Every year I start out writing the same thing – reminding you of the potential you have RIGHT NOW to build a stronger business.
Look, I get it, January rolls around, and everyone convinces themselves it’s the slow season. So, there’s nothing to do until business picks up and the revenue stream along with it. But, here’s where so many of you are wrong – just because it’s winter time and the slow season for your clients to think about photography, it shouldn’t be the slow season for you to reinforce the foundation of your business.
Here’s a quick laundry list to get you going…IMMEDIATELY. Don’t let the slowness of the first quarter of the year hold you back from fine-tuning your business and set the stage to make 2019 your best year ever!
- Your Website: From bad design elements to galleries with mediocre images, remember this is essentially your storefront! When people walk through the door, it’s no different than you walking into one of your favorite department stores. You’ve got a choice – do want to look like Nordstrom’s or Big Lots?
- Your About Page: While there are lots of components to your website, most of you have gone in the wrong direction on your bio. Nobody cares what awards you’ve won, how you got started or what gear you shoot with. They care about why you love being a photographer. They want to know if you can be trusted to capture the best images of their family. And, stop writing in the third person – go the first person and make your bio into more of an artist’s statement that a description of your background on a job application.
- Your Blog: Consistency is one of the most critical ingredients for a successful blog. If you’re posting every other full moon, you’ll never build readership. If you’re only hit and miss on posts, then shut down your blog until you have enough content to stay on track with regular posts. Here’s one answer to the problem – build a stash.
Since it’s the slow season, take the time to write a stash of posts. Don’t stop until you’ve got twenty in the pipeline. Then, assuming your goal is to post twice a week, use one piece from your stash on one day and go with something more current on the other.
- Relationship Building: Use this quiet time to keep in touch with your best clients. It’s the perfect time to check in with a phone call or a thank-you note for their help in making 2018 another great year. It’s also an ideal time to check in with some of the vendors you work within the community – the florist, wedding planners, and the venues just to name a few. Take any one of them to lunch and thank them for their help last year, but at the same time, talk about things you can do together in 2019.
- Convention Planning: During the first quarter, in addition to all the state and regional shows you’ve got IUSA, WPPI and ShutterFest all coming up in the first few months of the year. Don’t just book your flights and hotel rooms, but think through where you need the most help with your skill set, what gear you need, and who you want to make sure you catch up to at the next show!
Just because it’s the slow season, doesn’t mean it needs to be quiet for you!