Photography Business Success Checklist | 4 Vitally Important Things You’ll Need When Turning Pro!
Photography Business Success Checklist | Starting your own business can be a scary decision to make, but if you’re passionate about photography and you want to take it from a hobby to a full-time job, it might be worth the scare. While taking the plunge is probably the scariest part of your journey, it’s not the only challenge on your way. In fact, there are many pitfalls associated with starting a business, but with the right guidance, you’ll be able to navigate the stormy startup waters and sail right by the hidden challenges.
We’ve all seen countless talented photographers start a business only to close it down after a few months of struggling to get by, while other, arguably less talented photographers go on to build successful brands. At the end of the day, it becomes painfully obvious that taking stunning photos will take you only so far when it comes to turning your passion into a profitable business. In order to succeed, you will need to sort out a few other things to ensure smooth sailing. And we’ve gathered a list of the most important ones!
Business Plan Isn’t Optional | Photography Business Success Checklist
It’s perfectly normal to wing it when you’re doing photography just for fun, or shooting a session or two on the side, as long as you have a day job. However, the moment you decide to quit your job and start pursuing photography full time, you will need to accept the fact that even a dream job is still a job at the end of the day, and to stay in business, you need a game plan. A business plan, more precisely. Yet, you’d be amazed just how many photographers decide to jump right in and launch a business without doing any prep work.
Any successful business owner will tell you that taking the time to write a business plan is absolutely vital for the success of your business. This document will guide you throughout the startup phase and help you overcome those obstacles that differentiate hobbyists from professional shooters, make the right decisions, and allocate your budget (and time) to get the most out of your effort. It will govern not only your finances, but it will also affect your marketing strategy and provide you with a tool to keep track of your progress. So, before you do anything else, sit down and do your homework. You’ll thank us later!
Define Your Target Audience | Photography Business Success Checklist
One of the most common mistakes most new photographers make is failing to clearly define their area of specialization and target audience, thinking that the wider the web they cast, more fish thy would catch, so to speak. However, by defining your niche, you’ll have a much better chance of standing out, because not only will you know how to set up your business and tweak even the smallest details to make sure everything runs smoothly, but you’ll also know how to market your services to your ideal clients. This way your marketing efforts will feel focused and actually be more productive.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying you should turn down every potential client that doesn’t fit into your target audience. By all means, book as many gigs as you can – making ends meet, especially when just starting out, can be a challenging task. However, when it comes to creating a marketing strategy, writing content, or even investing in equipment, you’ll need to keep in mind your area of specialization. Whatever you do, do it in such a way as to attract your idea client, and if you happen to grab the attention of other prospects, great!
Don’t Be Afraid Of Standing Up For Yourself | Photography Business Success Checklist
You knew we were going to mention pricing, didn’t you? The topic of pricing is definitely one of the most intimidating topics in the world of photography, especially among new photographers. So much so, in fact, that most photographers try to avoid it altogether, or leave it up to their potential clients to set the terms. You are a professional photographer, and you need to start acting like one if you’re hoping to be taken seriously.
Remember, it’s always a better idea to have a starting point, even if you have to lower your prices to secure a potential gig than to leave it up to a potential client. This will help you avoid potential clients trying to haggle you, and you will come off as someone who know what they’re doing. You’re the only one who knows how much money you need to make in order to stay in business, and besides, if you don’t know your own worth, how on earth is anyone else supposed to know it?
Market Or Perish | Photography Business Success Checklist
You’re a part of an incredibly creative industry, we get it, and you don’t feel like tackling dull things like marketing. However, if you’re serious about photography, you can’t really afford to neglect your marketing strategy. At the end of the day, you could be the world’s most talented photographer, but if no one ever heard of you or your photography business, it won’t get you far. However, if you clearly defined your target audience in terms of age, gender, location, and even marital status, and you already have pricing packages all set up, you will have a much better idea where and how to promote your services.