In the photography business, the busy season is just around the corner! What does that mean exactly? Long hours, 7-day work weeks, and high risk of burnout. Ugh! After being in business for as long as I have, I like to think I’ve learned a thing or two on how to be prepared for the craziness in order to have a successful busy season. Here are my tips on what has worked for me, and I hope they work for you too!
Make sure your workflows are in place.
The key to a successful business season is to develop consistent workflows that work for you. Now, those workflows may look different for every single person reading this blog post. And that’s okay! Design a workflow that works best for you, and stick to it. If something isn’t working, scrap it and design something that will work for you! When I say workflows, I’m talking about all of it: what you do when someone inquires, how you move product orders forward in the queue, and even how you shoot each session. The more planning and organizing you can do, the easier it will be to manage and track all of your clients.
Make sure you’re properly stocked.
A successful busy season will require that you have all the materials you’ll need in stock and ready to go. This includes packaging materials, USBs, collateral, etc. I like to take the spring and summer before the business hits as opportunities to update…everything! You can update your website with new images, update your marketing brochures, or make that pricing change you’ve been thinking about doing but never have. Get everything in place and set to go. That way the only thing you have to worry about it when you start shooting all day every day are your clients, their images, and their experience with you. And if you have a studio space, don’t forget the little things, like tissues or water bottles – the last thing you want to be doing between sessions is running to the store.
Set yourself up for a successful busy season by creating your social content before the season hits.
This is a big one because it can be very time-consuming if you let it be! Try and schedule out your Instagram feed, write your content, schedule your blog posts, and get everything in place so that when the busy season hits, all you have to do is hit POST (or, better yet, use the auto-post features that lots of social media sites and websites offer!) Trust me, knowing your Instagram feed and your blogs are already curated and written will be a huge weight off of your shoulders. I use Planoly to schedule all my Instagram posts and it’s a lifesaver!
Take time for some R&R.
When you have the time to rest, take full advantage of it! Soak in a hot tub, get a massage, do whatever it is you have to do so that you so you can recharge and be ready for what the next day brings! You can’t do your best work if your cup is 1/2 full. It’s important to take the time you need so that you can serve your clients fully and set yourself up for a successful busy season.
And on that note – make sure you’re being mindful of your scheduling. Sure, you might be able to fit five sessions into a day calendar-wise, but is that the best choice for your body and mind? It’s tempting to overbook during the fall and winter, but be firm with your clients and only schedule on the days and times you’ve predetermined to be your working hours. Just because you’re self-employed doesn’t mean you’re available 24/7!
And there you have it. These simple things have helped me go from dreading this time of year to being excited for a successful busy season! I hope they do the same for you!
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