Photography Business Guidelines | What Great Photographers Do: 6 Photography Business Principles That Separate The Best From The Rest

Photography Business Guidelines | What Great Photograph

Photography Business Guidelines | As with all other types of businesses, your photography business won’t become successful overnight, no matter how talented you are. Taking pictures is only a small element of the professional photographer’s business: there are tons of other things that have to be addressed to make your business successful. And, in a ruthlessly competitive market, in which anyone can purchase a camera and call themselves a professional photographer, your experience, credibility and business skills will be stretched and challenged in the early days.

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Photography may be your passion and we can’t blame you for it. Think turning pro is a measure of your skills? Think again! There are many amateur photographers out there who have far better skills than pros. If you’re really going to succeed in a photography career, you’re going to have to become a great business person. If you’re thinking about taking this passion a few steps further into launching your own photography business, we have a few vital tips and recommendations you should consider before plunging in.

Have A Plan | Photography Business Guidelines

We’re talking about a simple plan, not a detailed, 20 page business plan mapping out the next 5 years. Do you know where are you looking to go with your work, which clients are you are trying to attract, and how you’re going to reach them? Business goals can be general. For example, you may want to work 40 hours a week in photography (replace a full-time job) or gather a group of pregnant moms whose families you can photograph from maternity through seniors.

Photography Business Guidelines | What Great Photograph

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Define Your Ideal Client | Photography Business Guidelines

All photographers have to define their target markets and how to win the over. Many photographers, particularly younger ones, fail to understand this concept and are too general in focus. In reality, defining your target market should be where 90% of your effort and time should be spent in the first few years of your business. Clearly defining an ideal client up front provides you with the comfort and confidence to turn away the client who is too far away from your location, is looking for services outside your skills, can’t afford you, or is simply a pain to work with.

Set Your Rate | Photography Business Guidelines

It is vitally important that you have a basic rate to refer to so you can assert your value when you get approached by potential clients. Even if you have to make exceptions and lower your rate to get commissions in the beginning, it’s better to have a starting point than to leave it to the client alone to set the terms. The key lies in understanding the competitive nature of the industry. Understand the value your photography services are giving based on the competition you face from other photographers to set a reasonable pricing strategy.

Create A Photography Website | Photography Business Guidelines

Everything is online these days, and your photography business should definitely not be the exception to this hard-and-fast rule. To charge a professional fee for your photography, you will have to able to convince potential clients that you have the skill and experience to deliver on the promise. To do this it’s vital that you have a professional-looking portfolio, focused on your area of specialization. Creating your own photography website is a surefire and efficient way to gain additional exposure for your burgeoning business.

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Photography Business Guidelines | What Great Photograph

Don’t Forget The Testimonials | Photography Business Guidelines

Remember that your most important clients are your past clients. People look to others and their experiences when making decisions, so the more you can showcase testimonials, the more effective your marketing efforts will be. Treat your clients right and they’ll be your best PR people, referring your business to their friends and family. Get written referrals, and add a ‘testimonials’ page to your website. Write a list of questions to ask your clients after they work with you in order to get the testimonials you need to infuse your marketing pieces with extra effectiveness, instead of getting generic “They’re awesome!” testimonials.

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Build A Social Media Presence | Photography Business Guidelines

When you blog the images from your client’s photo session, take a moment to share them on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media outlets that your potential clients use. They’ll share the images with their friends and you’ll get traffic as they point people your way. Social media is a powerful promotion tool, but it’s best to start out with one or two websites and use them consistently. Facebook is a good option, but you might want to lean towards one of the more visual social media channels like Instagram.

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