Weronika Karczewska Photography

How to thrive in your product photography business when things go quiet

Let’s face it, every now and then all of us experience a little crickets moment in our photography business. Whether that’s a quiet January because most clients have been so focused for Christmas content, a summer month when a lot of people are away or maybe you’re only starting out so you don’t have your client roster yet, slow periods can be scary.

They’re also very natural so if you want to feel good about your business even when things are quiet, in today’s blog post I’m sharing some of my go to tasks to focus on, that otherwise, you might not have had time to do.

I’m going to start off by saying something controversial. I actually enjoy the quiet moments. Yes, that’s right. Working on client projects is amazing BUT, when do you have the time to right that blog post (that’s literally me right now), schedule your content so you’re ahead of the game, work on a passion project or pitch to new clients?

So instead of fearing slower seasons, let’s face them head on and make something super exciting out of them. Here’s some of my favourite tasks to work on when my product photography business goes a little quiet:

1.Reflect & analyse

This is one of my favourite things to do because it allows me to zoom out and actually think about my business. We’re all so busy working in it, that there’s not always much time left to work on it. Here’s some questions that might be worth asking yourself:

What’s working really well?

What’s been really challenging?

How are you feeling in your business?

What’s your favourite part of your business?

How are your finances doing?

Am I working with the right clients? If no, how can I change this?

If I was to receive the best testimonial, what would it say?

I would also highly advise looking into your finances and seeing what’s going on there. Honestly, this is my least favourite part (because, yawn) but so so crucial to help put you back in charge of your photography business. I would review my expenses and see whether there’s any money being spent where it doesn’t need to be. I think so many of us are keen to increase our prices but actually, you might find that by removing some unnecessary spends in your business, your profit will be higher.

 

2. Work on your socials

If you are in charge all of your social media, AND you’re shooting most of the time, the chances are that your socials taken a bit of a hit. And first of all, that’s totally ok. Here’s your permission slip to be “bad” on socials. You do not need to show up all the time. In fact, you show up whenever YOU want to.

However, if social media platforms are your primary lead generator, I would advise that you create intentional content that speaks to your target audience. You also want to make sure that the work you share, aligns with the projects you want to take on. For example, if you really want to work with high end beauty brands, then you do not need to share a pet project you worked on for a friend. So many of us feel like we have to show off everything so we seem “busy” but honestly, this is just confusing for the people that follow you specific content.

During quiet periods, I love coming back to Pinterest. Although it’s not a social media platform (it’s actually a search engine), it can generate amazing results for your brand. So if you’ve got a little bit of time on your hands, why not create some Pins for the blog post you shared a couple of months ago.

And if you’re thinking of taking social media off your plate, perhaps it’s time to outsource. I’ve taken the leap to hand my Instagram over to the most wonderful social media manager, Kriti. She’s not only incredible at Instagram but she’s a true magician when it comes to Pinterest too!

3. Passion Projects

Oh my goodness. My favourite topic. Passion projects!

I honestly don’t know what I would do without them. There are so many benefits to working on your own personal shoots and they are the perfect thing to focus on when things are quiet in your photo business.

Passion projects allow you to work on what you want, in the way that lights you up! Think of them as your total creative outlet as well as an incredible opportunity to show future clients how amazing your skills are. You get to set your own brief, experiment with lighting, set ups and tonnes of different ideas but there’s no pressure of having a paying client not aligning with the vision.

I keep track of some ideas I want to test out and when I have the time, I get shooting. I find this particularly helpful if I know there are some specific brands I want to target in the future that would be perfect for this specific vision. It’s a great way to update your portfolio, improve your skills and get inspired again!

4. Finesse your client journey

This is SUCH an important part of your business and I would confidently say, that’s probably the most important. How your client’s feel whilst working with you, will leave an everlasting impression on them and can snowball into a flurry of word-of-mouth recommendations and leads.

Having smooth systems and processes in place that support your clients from the moment they enquire to when they’re off-boarding will transform your photography business.

Is it really clear how clients can work with you? Does it say it on your website what’s the timeframe of working together? What about payments, do you offer any plans? How do you make sure that clients get exactly what they asked for? How will they receive their final images?

If you can answer questions before they’re even asked, you’re already putting yourself ahead of your competition. The way I like to look at it is, if I’m the client and I want to book a shoot for my jewellery brand and I’m choosing between 2 photographers whose work is equally as incredible, but one of them has a really clear layout of the process, pricing is on the website with a super inviting call to action and I’m scratching my head feeling super confused because I have to jump through 10 hoops, go back and forth between 12 emails and perhaps even some calls to just get through to the other photographer, what do you think my decision is going to be?

Make it easy for your clients to understand what you do & how you do it. Outsourcing photography espcially for smaller business is already going to feel overwhelming and you’re there to make it a lot easier for them.

5.  Pitch to new clients

Having a slower period in your business is the perfect moment to get ahead of the game and start pitching to new clients. Maybe you just haven’t had a chance to reach out to new businesses but there’s a few that you have your eye on. Whether that’s creating a pitching email template, engaging with them on socials or sending super friendly DMs, this could really pay off in the long run.

You want to make sure that you’re creating genuine connections and not just promoting your services. You can absolutely go in with a hard sell but to most people, this will feel super icky for both sides. If you want to have clients that come back time and time again, you need to nurture your working relationships.

I have a whole list of dream brands I’d love to work with and some of them I’ve already ticked off (yay!) but some I’m still working on it. Pitching makes it exciting because it gives you an aim or a goal to work towards.

6. Invest in coaching/mentoring

Lastly, if you just feel a little lost in your business – that’s totally ok. We all go through this and it’s so normal to feel like you’ve lost direction a bit. This is when I think mentoring or coaching can come in super handy, it gives you a chance to speak to someone who can really help you and guide you through this process.

It can take some time to find the right person so make sure that when you do come across someone, you feel like you can trust them and your values align.

My 1:1 photography mentoring services are designed for photographers that need a little nudge of inspiration and motivation so if that’s you, you might want to check out my photography mentoring offerings here.

I hope you’ve found this useful and you can come back to some of these points next time your business goes a little quiet.

Meet Weronika Karczewska

UK-based Weronika is a lifestyle product & jewellery photographer for soulful brands, photographer’s mentor, and co-host of the Soul Employed podcast.

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