5 ways to stay busy in the off season

It's January, which means if you live in the regional United States, it's in the thick of winter.

Here in the midwest, it's cold, rainy/snowy, overcast, and just downright miserable. With the fluctuation of the colder climates, it's easily a photographers slowest season. When it's so cold you don't even want to step a single foot out the door, not too many people come hammering on your door to book sessions. Although it may be 0 degrees without letting up anytime until spring, it doesn't have to mean that your photography business has to come a screeching halt! In fact, there are ways to even rev start and boost your business in the new year and not go idle during these hibernating months!

Here's 5 things you can apply now to kick start your income during your slow season.


Start a photo project

Whether it's for personal reasons or business, you can keep yourself busy and remain in your client's radar with a new project. This could be as simple as a 365/52 personal project, or more complex that involves model calls and scheduling sessions with new leads. In my newest photo project, I am focusing on tweens between the ages of 10 and 12 and zoning in on building their self-confidence during this awkward stage in life. So far, it's expanded my following and piqued the interest of dozens of local parents who have children of this age. Rack your brain and think of a few ideas on what could work for your business and fit your brand perfectly.

Start a referral program

If you have a client base already and don't have a referral program set in motion, now is the perfect time to start one! Offering incentives to your clients for helping you build your business is simple and rewarding. Catch up on this post on how to start one today so you can get your happy clients working for you now!

Model calls

Does your portfolio need a little boost or are you wanting to venture into a new niche? This is the perfect time of year to offer a model call! Spread the word on who and what you are looking for and start building that portfolio now - and who knows, these models might even be big spenders or loyal clients in the future.

Teach a class

Living in a digital world, many people have their own personal DSLRs these days, but without the knowledge of how to use them. What better way to get these people the boost they need than from a seasoned pro? By offering basic photography classes, you will not only be able to rake in some extra $$$, but you'll also be seen as a reputable face in your community. By offering these classes, you could be opening doors for future mentoring options and a bigger interest in portrait sessions.

Reach out to past clients

Now that we are in the slow season all around, many people are winding down from the holidays and traveling. This is a great time to reach out to your clients to offer another sales meeting if they are interested in buying more wall art for their walls or prints for their relatives. I've reached out to clients of past years to find that they had never printed off a single photo from their session, so this could be a good time to offer this service to them and make a little extra cash as well. You never know what your clients will say until you ask!  

What do you do during the slow months to keep your calendar busy and your bank account from becoming bare? Join the discussion and tell us in the comments below!

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