The times they are a’changin’ as the Bard Dylan once sang. Never was such a line as apt as this one. The big airlines and the small corner shop barber feel the struggle for survival in equal measure.
Since experiencing some quite traumatic events in my life a few years ago, I learned the invaluable lesson that I need to try and control the controllable. The things that are beyond my control, and which it’s not possible to bring under my control, need to be dismissed.
In these strange times, if your business has been adversely affected, the first question isn’t about where the money will come from. It needs to be, “Who is my audience now?” The second question is, “How do I become or remain visible?”
If you can work out who your audience is, then work out how to meet the expectations of that audience. The income will follow. It is about gaining a focus f0r your business, a focus that will reach out to your audience.
I changed my business model last year when I started offering to my clients a retainer-based service in the middle of last year and, having had some clients take up this business model, an income stream has continued. I also have a few prospective clients who were considering taking up this option prior to lockdown. Both this and all one-off bespoke work have now been deferred for the moment, but, I am still reaching out, reminding my audience that I am still operating as it is vital to remain visible to these prospective clients. But how can I achieve this in lockdown?
One solution that I have decided upon is to work with potential business rivals. I’m currently setting up a number of Zoom video meet-ups and recording my conversations with fellow photographers.
By working with my fellow photographers, there’s far more chance of getting noticed. Together, we’re sending out a message that photography and creative work has a value and that we’re still here, ready to help and educate.
Once we’re out of lockdown, those who engage with us will remember us, giving us a head start.
How are you going to pivot your business at this time? Have you considered joining forces with direct competitors?
Remember, it’s not about focusing on income streams at this time. It’s about knowing who your audience is and learning how to reach them.