It’s no secret that a ton of people are stuck at home right now. So, while there are a lot of great things to watch on Netflix, here are seven things you can do to help your business while stuck at home.
Update Your Portfolio
If you are anything like me, you designed your website, hit publish, and then let it fall to the very back of your mind. When you create new work you love, it ends up on social media and possibly in a blog, but your website remains untouched. Now is the time to gather up all your recent favorite images and add them to your portfolio.
Another important part of updating your portfolio that not a lot of people think about is to remove old content. Go through your website and remove images that no longer live up to your ever-evolving standards of quality. This can also carry over to social media and blog posts. Anything that you can find online that you wouldn't be proud to share with a prospective client makes for a solid option to delete.
Update Your SEO
Along the same lines of portfolios, SEO is something that gets little to no attention. While posts with great SEO can live on without much work, there are always ways to better your ranking or to expand your reach, especially with Google's ever-changing algorithms and added features. For example, featured snippets are a unique way to jump yourself in front of position one. If you are looking for an amazing SEO resource, check out the Fuel Your Photos Facebook group for free content including free challenges, videos, and podcasts. If you are looking for a quick jump-start guide with in-depth walkthroughs, definitely check out their amazing online class.
You can also work on creating more backlinks to your site by writing guest posts for blogs and websites within your expertise. There are also tools such as Two Bright Lights that you can use to submit images for features and publications across many different websites. Another great option is to write guides, such as the best places for engagement photos or even a top 20 wedding venues style post that can help you be seen by potential clients.
There are so many resources online to get better at photography as well as getting better at running a business. But sometimes, it's hard to find the time or make the time to sit down and consume this information. So, being stuck at home is a great way to motivate yourself to do just that. So, instead of watching the entire series of The Office for the hundredth time, you can watch one of the many great classes here on Fstoppers.
The great thing about educating yourself during this time is that you can also set aside time to practice the techniques you are learning. If you are learning how to do product photography, you can set up a fake shoot in your kitchen and go through the entire problem-solving aspect that comes up during most shoots. Once you dial that in, you can do a similar shoot in your bedroom and see what types of different challenges you are faced with.
Educate Your Clients
One of the best ways to separate yourself from the competition is by educating clients on the things you know they struggle with. For example, as a wedding photographer, our clients always struggle with creating an ideal timeline. So, creating a guide that walks them through the process not only relieves some of their stress, but it also helps you by making sure you have enough time to do what you do best. What we have done is actually create a full wedding planning guide that we give to anyone that asks for it. This helps establish us as experts in the field as well as give us another outlet to share our work, process, and style.
Build Your Network
With everyone stuck at home, now is a great time to have virtual meetings with other photographers as well as other people within your industry. For me, this means chatting and virtually hanging out with planners and venue owners. Since I’m also involved with education, I am also making time to do online critiques, walkthroughs, and editing. Some of my favorite groups right now are DVLOP, Mastering Wedding and Portrait Photography, Magmod, and FOFC Social Distancing Club.
Clean Out Your Closet
Now is a great time to go through all your little stashes of gear and get rid of and sell the things you no longer need or use. This could be lenses, lights, cameras, or any type of gear that has just been sitting on a shelf collecting dust. If you come across a set of gear you don't think is worth much money, a great option is to donate it to a local school or photography class.
There is also your virtual closet, also known as your computer. Now would be a great time to go through and remove all those old Lightroom catalogs, trial software, and old files you don’t need taking up hard drive space. This can be especially important when it comes to cloud storage since most users have a limited supply of space.
Document Your Family
One thing that I’ve been doing in this time at home is documenting my family, specifically, our son, Zayden, and the random things he does throughout the day. While this will have no direct impact on my business, it does help me perfect my craft as well as prevent me from getting rusty behind the camera. I also get the added benefit of preserving memories of a unique time in our lives to later look back on. The FOFC Social Distancing Club on Facebook also has daily image critiques where people doing a similar thing all submit images each day. So, I'm not only practicing, but also getting daily feedback on the work I'm making.
While being stuck at home isn't an ideal situation, especially for small business owners, there are still great ways to make use of the time you have, so once things start to become more normal, you can hit the ground running.
Bonus: you can also set up a scheduling app to post all your social media posts for however long into the future you feel like scheduling. I know people that won't have to post to Instagram for the next six months because it's all scheduled out.
What are you using this time at home to do to help your photography and business?