If you're a regular visitor to the blog you will probably already know that I am always working on my photography business. I'm very passionate about the business and I am a firm believer that focusing on something you love and building a business around that is the way to go.
I utilise as much time as possible in the day to work on my business, be it editing Wedding Photography, Scheduling Social Media or responding to emails. As long as I am using the time wisely, it is benefiting my business and I am enjoying it I do it over and over again. That being said, I know first hand how easy it is to spend too much time in the office or working on things that aren't beneficial to the business.
When I took the step to become a full time Photographer, I attempted to fill the diary. I had the idea that if my diary was 'full' even if the work was low paying I felt like I was 'busy'. The reality is that an 'empty' diary can be more effective than a busy diary. Here's why:
Evaluate Where You See The Business
Having a clear goal and idea of the future of your business, be it 5 years or 5 months, is an essential thing to have. Furthermore, having this at the forefront of your mind will make you more confident when it comes to accepting and declining work. Focus your business on a certain area and work towards that, being true to your brand is easily recognised by your clients.
Create a Price List
A great start for any business is to create a clear price guide, take your time with this and don't under sell yourself. Take a nosey at prices from photographers who have a similar portfolio to you. This price guide should be easily found for clients, if they have viewed your price guide, they will be less likely to send you an email with a very low sum and it may spare you replying with a 'Sorry I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to capture the work for that amount'.
Finally, research how much it would cost you to employ someone to complete all your day to day office jobs. Take into account your social media, website building, admin, emailing and blogging, you will be surprised how much you would fork out for someone else to run this. How does this help? If you know how much your time is worth, you will be more confident when you talk about your prices, your imagery should already show your worth and your confidence will only make you more appealing to clients.
Make an Empty Diary Work For You
If you're a Wedding Photographer, you will certainly have dates booked in the diary, it may be a dozen or a fully booked year, either way you will still have a few spare days. Here's a few ideas that you can use to really maximise a free slot in your diary:
1 Schedule your social media for the coming days or weeks. Setting up your tweets and Facebook Posts in advance can save you a heap of time each day.
2 Updating your website. You may be surprised how many returning visitors your website receives, just changing how the homepage looks may entice them to stay a little longer on their next visit or even hit that contact button.
3 Follow up your emails. We all receive enquiries and people never respond to your initial reply. Use a few hours to send a kind reminder asking if they are still interested.
4 Create new marketing materials. For me I sometimes struggle to find the time to work on new marketing materials. So when I find some free time I will send new business cards to print, create email templates for the future and print new portfolio images.
To reach your set of goals efficiently, you will need to prioritise what is most important to you and the business on a daily basis. There will always be the work that comes first when you’re in the office, for me it’s completing wedding galleries and writing blogs posts, but you need to be using the time in between those jobs to maximise the running of your business.
Start a Fresh
With a list of goals and priorities to hand you should think about starting a fresh, be it next week or month. Starting each day with confidence and knowing that the work you are doing is building your business. Keep a calendar, evaluate every job that is on your calendar, ask yourself if that work is building your business and aligned with your goals.
If you read my 'Day to day Schedule' you will know I try to work out of the home office as much as possible.So heading into your local town or city to work on scheduling social media, some wedding edits or writing a blog post, can almost trick you into thinking your 'going to work' rather than sat at home in the office.
What tasks do you spend the most time working on ? Do you have any tips for managing your time wisely?