Part 1: You’ve found out you’re moving. Prepping your Clients and Starting the Journey: The news has arrived and the dust is starting to settle. You and your family are moving. Now what? What does that mean for your boudoir photography business? Should you close up shop or will you do whatever it takes to be successful in your new location?
Keep Calm and Carry on!
There are many things to think about and steps to take in order to assure complete ease and success as you transition your boudoir studio from one location to another. First and foremost though, is to keep calm and carry on. Continue operating your business just as you were before.Take care of the clients you have and let them know that they are a priority. If you don’t, they could see this as a slight, and that you no longer are vested in them because of your upcoming departure. Nobody likes the “one foot out the door” mentality, especially when they are investing hundreds or even thousands of dollars in your services and products. So plan on spoiling those last few clients a little bit. While your focus should (as always) be on perfecting the experience for your current clients, you should also start what I like to call “The Notification Process.”
Communication! Communication! Communication!
If you are like me, you have many places online where you have your business information listed that will need to be updated. Places where you have online reviews or businesses that you have networked with that need to know that you are leaving. Then there will ALWAYS be that person that didn’t get the memo about your move that will inevitabley call to schedule a session after your cut off date and be completely unaware. So, where do you start with the notification process in order to get the word out while continuing to work? Decide on your last day to work with your clients and stick to it! This includes:
- active sessions
- post production
- ordering appointments
- product shipment/pick up
Notify your current clients that you will be moving. Utilize as many communication tools as possible to do this with the dates you will no longer be working in your area (and plan on doing it more than once):
- Email newsletter message
- Blog Post
- Facebook/Twitter/Google+ etc.
- Yelp/TheKnot/ Wedding Wire etc.
Inform Tax/Bookkeeping Agencies of your upcoming move as well. Plan on filling out all of the appropriate paperwork and document EVERYTHING. We all know how much taxes suck, but believe me, not notifying the right agencies soon enough can lead to fines or even liens against your credit if you dont. These include:
- Department of Revenue for your State
- Local business office (where you got your business license)
- Your CPA or bookkeeper if you use one
- Your business insurance and liability company, etc.
Talk to the businesses you currently network with to let them know that you are leaving and not necessarily just dropping them. **I find that delivering a hand written note when possible to say Thank You for their support is always appreciated.
Wrangling the Interwebs
All the while you are sending out the notification that you are leaving your current city or town, you need to also be focusing on preparing your new location for your arrival. If people don’t know you’re coming before you get there, you’re already behind in the race to get yourself re-established. As soon as you know where it is you are heading, you need to start wrangling the interwebs. Above I mentioned that you should utilize those communication tools to notify your existing clients that you are leaving. You need to also update them with your NEW information and location so that web crawlers will start pulling your name up in searches to potential clients in your new area. That means you will need to visit each site individually to change over your business info. (You will get really good at remembering your new address after this!) Don’t forget the following online locations to modify:
- Website SEO
- Website Key Words
- Website Information (what areas you serve and services you offer)
- Social Media (Facebook/Twitter/Google+ etc. -Yelp/TheKnot/ Wedding Wire etc.)
I know this sounds like a lot of work, but moving is a lot of work especially when you are doing it with your business. You will spend more time on the phone and at the computer than ever before, but I promise it will be worth it in the end.
Stay tuned for the next installment from your favorite Gypsy Photographer!