Alright fellow photographers, creatives, and entrepreneurs… there is one thing that you are going to have to accept…. Entrepreneurship is seasonal. Once you accept that the better you will be. Business will get slow, and then it will speed up. It will really really speed up to where you feel like you are spinning, and then it will slow down to a snails pace leaving you questioning if everything is ok.
Everything is ok. This business of ours is just seasonal. Try to be ok with that and you will feel a lot better. Plus, once you are ok with that you will be able to really take advantage of your down time.
Let me give you a little story of where I am coming from. At the beginning of last year, I was so slow that I began to worry. Ok, worry is an understatement but you get where I am going. I sat there sad, kinda depressed, and ultimately worthless. During the summer, especially the late summer, things got crazy. I was staying up late, getting up early, and I even started to drink an energy drink here and there which I don’t ever do.
I honestly wondered if I could keep up with it. I was also super worried because I didn’t have the time to blog. My blog fell completely off the radar. I mean it was so far gone it wasn’t even funny. Months went by without me blogging and that little voice inside my head wouldn’t leave me alone. It was telling me I wasn’t good enough, I needed to do more, blah blah blah.
If I would have just been ok with the idea that this business is seasonal then I could have accomplished sooooo much during my off season to where I felt amazing during my busy season. So here are some things that you just need to do during your down times in order to not get overwhelmed, frustrated, depressed, and just plain overworked during your busy times:
Things You Need to Do During Your Off Season
Update your portfolio
I mean this one in 2 different ways. The first way being, now is the perfect time to schedule some styled shoots! You have a bunch of free time so why not make the most of it. Do something for you. Create a shoot that you have been dreaming of. Let your creativity flow. This isn’t only good for your mind, and your soul, it is good for your portfolio. Show people what you are capable of.
Secondly, update your portfolio on your website. Show your favorite images. Your best images. Not all the images. You want to attract your people, your tribe. Update your portfolio to resemble who you want to attract.
There really is no better time to get together with other creatives, other entrepreneurs, and other like minded people. I don’t mean this to mean reach out to people to make money. I mean actually network with people. I mean talk to them. Be friends with them. Help them. Give them your gifts. This is huuugggeee in growing your business in the long run.
As small businesses we tend to not invest in ourselves. This is terrible because honestly that is really the best place to put your money. I think learning from others is such an important thing. This is how we grow as individuals. You have to spend money to make money friends. This is the perfect time to sign up for a workshop, schedule a mentorship,
Start a personal project and learn by being creative and playing.
It takes a lot of effort to get your business moving forward and to keep it moving forward. We have to stay current, up to date on all the things, and just “in the know” (no I’m not cool enough to say that, but I said it anyways).
Devise a Plan and Schedule
This is where I went wrong last year during my down time. I freaked out and just didn’t do anything, but I could have been planning all the things. So my thoughts here are start planning your posts. I mean all the posts… Pinterest, social media, blog posts.
This is really where you are going to help yourself during your busy season. You can schedule posts. This way when you are busy, you don’t have to worry about blogging, or pinning, because guess what? It is already completed for you. You did it during your down time! How awesome is that really though?
So, devise a plan for your blogs. Create the blogs, and then schedule them out throughout the year. Now you have content for half the year, or maybe even the entire year, or at least until your next down time.
Enhance Your Brand
During the slow season you can really take a fine look at your business. You can see it from every perspective.
Have a real honest conversation with yourself and how your brand looks. Is it cohesive throughout all the things ie social media, websites, emails, newsletters, etc?
Can you simplify anything for your customers to make things smoother?
Does your brand attract your tribe? Does it attract your target market?
Work on your website
This goes along with the above ‘enhance your brand’.
We always put off working on our website. It is one of the last things we creatives want to even think about, but it is freaking important friends! Does your website resemble your brand? Does it attract your target market? Is it easy to navigate? And be honest, how old are the photos on your website?
I hope this blog was helpful and just got you thinking about how you can really take advantage of the down time. Also, hopefully it will help you not fret when those slow times do come around, because believe me they will come whether you try to avoid them or not.
Honestly though, the slow times are one of the best times for your business. They are the times where you can really nurture your business back to health. These are the times that you can make everything shiney again. Embrace the slow times, appreciate them, love them, and be ok with working on all the other things that we didn’t realize came with running a business J
Wishing you the very best!