Every few months, I believe it’s a great idea to give your photography business a ‘spring clean’.
I don’t know about you but at the turn of every season, I get an urge to clear out my wardrobe, sort through the kids’ rooms, tidy the garage and generally have a major declutter. And, in a similar way, spring cleaning can be a valuable exercise for your business too.
Your quarterly review (or ‘spring clean’) is an opportunity to take stock of what’s been happening in your business, to review what’s working and what things need changing up in order to generate better results in the months ahead.
Carry out a ‘spring clean’ of your photography business
If you like the sound of doing a spring clean of your photography business, then grab your copy of my free checklist here. (This, and other PR and marketing downloads are exclusively available to subscribers).
Here are my suggestions of some of the things that you could consider as part of your own photography business ‘spring clean’:
1) Business Performance
Keep track of your monthly and quarterly sales
How do they compare to last year’s figures, and against your monthly/annual income targets?
Which of your services has been most popular? And why do you think that is?
If you’ve had a quiet quarter, what could be the reason for this? Consider factors you can control (things you haven’t perhaps marketed so well) as well as those you can’t such as seasonality. Are there any new emerging trends impacting your industry or the economy in general?
How could you potentially boost income next quarter, and over the same time frame next year?
Are your business forecasts still accurate?
Have any costs you hadn’t anticipated affected your profitability so far this year? Do you need to allow for these costs in the future?
If you sell photo products to clients, which are your best and worst sellers? What products could you add to your range, or drop completely? What new products would help you to increase profits?
Is there anything in your business that you are doing repeatedly, and which could be automated to save time? For example, could you make better use of email templates to avoid typing out the same information time and time again when you receive an enquiry? Could you be automatically sending information to clients after booking with you rather than having to do everyting manually?
Without a doubt, automation presents lots of opportunities for improving productivity in your business.
Related reading: Eight habits to boost productivity
2) Your Photography Clients
How many clients have you served? And what was their average spend? How does this compare to the same quarter last year?
Where did your clients first hear about you? A Google search? Social media? Via paid advertising? A referral from a friend? If you don’t already, be sure to ask your clients this when they contact you to enquire/book a session.
Customer Lifetime Value
What proportion of your clients this quarter are repeat clients? How could you increase this in the future?
Are you building relationships with clients and prospects? Are you doing enough marketing to stay top-of mind? Could you be keeping in touch with past clients and prospective clients more often (in Facebook groups, by email, in-person)?
Are you growing an email marketing list? Could you be doing more to get others to sign up? Are you emailing those on your list regularly?
How effective is your lead magnet (freebie) at generating new leads for your photography business?
Or, if you don’t have one already, what free resource could you create and offer in your marketing to entice people to join your mailing list? (Not sure? Think about what is a major pain point for them that you could help solve with your service and products. What questions are your ideal clients regularly asking you about your services?).
3) Processes and Procedures
Do you have a weekly/daily action plan for your business and have you been sticking to it? (I recommend setting yourself no more than 3 high priority tasks per day and focusing only on them until complete. Any more than this and you’ll never get through your to-do list).
If admin tasks are taking too long, can you set a timer and limit yourself to a set amount of time to complete each task (The Pomodoro technique: Complete tasks in 25-minute time slots followed by a 5-minute break).
If you were setting up your business again tomorrow, what would you do differently? What systems would you set up? What processes and procedures would make your business run more smoothly and more profitably?
What could you outsource to save time and free you up to do more of the work you love and make more money?
Are your forms, policies and other documents relevant and up to date?
Do you need to update your contracts or Terms and Conditions? Are you fully GDPR compliant?
Referrals and Recommendations
Are you asking for feedback and testimonials from clients as part of your workflow? Which clients could you reconnect with to request a testimonial if they haven’t already provided one?
Positive reviews – whether written or in video format – posted on your website, on your social media pages and on Google are powerful endorsements that will help you attract new clients.
Is Marketing a key focus?
Be honest, how much time did you dedicate each week to marketing your photography business this quarter? Are you really doing enough? If you aren’t doing something to promote your business every day, then you’re probably need to be spending more time on marketing.
Related reading: The daily habit that will help you secure more photography clients
What’s working? What’s not working?
What marketing tactics worked well this quarter and attracted leads and sales to your business? What didn’t work so well? If you’re not
currently tracking lead generation, start today!
Marketing Content & Performance
Of the marketing content you created, what got the most views and engagement (likes, comments and shares)? Can you spot any themes?
What content topics are resonating with your audience the most? What formats are proving most popular? (Blogs, videos etc.)
Which blog posts got the most traffic? (see Google Analytics for this information) Which blogs didn’t work so well? Why might that be?
Did you guest blog on a relevant website? Did you pitch yourself to the media? Did you secure any press mentions for your business? What impact did that have?
Of the social media content you shared this quarter, what worked well and what didn’t work so well? What days, and time of day, is best for engagement?
Is your website showcasing only the very best of the work you want to do more of?
Is your messaging clear? Can people find the information they need on your website? What site improvements do you need to make?
Did you go to any events attended by your ideal clients, and make valuable connections? Which events would you like to attend again?
Is your email list growing? How many times did you send out an email to your list? What are the average open and click-through rates? Remember people signed up to your email list because they want to hear from you! Don’t be afraid to send emails to those on your list.
Based on the insights you’ve gained, what could you do more of in the future? What didn’t generate as much business as you would have liked, and why do you think that is?
5) Your Photography Studio (if you have one)
Signage & Directions
If you are a studio photographer, is the studio easy for your clients to find from the road? Do you have sufficient signage? Do you offer comprehensive instructions to clients on how to find you?
Many photographers tell me that precious time can be lost when clients turn up late to appointments because they hadn’t pre-planned their journey and couldn’t find the studio. Don’t let this happen to you! Tell your clients everything they need to know about how to find your studio.
Try to walk into your studio imagining it is your very first visit. What could you change to improve your client’s overall experience? (E.g. refreshments and snacks, seating, toys/colouring sheets for young children, a goody bag to present to clients as they leave?)
Does it look and smell clean and inviting? Does it need a tidy up or declutter?! Perhaps a fresh lick of paint on the front door? Remember, the first impression your client gets as they enter the studio is important to how they will perceive you and your work. These small details matter!
Service & Product upsells
Could you update your wall art displays to show your most recent / best work and your most up-to-date product range?
Are you displaying prices so it’s clear that these products are available to buy? Are you talking to clients about your products and pre-selling them the idea of buying wall art? Are you doing IPS?
Do you have up-to-date portfolios for clients to look through?
Do you have promotional leaflets and business cards around the studio for clients to take and share with friends? Do you have a client referral card, a thank you card or perhaps a goody bag to present to clients as they leave?
Business admin will never go away, as you know, so implement systems and processes in your business to manage it better if this is currently proving a headache for you.
Are you maintaining effective systems?
Do your computer desktop and filing systems need tidying?
Are your backups up to date and stored safely?
Have you a backlog of editing that you need to get on top of? If yes, what can you do in the coming days/weeks to catch up and prevent a backlog in the future?
Can you declutter your inbox by unsubscribing from emails that are no longer serving you? This alone will save you precious minutes each day and boost your overall productivity.
Can you better manage your time by batching certain tasks or allocating chunks of time for focused activity on similar things? For example, ‘Marketing Monday’, Finance Friday’ etc.
Equipment & Expenses
Do you need to buy any new photography equipment?
Are you on top of your bookkeeping?
Will you be giving your photography business a spring clean?
I’d love to know if this post has inspired you to clear some time in your diary to conduct a quarterly or spring clean of your photography business?
Don’t forget to download your spring clean checklist from my Freebie Library. Click here to sign up and gain access to this and many other free resources. Or, if you’re already a member and need a password reminder, simply email me. I’ll get back to you with it ASAP!