Summer may not be over yet, but as school starts and everyone gets back into a routine, it’s the perfect time to start planning for the 4th quarter.
After almost a decade in this genre I can pretty well tell you that Q4 is not the same for all photography industries.
Where weddings and portraits boom, Branding and headshots slow down.
But just because most businesses start to look inward, that doesn’t mean business stops all together.
If you’re looking for ways to survive a slow season as a Personal Branding Photographer, or even to make money right now, here are the best ways I know how.
Offer Mini Sessions
One of the quickest and most engaging ways to make money as a personal branding photographer is by offering mini sessions.
These condensed photo sessions are not only convenient for your clients but also allow you to book multiple sessions in a single day.
Mini sessions are especially popular for professionals who need a handful of stunning headshots to enhance their online presence.
Here’s a few tips to help you get started with mini sessions:
- Rent A Lifestyle Studio – Renting a studio that comes equipped with multiple scenes, tailored to lifestyle photography, allows you to shoot multiple clients in the same location, without traveling to change scenes.
- Co-Market With A Strategic Partner: Use your social media platforms, website, and email list to promote your mini session offerings and book slots ahead of time.
- Limited-Time Offer: Instill a sense of urgency by offering these mini sessions for a limited time. This encourages potential clients to take action swiftly, ensuring a steady stream of bookings.
Connect with a Networking Group for a Pop-Up Headshot Station
This is probably one of my favorite methods to make money as a personal branding photographer, and one that I use often.
Networking groups and events are treasure troves of potential clients looking to enhance their personal branding. Collaborating with these groups to set up a pop-up headshot station can provide a win-win scenario. Guests get high-quality headshots for their profiles, and you get immediate income and exposure.
Here’s how it works:
- Research and Approach: Identify local networking groups, industry associations, or even business conferences in your area. Reach out to them and propose the idea of setting up a pop-up headshot station at their events.
- Communicate The Value: Emphasize the convenience and professionalism you bring to the table. Explain how high-quality headshots can significantly elevate attendees’ personal branding efforts.
- On-Site Efficiency: Create a professional setup that allows you to quickly take headshots during the event. Be sure to bring off-camera lighting equipment and backdrops in case the environment isn’t well lit or background ready.
- Promote Ahead of Time: Promote your offer through your social networks and email list to book spots prior to the event. You can even offer an early-bird rate to anyone who books a slot before time.
Pitch Seasonal Brand Photo Refresh Offers to Past Clients
Reach out to past clients through email or social media with a limited-time offer to refresh their brand photos at a discounted “loyalty” rate.
Though I’m not a big fan of discounting services often, doing so for past clients only maintains your relationship with them and rewards them for continuing to do business with you.
It also allows you to offer mini-session like photo shoots without having to dig deep into their brand like you would a new client. Making this offer for previous clients only means that you already know and understand their brand so the pre-planning aspect is pared down to only location, wardrobe and time.
Here’s how to craft and pitch these offers:
- Target Ideal Clients: Choose 5-7 past clients that you have a strong relationship with, who you believe could benefit from updated brand photos. These clients should be warm enough to still have you in their sphere of influence, but not so recent that they are still going strong with their previous gallery of images.
- Tailored Pitches: Craft personalized pitches for each client. Address their specific needs and illustrate how refreshed brand photos can impact their image and attract more customers.
- Seasonal Packages: If these offers happen around particular holidays or seasons, offer to take holiday specific imagery to support their campaign goals during this season. I love to offer my clients brand refresh images around September when the weather starts to turn so that they are prepared for the colder months ahead with images that represent winter instead of spring or fall, when most clients take their brand photos.
Surviving a slow season as a personal branding photographer is not only doable but also rewarding. By offering mini sessions, collaborating with networking groups for pop-up headshot stations, and pitching limited-time brand photo refresh offers to past clients, you can quickly generate income while helping your clients enhance their personal brands. Remember, in a world driven by visuals, your skills are in high demand – seize the opportunity and let your camera capture success!