Times are crazy. Lots of things are changing and we are not sure what happens next. A lot has changed very quickly and there is not a lot we can do about that. Things are out of our control right now. The only thing we CAN control is how we react. But it's hard to keep it together when we are uncertain when we will be able to get back to shooting (and making money). So what do we do? The most important thing we can do for ourselves and our business is to remember that this will end. And to make sure that when it does, we are ready to hit the ground running and not waste any time getting back to shooting and making money.
So you can't shoot? Not much we can do about that. But we can control what our calendar will look like when it is time to get back to shooting, so make sure to be proactive and reach out to your already booked clients to offer dates a month or two from now for their session. Don't worry about a reschedule fee, even if you need to reschedule again if this goes longer than we anticipate.
What about past clients who didn't purchase all of their images? Reach out to them and offer those unpurchased photos at a reduced price. Make it simple on yourself. Offer all the images they did not choose for a lump sum price (that way you don't need to do another ordering session
For every dollar people spend, you will match it. This is basically a 50% off sale and you decide what you will "match". Maybe offer it on your packages or session fee, -just make sure to do your numbers so you will still be profitable. This is a great way to bring in cash flow during this time, and you could book their session date a few months from now with the understanding that you may need to reschedule, but there is no fee for that.
Even if you don't normally offer payments plans, now is the time. You should be open to offering an easy way for clients to get on your calendar right now. They may be interested in your sale, but they may not have money to spare right now. Offer a simple payment plan by just dividing the payments equally over several months. No interest, but can give you a welcome injection of cash in your business right now.
Don't disappear. Keep doing what you do and show up for your clients. Keep posting and be visible and don't hide from this. Be a source of strength and security. Extra compassion and reassurance will go a long way, so be there for your followers. Offer suggestions for keeping busy, helpful recipes, tips for staying home with kids, etc.
You're not shooting, so why not use this time to do all the "non-shooting" stuff in your business: Update your website. Design howto prepare guides for clients. Take a look at your pricing and numbers. Prepare and schedule social media posts and blog posts. Put together inspiration boards for creative shoots you've been wanting to do. Brush up on your editing skills. Plan a strategy for when things get back to normal.
It may not feel like it now, but things WILL get back to normal. Why not have a booked calendar when it does? Offer a discount or a special for clients if they book now. Maybe it's a reduced session fee, or additional images when they order. Maybe you can offer a personalized app for those who book now. Give them an incentive (and something to look forward to) to grab a spot a few months from now.
When things are uncertain, it can be difficult to be motivated all the time...don't feel guilty about taking a little Me TV Time - It's important to decompress...a margarita, and some Netflix can do wonders...take this time and let yourself just exist for a bit. It's perfectly okay to stop and give yourself that moment for you! In fact it will help everyone in the long run so binge an episode or six ;)
Now is the time to get caught up on all those self-help and business books you've been meaning to read. Or binge-listen to inspiring podcasts. Or finish that course you bought but never got around to completing. How about hoping over to youtube and check out posing, shooting or editing videos. There is always something new to learn and ways to improve your business and now is the perfect time to get your learning on and get inspired for when things get back to normal.
Don't forget to practice self love and be kind to yourself, especially in these times. Every morning when you wake up, take just a few extra minutes for yourself during your morning routine. While you are doing your morning prep take a minute to look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself three things you love about you. Repeat them to yourself a few times for good measure. This will help you start off every day the right way and set the tone for self love all day!
Click here to download a PDF version of this guide
Stay Healthy & Kind
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