1. Draw in new clients by offering your TIME.
NOT products that will cost YOU money, in turn hurting your business.
And NO NO NO do NOT discount or lower your rates for ANY REASON.
Offer incentives for new clients to find and hire you that will require your time. EXAMPLES : Additional hour(s) on your wedding day coverage, include an engagement shoot, include an anniversary shoot, a maternity shoot (if and when applicable to the couple), include rehearsal dinner coverage, if you offer a set number of photos in your packages – add MORE.
2. Get clear on your NUMBERS.
Now is the PERFECT time to really REALLY look at your REAL numbers. Photographers often just create their rates based on what their local industry charges. What is profitable for one photographer, may NOT be profitable for another. And remember, factor in your TIME (yes, I know I said offer your time in Number 1, but hear me out).
Take each of your packages and list out ALL expenses and TIME associated with each of them. (EXAMPLES : engagement shoot, travel, boxes, prints, flash drives, gallery hosting, second shooters, etc).
I found out that our most expensive package over at The Ramsdens, was actually our LEAST profitable because the cost of our albums!
After you figure out the real numbers behind your packages, figure out your annual and monthly expenses – both BUSINESS expenses AND personal expenses.
The numbers may surprise you. Ever wonder why you work so hard AND still find yourself struggling through the slower months? Chances are you are not charging enough for your offerings.
3. Start growing an email list.
An email list?! WHY?! I hear you. haha It doesn’t have to be complicated – add in an opt in on your website, have your past + current clients opt in. Start by keeping it simple – share your blog posts with your list, offer album and print sales to past clients once in a while. CONNECT with those who took the time to hire you and get to know you, and bring in those who might want to hire you as well.
Growing an email list doesn’t have to be daunting. I use FLODESK and it is an amazing tool that breaks it down quite easily for you.
4. CLEAN UP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS.
Something people ask me constantly is “How do you attract the clients you WANT?”. Simple. ONLY show the kind of work you WANT TO GET.
That. is. it.
Don’t like big ball rooms or huge weddings? DON’T POST THEM.
ONLY post the kind of work you WANT. This is when you have to put on your business hat, and treat your business like a business. Think of the successful brand and businesses you know – they have a THING. That THING is what the aesthetic or style they show time and time again. It becomes what they are known for. This is how you become known for the kind of clients you want, work with, and create beautiful art with. You show THAT KIND OF WORK, time and time again.
If you don’t know what kind of clients you want – ask yourself the following questions –
What was my favorite wedding/shoot ever? Why?
Was it the couple?
Was it the aesthetic?
Was it the location?
Once you figure out why you like shooting one thing over the other, you can hone in on your ideal clientele and then ONLY SHOW THAT KIND OF WORK.
5. CREATE WORK FOR YOU.
I know, I know. I probably sound like a broken record by now. But OH WELL. Whether you consider yourself and artist or not, YOU ARE. For your art, your sanity, your passion, and your inner happiness – you NEED to create work for yourself.
It is SO important to create work even when we are not getting paid for it. If you don’t even know where to start or need challenges – come join my Facebook community for photographers – LET’S GET WEIRD – where there are photography challenges to encourage you to create.
Creating work for yourself MAKES YOU A BETTER ARTIST.
BEING A BETTER ARTIST = BETTER WORK = MORE CLIENTS = MORE BUSINESS.
Some other ideas for you to create for yourself during this time –
Self portraits, photograph you kids/pets, take portraits of your significant other, photograph your plants, bake a dang cake and photograph it like you are a food photography master. Put love and care into a project. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but just take your time, be in the moment, and create something for you, and only you.
Feel like you don’t even know where to start?
Schedule your mentorship call with Lady Ramsden HERE.