Before diving into things today, I also wanted to give you all a gift to help with your photography business! Question: how did your fall season go? If it wasn’t exactly what you were hoping for then this is for you. If you’ve never made $3,000 or more on a single date of minis you need this. I call it my 3k Mini Sessions Blueprint! It has helped so many photographers and it will reassure you that YES, it is possible to run successful minis! Now, that we’ve taken care of “business” let’s talk about how to take time off in your business. Here are some practical business tips to help you take time off!
Pick a Date
It starts with your calendar. You obviously can’t take time off in a busy season, but you should be intentional about having time away from the hustle. In about a week my staff and I will head to the beach at 30A in Florida to plan out our upcoming year. My integrator and I meet first and go over everything in the business – what worked, what didn’t, what needs to change, etc. Then my staff joins us for a staff retreat! Once all the work and planning is finished the remaining month of December is time off. Now, we do check in on things to make sure we’re serving our customers/clients, but this is a time to refresh and reset before the new year. This couldn’t happen if I wasn’t intentional in my planning. And it starts with choosing a date and sticking with it!
Make a List and Check it Twice
Let’s say for the sake of this episode that you are planning to take a week off. First, take out a piece of paper and write down all that happens day to day so you know what needs to be covered. Don’t try thinking through how to make this happen just brain dump. In order for you to be “gone” and people not realize you’re out. Don’t get overwhelmed, just think of how wonderful it would be to have it all done and truly get time off! Maybe your list includes checking your inbox, responding to clients, social media posts, blogging, etc. If this is too much just keep a running list next to you over the course of the next week to write down what you’re doing!
Plan Extra Work
With a list, you’re able to see clearly what needs to be finished/prepped. One of my team members, Bonnie, had a baby this fall which meant we were planning months ahead of time. She writes our blogs for Wisp and Willow and we created a list of blogs that needed to get done before her maternity leave. This involved blogging October, November, December AND January because once she came back we didn’t want her scrambling. Bonnie was amazing and is enjoying time with her new babe as we speak! So for a week of vacation it’s not nearly as drastic. Let’s say during your week off you would normally have a blog post go live and a social media post along with it. Those things can be scheduled! Use something like Plann, Later, Planoly, etc.
Auto Responder for Expectations
There are things that can’t get scheduled, like emails. I know not everyone is on team auto responder for emails, but imagine if you did step away for a week and didn’t tell anyone. That would be difficult and leave your clients/customers with nothing. An auto responder is basically an email template that sets the expectations for what’s going on and when people can hear from you. You can set this up for free and if you use Gmail, it’s really easy! When someone emails you they’ll receive an email that says something simple about being out of the office.
For emergencies, like clients who have questions about an upcoming session, etc. we have a cell number that they can TEXT. And yes, we make that a bold font so our client care manager isn’t bombarded with phone calls. But I don’t encourage this because truly how many photography “emergencies” can there be? This is one of the easiest business tips to implement for taking time off!
True Rest Requires True Time Off
I know some of you struggle to truly step away from the business and have boundaries. If that’s you then delete things like social media from your phone. If you have an email app too, delete it! I’m speaking from experience when I say having time away is only beneficial for your business. It may not be a month like my team, but give yourself space to breathe! Enjoy rest and I guarantee you’ll come back ready to tackle what’s ahead with new life. I hope these business tips help you feel more empowered to take the time off in your business that you need!
Business Tips We Discussed
Pick a Date (6:03)
Make a List and Check it Twice (7:16)
Plan Extra Work (9:34)
Auto Responder for Expectations (12:18)
True Rest Requires True Time Off (16:22)
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