We all know that pleasant feeling of satisfaction when you get to cross something off your To Do list. Especially when it’s a list of important, long-term goals and projects, rather than daily grocery items. There is no better time than January to sit down, reflect on everything that happened last year and plan out the upcoming 12 months, as this will help you lay out a solid foundation for your photography business.
Here are 10 things you need to do at the beginning of 2021:
1. Curate your old content & update the images on your photography site
Do a quick overview of all your site content. Start with your main pages, then go through your blog/portfolio. Is all your current content still relevant and in harmony with your style? Are you showcasing any examples of the work you no longer want to do in 2021? Do the visuals and texts still attract the type of clients you want to work with? If you feel that your site needs some polishing and curation – do that. Sort through your pages, galleries and posts. Make sure your prospects and clients see only your best work and most recent information
Note: If you choose to delete or move any of your old content, make sure to create proper redirects so there are non broken links. For more guidance, check Point #19 and #13 in our SEO for photographers guide.
2. Collect reviews & testimonials
Reach out to the people you loved working with in 2020 (clients or vendors), ask them to leave you a short review on your business page (or the platform where you collect testimonials). This will not only give you awesome content to feature on your site, but will also boost your Local SEO.
3. Refresh your site for 2021
If it’s been forever since you gave your website a facelift, updating the images and getting rid of old content may not be enough. Make a list of what needs to be fixed or improved. Does your current platform/template allow you to perform those improvements? If no, perhaps it’s time for a website redesign. And if you’re on a tight budget, know that all our themes are currently on sale. Grab the best deal and largest discounts on Flothemes website designs.
4. Update your pricing
There are several occasions when it’s good to consider a pricing change. One of them is a rebrand and website revamp. Another one is when you realize that you’re getting too many or too few bookings. Finally, a good time to update your pricing is the end of a season. Your style and services change and evolve throughout the year, and so should your price list. We chat more about pricing and how to set the right price for your services in our interview with Sam Jacobson from Ideaction Consulting. Be sure to check it out and give it a listen.
5. Vendors you want to work with in 2021
It can be vendors you’ve already worked with in the past or new connections and partnerships you would like to build in 2021. Make a list, reach out and take them for a virtual cup of coffee. Discuss potential collaborations and how you can help each other grow. Perhaps you get to create something together this year, or you agree to include each other in your recommended vendors lists and see how it goes from there. If you want to diversify your list, help some local vendors and make your business more inclusive, check out these 200+ Black owned businesses in the photography and events industry and add some new names to your recommendations.
Also, if you haven’t practiced this yet, make a note for 2021 to add mentions for each vendor inside your blog posts, with a link to their site. This creates a backlink for them, which helps their SEO and online discoverability. It also creates a warm relationship between your two brands, and most vendors will be more than happy to share your blog posts and images via their social media, newsletter or on their own website. This in return creates backlinks and SEO points for you. You both get more exposure and traffic to your websites. It’s a win win.
6. Publications and Online Platforms you want to be featured in
If you want to see your work published in leading magazines, directories or popular online platforms, in most cases you have to be the one who reaches out, sends in the material and stays persistent. You don’t just sit there and wait for the opportunity to knock on your door. Make a list of publications/platforms where you’d want to be featured, and keep working hard for it in 2021!
Have a new gallery that you are really in love with? Great! Email a few of your favorite publishers and share a link. Lady luck may smile at you sooner than you think!
Note: We actually recommended investing more time and effort into your own website when it comes to getting exposure and more prospects (through marketing, SEO, backlinks, etc). Because your favorite magazines or directories, Instagram, Pinterest, and a lot of other platforms won’t be there forever. And if your business success depends on a third party platform, rather than your own website – you risk losing everything once that platform ceases to exist.
7. Check your links & contact form(s)
Content gets deleted, brands change their names and domains, simple human errors happen from time to time. It’s a good practice to do a quick check of all your links and forms. See if everything works properly and leads the user to the correct pages. You can do it manually or use a tool such as Broken Link Checker.
As per your contact form, submit an inquiry on your own or ask a friend to do it, to be sure that everything comes through properly. Here are some tips.
8. Create a Client Guide
If you constantly find yourself emailing clients and prospects, answering the same type of questions over and over again – it’s time to consider creating a client guide. Gather all the useful information, tips, recommendations, vendor suggestions, into one beautifully designed guide that you can share with each new client who books you. This guide can also feature a more detailed FAQ section, along with some up-sell options for prints, albums, second shooters or other extra services. Read more about the importance of a Client Guide and how it can help your photography business. We’ve also included our free downloadable template, to help you get started on the design part.
9. Something new for 2021
There’s always a ton of things that we’d love to master or improve but never find the right time for. Pick 3 things (only 3) that you want to learn to do before summer 2021. It can be learning how to cook a certain cuisine, planning and carrying out a personal project, mastering a new marketing or SEO method. Find the means (online course, workshop, book, etc) and commit to doing it!
This will bring you massive pleasure and the satisfaction of accomplishing it, but it may also inspire you in ways you’ve never expected!
10. Watch Soul, the latest Disney Pixar animated film
After all the stress, limitations and hardship that 2020 has brought upon us, Pixar’s new animated film – Soul, brings a heartwarming reminder that it’s incredibly important to appreciate the little things in life – a sunny day, a favorite tune on the radio, a sweet message from a dear person or a stranger on the internet. Life is all about being present and being intentional.
We hope this To Do list will give you a solid head start for 2021! While most of these points depend solely on you, your goals and dreams for the new year, there’s one thing we can definitely help you with – that’s your website! If you need a quick consultation, if you’re struggling to choose the right design for your brand or you’re considering to hire someone to build your website for you – we can help you with all that!