As a wedding photographer, the off-season is SUCH an important time in your year. Off-season allows you to reset your business, take some of the load off for the upcoming busy season, and reset your mind and body so you’re ready for the upcoming year! It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to working on your off-season, which is why I listed out some areas for you to work on in your business during your off-season as a wedding photographer.
1. SEO for Wedding Photographers
SEO is such an important marketing avenue for a wedding photographer. Blog posts with SEO work for you 10x as long as any other style of advertising. Though it is a long game and can take months to start seeing results, trust me you will start seeing results if you’re consistent, and it is SO worth it in the long run. If you don’t have the time to invest in blogging for your business, my husband and I run a blog writing and SEO business for wedding photographers. Check out our services for more information!
2. Canned Emails
This was the BIGGEST life saver when starting my business as a wedding photographer. Having your client emails already written out for you makes your workflow SO much easier, and also tells you what is working and what isn’t in your business. What do I mean by that? By keeping a streamlined experience for your clients, you’re able to see where the holes are in your client experience. By keeping emails the same you can see where your clients are asking the most questions, where they need more information, or if they just need to see you in their inbox more and then you can adjust from there.
3. Quarter 1 and 2 Marketing
This is something I’m still working on for my business, but having a marketing plan is a HUGE lifesaver when it comes to creating content. Knowing exactly who you need to be talking to as far as ideal clients, knowing how many weddings, sessions, etc. you need to book and then having a plan to get your potential clients to your website is SO helpful when creating IG content each week.
4. Scheduling Blog Posts
Though yes, blogging does take a shit ton of time, if you don’t have the budget for a professional blog writer, then your off-season is the time in which you will need to do your blogging! Pull your 12 favorite galleries from the past year and schedule a blog post to go up on the first of each month. If you finish this and still have time before the busy season begins, try to write 6 articles that will help your potential clients during the planning process for their session or wedding! The great thing about blogging is that Google REALLY values consistency, so even if you don’t quite know what you’re doing, just posting about topics you believe your clients are interested in is a solid start.
5. Editing Portfolio Work
All those galleries from second shooting gigs, styled shoots, and associate jobs? Now’s the time to look through those. Cull the photos that fit your ideal clients for the upcoming year, and then edit them so you can use them on blog posts and Instagram!
6. Book Keeping
Off-season means that tax season is coming, so now is the time to make sure your books are in order going into the new year! Getting a system going to track your business purchases and income is going to be a lifesaver come tax time next year if you weren’t able to get it set up in time this year.
7. Goal Setting
When starting your business, it’s common to just fly by the seat of your pants. Especially when there is so much to do and learn. As a wedding photographer I’ve found that starting the year off with some fresh personal, business, and monetary goals helps you to get a fresh start in the new year, and give you some purpose as you dive in. Having actionable and measurable goals is a huge step in getting a hold on your business and its growth rather than just making it work month to month!
8. Client Workflows
Tis the season to FINALLY set up those client workflows you’ve been putting off for so long. Whether you have scheduled emails through Google, or use a CRM like Honeybook or Dubsado to take care of your clients, now is the time to start working on your client experience. Load those canned emails into your system, update your client questionnaires, and get your workflow to work for you!
If you’re looking for a CRM for your business, I LOVE Dubsado for taking care of my clients. Use this link to get 20% off your first year with Dubsado!
9. New Marketing Avenues
Gone are the days when you could JUST use Instagram to find all of the clients of your dreams. Having multiple marketing avenues is SO important for small business, so be sure to take advantage of all of the different avenues you can market your business on! Instagram, Tiktok, SEO/Blogging, Pinterest, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, an email list, and referral programs are just a few of the MANY ways you can market your small business throughout the year. Making sure to distribute your eggs through a couple of baskets will widen your net and set you up for success in the coming year.
10. Updating Your Branding
As you distribute your eggs across the internet through marketing, it’s so important to have clear branding throughout! Deciding on a brand voice, and clear branding imagery will help you to convey your brand and connect with clients throughout all of your platforms of communication as a small business. Pull 100 of your favorite images you’ve taken from the past year that best fit your branding and ideal clients, and put them in an album to use across your website, client guides and everything else!
Now that you have 10 things to work on this off-season, it’s time to start putting them into action! There’s unfortunately only so many hours in the day though, so you may not be able to fit EVERYTHING in, and that’s ok. Start with what you can, and if you’re in a position to outsource things like blogging which I mentioned before do it! Keep an eye out on my blog for more photography tips.