The New Year is fast approaching, and it’s time to make your resolutions. But instead of resolving to lose weight in the coming year or go quit smoking, why not focus your resolutions on managing your wedding photography business? Now is the perfect time to set goals for the coming year and map out ways to achieve them. Here are eight things you can resolve to improve in 2018.
1. Prioritize Organization
Staying organized takes loads of discipline. When you have a lot to do, organization can feel like one more time-consuming step. It’s easier to stack a client information intake sheet on your desk rather than file it. Down the road, though, when it’s time for the client’s wedding, you won’t be able to find that sheet — and you will wish you had spent the three minutes it would have taken to file it.
Organization can help you make more money and reach more contacts, too. When you have a system in place, you waste less time looking for things and can get your invoicing done faster, which means the money comes in more quickly. Resolve to spend at least an hour each week cleaning off your desk and putting things in the right place.
2. Update Your Website
You have a website, of course, but you’re so busy booking business and shooting weddings that you haven’t updated the site in years. That’s a problem. While your contact information may remain the same, you should update your website regularly to:
Have up-to-date portfolio images, showing the most recent events you have shot
Improve your search engine optimization, which brings visitors to your site
Advertise specials to draw in new clients
3. Polish Up Your Social Media Presence
One of the first things people do when they come to a photographer’s website is click on the Instagram account to see what’s recent. If that leads them to three photos from early 2015, and not much else, that looks bad for your business. You want to use social media to showcase what you can do with your camera.
That may mean outsourcing management of your accounts to a trusted freelancer — or even trading services with someone, which may prove more fiscally feasible. Find a friend who specializes in social media, and turn your accounts over to them. In return, do a free photo session for the friend’s newborn baby, for example.
4. Keep on Top of Paperwork
This task frustrates lots of small business owners, and not just the creative ones. Sending invoices, filing, sending follow-up emails and keeping good financial records for tax purposes are a necessary part of running any business.
While you may prefer taking photos, you still need to devote a substantial amount of time to this sort of paper-pushing to prepare for tax season and get the money you are owed in a timely fashion.
5. Join a Networking Group
The best way to generate new business is from meeting new people. When you network with others, especially other small business owners in the creative arena, you get your name out there to a new group you may not otherwise interact with. Join the local chamber of commerce, a service organization or a co-working group. Here are a few other ways networking can benefit you:
Meet new people to market your services to
See how other small businesspeople run their businesses
Team up with others who offer complementary services
6. Buy a New Piece of Equipment
You may not be able to afford a new Canon or Nikon, but how about buying a new lens? A new shoulder strap? A new ball head? You can find something that will help your business at any price range, and you may get a jolt of creativity when you try out your new toy.
7. Shoot For Fun in Your Daily Life
Photography may be your job, but years ago, it was probably your passion. Recapture some of the joy that once drew you to this profession by pulling out your camera when you’re not on the job.
Many photographers put too much pressure on themselves to capture the perfect shot at work and at home. Instead, just concentrate on enjoying the moment, experimenting and playing around with lenses, angles, shutter speeds and all the other variables that make photography so fascinating. Find the fun again!
8. Improve Your Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
You should automate as much as you can to free yourself up to concentrate on what truly sets your business apart — your creative abilities. The more time you have to shoot, to fix photos, to brainstorm new locations for wedding party pictures, etc., the better your business will be. Investing in a wedding photography CRM, such as Táve, to take care of your small business management needs can take some of the pressure off you to do everything yourself.
Running your own business isn’t easy. Be sure to also allow for some “me” time in your schedule. In fact, make that the ninth, unspoken resolution. We hope Táve can help free you up to get that time. Contact us today to get a free 30-day trial of our software.