Photography Startup Guide | 6 Not-So-Obvious Mistakes Photographers Make When Starting A Business And How You Can Avoid Them

Photography Startup Guide | 6 Not-So-Obvious Mistakes Photographers

Photography Startup Guide | It’s fun to realize that a photography hobby can also be a great way to earn a living. However, you’ve probably seen dozens of photographers launching a business with all the excitement in the world, but eventually failing as professional photographers. With a world wide recession, photographers are forced more than ever to think creatively, to think outside of the box in order to move forward.

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While launching a photography business, people don’t always understand how to turn their hobby into a full-time job properly. In other words, most new photographers make the same mistakes when starting out. What, then, are the most common mistakes? If you can’t cut it technically or artistically as a photographer, then your photography business will definitely have a very limited lifespan. But there are other ways in which you can take your eyes off the ball when starting a photography business. Here are some classic examples of mistakes that are easy to avoid when you know how…

Not Having A Business Plan | Photography Startup Guide

Do you know where are you trying to go with your work, which clients are you targeting, and how are you going to get their attention? Photographers usually work in isolation, so clearly defining a business strategy will help you stay focused on what’s really important to your photography business and enable you to keep track of your success – as well as identify things you need to work on. Any serious entrepreneur will tell you that a business plan serves as your roadmap, describing what your business is and how it will be profitable. It breaks down things like cash flow, expenses, ownership, and competition, taking the guess work out of it.

Photography Startup Guide | 6 Not-So-Obvious Mistakes Photographers

RELATED: Expert Photography Business Advice | 6 Quick Photography Business Tips To Kickstart Your Career

Not Insuring Your Equipment | Photography Startup Guide

When it comes to camera gear, you’ll need two cameras, two high quality lenses, two flashes, and Photoshop and Lightroom to edit the images. Why two cameras? You need backup gear. Another think you’ll also need is a good insurance plan. Photographers’ cars and bags are packed with expensive things, and thieves know that. Insure yourself from the get-go so your gear is covered against theft and accidents from the moment you get your first shooting gig, and make sure your insurance covers your responsibilities if, for example, a client trips on one of your cables and suffers an injury.

Failing To Understand The Importance Of Branding | Photography Startup Guide

To attract clients and grow your business, you must build a unique brand and a recognizable style. Figure out what makes you unique as a photographer and use it to brand your business in a memorable way. When it comes to your branding, creating something personal, unique and consistent is vitally important. It helps you stand out from other photographers, and communicate what you are all about.

Not Asking For Referrals | Photography Startup Guide

Word of mouth referrals are the most powerful sources of new business for photographers. Your potential clients are way more likely to trust the recommendation of a friend than an ad in a magazine, which means you need to treat each client right and they’ll be your best PR people. Get written referrals from your existing clients, add a ‘testimonials’ page to your website.

RELATED: Photography Marketing Plans | Do You Have What It Takes To Run A Photography Business?

Photography Startup Guide | 6 Not-So-Obvious Mistakes Photographers

Photographers Fail Because They Don’t Market | Photography Startup Guide

Getting your business all set up with a website and name and logo and all that stuff — that’s what gets you STARTED. Then the real work begins. You need to keep in mind that the clicking of the shutter only takes up 20 percent of our business efforts, and that’s being generous! The other 80 percent is taken up by marketing your business, selling your services, running social media, accounting, planning, studying, marketing (so exciting it’s worth mentioning twice!), and the list goes on and on. At the end of the day, you need to get out there and tell people about your business. How are they supposed to hire you if they never heard about you?

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Photographers Fail Because They Don’t Charge Enough | Photography Startup Guide

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 commissions in the beginning, it’s better to have a starting point than to leave it to the client alone to set the terms. if you don’t know your worth, nobody else will. People will value your work more if they have to pay for it. They’ll take your business more seriously because they won’t see it as a hobby that you can do for free.

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