You made it through the crazy Christmas season. Now you are sitting back taking a couple weeks off to enjoy time with your family. Are you thinking about where your business will go in 2013? Are you making a list of things you need to accomplish for your business during the next couple of slow months? Or maybe just maybe you are so brain dead from the last few weeks leading up to the holiday that you are not sure where you need to start to take your business to the next level in 2013.
We are here to help!
After asking a large group of professional photographers what their goals are for the next 2-3 months (while business is slower), we have come up with a list of 16 things that are commonly completed in the winter months.
1). Update website/blog.
Yes, updating your website/blog is a time consuming project. It is time to showcase your very best work from 2012. Your potential clients will thank you!
2). Revamp or update pricing.
Take a look at your current pricing. Maybe you are too expensive or maybe you are too cheap. In either case, it is time to check your pricing. Double check your cost of goods. Have your cost of goods changed or increased? If so, change your pricing accordingly.
3). Develop an efficient workflow.
Efficient workflow is crucial to profitability. If you are not turning your work in a timely manner, you are losing money. Is your retouching/editing time killing you? Then maybe it is time to look into outsourcing this area of your workflow. Free time = more time to shoot! From shooting to editing to selling, now is the time to iron out the bugs in your workflow!
4). Write a business plan for 2013.
How do you know where you are going if you don’t have a map? A map is all a business plan is. It does not have to be anything fancy. Just a sheet of paper with your business goals written on it. Display it somewhere where you will see it every day. Mark goals off as you accomplish them. It’s fun to see where you started the year and ended the year.
5). Make a marketing calendar for 2013.
Yes, you need a marketing calendar as well as a business plan. A business plan tells you where you are going while a marketing calendar shows you how you are going to get there. Things to put on your marketing calendar are Boudoir specials, Children’s specials, No session fees during the month of June, Christmas in July, etc. I have found a dry erase calendar works especially well as a marketing calendar.
6). Service your equipment.
Cameras are nothing more than a vehicle for you to produce art. Just as your car needs an oil change so does your camera and lens. Now is the perfect time to send them in to either Canon Professional Services or Nikon Professional Services.
7). Decide what educational opportunities you are going to participate in.
In order to stay on your A game as a professional photographer, you need to continue to educate yourself. 2013 is shaping up to be a phenomenal year for education. Imaging USA is coming up quickly. WPPI is in March in 2013. Other opportunities include FotoChaos, After Dark, your state PPA organizations convention, Texas School, Santa Fe Workshops, MAIPP. The list can go on and on. Pick one or two and go. You won’t be sorry.
8). Develop a social media calendar.
Yes, you need a social media calendar or plan. Again, how are you going to get from point A to point B without a map? Set your goals for your social media presence. Determine how often you are going to post to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+,Â your blog, etc and then do it!
9). Have new marketing materials printed.
If you have changed your branding design, then print new marketing materials. Are you participating in wedding shows, women shows, baby shows then print new marketing materials with current images on it. If you have updated your pricing or offerings, print new marketing materials.
10). Schedule your session times.
Depending on how many sessions you want to do a week, as defined in your business plan, take out a calendar and mark off the times you have available to shoot. Then set out to fill those time slots.
11). Schedule time off for yourself each week. Call it PERSONAL TIME.
You read that correctly. We all need personal time. Photography can become all consuming if you allow it. Schedule time off for yourself, to spend with your family, to exercise, to shoot for yourself. You will be happy you did so!
12). Update your samples!
Are your sample flush mount wedding albums 2-3 years old? What about your press printed books of your high school senior work? It’s time to throw out the old and order new samples showcasing your very best work!
13). Find a hobby outside of photography.
Finding a hobby outside of photography is important for self development and growth. I find I am my most creative when I am doing something I truly enjoy. Ideas start popping into my head. I feel excited and motivated to try out these new ideas. Your hobby time will become essential to your well being. Try it!
14). Challenge yourself personally.
Find something in your life you want to change and then challenge yourself to do so. It might be as simple as getting up 10 minutes earlier each day or reading one new book a month. Of course it could be something as difficult as adding in exercise daily and changing your eating habits. But whatever it is, do it.
15). Step out of your comfort zone.
Step out of your comfort zone will make you a better person. You hear it all the time. And yes it is true. Stepping out of your comfort zone allows you to grow as a person. It leads to excitement and adventure! It builds confidence! Some ways to start stepping out of your comfort zone are: Enjoy the unknown, face your fears, make a fool of yourself, become comfortable with taking risks. How will you step out of your comfort zone?
16). Add new products to your current offering.
BRI adds new products monthly to the product offering. Spend time on our website to familiarize yourself with everything we offer. Pick several products you have never offered your clients before and add them to your product line up! Run a special around those new products. Give them away to clients as Thank You’s. Keep your product offering fresh! It will keep your clients coming back to you!
What changes are you working on for your business during the slower season?