February 18, 2020
We are in the thick of the off season for most creatives, especially those of us in the wedding industry. While it would be easy to just take a seat, binge watch Netflix documentaries and sleep til noon, I actually find these few winter months to be some of the most important in my business. It’s the time I take to reflect on last year, catch my breath after the whirlwind that is fall wedding season and put steps in place to make the upcoming year simplified and productive.
It is important to be intentional about your time, without overwhelming yourself. The first thing I always do to start off season is create a master to do list. Yikes. This can make it seem easy to become overwhelmed. Btu I take that list and break it up into smaller, manageable tasks. I then try and put those tasks to specific dates on my calendar, almost like a homework assignment.
I also think a few things can benefit every creative business owner. Here’s my five favorite and best “to dos” during off season to set you up for success in the upcoming calendar year.
CATCH UP ON BLOGGING (AKA BACK BLOG)
If you are a blog slacker like me, then now is the time to do so! My friend Maddie and I had a smack in the face the other day when her boyfriend who isn’t in the industry went to show her another photographers website and audibly said “oh her last blog post was years ago, she must not be in business anymore.” *GULP*
I have always been told that if you let your blog die, it can hurt you more than help you. But I don’t think it was truly until we experienced someone close to us forming that opinion that it really hit us in the face. Take these few months to backdate past work and out plans into place to allow you to have a more active blog in the future.
UPDATE YOUR WEBSITE
Wow, I must have written the first two as a personal attack to myself. I am terrible at this.
I am going to be honest, I just changed my websites footer from copyright 2018, to 2020. Meaning, I completely missed 2019. Yikes.
While you’re sorting through all the past content for your new blogs, make sure to update the front end of your site as well. This will give it a fresh new look for potential clients, and provide you with a reason to draw attention to your site. Once you finish your updates you can post that your homepage got a facelift to draw in your audience and up your page views.
UPDATE YOUR CLIENT EXPERIENCE
This task is actually one of my favorite things to do. Laying out step by step what my clients are currently receiving as part of their experience, and then finding the “weak” points where I can amp up their service from me. Things like times where we go too long without chatting over email, or adding education to an upcoming part of their planning process where I know my advice could take the stress off a little more.
CREATE BRANDED CONTENT
Whether you only have the beginning ideas of your brand or you are a well established business with a strong brand voice, it is so important to constantly keep your identity at the forefront! Take this extra time to make content just for you. It gives you a refresh on why you do what you do, while giving you a vault of images to pull from when things start to get a little hectic in the thick of busy season.
For me, I obviously portray a lot of colorful content (heyyyy mustard and blush) and try and share valuable lessons Ive learned to help others avoid them, or promote positivity. So for me I take this time to grab updated photos of myself, write blog posts to help others and schedule Instagram captions where I can open myself up a little more to my followers.
WORK ON INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE
Your brand voice can easily become what is natural to you and for so long in the wedding industry that meant terms like “bridal party” and “bride and groom” only. But we have to remember we are serving and showing up for so many more people than we realize. You can easily turn away a potential client but not allowing themselves to see them already represented in your current work.
Take this time work on building a language that includes all forms of love and shows you are progressive and accepting. Not just of traditional stories, but of every story.
Hopefully this gave you a few “to dos” to get started on! Let me know your favorite way to be productive during the off season in the comments below!
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