Photography Business Success Recipe | Four Crucial Ingredients Of The Effective Photography Business Plan
Photography Business Success Recipe | If you’re passionate about photography and you’ve been shooting an occasional gig here and there, you might be considering quitting your day job and turning pro. Who could blame you, right? Running your own photography business sounds like a dream come true: you get to do what you love full-time, and you get paid for it. However, while being passionate is important if you want to avoid burnout, your passion, as well as your talent, can get you only so far. In order to turn your hobby into a steady source of income, you need to become a business person!
This is exactly why so many incredibly talented photographers fail at running a successful business. We get it, you’re a part of a creative industry, and the last thing you want is to spend your time tackling menial errands when you could be shooting. However, it’s those errands that require business skills, not necessarily talent for photography is what can be the difference between success and failure, and why we see many talented photographers close down their studios, while other, arguably less talented shooters sail right by. The good news is that majority of those things can be sorted out at the beginning and kept on autopilot, so to help you come up with a business plan that will allow you focus on what matters the most – taking stunning photos! – we created a list of the most important elements of an effective business plan for photographers. Let’s dive right in!
Define Your Target Audience | Photography Business Success Recipe
Starting a photography business might be your dream, but keep in mind that it doesn’t mean it’s all about you. In fact, most of the decisions you make, things you do, and tools you use will be based on your ideal client. Many photographers feel tempted to take on any gig coming their way, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But starting a business and marketing your services in a way that you believe will appeal to everyone will do more damage than good, as you risk not getting anyone’s attention.
Sure, where and how you promote your services and products will be determined by your target audience (Obvious, right?!), but so will many other aspects, including the equipment you get, the packages you offer, and even the prices, so before you do anything else, do your research and make sure you know your ideal client in terms of age, gender, location, and even marital status. The better you get to profile your target audience, the better results you’ll get.
Know Your Worth! | Photography Business Success Recipe
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how creative or heart-warming the story behind your business might be – what your potential clients care about is what you can do for them. The success of your business will depend on this, so take some time to clearly define the services and products you’ll be providing. Think about what makes you different from every other photographer in your area or your particular niche? In other words, why should your potential clients care? After all,, how are you supposed to sell something when you yourself are not sure what you’re selling?
Once you define the services you’re going to be providing and all that goes with them, you need to start thinking about the pricing. Even though money is one of those things that send shivers down photographers’ backs, especially if they’re just starting out, you need to keep in mind that you’re the only one who knows how much you need to make to cover your expenses and stay in business. We get it, if you’re just starting out, you think you’ll be missing work because of your prices, so it’s OK if you have to lower them a bit to secure the gigs – but it’s important you have a starting point. The worst thing you can do here is leave it up to your potential clients to set the terms. If you don’t know your own worth, how on earth is anyone else supposed to know it?
Get The Right Equipment | Photography Business Success Recipe
Now that you sorted two most important parts of the equation, you and your ideal client, you can move on to other elements with a pretty good idea what will work best for you. For example, the equipment you get will not only be only based on your ideal client, but even the particular services within your chosen niche you’re offering will influence your choices. Keep in mind, though, that blowing your budget on primary equipment can backfire and do a lot more damage than you think. After all, the very last thing you want is to have your camera break down in the middle of a shoot, so make sure you allocate your budget in such a way that it cover the backup equipment as well!
Start Building Your Online Presence | Photography Business Success Recipe
Finally, one of the most obvious elements of a business plan is your marketing strategy. While the fine details will be different from one photographer to another, there are some things all effective marketing strategies have in common: the most essential being strong online presence. If you’re serious about your business, you can’t afford not to have at least a professionally designed website and 2-3 regularly updated social media profiles. Your website is the first place potential clients will look when doing their research, and if you don’t have a website, or if it’s outdated, they might assume you’re out of business.