, what feeling colors evoke and how to code a website to represent your business at the highest caliber possible?
If not, hire a Brand Designer. It’s time. If you can hand off a piece of your business to someone who absolutely loves to nurture the crap out of visual art, do it. Stop trying to become a graphic designer, web designer and be a successful Photographer. You can’t wear all hats forever so if you’re ready to kick your business in the ass and take it up a notch, let someone else do it.
PROS OF HAVING A CLEAR + KICKASS BRAND
2. TACKLE A BIG PROJECT YOU’VE BEEN PUTTING OFF
Finally have time to set up workflow in honey book? Are you finally going to create a pricing guide or wedding magazine for your couples? Are you going to look into passive income or starting a podcast?
If you have said “I don’t have the time” to anything during busy season… YOU DO NOW. Slow season is GREAT for starting big projects that you’ve been wanting to do so let’s grab the bull by the horns and ride it out.
Write down what you need to get started and start breaking down the project into bite sized pieces. Every day, accomplish ONE task off of that list until you have completed your huge project. Don’t give yourself excuses and SCHEDULE it into your day. If you feel yourself starting to get overwhelmed, try to look at it as just the task for the day instead of the big picture. The scariest projects are the ones that take the most heart and the most time. I guarantee you it will be worth it.
Ideas for big projects include:
3. START A MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
You know WAY more than you think you know, don’t you? Have you thought about education or been asked by someone to share your secrets?
Setting up a mentorship is an incredible way to up-level your business not only financially but professionally as well. Start with a free coffee date for someone you can practice with and then slowly start charging as you feel comfortable with your knowledge and skills. Be confident in your education and be honest with your mentees about how much you know and what they can expect from you. It is SUCH a rewarding way to grow your business.
4. INVEST IN ONLINE EDUCATION
Use your downtime to gain knowledge and become a better photographer/business owner. Invest in online courses, in person workshops or just research the crap out of a subject you want to master. Your business stops growing when you do so make sure you are always trying to improve yours systems and practices.
Ideas for online education/topics to research:
5. RE-INVENT YOUR CLIENT EXPERIENCE
Now is the time to focus on the most important person in your business, your client. Write down EVERY single part of your workflow from beginning to end and ask yourself if you’re creating an easy experience for your clients.
Do they feel comfortable? Do they have questions answered before they’re ever asked? Are they surprised? Are they underpromised and then have their socks blown off?
What can you do to make your clients feel MORE loved. This is the heart of your business and you should be making sure your clients feel like they have value and are respected. Your workflow should include check ins, FAQs, and other guides to make their day easier.
Ideas to make your client workflow a better experience:
AND THAT’S IT. Five ways you can up level your business whether you’re a photographer, creative or just a curious human. What ideas are your favorites? What are YOU going to do to grow your business this slow season?
All the love, always.