We are more than a month into the global shutdown, and some days, it feels like there is a bright shining light at the end of this isolating tunnel, and other days, the climate feels more uncertain than ever.
Over the last 5 weeks, I've had the great privilege of connecting with other brilliant creatives from all over the world, virtually. Interested in joining us? Sign up here.
Through these conversations, some important ideas have been highlighted for me when it comes to not only running a creative business, but for how to run a creative business when the economy is both thriving and depleted. So, I am sharing 5 steps to running your photography business during a global crisis! These are steps I am taking every single day, and they are steps you can take to stay ahead of the curve and be in even higher demand when life is more normal.
1. Add value first
Now, more than ever before in the digital age, people need to know that you actually care about them, especially before they hand over their hard earned money. Consider what adding value looks like for you in your business. Can you include a few extra images in a client gallery for free? Do you have a checklist or a resource guide you can share? Maybe consider doing sending some potential new clients some photos you shot for fun. There are so many ways you can show others that you prioritize them and their well-being, so find the ways that make the most sense for you and your business model.
2. Be your own client
We've been given a gift in this situation: FREE TIME. I am literally so grateful for this slow season, because it has allowed me to deeply focus on my business, my offerings, and where I want to take Marika Creative. Now, you can stop procrastinating the tasks on your to-do list and actually accomplish them. Now, you can put that course together you've been dreaming of doing. Now, you can make a pitch deck for investors. Now, you can reinvent yourself. So why not take advantage of this opportunity? Consider making your workflow systems more efficient, putting out feelers for people you may want to bring onto your team, and making your sales funnels more robust. There's a lot you can do for yourself right now, that will make you better for the clients who pay you when things speed up again. Trust me, this precious time is incredibly rare!
Get out there and tell people you exist! Send emails, DMs, make phone calls, ask your network for intros. Get your business in front of as many eyes as possible. There are so many brands who are still growing their businesses and still investing in contractors. With social media engagement up more than 40%, you have an advantage to market your creative services. Now is not the time to be shy. Be bold and be confident and win that work!
4. Call your people
While trying to win new work, don't forget about the people who got you where you are today: your past and current clients. Give them a call or send them a note just to let them know that you are thinking of them and that you appreciate them. They invested in you just as much as you invested in them, and so it's important to maintain the relationship and show them that you value them.
Do you have other business ideas? Are there new revenue streams that you can add into your business? I bet you you do and that there are, so make a plan and make it happen! Reach out to your community, discuss with your mentor(s) or business coach, and figure out the moves that are right for you. The word pivot, although overused at the moment, is actually really magical, because what it's getting at is the importance of subtle shifts, noticing what's in your space already that you haven't capitalized on, and bringing your attention to ways you can grow and then actually start growing.
What are your thoughts on running your creative business right now? What's in your space, and what are you thinking about right now?