You might be ready to welcome it with open arms OR you might be dreading it but we all have them – I’m talking about the OFF-SEASON!
When the season hits it can feel like you are a zombie from working so hard all summer and through the fall. You may want to rejoice that it is finally a time when you can breathe easily without the hustle and bustle of constant bookings. I think it’s time that instead of “fearing” the slow time we embrace it.
When it comes to being a creative, whether you are a photographer, a wedding professional, or anything in between, we have to be really intentional about how we spend our time during the slower season.
Working on your own business through downtime can be just as important as killing it during the busy season. Here’s why…
There are so many things that get put on the back burner during busy times and many of these can actually enhance your productivity and profit during the next busy seasons. I challenge you to take the time to tackle them now.
Here are 5 things you need to do during the “off season” to set your business up for your best year yet! Because who doesn’t like making more money and working with clients we LOVE?
01. Work on Your Brand and Website
Slow times are the perfect time to look at your business through the lens of a potential customer. Go through your brand with a fine tooth comb.
Does it make sense across your various platforms (this is more than looks!)?
How does it make people feel?
Is it cohesive? Easy to find?
Can you simplify or clarify?
Your brand should be cohesive. It should be recognizable and stand out!
Use this downtime to reevaluate and refresh your whole brand – taking into account all of the details. I promise, your potential clients will notice!
02. Update Your Portfolio
You probably read this and gave me a big ‘ol “ugghh.” I get it. This is everyone’s least favorite task, but it’s sooooo important.
Update your portfolio during your off season and make it a goal to do this twice a year. If you can manage to do this monthly or even quarterly – even better! It’ll keep it fresh and give you more content to share!
Showcase the projects you’re passionate about, the clients you love (who rave about you), and the style you’re known for ( and love). Your portfolio should consist of your best work and your favorite work ( so you can get more of it!).
Even better, if you have a wedding that you love or a session that was amazing – be sure to create a folder right away that it is all ready for you when you set out to update your portfolio. This makes it so much easier than pulling from an entire year’s worth of work without any direction.
03. Refresh Your Website
I just mentioned updating your portfolio right? Well, it never fails that – even if you update your portfolio first or have gone through your website in detail – new ideas and to-dos pop into your mind.
Plan on having a specific “revisit your website” to-do and keep track of the ideas or newfound clarity you get after you’ve worked through your downtime list.
Update your website with your new clarity, so you can stay on top of keeping things “fresh” and “you” as your business and clients evolve. The most important thing to remember is to make sure you are sharing enough about the person behind the brand so that your potential clients can really connect with who you are!
04. Review Your Client Experience and Update Your Workflow or Systems
It is always a good idea to review the entire experience we are taking our clients on. From the moment that they find you and reach out to your final farewell – you need to be aware of how your clients are experiencing their time with you and be honest with yourself if you need to make any changes.
If you do this, it goes without saying you will probably need to update your workflow or any systems you might be using.
Make sure you are on top of each step of the process and that you’re not missing any steps big or little to give your clients an unforgettable experience.
Your client experience is what keeps your clients coming back, so make them feel like gold.
Spend 15 minutes jotting down every step involved from the moment you take on a client until you’re done with his or her project. As you think of special things you’d like to do or added steps you’d like to take, add them in.
As a Honeybook Educator and Honeybook Pro, I can’t recommend the platform enough! I LOVE how easy it is to use and allows me to keep my client experience beautifully branding and matching my website at every touch point. Check out Honeybook (affiliate link – use code ALLY B DESIGNS to save big time) and really automate your process and save yourself so much time.
05. Get Your Learning On
Now’s the time to educate yo’ self or get your learning on. Use this downtime to take any courses you’ve been eyeing, join a mastermind, invest in a coach, or attend a conference or webinar.
This is the perfect time to hone your skills even more or add to your business or marketing expertise.
Need help? I’ve got you!
If you are ready to take your website from drab to fab check out my most popular service here! This is where I take you on an exciting brand adventure starting with your brand foundation. Then we overhaul your website so you never hesitate to hand out your URL again.
You are ready to start attracting more of the right clients by hiring us to design a brand-focused website that’s as strategic as it is pretty and we want to talk to you! Now is the time to book a call by clicking the image below or here! Or you can go ahead and click on over to our contact page and send us a message via the form. We will get back to you as soon as possible!