Investing money in your business can be intimidating. However, investing money in your TIME can be terrifying.
As a wedding photographer, when you invest in outsourcing editing, it can be difficult at first to see your return on investment. Sure, you have more time available, but how will it actually help?
There are many areas of your business that you can focus on with your new availability after outsourcing, it’s just that getting started can be overwhelming. I’m here to help you see the forest through the trees!
Here’s the thing, time is a non-renewable source. Completely non-renewable. Time spent, cannot be returned. Money spent; however, can be re-created.
I know it sounds “easier said than done.” Which is why we’re going to chat about a variety of tasks that you can focus on in your business, after you start outsourcing.
As an editor, I always want my clients to benefit from my services, completely. If that means that they have more time with their family and they are happy with that, perfect. If that means they have more time to invest in client relationships, awesome. If that means they are available to take on more sessions, that’s great too.
But if a client is outsourcing their editing, and struggles with how and where to wisely invest their time, in their business, then I hope this can help in some small way.
If you are a wedding photographer, then you should be selling albums. Truthfully, most brides and grooms will be purchasing an album from SOMEWHERE. As their photographer, who better than to purchase from than you. We all know though, that albums can take
Eliminate one blog post per month from the above scenario, and substitute one e-mail newsletter. E-mail marketing is currently the strongest form of communication in today’s online world. Remember it’s not enough to just put together a strong marketing plan and beautiful portfolio – you have to share it with your audience! And what better way, then to show up in the inbox of potential brides once a month?
Having a strong network amongst fellow wedding professionals is almost always a guaranteed return on investment. Vendor networking includes being professional and courteous, creating a helpful wedding day impression, providing standout business cards, crediting vendors in blog posts, sharing wedding galleries, and offering to fulfill a need.
Don’t limit yourself to vendors outside of your own specialty! As a wedding photographer, never underestimate the power of creating a strong relationship with 2-3 fellow photographer’s in your area. This small circle can be a great source of referrals when each of you is booked on a specific date.
Having a financial plan for your business can save you a tremendous amount of money. Taking the time to know your numbers can help you invest where needed, reduce unnecessary spending, and create a reliable weekly, monthly and yearly financial plan. When you’re overwhelmed with spending your time in other areas of your business, such as editing, it’s easy to lose grasp on your finances and overspend on areas that are not benefiting your business.
You may or may not be an In Person Sales (IPS) photographer, but IPS are a great way to not only increase profits, but it’s also a fantastic way to improve your client relationships. Investing TIME into your clients will almost always benefit you. Show off your images in person. Let them get to know your personality even better. Educate them on the value of professional photography and make more than a few additional dollars in sales, make a lifelong client.
BLOG POST MARKETING
On average, most wedding photographer’s with a consistent workflow and shooting style, can edit an 800 image wedding in Lightroom in approximately 5-6 hours. If it takes you 1-2 hours to write, edit and review a blog post. That’s approximately three blog posts per wedding. Shooting four weddings per month? How does writing 12 blog posts per month sound instead? If you’re shooting weddings April-October that’s approximately 60 blog posts per year, or five blog posts month. Sounds like a pretty great, free marketing plan to me.
Growing your business goes beyond doing the same things every day, week and month. The wedding industry and online market is always evolving. Taking time to attend conferences or investing time in education is usually an obvious need. However, it’s equally as important to take the time to implement the things that you’ve learned.
Maybe an obvious choice to fill your new “free time,” but booking 1-2 additional portrait sessions per month can be a great source of additional income. While it may seem strange to replace one time consuming task in your business with another, this is where opportunity cost plays an obvious role. You outsource one task at a lower price point, and replace it with a task at a higher price point.
Do you ever regret overlooking opportune moments for special sales throughout the year? There are many great opportunities to run portrait sales, product promotions, etc and supplement your usual income. Invest some of your time into marking up a yearly calendar. Write down big holidays, fun holidays, major events and map out a marketing plan to increase profits in the off-season.
One of my favorite ways to make the best use of my time, is to find an opportunity to give in business. While this does not return any additional income, it’s an incredible use of your time, talent and gives you the greatest sense of joy in your business and life without expecting any return on investment. Give in way that is humble. Give in secret. Give without expectations. Give graciously and ask only that the gift of giving is paid forward.