Photography Business Hacks | The Ultimate Photography Startup Guide – The Lazy Edition
Photography Business Hacks | There’s no denying that photography equipment has become more affordable than ever, and nowadays, anyone with some extra cash lying around can get their hands on a pretty good camera, set up a Facebook page, and call themselves professional photographers. However, while being passionate about photography is definitely a great first step, you need to keep in mind that there’s a difference between taking great photos and running a successful business. In other words, even the best and most creative job is still a job at the end of the day.
Launching a photography business can be a challenging task, especially if you dive right into it without any prep work. There are countless amateur photographers with far greater talents than many pros, yet they can’t seem to get their photography off the ground, because even the most passionate amateurs without a solid business foundation get tired after a year or two of scraping to pay the bills. Good news is that most, if not all, obstacles of running a photography business can be avoided with the right tools, enough planning and some foresight. As long as you know what to expect down the road, you’ll be able to avoid the common mistakes and make the right decisions.
Your Business Plan Will Make Or Break Your Business | Photography Business Hacks
Every business owner will tell you that in order to turn your passion for photography into a profitable business, you will need to put your ideas on paper and work on a solid business plan. In fact, having a poorly written business plan is one of the most common reasons photographers fail at becoming successful. This document will serve as your guide through the startup stage and help you avoid all the pitfalls that come with the territory. It will also allow you to track your progress, tweak your strategy along the way and find the right tools you need to achieve your goals.
It’s Not About You! | Photography Business Hacks
Yes, starting a business is your dream, but the way you set up pretty much every aspect of your business will mainly depend on your target audience. What will work for and appeal to brides to be won’t do much for high-school seniors, so before you dive right in, take some time to clearly define your ideal client and your area of specialization. If you’re just starting out, you might be tempted to accept every gig coming your way, and that’s perfectly fine. You have to make ends meet somehow, right?
However, when it comes to branding and marketing your business, as well as investing in equipment and writing your business plan, you need to define your clients in terms of age, gender, location, and even services that might appeal to them. “Everyone” cannot be your target audience, and we can’t stress this enough. By trying to appeal to everyone, not only will you not succeed, but you might also end up appearing unfocused and inauthentic, which is definitely the last thing you want!
Create A Visual Identity | Photography Business Hacks
Photography is one of the most popular hobbies and professions right now, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. With that, however, comes a challenge of standing out from the crowd. In a time when everyone has access to pretty much the same equipment and locations, differentiating yourself in the eye of a potential client might turn out to be the hardest thing you need to do. This is where branding comes into play. Choose 5-6 words that describe the style of your photography – is it fun, edgy or classic, couture, polished, romantic, modern or vintage, stylish or hyper-realistic – and find a way to convey it in a way that will appeal to your potential client.
In addition to defining your brand’s personality and finding the right voice, you also need to create a visual identity that will help your potential clients remember you easily. In other words, all of your materials can and should convey the essence of your brand, from your website and the colors, fonts and images you use to set it up, to your logo and the tone of voice you use on social media. You want your potential clients to recognize your brand whether they stumble upon your Twitter profile, your website, or find your business card in their old wallet, and the only way to do it is through creativity and consistency.
Market Or Perish! | Photography Business Hacks
Once you define your target audience, the services you’re providing, and your business goals, you will need to come up with the right marketing strategy that will get you in front of your potential clients. After all, you can be the world’s most talented photographer, it won’t do you any good if no one ever hears about you and your business. And this is where the real work starts. Today, there are more ways and places for photographers to market their services, and choosing the right ones can feel overwhelming. This is why we created a quick guide to setting up a marketing plan that will get you booked solid!
Be Yourself | Photography Business Hacks
And to wrap things up with a final piece of advice: don’t be afraid to be yourself. You will be tempted to copy, imitate, or even parody other photographers in your area, but just because something is working for one photographer, it doesn’t mean it will work for you as well. Your potential clients will recognize and reward authenticity, so never try to be something you’re not!