Spring has officially sprung! So, with quarter one of the year now done and dusted, now is a great time to give your photography business a spring clean.
As we transition from winter to spring, I get an urge to clear out my wardrobe, sort through the kids’ rooms, tidy the garage and generally have a major declutter. Whether you’re a Marie Kondo fan or not, perhaps you do the same?
I believe that spring cleaning is a valuable exercise for your business too.
So, with a full three calendar months now behind us, I’d urge you to take stock of what’s been happening in your photography business.
Schedule some time in your calendar to get complete clarity on what’s working and isn’t working in your business and then set out to try new things.
Related reading: Quarterly Reviews: Goal setting and planning tips for photographers
Conducting a spring clean of your photography business
So, what specifically could you review?
Well, here are some ideas to get you started, and I’ve listed these in a free checklist which you can download from my Freebie Library. This, and other PR and marketing downloads are exclusively available to subscribers, so if you’d like a copy, click here or on the image below to sign up.
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.
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?
Could you make better use of email templates to avoid typing out the same information time and time again, for example? Could you be using email marketing automations to send information to clients after booking with you?
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? Remember, it’s cheaper to your business to get business from repeat clients than it is to acquire brand new ones.
How well are you communicating with clients and prospects? Could you be keeping in touch with them more often?
Have you an email newsletter schedule and/or an email nurture campaign set up to ensure they keep hearing from you, even if they
haven’t been a client for a while or haven’t hired you yet?
What proportion of your client base are signed up to your email marketing? What could you do to get more clients onto your
marketing list? What lead magnets/freebies could you offer to entice them?
3) Processes and Procedures
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?
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 reviews from clients as part of your workflow? Positive reviews – whether written or in video format – posted on your website, on your social media pages and on Google will increase the likelihood of you attracting 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?
Are you doing something to promote your business every day? If not, you probably need to be spending more time on marketing.
Related reading: The daily habit that will help you secure more photography clients
What is 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?
Marketing Content & Performance
What content did you create? How many blogs did you write and how well were they received – how many comments, likes and shares?
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?
Did you go to any events attended by your ideal clients, and make valuable connections?
What social media activity did you do that helped to generate leads?
How many times did you send out an email marketing campaign? Remember people signed up to your email list because they want to
hear from you! Don’t be afraid to send emails to those who are on your list.
Are you making yourself visible online? How many videos or live broadcasts did you do?
What marketing promotions or campaigns did you run and how effective were they?
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)
Try to walk into your studio imagining it is your very first visit. What do you notice? How could things be changed to improve your
client’s experience? How’s the temperature? Does it look and smell clean and inviting? Does it need a tidy up?!
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!
Are there props and accessories taking up valuable space that you no longer use and could throw away? Is all the furniture in good, clean condition? Have the mugs you use to serve drinks to clients seen better days? If so, replace. Does it need a good top to bottom clean, or perhaps a fresh lick of paint on the front door?
Do you have sufficient signage outside which helps client’s find you?
Service & Product upsells
Could you update your wall art displays to show your most recent work and your up to date product range? Are you clearly displaying prices alongside the photo products so clients know they can purchase these?
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?
Are you maintaining effective systems?
Do your computer desktop and filing systems need tidying?
Have you a backlog of editing that you need to get on top of? Are your backups up to date and stored safely?
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 spring clean of your photography business?
If so, what will you do first? And, what have you learnt as a result of doing the review? Do let me know in the comments below.
Download your spring clean checklist
Don’t forget, you can grab your downloadable copy of this list of spring cleaning ideas from my Freebie Library. This is available, along with other PR and marketing downloads, exclusively to subscribers. Click here to sign up.