What part of the year do I sometimes dread? February and August, as well as the week between Christmas and New Years. Both months happen to traditionally be some of the slowest months of the year for me professionally and everyone checks out mentally during the last week of December. So every year I prepare for it by making plans to work on things that may slip under the rug during the busier seasons. First up? Studio and office organization!
Client Relationship Management
My CRM gets cluttered from time to time, so a slow period is a great time to sift through my existing contacts and get rid of ones that may be dead leads or maybe the companies themselves have merged or closed up shop.
Spring/Fall Marketing Planning
My assistant Sandy and I usually meet every 2 weeks for a half hour to just catch up on ideas, existing projects, etc. So during the slower months, we ramp up our creativity with planning for the Spring and Fall seasons. We “spit ball” ideas and take notes, adding them to our daily spreadsheet planner for later reference. Some of the best ideas have come from just chatting casually with no pressure to end the meeting quickly.
Client Communication Setup
Stockpiling newsletter templates for both myself as a VO Actor and for my Voiceover Gurus students helps me not forget later on when things get crazy. And client communication has been an element I’ve had to work on, since I have a tendency to feel overwhelmed with too many things happening at once. When I’m super busy with bookings, I tend to forget that the machine of business marketing must always be moving, so to avoid the delay, I use my slow times to plan ahead.
Redo your demos
The ever needed demo update is so tedious to me, but such a necessary item in our arsenal. February and August are great months to compile the work I’m most proud of, and update a demo or two. Then maintaining a list of agents, agencies and production houses is essential so you can send over your latest and greatest.
Update your studio equipment
I’ve put off updating my computer for so long because I know it will affect my editing program. And when you’re busy with work, the last thing you want to do is mess with your studio sound, so during a quiet period, take that time to do the research and test the audio waters. This way all the kinks can hopefully be worked out before the rush of clients starts up again. That is my plan for the next week!
Update an existing logo or website
When things are quiet, hiring a graphic designer to revamp a logo or design some sort of marketing communication for later release will be productive, and give you something to look forward to, for when things start to pick up again.
Take an additional day each week to get away from your studio
Yes, productive downtime includes NOT thinking about auditions or clients. And a long vacation isn’t the only way to relax. Give yourself permission to unplug for a day or so without the guilt that you may miss a job opportunity. There will be other jobs and your mental health is part of your overall performance health. Plus you won’t run the risk of getting burned out. I find that just allowing myself a midweek break, like a Wednesday, to do my own thing, helps to give me a quick refresher for the rest of the week. And it’s something to look forward to as well.