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5 Ways to Improve Your Photography Business This Winter || Caterina Photography

After the Holiday season, photography takes the back seat for many clients. Fall has come and gone, holiday cards have been mailed. The new year is beginning and it’s always the perfect time to finally take a closer look into your business. Every year I look forward to the winter break. It’s the time to recompose and refresh. Recompose our marbles after a hectic year and busy fall/winter season and refresh our perspective and brand experience. Here are just 5 things you can do to improve your business this winter:

Invest in education. Invest in mentorships, online classes, utilize youtube and facebook groups. Invest in you and your business! There is always room for improvement and although hands on experience is top tier, learning virtually from other photographers in the industry is just as helpful. In person and virtual mentorships are a great way to learn from your favorite photographer. I took up an in-person mentorship before covid and it was SO beneficial. During these times, virtual mentorships are more common. Getting that one-on-one with another photographer in the industry is a really good way to get some of your questions answered and improve in areas you may be struggling in. Online classes are great too and there are many photographers that offer big virtual classes live and pre-recorded. I’ve taken many pre-recorded classes and benefited from some of them. When investing back into your business make your investment worthwhile and research. Often times there are reviews or there have been conversations in facebook groups regarding popular education you might be looking into. Another education option that is totally free? Facebook and youtube groups. I cannot tell you how many times I have read customer service questions/stories that had me circle back to my contract and add in clauses. Facebook groups are great to ask questions, get constructive criticism on your work and network. Youtube is also another great resource. Not as much interaction but lots of great videos to watch and learn from. Nail down what your biggest struggles are and really try to hone in and improve them. Some of my favorite educators include Dawn Charles and Anni Graham. Facebook groups I love are unscripted, looks like film, TheLawTog, and many others.

Work on Website and SEO. I’ve had several photographers ask and in the beginning I even asked too, do I need a website? Short answer, yes! Long answer: It’s a central hub for all information regarding your business. It displays your brand, portfolio and provides a means for contact. Websites are super important for indexing and bringing your name closer to the top of the search results. And if you already have a website, keep it fresh. Keep the content up to date and always update photos! Whenever I have a session that I am super proud of or love the vibe of, I always update my website with the images ASAP. Your website should display your brand and really connect with your target client. If your website is always “under construction”, or isn’t something you’re proud of, use this time to polish it up! If you’re not good at websites (like me!), hire someone to create it for you. I used Squaremuse and had their team implement a template I loved. It’s so easy to update and keep interesting. Make your contact page easily accessible and display your location in obvious places. SEO is always changing and so is the algorithm. Some things that help SEO is backlinks, blogging, having your business on as many platforms as possible and one of my favorite ways to boost SEO is Pinterest. An example of backlinking is when I mentioned Squaremuse and linked their website. Blogging is incredibly important too. I definitely need to improve in that area but the benefits are big when it comes to blogging. An example of utilizing blogging is when you post a wedding gallery and backlink and mention the venue and vendors. When I work at a new venue I always google the venue and what pops up? Several photographer blogs. Keeping that in mind, it helps put your name out there when a bride searches a venue also. There are so many different ways to improve and portray your brand through your site all the while boosting your SEO!

Explore. Not only is taking in nature good for your soul it’s good for business. Take this downtime to explore the area around you and find new locations to shoot at. Sometimes when the season is so hectic, we don’t find the time to explore new places and get stuck shooting at the same spots over and over. Finding a new gem can elevate your images and make your work drool worthy. I constantly drive back roads and look at location tags to find new locations for clients. When looking for new spots, consider the lighting, what the foliage will look like when it grows in, and the accessibility. It’s also a great time to explore “season-proof” locations as well. Look for places or locations that look good year round.

Solidify Your Brand. Brand experience/identity is something I keep at the forefront of my business. It’s what sets you apart from other photographers in the industry. Keep your brand cohesive and strong. Ways to keep your brand cohesive could range from how you answer email inquiries all the way to your logo choice and could be as simple as what font group you chose for your website. Every choice you make when it comes to your brand should all circle back to your brand identity. If you’re unsure of what your brand identity is, make a list. Write down a list of words/thoughts/adjectives that you want your brand to be described as. Think of your brand as a person, how would you describe it? Once you get the list down, then think how can to make other people think those words when they see your work or hear your photography business name. All the while, it is important to keep originality in mind too. It’s good to be inspired but keep originality in check.

Lastly,

Network. Networking in this industry is so important! I am an introvert but I still make sure to network with many other photographers across the state. There are many different ways to network such as going to events (not atm, but in general), participating in a local photography group, communicating with local photographers on instagram, and more. I love being able to ask my network of photography friends for things as simple as a venue recommendation for a client, to CC on a new edit. The thing about networking is being equally as receptive in your relationship as you are GENUINE. Recently I had a photographer DM me about how much they love my work lately and how much they love my vibe, only to look at their profile to see they don’t follow me. This is a common and poor tactic. Keep your communication genuine. Don’t comment just to comment, don’t DM just to hopefully get a follow but engage in honest, authentic communication. It will go a much longer way. During the winter months we have so much more time to cultivate the relationships we put in the backseat during the busier months.

Let’s not forget networking with other vendors in the wedding industry too! Tagging when appropriate and giving them the credit they deserve on a wedding is important. I always send over a preview gallery and let the vendors know that they are more than welcome to share the photos from that day!

This is just a short list of the many different things to do this winter but hopefully this helped boost your motivation in some way! I am by no means a guru, but my DM’s are always open (:

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