Photographers, especially those in the wedding industry, are used to breaking up their year into busy and slow seasons. However, nothing could have prepared any of us for the drastic halt in business that occurred as a result of COVID-19.
It’s literally like something I could never have imagined in my wildest nightmares. Every wedding and lifestyle sessions canceled, all networking and in-person meetings – postponed until further notice. Wow.
So, what’s a photographer to do with all of this “downtime”?
Cry? Stress? Drink a lot of coffee (and maybe a lot of wine, too). Check. Check. CHECK.
However, it looks like this pandemic will be around for a while so we have to find ways to occupy our downtime in meaningful and impactful ways. Because even though it might not feel like it right now – this will pass and your business will pick back up again!
Below, I’ve compiled a list of 25 ways you can make the most of your “downtime” during COVID-19.
- Leave reviews for the businesses you love working with (i.e. send them a written testimonial with permission to use on their site or drop a review on Yelp, Wedding Wire and Google).
- Revisit your goals for 2020 and recalibrate. Many businesses have had to pivot their plan – and that’s ok! Focus on what you can control.
- Update your contracts to protect your business during COVID-19 (and beyond.) I highly recommend Annette Stepanian’s contracts!
- Explore ways to creatively pivot your service offerings to meet your community’s needs during this pandemic (i.e. online gift cards, product photography you can accomplish while social distancing, etc).
- Update your portfolio. Need some tips? Click here.
- Refresh the copy on your website. Make sure it reflects you, your business, and your values. Your business is constantly evolving – so your website language should evolve with it.
- Tired of your website altogether? If you’re really ambitious, you can redo your site using a sleek template on SquareSpace, WordPress, etc!
- Backlogged on blogging? Get to writing! Showcase any weddings or sessions from the last year that you haven’t gotten around to yet.
- Capitalize on evergreen content. Did you know you can repurpose old shoots to make new blogs, social or newsletter content? For example, highlight your “best of 2019” sessions in a new blog post.
- Make yourself a styling kit. Here’s how I made mine for under $80.
- Foster relationships with other vendors by reaching out to one’s you’ve enjoyed working with. Let them know how much you appreciate them. Send a thank you card or just a simple, (but thoughtful) email with encouraging words.
- Evaluate your workflow and streamline any areas that don’t feel efficient. Check out this list of my favorite business resources that might help.
- Update any marketing materials that need a refresh (i.e. your free download, social profile pics, etc).
- Create (or update) your ideal client profile. Follow these steps to understand what that is.
- Design and (if you have the cash flow) print a new sample album. Here’s an album company I love and why I use them.
- Catch up on your reading any business books or listen to business podcasts you’ve been stockpiling. Take the time to learn something new.
- Follow up with clients who have pending album or print orders. Sometimes a quick email is all that is needed to button up those loose orders.
- Go Marie Kondo on your office or workspace (as long as you can do that while social distancing). Don’t forget about things like cleaning your computer/camera bag, physical files and even your car!
- Spend time reflecting on how you want to spend your time after you can safely leave your home and get back to work. Don’t limit it to professional goals!
- Get your bookkeeping straight. Reconcile your finances or hire a bookkeeper (here’s a bunch of reasons why that’s a smart move). Also – file your taxes, yo!
- Create a newsletter list (if you haven’t already) and plot out the content for the next month, quarter or even year! I love FloDesk, by the way! Just make sure the content you’re pushing out matters (and is sensitive to the current climate).
- While you’re at it – plot out your social plan, too! I love Planoly for this.
- Come up with concrete (and measurable) ways to elevate your client experience. Here are a few ways I do that.
- Spring cleaning (and by that I mean your desktop, hard drives, and iPhone photo albums!).
- SELF-CARE. Remember – your business won’t run (pandemic or not) if you’re not well enough to run it. So whatever you need to do to come out of this season emotionally and mentally well – DO IT!
We are going through something unfathomably hard, my friends. While we technically have never been more apart – we also are very much going through this pandemic together. Hugs, love, and light to each and every one of you. Stay safe!