February 5, 2020
So you read last week’s first part of this three-part series and now you are ready to dive into the next four things you should be doing in your off-season… oh you missed last week no problem hop back to it here and catch up on all the goodies before diving in below.
I’ve got a lot in this part of the series so grab your favorite drink, a cozy blanket and hunker down because we about to get started y’all!
The next thing I do is submit my work so that I can be featured and published. This all falls under the marketing category. Having your photos published helps with two things, adding SEO for your website and it also helps establish your brand authority. Even though brides might not be booking you because you were published they LOVE knowing that you might get their wedding published because they are that important.
The next part of marketing for my business is to map out the next 6 months following my off-season. This can be in a planner, or on your computer or however you find it best to really look ahead. It’s a great time to dive in and look at all you have coming up in the next few months. What shoots or events you have on the books, what your Instagram game is going to look like. You can take a look at your calendar and see if you’re happy with the number of bookings that you have or if you need some little extra attention in certain areas. Do you need more bookings for your mid-year? Are you planning on hosting mini sessions and need to figure out how you are marketing them? Do you have a bridal show you need to plan your booth layout? All these things go into my planner so I can come up with a mini to-do list of things I need to do before those things. If it’s more weddings I want to book I figure out how I plan to do that. Am I going to run a Facebook Ad? Find a local show to market at? You get the idea.
Once you have a marketing plan for the year, and you’ve gotten your blog updated the next thing I like to do is update my website. Now I have Showit so this is usually pretty easy to make minor adjustments but for some, I know this can be a daunting task depending on your hosting service. Even though updating my website is something easy for me to do because of the platform I use, this is something that does not get done very often just because of how time-consuming it is to sort through the images I want to showcase and use.
What website host or platform should you use?
I use Showit for my website and I thank the LORD that I have this. It is super easy to customize and swap out images and change the text or style or really whatever I want. No designer needed.
I haven’t ever used Squarespace but I know many that do and swear its a great option.
The next you’ll want to do in your off-season is take some time to network. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to go into a conference center with your business cards at some HUGE networking event, let’s face it NO ONE wants to do that. It’s super nerve-wracking. What I like to do is find some really cool people on Instagram send them a message and see if they like to grab the coffee or a drink, or lunch. Now when you are a photographer its great to meet others in your field but I like to network with other people in the wedding industry. Maybe a DJ, Wedding Planner, or florist. My local Thursday Therapy is a great way to mingle and connect with other vendors in the wedding industry.
It is also a great time to do a walkthrough at a venue you’ve been dying to shoot at. Well now is the perfect time to do that because they probably have the time too as its likely their slower time as well. Meet the venue coordinator have a face-to-face, maybe even take some venue detail shots, and send them a gallery. It’s a great way to build a relationship with a place you have never worked at. Heck, a lot of times I find just by offering to do this and following through they begin to recommend me to their inquiring brides. Hello, FREE marketing.
Alright so you made it through those four things… right? We have one final post to the series which will be hitting the blog next Wednesday. Be sure to check it out.