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 its 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 the down time 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 the 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.
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!
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 eaiser than pulling from an entire year’s worth of work without any direction.
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 down-time 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 that your potential clients can really connect with who you are!
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.
You can use online platforms such as Dubsado, Honeybook (affiliate link), 17hats, and more to really automate this process and get your clients involved in it, too.
If you would like to dive into your Client Experience be sure to check out my Client Experience Playbook where I guide you to refine your experience and create a workflow that works for your business.
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.
Now, if you’re ready to step into a brand that is full of your personality and start attracting the clients who you can’ wait to work with, I have TWO ways I can help you nail your brand. One option is to check out the Off-the-Shelf Brand Collections in the Brand Shop. When you select one of the collections I will personally customize the predesigned brand with your colors and brand details.
However, if you are wanting something custom check out my “tailor made” brand experience design service. This is where I work with you starting with your brand foundation and then we add as much or as little as you’re looking for. This could include promotional materials and your website. It is truly tailored to your budget and your needs.
Not only will you have a new brand that shows your heart and style you will know exactly how to use your brand, templates, or website without feeling like you need to hire a designer every time you need to make updates. I make sure you are involved in each step of the process!
Hearts and Hoorays!
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