Photography Business Principles | The Fast Track Business Plan: Build A Successful Photography Venture From The Ground Up
Photography Business Principles | It’s one thing to get a photography gig now and then, and another to launch and run a successful photography business. No matter how skilled and talented you are as a photographer, you still have to take certain steps to attract new, and keep existing clients. In an overwhelmingly competitive market, in which anyone can get a camera and call themselves a professional photographer, your experience, credibility and business skills will be stretched and challenged in the early days. While it’s a tough time to launch a photography business, it’s not impossible, and there are still plenty of people making money with their cameras.
For many photographers, dealing with the business side of things is something that they procrastinate on and dread doing. This only leads to an unfulfilled photography career that’s packed with lost publicity/exposure, fewer clients and less prestigious projects or assignments. If you really want to succeed in a photography career, you’re going to need to become an exceptionally good business person. That includes writing a business plan and keeping track of your earnings. Here are some of the essential tips to help you find your photography foothold and successfully grow your business.
Invest In A Killer Website | Photography Business Principles
Running your photography business basically comes down to one thing: You want and need clients to hire you. The best way to make sure that they find you is by having your own photography website. There are free website templates out there, but your website is like your storefront. You want it to be impressive, so it’s best to have a website professionally designed just for you. Your website should, of course, showcase the best examples of your work. That’s what your clients will want to see, so it’s vitally important that you know exactly who your ideal client is and that you tailor every part of your business toward the things he or she likes.
Set Your Rate | Photography Business Principles
It is crucial that you have a basic rate to refer to so you can assert your value when you get approached by clients. Even if you have to make exceptions and lower it to get hired in the beginning, it’s better to have a starting point than to leave it to the client alone to set the terms. The only way you can charge the fees appropriate to you and your photography business is to base your prices on what it costs YOU to do business. If you don’t know your worth, nobody else will. If all you hate doing is billing people and dealing with accounting, that’s a simple solution. You can hire an accountant for as little time as an hour each week, or use an online billing service.
Write A Business Plan | Photography Business Principles
Any serious business owner will tell you that you have to organize your thoughts on paper. This detailed document serves as your road map, describing what your business is and how it will be profitable. It breaks down things like cash flow, expenses, ownership, and competition. Making some of the decisions up front will be incredibly helpful in the long run, even if your business plan grows and changes along the way.
Referrals Are Essential | Photography Business Principles
You can be the most talented photographer in the world, but unless people know about you, it won’t do you any good. Join groups, forums, clubs, collectives, whatever you can. Make sure these people know about you and enjoy working with you, and you’ll get referrals. Word of mouth referrals are the most powerful sources of bookings for photographers. People are way more likely to trust the recommendation of a friend than an ad in a magazine, which means you have to be working hard to get referrals.
Use Social Media To Promote Yourself | Photography Business Principles
Social media is a powerful promotion tool, but it’s best to start out with one or two sites and use them on a regular basis. Facebook is a good option, but you also might want to try out one of the more visual social media channels like Instagram or Pinterest. 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 networks that your target clients use. They’ll share the images with their friends and you’ll get traffic as they point people your way.