This week’s tip to help you find time for marketing is inspired by an email I received this week from someone who’d downloaded my free pdf 25 ways to book more clients.
The email said, “I can’t seem to consistently get clients in – I feel like I have NO time to do the marketing and social media because I’m editing!”
This is something I hear from so many photographers, as well as being something I’ve often struggled with myself, so I’m sharing my advice I gave her here too in the hope that it helps a few more people!
It’s such a common problem photographers have – you get into that shoot-edit-shoot-edit hamster wheel, and find yourself always working IN the business (i.e. client work) rather than ON the business (i.e. tasks that will help to grow your business), and the result is that your business doesn’t grow.
Therefore, I strongly advise carving out a specific chunk (or several specific chunks) of time each week specifically for the sales and marketing that you struggle to find time for. As with anything (exercise, date nights, self-care, seeing friends etc), if you don’t easily FIND time for it, you have to proactively MAKE time for it.
I know it can feel hard to set aside time for marketing when you’re busy, but what you have to remember is that the editing, emails, client work etc will ALWAYS get done. You’ll always find (or make!) time for those. We’ve all stayed up until 2am finishing an urgent edit, but when have you stayed up until 2am doing a bit of marketing? The fact is that it’s always the marketing and growth / strategic work that gets pushed to one side, but it’s precisely THIS work that will actually grow your business and enable you to book more shoots.
So how do you go about carving out this time for marketing/sales? Follow these 3 steps:
Decide whether or not you want to do a little bit each day, or a big chunk all in one go each week. I’d advise as a minimum either doing 30 minutes a day (if you want to break it up) or one half day per week (if you want to do it all in one go).
Add this to your regular, repeatable weekly/daily tasks list or calendar reminders so you get prompted to do this each day (if you’ve opted for smaller daily chunks) or each week (if you’ve opted for one longer chunk).
Decide when exactly you’re going to do this. If you’re doing it daily, I’d advise doing it first thing in the morning as soon as you sit down at your desk, before you tackle anything else. Or, if you find that your energy is low in the mornings, do it at whatever point in the day you’re most alert and productive – I’ve written an article here about how and why you should allocate tasks according to your energy levels.
If you’re doing it weekly in one longer chunk, this could be a fixed slot if that works for you (e.g. Wednesday mornings) but it doesn’t have to be the same timeslot each week. Personally I’m unable to commit to the same slot each week as my weeks are all different and shoots can fall on different days – however, I have it in my weekly tasks to look in my calendar at the start of the week and to decide where that half day will be that particular week, then I block it out in my diary.
Once you start making marketing a scheduled, regular part of your working routine, you’ll start to see results, growth and more bookings. I hope this helps!
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