Winter is coming, photog friends. The cold temps have already arrived here in Virginia. Every morning the trees become a little more gray and a little less vibrant. We’ve dug the scarves and gloves out of the back of the coat closet, pulled out the Christmas decorations, and lit the fireplace.
Enter slow season.
As a business owner, I’ve learned to savor the slow season. When the last fall gallery has been delivered, I feel like I can finally pause for a moment and catch my breath. The weight of deadlines, emails, and unfinished courses lifts a little from my shoulders and I take the chance to reflect on the awesome year it’s been.
And then I get back to work.
That’s not to say I’m a workaholic… though sometimes I’m sure my hubby wonders. Really though, slow season work is different than busy season work. It’s a time to reflect and evaluate your business. Determine what’s working, what’s not, what needs to be updated, all the things that sometimes fall to the back burner while we’re busy shooting and editing. Whether your slow season is a result of the actual seasons or maybe just a slow period during the year (and trust me when I say, I’ve been through both), there’s always something to be done. So here are my top 5 things to do during slow season.
Write out your goals (with action items)
Does anyone else shudder at the fact that it will be 2019 before we know it? Where, oh where, has the time gone!?
In a few short weeks, everyone will be making promises to themselves for the new year in the form of resolutions. And let’s be honest, most of the time those resolutions become a thing of the past by, like, January 2nd.
But when I’m in a slow season, I like to write out my short-term and long-term business goals. And here’s the thing that’s usually missing from the personal resolutions that we make and never keep – a plan of action. When I’m writing my goals for the new year, I like to note actionable steps that I think will help me achieve that goal. It’s the whole “SMART” goals thing, but without the acronym.
Here’s another little tip: keep them visible! I like to write out short and long-term goals and then tape them up on the wall behind my computer or put them in my planner where I’ll always see them.
One of the most productive things that I do during my slow season is invest in education. It happens all the time – I purchase a course during the year, only to have it sit unfinished for months and months. Slow season is a really great time to start/finish educational courses and practice what you’ve learned.
Update existing content
If you’re in a slow season, you’ve probably just come out of a busy season, which means that your portfolio has likely grown. Now’s a good time to update your website, session guides, agreements, packages, and any client facing information so that it’s ready for the new year.
Create new content
I like to spend a lot of my slow season creating content that can be released and used in the new year. I do a lot of brainstorming for blog posts, videos, newsletters, and social media posts. I like to get ahead now so that I’m not stressed out later.
Start a personal project
So I haven’t actually started a personal project per se. But I did take on the challenge of joining an Instagram loop dedicated to self-portraits. And these self-portraits have given me a great opportunity to get my creative juices flowing. It’s also really helped with my own self-confidence. Blog post on that coming soon!
So there ya have it, friend. 5 things to do during slow season. Tried any of these and want to share your success or have any other recommendations? Drop me a note! I’d love to hear from you!