Photography Business Startup Essentials | 5 Tips For A Strong Start Every Photographer Should Know About Before Turning Pro
Photography Business Startup Essentials | You might define the secret of life in many ways, but they all come down to the same thing – figuring out what you’re truly passionate about and finding a way to earn money doing it! It’s no wonder, then, that so many people passionate about taking pictures and the art of photography in general at one point or another start thinking about launching their own photography business. However, keep in mind that photography is a popular hobby and career choice right now, which means the competition is fierce – and not in the fabulous kind of way!
Now, before you start hyperventilating into a paper bag, there’s good news. Fierce competition is not a reason to give up on your dream of running your own photography business. After all, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. But if you’re serious about your passion and are ready to put in some work, it might be the ideal industry for you. But before you quit your day job and dive right in, read on to find out more about some of the most important things that will help you turn your passion for photography into a profitable venture.
A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Wish | Photography Business Startup Essentials
Photography is one of the most competitive businesses out there, so you shouldn’t leave anything to chance. This is why it’s important you take some time to think about your business goals and write a business plan that actually supports those goals. This is a document that will help you navigate the waters of the startup stage and avoid the common pitfalls, but it will also allow you to track your progress and tweak your approach if you see you’re starting to fall behind. It breaks down things like cash flow, expenses, ownership, and competition, as well as your ideal client, which leads us to our next point.
Choose Your Area Of Specialization | Photography Business Startup Essentials
Many photographers, especially when just starting out, feel tempted to accept pretty much any gig coming their way in order to make the ends meet. However, choosing an area of specialization and clearly defining your ideal client will go a long way and will actually affect every aspect of your photography business, from the equipment you get to the marketing approach you choose, so make sure you don’t do anything before you’re done getting to know your ideal client in terms of age, location, gender, and even marital status. More specific you get, more focused (and as a result, more effective) your efforts will be.
Update Your Equipment | Photography Business Startup Essentials
If you’re considering starting a photography business, chances are you already have some equipment you’ve been collecting while shooting as an amateur. However, once you turn pro, you need to make sure you have the best equipment your budget allows. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll need two cameras, two high quality lenses, two flashes, and Photoshop and Lightroom to edit the images. These, of course, are just the bare essentials, and depending on your area of expertise, you’ll to need to invest in other pieces of equipment as well.
Why two cameras? You need backup equipment. Even new equipment breaks, and the last thing you need is a camera breaking down in the middle of a shoot, so find a way to allocate your budget to cover the primary pieces, as well as the backup pieces of equipment. You need to do this at least for the items you’ll be using most often, and other pieces you won’t be using on a regular basis can always be borrowed or rented.
Define Your Pricing | Photography Business Startup Essentials
Pricing and money in general is culturally one of the most avoided topic of conversation, but no matter what your reason is to dislike talking about your pricing, whether you’re not confident in your skills, or you’re afraid others in your area are charging less for the same service, you need to keep in mind that you’re a business owner, and you can’t afford to avoid a topic just because you feel uncomfortable talking about it. After all, you’re the only one that knows just how much money you need to make in order to stay in business, so don’t leave it up to a potential client to set the terms. It’s a much better idea to have a starting point, even if you have to lower the rates to secure those potential gigs at the beginning.
Start Building Your Online Presence Right Away | Photography Business Startup Essentials
We’re living in a digital era, there’s no denying that. We connect with friends and family, do our shopping, study, and even do business online. Needless to say, we do our research online as well – which means your potential are out there right now looking for someone providing the exact services you can offer, so you need to make sure your business is online as well. First, you’ll need to start with a professionally designed website that showcases your work and provides potential clients with everything they need to hire you.
However, setting up a website is by no means everything you can do – instead, you’ll also want to learn the ropes of search engine optimization to get the most out of your website, and start setting up profiles on your ideal client’s favorite social networks to get on their radar. If you don’t feel like tackling it right away, a monthly contract with a reputable agency might be worth your while.