Today, I’m sharing 5 things you can do in the slow season to get ready for the busy season. When it comes to high school senior photography, there isn’t a whole lot of downtime! However, every now and then you might experience yourself in a slower season. And when you do, how do you typically approach it? Do you have a checklist ready to go of things you’ve been itching to do? Do you feel a little paralyzed with not knowing how to use the time best? Or do you land somewhere in between?
No matter how you’ve approached slow seasons in the past, these 5 things you can do in the slow season will help you prepare for productive slow seasons in the future to grow further and strengthen your photography business. So, let’s jump in!
The first thing you can do when you have some downtime is to work on elevating your photography business’s online presence. Consider starting with an audit of your current website. Analyze the user experience, page load times, and mobile responsiveness.
In today’s digital age, an intuitive and visually appealing website is your virtual storefront, and it’s a very important first impression for potential clients. It’s true – color schemes, font choices, and navigation flow of your website can have a bigger impact than you might think. Offering your clients and potential clients a seamless website experience not only attracts visitors but also keeps them engaged.
High school seniors and their families are not only looking for a photographer; they are searching for someone who can capture their unique personalities and stories. Use your online presence to tell your story that resonates with your target audience.
Slower seasons are a great time to focus on strengthening your client relationships. You can begin by revisiting your past client interactions. Consider sending personalized emails expressing gratitude for their business. You could also share memories from their sessions and highlight the unique aspects that made those moments special.
Using the power of personalized gestures such as handwritten notes or small surprise gifts can go a long way in creating a memorable experience for your clients, even after the fact. For active clients, you can work on how you will interact with them, give them an excellent experience, and leave a lasting impression. You can seek to understand their preferences, hobbies, and personalities so that you can tailor their photography experience to their individual taste.
Getting to know your clients through genuine interactions will make your clients feel comfortable and valued. Once their session is complete and their photos are delivered, you’ll want to focus on maintaining a long-term connection. Implement a strategic client follow-up plan. A follow-up plan can include touch points such as anniversary messages or birthday greetings. These types of interactions can keep your name top of mind when they or their friends are in need of senior photos.
A slow season is also a good time to look into expanding your skill set. You might already have an idea of exactly where you want to start! Maybe, you’ve been eyeing a particular photography course or you’re set on learning a new tool or method to help you grow in your skills. If you already have something in mind, a slow season is an excellent time to go for it!
However, if you don’t know exactly where to start, you could also start with a self-assessment of your current skill set by identifying areas where you feel less confident or wish to explore further. Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or a beginner, continuous learning keeps your work dynamic and your business competitive.
Efficiency might just be the unsung hero of successful photography businesses. If you find yourself frequently wishing that you had time to take a step back and improve your processes, a slow season is the time to take advantage of the opportunity to do so. If you have something particular in mind, start there. But if not, you could start with a comprehensive review of your current workflow.
From the moment a potential client reaches out to the delivery of their photos, analyze each step and identify opportunities for improvement. Another way to improve processes is to focus internally on tasks such as file organization. When you have a well-organized digital workspace, you’ll not only work more efficiently, but you’ll improve your sanity! Staying on top of your digital assets can also lead to higher client satisfaction as well.
Last but not least, another great thing to consider during a slow season is a comprehensive marketing strategy overhaul. Have you considered your photography business’s marketing plan in a while, or are you finding yourself too consumed in the photography side of things to even think about it?
As we all know, marketing is an essential part of any business. And by giving ourselves time to improve and work on our marketing strategy, we are helping our businesses thrive in the long run. You can start by taking a look at your current marketing strategies. From social media campaigns to email newsletters, evaluate the effectiveness of each channel.
It’s also very important that you identify your target audience, and continue staying up to date with what your target market is looking for when it comes to senior photography. Keep your marketing strategy up to date and effective by tailoring your efforts to reach them effectively. Staying consistent with your branding and messaging across your business is a simple way to create a well-defined brand identity and contribute to your business’s success.
And there you have it – 5 things you can do in the slow season to get ready for the busy season! Remember, elevating your online presence, strengthening your client relationships, expanding your skill set, optimizing your workflow, and reviewing your marketing strategy are all things that you can do when you have a little extra time on your hands.
Taking time to consider your processes and looking for opportunities to improve your business when you’re in a slow season is something you will thank yourself for later when you’re back in the busy season again.
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