Photography Business Startup Checklist | A No-Fuss Guide To Starting A Successful Wedding Photography Business
Photography Business Startup Checklist | So, you’ve got a camera! A friend or two asked you to shoot their weddings, and now you’re considering starting a photography business of your own? Taking pictures is an art form, there’s no denying it, but if you’re hoping to make a living out of it, you’ll need face the truth that taking stunning pictures will take you only so far! In order to turn your passion into a full-fledged business, you’ll need some mad business skills.
Starting a photography business is pretty easy – all you need is some extra cash on your hands for the equipment and a Facebook page to market the services you’re providing. However, turning your business idea into a success story comes down to the good old fight between the left side of the brain and the right one. While you might think that you’ll have a chance to do more of what you love and showcase all of your creativity, there are many things not related to photography at all you’ll need to tackle. Ready to be a business owner first, and a photographer second? We hope so! To help you hit the ground running and boost your business, we gathered a list of the most important things you’ll need to take care of!
Those Who Fail To Plan, Plan To Fail | Photography Business Startup Checklist
Every business owner whose business survived the dreaded startup stage will tell you the same thing – you will need a solid business plan. In order to achieve your business goals, first you’ll need to clearly define them. Once you have them set up, you’ll have a better idea of what needs to be done in order to get your wedding photography business off the ground. You’ll also need to figure out how you’re going to finance your business until it starts bringing in profits, making sure you avoid some of the most common pitfalls associated with new businesses.
Equipment Is Vital | Photography Business Startup Checklist
Talent is crucial for a stunning picture, but so is the equipment you use. A decent DSLR is a must, but more important are good lenses. Digital cameras are pretty much obsolete the moment you walk out of the store, but lenses can last you a lifetime. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll need to be careful when investing in the equipment: each niche will have unique requirements. After all, you wouldn’t use the same equipment for indoor portraits as you would for an architectural shot.
Before you run off on a shopping spree, keep in mind that you’ll also need backup equipment. Equipment fails, even brand new equipment, and the last thing you need is your camera giving up on you in the middle of a shoot. And lastly, you’ll also need a decent computer with enough power to handle photo editing, as well as editing software if you’re not ready to start outsourcing!
Ensure You’re Insured | Photography Business Startup Checklist
Photographers’ cars are packed with expensive equipment, and thieves know that, which is why you need to make sure you’re insured against theft from day one! You’ll also want to look into liability insurance – the last thing you need is facing a lawsuit after a client trips on your equipment and falls. Insurance policies vary from one state to another, so you’ll want to check out all the options and choose the one that suits your needs best. Some insurance companies offer packages designed for photographers specifically, which might take out the guesswork.
Your Online Presence Can Make Or Break Your Business | Photography Business Startup Checklist
Building a portfolio will boost your credibility and help you showcase your work. It will also provide your potential clients with everything they need in order to hire you. However, building a strong online presence requires a lot more than just having a website set up for your business – you need to make your potential clients aware of it! This is where social media comes in handy. Figure out where your ideal clients tend to spend their time and find a way to get on their radars.
Considering you’re launching a wedding photography business, you’ll need to check out the more visual networks, such as Instagram, Facebook, and especially Pinterest. Keep in mind, though, that it’s called social media for a reason. It’s a two-way street, and you can’t bombard your friends, fans and followers with generic sales messages. Instead, you need to become a part of the conversation and establish yourself as an industry expert by sharing tips and tricks for a better shoot, as well as anecdotes and stories about funny off-camera situations.
Don’t Bribe The Bride! Reward Her! | Photography Business Startup Checklist
No photography business starts with a line at the door; it takes hard work to recruit interested people and website traffic, and then turn those leads into clients. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to do all the heavy lifting – instead, consider offering a referral bonus to every client that brings in a new client; it doesn’t have to break your budget, but it does need to have a high perceived value in order to be effective: think free prints, discount on the total amount, or something similar. There’s no better marketing force than a happy bride, and by offering an incentive, you’ll be boosting your chances of getting referred.