I know, you’re probably swimming in holiday orders at the moment, and are counting down the days until you can take a much needed break from production. But a funny thing happens between the end of the holiday orders in December and the first of the New Year – the orders come to a screeching halt.

Depending on your niche, January can be a rough month. As the bills come in from a fun-filled December, people begin to put the breaks on so they can pay off those credit cards, and bring their budgets back under control. Which means they tend to “hibernate” a bit more, and just do the things absolutely necessary, bypassing the extras.

Instead of taking the month of January off, or sitting back with the understanding it will be a rough month, do something about it.

Create A New Campaign

If you keep doing the same stuff, you’ll get the same results. Instead, come up with an entirely new idea – something you’ve never done before or have seen anyone do in your area. Put a twist on your regular offerings and breathe new life into it.

You can also look for places where people are spending money and reach out to them. For instance here in Denver, the Rocky Mountains are a short drive away. And January through April are huge for the ski industry. Piggyback off of this trend, and find a way to combine your photography with the ski industry.

Market It Differently

In the above example, you actually have two market areas. Because a large majority of Denverites head up to the slopes on the weekends, you can market to the more affluent zip codes within Denver itself. Many also have ski condos they spend the weekend at, so they aren’t on the slopes the entire time. Not only can you market to people in Denver, but you can market to the resort communities in the ski areas as well. Get to know the businesses in your select areas – in some cases you can put up portraits in their shops, and have a great marketing pull that way as well.

Instead of creating the same old marketing brochures, try something new. If you aren’t a follower of the Moo blog or their inspiration gallery, head over and read some of their ideas. I’m always amazed at some ot the ideas other creatives come up with. You can really learn a lot just by seeing what others are doing. Don’t just look for photographers – check out all the ideas. There are many things you can pull into your own campaigns and use for fun as well.

And while cost is always a consideration, be willing to invest a bit more when you have great contacts. Spending a few dollars on marketing pieces you’ll be sharing with 100 people may set you back a few hundred up front. But if you convert 25 of them into clients that spend hundreds – even thousands with you, you’ll easily pull out ahead.

Approach A New Set Of Prospects

You may have a client list already in place. This may be the time to dig through that list and find people that are directly interested in what you do. Or it may be time to create a new list.

Right now everyone is in “free” mentality. Which is why you’ve probably seen a rise in your email. I get emails every day from people offering me everything from products to services, website help to a new variety of vitamins. Just because its free doesn’t mean you should do it. I look at every one of those emails as spam, and delete as fast as I can. I didn’t ask for those emails, and would never do business with them. And I know I’m not alone in my feelings.

Dig Deeper: How To Put Together A Self Promotional Kit To WOW Your Prospects

When you’re approaching a new potential customer, you are introducing yourself to them. Make them say “WOW”. I have to do business with them. A fun and creative campaign will do that. An email won’t.

Make It Happen

Its easy to think of a great idea. Its more difficult to put it into place.

Even if you still have many hours of work left before the holidays, carve out just a few hours to brainstorm and put together a new promotion idea. Give yourself deadlines and goals to reach over the next few weeks. Get started on the things that will take more time like ordering marketing materials from Moo, or spending the day talking with business owners in a new location. Then mark off some time on the calendar for your planning days.

Business doesn’t just “happen” especially in today’s marketplace.

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