I mean today…
These are simple ideas, built to do quickly or without being in a rush. Do at least five of them every day.
1. Have you checked in with past clients? Have you kept up with them? And more importantly, have you kept them up to date on what you are doing? Past clients are one of the best ways to keep cash flowing through your business. It takes so much longer to get a client than to keep a client.
2. Have you shot something for your portfolio lately? Have you post-processed any images from a recent shoot and added them to your portfolio? I cannot tell you how many consultations start with “what have you added recently” are answered with “I have been too busy to get any new work up.”
Great… if you are too busy to put up new work, why are getting a consult on getting more clients? What?
3. Personal note, message, call or Amazon Gift Card to someone who has been a supporter or evangelist for your work. The folks who love you are your best advocates. Treat them like gold… no, treat them like diamonds.
4. Put together a set of goals for the week? For the month? Just make sure they dovetail into your master goal set.
… … You do have a master goal set, right?
5. Check your business plan. How is it going? Do you need to change it one way or another?
Most people make the business plan and then never look at it or modify it. You must modify it, and you must continuously look at it and review it. Otherwise, what was the point of the exercise you went through to create it? It is a living document that needs your input and nourishment to be effective.
6. If you don’t have a business plan, grab a napkin an sketch one out. Seriously… do not do this on a computer. Write it down on something that is quickly modified. Use charts and boxes and lines and squigglies to get what you want to make sense.
A good mini-business plan for a photographer should be about 2 pages… max. This is not a bigass business plan, this is a short, to the point, no bullshit mini business plan.
7. Contact a mentor. if you don’t have one, find one. Then get in touch with them and ask them for guidance. Asking for help is not a bad thing, it is a damn good thing to do. If you are struggling, there are people out there who have struggled the same way and found pathways out.
No, finding a mentor is not easy. It shouldn’t be. If it were it would be of little value. Did you ever notice that the most highly valued things and positions are the hardest ones to attain? Almost like it was planned that way.
8. Brainstorm like crazy to find new and exciting ways of presenting your work, ideas, photographs, methods, and style to those who want to hire you. Work on that presentation. Work really hard on that presentation.
9. Think about what you have and if there is any way those skills or assets could be used to create new income streams. Do you shoot stock? Should you? Are you able to do a few seminars or workshops? Can you do something else with the downtime at your studio?
Maybe you don’t need the extra income, but thinking about ways to make money with what you already have is a great thought exercise that will probably lead to something new.
10. Breathe. Take some time to focus on your own person. Take in a ballgame, go for a roadtrip, or simply read a book in that great old chair in the lawn. Sometimes it is so important to step away from the everyday struggles of business, and let the fires burn in the background. Don’t worry, your self conscience is still at work looking for ideas and filtering out that which will not play out.
So even if it seems counter productive to step back, it can actually be one of the most important tactics to use. And you aren’t leaving for a week… just a few hours or a half day is what you need.
In these crazy days of marketing fatigue and social media burnout, it is a good thing to remember there are other ways to recharge and regroup.
Till next time… now where is that book…