What do you do in the off-season? If you’re a wedding photographer, then you know that this is a seasonal business. You will have your busy season and your slow season. You will have your season to hustle and your season to rest.
7 things you should do in the off-season
1. Update your portfolio
At the end of a busy season of photographing weddings do you ever feel like you’ve lost your creative spark? The off-season is a great opportunity to update your portfolio. Whether you change out the photos on your website to more recent weddings, or plan a styled shoot, or try something new, the slow season is a perfect time to do so.
“Your network is your net worth.”
It’s so true especially when you’re a small creative business. It’s just WHAT you know, it’s also WHO you know. The off-season is a great time to network! Take time to visit venues you’ve been wanting to connect with, schedule lunches or drinks with vendors you want to get to know better, share wedding galleries with vendors (if you haven’t already!), introduce yourself to other small businesses in your area.
Network, network, network. Especially if you’re in the early stages of your business.
3. Learn & Enrich
I don’t know about you, but I am a learning junkie. I’ve come to realize that I really like learning. If colleges and universities were cheaper to take classes for fun, I totally would!
There is so much to learn. Always be learning something that can help your business. (But maybe don’t be a course junkie like me until you complete your courses!)
The off-season is a great time to attend a conference, go to a workshop, take time to watch that CreativeLive course, or take the plunge and hire a business mentor.
4. Brand Review
The off-season is the perfect time to review how your business is doing. Is your brand where you want it to be? Have you outgrown or evolved your brand? Are you ready for a brand refresh or new website?
Take time during the off-season to analyze what’s going well in your business and how you can increase the value of your business. Perhaps you’ll incorporate client gifts, a new welcome guide, a pre-wedding checklist, or post-wedding in-person sales for albums.
Review what hasn’t been working for your business. Maybe you need to hire a virtual assistant to help you get organized. Maybe you need to outsource your editing. Maybe you need to invest in a studio management platform such as Honeybook, Dubsado, or 17Hats.
5. Social Media Strategy
How is your social media strategy? I certainly don’t have it all figured out. The off-season is a great time to get a solid strategy into place so that when the busy season returns, you’re ready to take it on without feeling overwhelmed.
A great thing to do is to plan your social media for the month or the quarter. While you may not follow it to a tee, you at least have an idea of what you can post!
6. To-Do List
If you’re anything like me, you probably have a to-do list that’s a mile long. With the day-to-day activities and constant ding of emails coming in, it sometimes feels like we’ll never complete our to-do list.
Take time during the off-season to tackle the things that get pushed aside in the busy season such as catching up on bookkeeping (or outsourcing it), blogging (if you’re behind), update your website galleries, get your gear cleaned and calibrated, purchase new memory cards, or get that end of season massage!
I know, that sounds like a super basic piece of advice – but do you rest in your off-season? I know that as entrepreneurs we like to go-go-go, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But seasons of rest are there for a reason. We can only go full steam ahead for so long. Be sure to schedule some much-needed rest into your off-season. Plan those lunches with friends that you haven’t seen in ages because you’ve been knee-deep in your business. Put a date night on the calendar and secure a babysitter.