Small Business Myths | Seven Myths About Starting A Photography Business DEBUNKED
Small Business Myths | Running your own photography business is the epitome of the American dream, allowing you to achieve your highest aspirations and goals. And it doesn’t get any better than that, right – doing what you love and having people actually pay you for it! Unfortunately, we’ve all seen too many amateurs rush through the process of starting a business, cut corners and end up failing at turning their business idea into a success story.
The worst part about this is the fact that many obstacles and pitfalls of the startup stage can be easily avoided – with just a bit of planning and foresight. To help you hit the ground running, we gathered some of the most common small business myths that can do more damage to your photography startup than you might think! Let’s bust some myths, shall we?
Getting Tons Of Compliments About Your Photography Means You’re Ready To Shoot Professionally | Small Business Myths
We’ve all been there: we shared a funny tweet and our friends come rushing in telling us we should do standup for a living, or our family and coworkers can’t stop raving about that one image we published on Instagram. And don’t get us wrong, that’s perfectly fine – however, you need to keep in mind that they’re comparing your shots to their own, while your potential clients will compare you with some of the best photographers in your area or your particular niche. How does your work stack up against theirs?
Make sure you get as much experience in the industry as you can before actually launching a business: look for opportunities to work as the second shooter, assist experienced photographers, attend seminars and workshops, and never stop improving your skills and the services you’re providing to stay relevant and turn your hobby into a business.
You Can Take Up Pretty Much Any Project Once You Start Your Own Business | Small Business Myths
One of the first things you’ll need to sort out when starting a business is clearly defining your target audience and choosing an area of specialization. Don’t be a jack of all trades, master of none. By focusing all your attention to a particular niche, not only will you be able to reach your potential clients a lot easier, but you’ll also know which equipment to get, how to set up your prices, and make your business not only survive, but thrive.
You Don’t Need New Equipment, Because You’ve Been Doing Just Fine So Far | Small Business Myths
A bad workman might blame his tools for bad results, but you need to keep in mind that equipment can definitely affect the end-product. Your equipment will be the most important investment, so make sure you figure out a way to get the best camera gear your budget allows. Keep in mind that you’ll also need backup equipment, because even new gear fails.
Your Photography Business Is Too Small For Insurance | Small Business Myths
No business is too small for insurance! Not even your startup, regardless what you might believe. Photographers carry around tons of valuable equipment, and thieves know that, which means you’ll want to get the insurance that not only covers your equipment against any potential damage, but also against theft. Another thing you’ll want to look into is liability: you want to protect yourself in case a client trips on your equipment and breaks something on the set, or even worse, gets injured.
Once You’re Your Own Boss, You’ll Set The Hours And Get More Sleep | Small Business Myths
Don’t count on it – especially in the startup stage! You see, what many amateurs fail to realize when just starting out is the fact that for each hour you spend taking pictures, you’ll have to spend 2-3 hours editing images, even more if you’re not used to working in Photoshop. This in turn means that even though your schedule is pretty much free apart from the weekend when you’ll be shooting a wedding, you’ll still have to spend quite a lot of time the following week preparing the images for your clients.
If You Build It, They Will Come | Small Business Myths
Many photographers get so carried away with the design elements when setting up a portfolio website that they completely ignore other elements of an effective website: SEO being one of the most overlooked aspects. SEO stands for search engine optimization, and no, it’s not just for multi-million dollar marketing agencies. Even a small business website like your portfolio can benefit from a strong SEO strategy.
However, search engines crawl websites and index text to figure out what each page is all about, while photography websites are notorious for the lack of written content search engines can index. That doesn’t mean you can’t optimize your website – you’ll just need to pay attention to page titles, headings, and meta description and find a way to organically include the keywords you’re trying to rank high for. You’ll also want to optimize images and include the keywords in the alt tags, so the search engines can figure out what the images are all about.
You Can Wing The Pricing | Small Business Myths
The topic of pricing your services will be one of the most difficult ones, especially if you’re just starting out. Many amateurs even feel so overwhelmed by the topic that they completely ignore it and leave it up to the clients to set the terms. However, only you can and should set the prices – at the end of the day, only you know how much you need to charge to keep your business afloat. And besides, if you don’t know your worth, how on earth is anyone else supposed to know?