planning out your year for your senior photography business

It’s time for the third episode of our Best Year Yet series! Last week, we talked about setting goals for your business based on where you want to go and what you want to accomplish in 2022 but also based on your year end review of 2021.  And if you haven’t had a chance to do your year-end-review, be sure to  download our free end of year guide . Once you’ve done your end of year review and sets some goals, you can tune into today’s episode where we’re taking that info and planning out your BEST YEAR YET!

Taking Control of Your Business

Creating a plan for your business will allow you to take control.  Instead of working for your business or being at the mercy of your clients, you are in control.  You are the CEO!  And we need to make sure we act like it by planning out our year, making our work schedule work for our life and family and giving us some freedom to spend time outside of work!  By planning out your year, you are able to make sure you have more freedom.

What You Need

In order for you to plan out your year, you need some tools.  Here is a list:  A calendar – This is a must!  You can use any calendar that fits your planning style best from google calendar to a paper calendar and anything in between.  But my personal favorite is the yearly and quarterly calendars by Kat Schmoyer!  Click HERE to get the exact calendars I use in my business.  The second thing you need is your end of year review!  If you listened to the first episode in this series, you know I have a great free download to help you perform this review.  If you haven’t downloaded it yet, click here.  The third thing you need is your goals!  The second episode in this series walked you through planning out your goals so be sure to listen to that HERE if you haven’t already.

Let’s Start Planning

You want to start with an overall view or bird’s eye view of your year and start marking off dates on your calendar in key areas.  There are three areas to consider when planning your year:  Personal, Business and Marketing.

Personal Dates First

Remember you want to run your business in a way that gives you back your life!  Your business should allow you to have freedom to do the things you want to do and to spend time with your family.  So instead of squeezing in time for these things when your business allows, plan these dates first and your business dates second.

Personal dates include vacations, holidays, your kids’ school, sports or other activities, time for yourself and more.

Business Dates Next

Now that you have some key dates on your calendar for YOU, let’s start marking off key dates for your business.  The first one is session dates.  Mark off any booked photo sessions you have right now.  Next mark off your session days you have available so you know exactly what dates and how many you need to book.  Keep in mind your overall financial goal and how many sessions you need in order to reach or exceed that goal.

Next mark off days you specify for things like IPS ordering sessions and consultations.  Again, we are trying to make our business work for us and not be at the mercy of our clients so by having specific days for these tasks you will know exactly what to offer your clients when setting these types of things up.

Now let’s look at your calendar and determine dates for your model team.  It is so important to plan this ahead so you know exactly when you will be doing shoots, activities, meetings and more.  You also want to plan out days for your model team search – VIP List open and close date, application open and close date, model info night date and more.

Next let’s mark off administrative days so you know you always have dates planned to do things such as editing, emailing, communicating with clients and more.  This will help you stay on top of tasks you need to do throughout the year.

Planning days are also very important to plan for and mark on your calendar.  I think one of the keys to success when it comes to content and social media is having specific days set aside either once a week or once a month to plan out the content, posts, stories, reels, and more!  If you plan it, you are more likely to stick to it and be consistent on social!

Last, let’s mark off dates for education.  Whether you plan on attending an in person workshop or conference or you are going to take an online course, it is important to never stop learning and plan for that learning.  Mark those dates off on your calendar!

Plan Your Marketing Campaigns

Senior photographers have specific seasons that we need to push certain things.  Marketing campaigns allow us to get out to our audience what we need to push.  Things like your model team launch, booking spring or fall sessions, prom mini sessions and more are all things we need to make sure we push at specific times of year.

Another thing to consider is our ideal clients lives and what we may want to market around those things.  So mark off dates on your calendar that are important dates for your ideal client.  Things such as first day of school, homecoming, yearbook deadline, prom, graduation, spring break, spirit week and more can be important dates for you to have on your calendar and plan either marketing campaigns around or social media content around.

Break It Into Quarters

Now that you have an overall view of your year with important dates on your calendar, it’s time to break it down into quarters.  What do you want to concentrate on for your business per quarter?  Look at your goals and assign a specific goal to the quarter that makes the most sense when it comes to time and money so you are most likely to achieve that goal.  Your quarterly plans can be revisited right before each quarter so you can assess and determine as the year goes along what you need to do each quarter.  This allows flexibility to choose what is most important to you and your business per quarter.  And in case you didn’t know, quarter 1 is January, February and March.  Quarter 2 is April, May and June.  Quarter 3 is July, August and September and Quarter 4 is October, November and December.

Your Challenge

I want you to look at your overall year and plan out the dates suggested in this episode.  Once you have done that, concentrate on planning quarter 1.  What things do you want to accomplish in Quarter one?  Look at your goals that you brainstormed after the last episode and assign the ones that make the most sense to quarter 1.

I would love to see your plan for your best year yet!  If you are listening to this episode, screenshot the episode, take a pic of the notes you are taking as you listen, screenshot your calendar or any of the above and share it on social.  Be sure to tag @seniorologie so I can feature you on my story and cheer you on during your planning process!

Here’s to 2022 being your best year yet!!  I’m here cheering you on!!

Stay in touch!

Are you a member of the free Seniorologie Community on Facebook?  If not, I would love to have you join to continue this conversation and many more!  The Seniorologie Community is a great place to get to know other senior photographers, share your wins, ask advice and much more!  To join, click HERE!

Have we connected on Instagram?  If not, I would love to get to know you!  Come say hello and send me a DM so I can thank you for listening to The Seniorologie Podcast!

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Need help with your senior photography business?  I’ve put together lots of FREE resources to help you in your business!  You can have access to these awesome free resources HERE!

Episode 67: Planning Your Best Year Yet


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