I know this is an uneasy time full of anxiety and uncertainty, and for many of us creatives who own a small business, we may be stuck at home wondering what to do. Weddings and events are being canceled or postponed left and right which can leave us hurting for work and also feeling scared of the future. So, I really wanted to share some helpful ways to keep your business moving in a positive direction during this time. A majority of our time is normally spent interacting with clients during shoots and on wedding days, but there are plenty of things we can do to help take our businesses to the next level while we are quarantined at home.
I am aware that this is affecting all of us in some way or another, and my heart is with everyone. I hope you are all doing what you can to stay healthy and safe, and I really hope this does pass soon.
25 PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS TIPS DURING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK
- Service your camera equipment: I try to be diligent about servicing my camera gear yearly, but I realize this is something that could easily be forgotten about or put off for many busy photographers. Now would be a good time to ship your gear to be serviced. I take all of my digital gear to my nearest Canon Factory Service Center. I am a CPS member which helps with service turn around time and great customer service.
- Submit work for publication: I really believe in sharing your work with top wedding blogs all year round, but this might be a good time to sit down and plan out past weddings or shoots that you have been meaning to submit. I know that these things can take time, but hey, we’ve got time, right? Check out the helpful tips I have shared in the past for submitting.
- Plan out your Instagram: I know firsthand how time-consuming this can be but Instagram has been my #1 tool for attracting ideal clients so it is imperative to make sure your feed is cohesive and truly represents your brand. I use Planoly to plan out my feed and have for years. I really do love it and they have so many great features to play around with. While you are at it, you might as well update your highlights too! I have found Instagram highlights to be a great tool as well for my business!
- Support other small businesses: Whether it is on Instagram, Facebook or any other way you can think of, supporting others during this time can mean more than you know. Leave a comment on another photographer’s photo or follow some other creatives whose work you really like. These small things will really add up if we all work together to support one another. Words of encouragement, especially during this time can really make a difference. You can also share other artists work on social media, I am sure they would be so grateful.
- Update investment guide: Your investment guide is so, so important. It is one of the first impressions you leave on your clients and also where you communicate to them how much you believe you are worth. It can be a tricky subject for many creatives but finding a format and structure that works for your business is super helpful. Keep in mind this takes trial and error but maybe now is a good time to reevaluate your pricing guide and see if there are any changes you have been meaning to make. Also, update it with recent work that you feel are your standout images.
- Connect with other vendors: I am sure you have a handful of vendors you have been meaning to reach out to. Now would be a great time to reach out and connect with them, or simply begin a relationship. Comment on their Instagram photos, set up a facetime if they are up for it! Start planting the seed for possibly working with them in the future once this all blows over.
- Deep clean your office: Take a day or two and really go through your workspace. Whether you have a home office or not, gather all of your work-related materials and do a deep clean of it all! Throw away things you never use and organize what is left. I promise it will make you feel accomplished and you will be happy you did it!
- Sell gear you no longer use: I know we all have things laying around related to your businesses that we bought thinking we would use and haven’t touched, or don’t use anymore. List those things to sell so you can make a little extra cash during this time.
- Update website galleries: You always want to have your most recent work on your website, so update those galleries!! Organize your images and find your favorites that truly represent your brand and put those out on display. Your website is somewhere you have full control and can use it to draw in those potential clients!
- Work on your Pinterest: Pinterest is also an amazing tool that photographers should be taking advantage of. I use Tailwind to plan out my Pinterest posts, and it has helped so much! I recently wrote a blog post all about how I use Pinterest.
- Work on detail photos: Since we are at home and we shouldn’t be interacting with clients etc. it would be a great time to practice your invitation styling or detail photos. Take a few hours and gather some pretty details and get to shooting! You will have some pretty images for your portfolio and also can get some great practice in. Check out some tips for creating beautiful flatlays!
- Organize your negatives: this can normally be a daunting task for film photographers so having this time at home can be a great time to organize your negatives. If you are a digital shooter, you can double-check and make sure your images are organized on your computer and your externals. Maybe you will want to find a different way to organize them that you find more efficient.
- Print some of your favorite work: This is a fun and simple one! Print some of your favorite work! It is always refreshing as artists to see your work printed and in front of you in a tangible form.
- Perfect your client experience: Client experience is, in my opinion, one of the most important aspects of a small business. That goes for any business for that matter. Now would be a great opportunity to perfect this experience for your clients, current and future. Think about how you would want to be treated as a client and begin implementing those things. Client gifts, packaging, photo gallery layout, etc.
- SEO: SEO is so, so important for small businesses. You can work on the backend of your website to optimize ways to gain traffic to your site. Work on keywords, blog titles, tags, optimize images etc.
- Gather testimonials: During the normal hustle and bustle of our workdays, we can forget to reach out to clients for testimonials, however, lots of potential clients look for these testimonials when they are deciding whether or not to book you, so put together these and find a way to showcase them! I put mine in my “experience” tab on my website so they are easy to find and scroll through.
- Blog: Blog what you have been meaning to blog!! This will help your SEO like mentioned above and help get your most recent work out there for others to see! Make sure you tag and give proper credit when you are writing your posts.
- Organize your styling kit: This would be a great time to organize your styling kit. You can see how I organize mine here.
- Offer discounts: If you feel this is something that would be a good decision for your business, then you can offer discounts for current or future clients. I realize these are trying times ahead so finding ways to still book clients to support yourself is important. Each person is in a different position, however, so evaluate your business and what you can afford to do.
- Exercise: You may be wondering what exercise has to do with a photography business. In my opinion, it is connected in so many ways! Our jobs are very taxing on our bodies, so making sure you stay fit will really help you on those long wedding days carrying all of that gear. Go outside for a long walk around the neighborhood. Because we aren’t able to get outside much and interact with people, getting outside to breathe in some fresh air is wonderful for our minds! We need to stay healthy emotionally and physically.
- Set goals: Setting goals for yourself and your business is always important, during this quiet we can really take the time to sit down and put these thoughts down on paper. That way in a year or so you can look back on this time and see all you have been able to accomplish. Let’s try to stay as positive as possible!
- Passive income: I have always tried to find ways to gain a passive income, although it is something I am constantly brainstorming. I recently created an Amazon store because I am an Amazon Affiliate and I can share the items I love on Amazon. Send me your favorite Amazon finds!
- Reach out to current clients: I am sure many of your clients are feeling the same uneasiness we all are. Many couples are having to cancel or postpone their weddings which can be a very stressful decision to make. I think it is a kind gesture to reach out to your clients to see how they are doing and check-in asking if there is anything you can do to help ease their minds.
- Taxes: Taxes, expenses, spreadsheets…things that are typically not considered “fun” but are imperative in running a successful business may be pushed off. Take this time to tackle them!!
- Organize externals and streamline workflow: Having an effective workflow in place for your business is so helpful in saving time and just for your own sanity. It is important to make sure you have a system in place to make navigating through the backend of your business easy. I have created my own workflow that works for my business, so I know where everything important is at all times and I have backups on backups. Using this time to organize your external hard drives and also just make sure you have a workflow that is working for you would be such a great use of your time!
I hope you found at least some of these suggestions helpful. Remember, do not give up. Use this time as motivation to push yourself and your business forward. Remember to stay alert, not anxious and lean on others who are going through the same thing. Bounce ideas off of them and just know that we are all in this together, and this will pass. I am here for you as always, so do not hesitate to reach out. Sending lots of love your way!
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