My friends, the sooner you accept that entrepreneurship is a seasonal venture, the better. It’s not IF business will be slow, it is WHEN. For me, as a photographer, I very intentionally schedule in a slow business season where I do not book any formal photography events… but that does not mean that my work stops. My “down season” is just as important as the crazy busy season and that’s because I have few tricks up my sleeve! Here are my 7 best tips to embrace the slow seasons. While these may seem simple, these little tricks have a huge impact; so grab a pen and paper and giddy up!
Enhance Your Brand
The slow seasons provide the perfect opportunity to look at your business from a 360 degree perspective! Have a truthful conversation with yourself about your overall brand. 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? You want your brand to be a total package that sticks out! Use this downtime to do a reevaluation and refresh of your whole brand– down to the nitty gritty details! (Your potential clients will take notice, I promise!)
Update Your Portfolio
I know this is everyone’s least favorite task, but guys, this is SO important. Use the off season to catch up on updating and then make a goal to do it AT LEAST twice a year. (Obviously quarterly or monthly would be even better!) Show the projects/styles you are passionate about. And, no matter what, show your favorite, best work! You DO NOT have to share an image from every session. Share the images of the work that you want to keep doing. Think of this: You are not attracting who you’ve already worked with… you are attracting who you want to work with. Use your off season to make sure your portfolio is showing the kind of work you want to continue doing.
Your Words Matter!
I truly believe that the words you choose to use in your business are just as important as your images! Every word- from your email templates to your instagram captions- portrays who you are as a person and a business owner. This doesn’t mean you can only “all the right” things… Quite the opposite, actually! Be different! The “right” things are typical and blend in. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Words are an extension of who you are. Use your down time to ensure that your voice and your tone are reaching YOUR dream audience!
There is no better time to connect with others than during your down season! And, friends, “networking” does not mean solely reaching out to people for your benefit… YOU need to add value for other people! Do your research and see who you can best serve with your gifts… This period of rest can create a work network has meaningful relationships. There are so many ways you can share your gifts– be intentional, have a heart of service, and genuinely focus on the other person. Not only is it fulfilling, it can give your business the extensions it needs.
Learn, Learn, and Learn!
This is soooo important! Embrace your quiet season to do your research, absorb content, study those your admire, master new techniques, or start personal projects. It takes effort to move your business forward and stay current. And the truth is, you may not have time for this during your busy season so make it a priority in the quiet times!
Nail Down A Social Strategy
There is no better time to revamp your social media networking than over slow season. Evaluate your brand and analyze what you are sharing and how you are sharing it. Take the time and plan it out! Social media creates the grounds to connect with the right people– and impact your bottom line. It goes so far beyond a pretty instagram feed, and I encourage you to invest in this avenue of your business!
Invest In Your Development
I cannot tell enough the truth in the statement “You have to spend money to make money”. Guys, the off season is the absolute perfect time to sign up for that webinar, hire that business coach, develop a new program. When you invest, you are much more likely to dive in. I can honestly say every cent I have invested in business development, I have gotten back ten times over. This off season, I encourage you to put your money where your business is, and just go for it! Trust me, you won’t regret it!
I hope this episode reminds you that while down seasons provide for much-needed rest, this does not mean it should be treated as latent time. Embrace the ebbs and flows of your business! This is SUCH an impactful period of time that can be a game changer for your business as a whole, and I CANNOT wait to hear how these 7 tips impact you!