How to jump-start your business when you're in a slump

Businesses all have peaks and valleys—and yours is no different. There may be times that you have more clients than you know what to do with, and others where you wonder if your contact form is even working. For times when it seems like you’re in a slump, there are a few quick and easy ways to boost your business!

In the big picture: don’t sulk. Get yourself reenergized and begin making a plan. It’s easy to get excited about your business when you have some action items and goals.

As our friend Sam Horn has said, “When you’re competing, humility is not your friend.” No one will talk about your business until YOU are. If you’re out there sharing what you’re all about, you’ll generate excitement for your clients. We’ve made a list below of some ways to get started.

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Generate new business via word of mouth:

  • Design and order some personalized referral cards for your clients to give to their friends and family.
  • Create a referral incentive plan.
  • Surprise your clients with bonus prints in their order.
  • Offer a unique session gift to be given before or after you meet.
  • Try creating different sized business cards (for example: a 4×6 or square card that is less likely to get thrown away).
  • Plan a styled shoot and share the images with the vendor team. They’ll love to share them and it’s a great way for their clients to hear about you.
  • Always write thank you cards—to your clients, business partners, vendors and more. A little thank you goes a long way.

Focus on new ways to put yourself out there:

  • Hand out business cards and strike up conversations with new people.
  • Network with other small businesses and work to cross-promote your products.
  • Ask a previous vendor partner out for coffee to see if there’s any way you can help them on upcoming projects.
  • Reach out to local publications to submit photos or contribute to upcoming articles.
  • Find local shows, festivals and events where you can display your work.
  • Join local photographer groups and get involved. Referrals from your peers is a huge way to grow your business.

Boost your online presence:

  • Use Facebook and Instagram Ads to target local customers.
  • Be consistent with your business Facebook and Instagram posts.
  • Tag customers on social media in both new and throwback images.
  • Blog your images consistently and work to create a list of topics that your target client can relate to.
  • Make sure your posts always have a call to action.
  • Start a newsletter..
  • Be sure that your voice matches your brand and who you are in real life.
  • Have a photo of yourself on your website/social media—it gives people a face to connect to.
  • Pay attention to your SEO. Decide what keywords you want to focus on and work on incorporating those into your blog and website.
  • Get testimonials from past clients on to use on all of your social media platforms.
  • Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. If not, make fixing it a priority.

Check yo self:

  • Make sure your website portfolios are up to date. Are your images ones that will reach your target client?
  • Confirm that your contact page has both a contact form and updated information.
  • List your business with free online advertising resources and make sure that all of your information is always up to date.
  • Underpromise and overdeliver—a happy client is going to lead to more referrals.
  • Always communicate in a timely fashion.
  • Be genuine and be confident in yourself. Don’t be afraid to share what it is you do with people that you meet out and about every day!
  • Know your ideal client. It’s important to sit down, visualize who they are, and write out everything about them. Narrowing down their age, hobbies, income levels, interests, favorite places, etc. will help you to know where and how to best market to them.

Even if you only implement a few of these ideas, you’ll be on your way to generating more buzz about your business. What are some ways that you’ve jump started your business to get the word out?

Make your clients happy and free yourself from the exhaustion of your never ending to-do list… try Iris Works for FREE and see how we can help you get your life back.

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