Photography Startup Expert Advice | Turn Your Business Idea Into A Success Story With These 6 Simple Tips
Photography Startup Expert Advice | Photography is a growing industry. However, it’s not all good news – while the number of people starting photography businesses keeps growing, it doesn’t mean that the actual demand is keeping up with the supply. Starting a business isn’t difficult at all; however, what’s difficult is running a business that thrives. After all, taking stunning images will take you only so far! You’ll have to work on your business skills just as much as on your photography skills in order to turn your business idea into a success story.
We’ve all seen countless incredibly talented photographers start out with all the excitement in the world, only to end up closing down the business. When hiring a photographer, most people look for the entire package: your photography talent, combined with your business expertise, as well as your people skills. In other words, you need to bring your A game if you’re hoping to stand out in a saturated market, which is why we gathered some of the most important business tips for photographers about to start their own business!
Write Down Your Business Plan! | Photography Startup Expert Advice
Every established business owner will tell you one thing: you need to write a business plan! This detailed document will be essential for your success, and it should define not only your target audience, but also sort out your finances and map out a road for your business, defining important goals and milestones. How are you going to cover your expenses before you start bringing in profits? Where do you want to be this time next year? What about in two, five years? By clearly defining your business goals, you’ll have a much better idea of what you need to do in order to achieve them.
Another crucial element of your business plan is defining your ideal client. Don’t rely on thinking you know who they are – make sure you know not only who they are, but also what appeals to them and how you can reach them. Even the smallest details will be important down the road, so define the gender, location, age, social and financial status, and even marital status of your ideal client.
Get The Right Equipment | Photography Startup Expert Advice
Every photography niche has its own requirements when it comes to equipment, so you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the best equipment your budget allows. Keep in mind, though, that you will also need to invest in solid backup equipment. Even brand new gear breaks down, and the last thing you want is to have a camera break down in the middle of a shoot. Just as important is the storage – make sure you always have multiple memory cards on you during a shoot, and a good backup solution at the office. And lastly, you’ll want to invest in editing software to edit the pictures before sending them to your clients.
Set Your Prices | Photography Startup Expert Advice
Never leave it up to a potential client to set the terms! Even if you have to lower the price to book the gig, it’s a much better idea to have a starting point than to let the potential client set the rate. At the end of the day, if you don’t know your own worth, how is anyone else supposed to know it? Keep in mind, though, that for every hour you spend shooting, you’ll need to spend additional 2-3 hours on editing, so make sure you count that in as well.
Having A Website Is No Longer Optional | Photography Startup Expert Advice
The days of painfully slow dial-up Internet access are long gone, and we’re spending most of our time online, whether we’re chatting to friends, watching videos, learning new thing, or even doing business. In a time when pretty much everything is online, your photography business shouldn’t be an exception. However, keep in mind that not any website will be good enough – you’re marketing to the millennials, a generation that grew up online. Unless you’re keeping up with the latest trends, you’re risking falling behind your competitors.
Referrals Will Make Or Break Your Business | Photography Startup Expert Advice
There’s no marketing tool as powerful as a satisfied client singing you praises. People are way more likely to trust the recommendation of a friend than an ad in a magazine. You need to be working hard to get referrals. Keep in mind that photography is a people business – even if you’re an architectural photographer, you’re still going to be doing business with other people, which means you need to work on your people skills. Make sure doing business with you is enjoyable and your clients won’t be able to stop talking about you to their friends and family.
To take this to a whole new level, consider offering a reward for each new client your existing clients send your way! This should be something that has high perceived value, but doesn’t cost you too much – think a free print, or something similar. Or you can simply give them a stack of business cards along with their photos, and let them know just how much you appreciate them telling their friends about you.
Network With Other Business Owners | Photography Startup Expert Advice
It’s not only your clients that appreciate free stuff! Other business owners will also appreciate a gift, so consider setting up a referral program with a business owner targeting the same audience but providing non-competing services. For example, while shooting a wedding, take a few shots of the flower arrangements and send them to the florist free of charge. You’ll be amazed how loyal business owners can be to each other when they really hit it off.