Business + Marketing

3 Things You Can Do to Get Your Business on Track in the New Year

January 4, 2019

By Sandra Coan

All photos © Sandra Coan

January is a traditionally slow month for photographers. Our clients are taking a break after the holidays, and we’re exhausted from the busy fall season. It’s the time of year when we all sit back, rest and recover.

At the beginning of my career, I dreaded the slowness of this month. It scared me. I’d have waves of the “I’ll never work again” panics and would spend the first month of the year as a stressed-out wreck.

Now, I’ve come to appreciate the break. Instead of worrying, I use the slowness to get to work on all of the admin tasks that tend to get neglected as soon as things get busy. And by attending to these matters of business, I set myself up properly for the coming year.

Here are three things I do in January to get my business on track for the new year.

Plan Blog Posts

Blogging, when done right, is one of the best things you can do to market your business. It is a great way to educate clients, share recent work and boost SEO. Use your time in January to sit down and plan out what you’re going to blog about for the year.

Now, I know this sounds like a lot of work, but it’s really not. You just need to come up with 12 topics to create a blog post a month. And you can come up with topic ideas by thinking like your clients.

What questions do they have about you, your style and your work? What do they need to know in order to have a better experience working with you? How can you help solve their problems and/or answers their questions?

Some examples of blog topics: “5 Things to Know When Booking Your Newborn Session,” “My Favorite Parks for Family Photos,” “What to Wear for Babies and Kids.” These are things my potential clients may be searching for when sitting down to their computers, so I make sure to tackle them. Using your blog to answer questions, solve problems and educate your clients in this way turns your blog from being an extension of your portfolio into a powerful marketing tool.

Use your blog strategically and you will be amazed how it will help boost your business. (Bonus points if you actually write and schedule all of your posts for the year in January—you can add your photos later!)

Update Your Portfolio

Portfolios not only showcase our best work, they communicate who we are to our clients and educate our people on what they can expect from us. A carefully crafted portfolio is, therefore, extremely important.

If you want to create a great online photography portfolio:

  1. Keep it small! A small, well-curated portfolio of amazing images is way better than a huge portfolio or mediocre ones. Limit what you show to 10 to 20 great photos.
  2. Keep it current! Go back over your images from the last year and pick the best of the best.

To help you choose your best images, have a look at which photos performed well on your Instagram feed. Your followers have already helped you identify work that reads well online. Think of your feed as market research and look for photos with the most engagement to add to your online portfolio.

Spruce Up Your Website

As photographers, our websites are extremely important. They represent us, our brands and our businesses. They are often our client’s first introduction to us, so make sure that your website is making a good first impression.

A solid website quickly and clearly communicates what you do. It is easy to understand and to navigate. And it has a clear call-to-action, meaning it directs your clients to do whatever it is you want them to do (book, contact, sign up—that sort of thing).

To make sure you have these essential site elements, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does my site show the kind of work that I consistently give my clients?
  • Does it clearly communicate who I am as an artist?
  • Is the navigation intuitive, or is it confusing to follow?
  • Do my clients know what to do when they’re on my site? Do I have a clear call-to-action?

Do those things and your website will not only attract the kinds of people you want to work with, it will convert them into paying clients.

So, there you have it! While you have some downtime this month, these are some simple things you can do that will get you on track to making 2019 your best year yet.

Happy New Year!

Sandra Coan is an industry educator and award winning newborn and family photographer specializing in studio portraiture and fine art film photography. To see more of Sandra’s work, visit her on Instagram @sandracoan or on her educational website.

Related Links:

The Benefits of Going Organic—With Marketing, That Is

7 Facebook Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Is Blogging Worth It Anymore?