Slower times present you with the opportunity to dig into other areas of your business that were neglected during the busier seasons.
Here are a few important things you can work on during the slower times that may not bring income immediately but are part of positioning your brand for more income in the future:
Overhaul your website.
Try a new template, experiment with new fonts, switch out your color palette, and update your About page.
Plan a brand photoshoot.
Reach out to an up-and-coming photographer to schedule a photoshoot in your studio. Even if you work from home, a skilled photographer knows how to shoot angles and close-ups that will make your space look big and bright like that loft studio we all dream of. The benefit of working with a rising talent is they’re often actively seeking opportunities to expand their portfolio and usually have competitive pricing to reflect this. Sometimes they’re even open to a trade!
Write blog post drafts to schedule for publishing during busy months.
Things may be slow now, but you’re putting things in place to change that. In the future you’re sure to have days and weeks that blur by in blissful busyness. Writing your blog posts during slower times is a great way to keep the content flowing when you’re heads-down busy! Tip: Stick to topics that aren’t seasonal to get the most flexibility from your work.
Organize your newsletter lists and tags and create clear objectives.
We’re currently rolling out our Email Marketing for Artists course within the Membership and creating clear objectives is an overarching theme in this course. Every email needs a purpose, and every email segmentation like a tag or a list also needs a purpose. Get organized and intentional about what you’re emailing and who you’re emailing. (While we’re on the topic, join our email list here for the next Membership opening!)
Update your financial records and organize your paperwork well before tax season.
Take the anxiety out of tax season by chipping away at your receipts and your bookkeeping throughout the year. Whether you have a physical folder system or you’ve gone paperless with an app like Quickbooks, slow times are great times to make a dent well before tax season. (We have a helpful tax blog post here, btw.)
Update your artist statement and resumé.
Take time to review your artist statement and resumé to be sure all of your latest and greatest accomplishments are celebrated! This task has the added emotional benefit of reminding you of all you’ve achieved recently, which can be a helpful encouragement during slower times.
Apply to juried shows, for podcast interviews, and look for other PR opportunities.
Our online strategies focus a lot on our own accounts: our own social media, our own website, our own email newsletter… but don’t overlook connection opportunities online! Reach out and build relationships with potential collaborators. Tip: Make a mental commitment not to be discouraged if you don’t get the “yes!” you hoped for, this is normal and part of the process. Every time you reach out your communication skills are strengthened. You only need one really good “yes!” to make it all worth the effort.
Network with your local artist and designer community.
Grab coffee, attend events and build relationships!: You’ve probably gotten pretty good at this online thing but how are you doing with those IRL opportunities in your local community? In person connections are so valuable! Working online can be lonely and chances are pretty high that other local artists in your community are also craving some meaningful face-to-face time.
Clean up your studio and get organized.
We’ve all heard “Does it spark joy?” by now, and Marie Kondo is on to something! Our studios are precious, creative spaces where the joy should be palpable. If it’s not clutter is often to blame! Pull out your trashcan and start a pile to donate unused (or gently used) supplies to local art organizations. You’ll feel the joy restored to your space and you’ll spread art making tools into your community for others to enjoy!
Make a moodboard to capture your inspiration and plan the visual elements for your upcoming seasons.
All you need is a piece of poster-board or a cork-board and some magazines. Flip through and cut out the visuals that capture your attention. Don’t overthink it. Clip, clip, clip. After you’ve cut out your inspiration look back through it and edit it down. You’ll notice repeating colors, textures, and graphic elements that can serve as a leaping off point for upcoming collections!
We all experience slow times in business. It’s nothing to worry too much about. It’s important to not give up and to see the slow times as opportunities! You’ve been given the gift of time— everyone’s scarcest resource!
Dig in, get intentional, and watch how the slow times can truly benefit the busier times ahead!