- Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Your Business After Covid
- The Best Way to Interact with Photography Clients
photo by ozgurdonmaz via iStock
Photography’s slow season is rapidly approaching. I know I just finished out my busy season and I definitely did not make as much this year as I have in previous years. So, it’s left me wondering exactly how I’m going to budget appropriately for the next several months until photography’s slow season ends.
Since I’ve been in the industry for so long, I’m used to photography’s slow season. I understand that January through April is really not a time where very many of us are bringing in a ton of money, and it makes sense. It’s right after the holidays in the U.S. when everyone has just spent a ton of money they don’t have, it’s cold, and events are few and far between.
But, this year has presented additional challenges. So, this article is going to walk you through how to prepare your photography business for photography’s slow season in the era of Covid.
Streamline Your Business
photo by PeopleImages via iStock
Depending upon the part of the world that you live in, you may have one benefit over other photographers who lost income this year. You may be receiving different government benefits that make up for your direct loss of money.
If this is the case, then now is the perfect time to work on streamlining your business so that when the busy season hits again, you can make up for lost time.
The first thing I suggest someone in this scenario should do is work on updating your website. Cram some SEO tags into it, update old images and old portfolios, and generally make your website look like the best photographer’s website in town. Unfortunately, this does mean you need a blog on your website. But, the downtime provided by photography’s slow season means you can catch up on months of old blog posts.
photo by CASEZY via iStock
The next thing you should do is update your social media accounts. Creating a social media calendar was one of the best things I ever did for my business because I don’t especially enjoy posting on social media. So, I get 1-2 months of posts done in one day so that all I have to do is post what I’ve already created and respond to my followers.
The last thing you should do is figure out a communication platform that works for you. I recently started using Podium to streamline my communication. Podium puts all of my business’ incoming messages on one platform so I can read and respond to them there. I’ve never spent such little time on Instagram, Gmail or Yelp since I started my business.
Podium also helps you streamline your invoicing process because you can send all of your invoices directly to your clients through text. I can’t tell you how much this has helped me get paid on time.
Plus, Podium offers a free trial so you can figure out if this type of messaging platform will work for you during photography’s slow season. All of the best software I’ve discovered for my business I’ve discovered when I’ve had time to explore my different options.
Make a Plan for Generating Income
photo by by sonmez via iStock
If you’re especially worried about photography’s slow season because you absolutely did not make enough income to keep your business afloat over the last few months… you aren’t alone and there are ways to generate income even now.
The first is to keep in mind that the gift-giving holidays are coming up and your old clients are going to need thoughtful, yet inexpensive gifts for their loved ones. This is where you come in and I would start now.
photo by Anchiy via iStock
Begin emailing old clients. The more heartfelt and personal your messages are, the better. Let them know you were updating your website, portfolio, etc. and came across one particular image from their shoot that you just loved and attach it. Let them know how much you appreciated their business and ask them to keep you in mind this holiday season.
This email will be much better received if it’s personal (writing individual emails for each client would be best). It will also be better received if you make them a discounted offer on the spot with a link to make their purchase.
photo by erikreis via iStock
Another way to weather photography’s slow season is by using social media platforms to gain day-of shoots. As soon as the weather is looking nice in your part of the country, post on different Facebook groups asking for anyone who may be interested in a discount shoot later on that day.
This works best if you are very upfront about your pricing and if you’re constantly posting in the same groups. This way different clients who have gone for your day-of shoots in the past can comment how much fun they had doing it.
Another similar idea is to do a day of mini-sessions. Since the holidays are right around the corner, you can do holiday-themed shoots with a large number of families or couples in the span of a few hours. Make sure these sessions are heavily discounted and advertised everywhere.
Unload Old Photography Gear
photo by MarioGuti via iStock
While a lot of these photography business tips have to do with making money through planning, another way to survive photography’s slow season is to simply get rid of old gear you don’t use anymore.
No photography business advice is going to suggest you keep outdated gear simply because you think you may need it one day because each piece of photography gear currently sitting in your closet is actively losing value.
Seriously examine which pieces of photography gear you still need and which pieces you can sell. The last time I did a spring cleaning of my old gear I made around $500 with camera equipment I had nearly forgotten about.
Of course, make sure to do the bare minimum when you’re selling this old gear. Make sure it’s clean and the photos you’re taking of the equipment is of a good quality. You can then sell these pieces on used camera and camera gear websites like MPB, Ebay, or Craigslist.
Photography’s slow season may be especially brutal this year, but bright skies are around the corner.