Pro Photography Business Guide | Eat, Sleep, And Breathe Photography! 5 Tips For Taking Your Hobby To The Next Level And Turning Pro
Pro Photography Business Guide | Photography is one of the most popular hobbies and career choices right now, and for good reason: the equipment has not only never been more affordable, but it’s also becoming more user-friendly. Do a quick Google search and you’ll see just how popular it is – it seems as if everyone from high-school students with iPhones to professional photographers with formal education in photography is trying to grab their piece of the pie. And with that comes the challenge of standing out! However, simply because it might be a challenge, it doesn’t mean turning your passion for the art of photography into a career choice is impossible.
Affordable camera gear levels the playing field and gives everyone interested in photography the same advantages or opportunities. Pretty much anyone with some extra cash on their hands can get the right equipment, watch a few tutorials, register a photography business, and call themselves pros. It’s what you do next that will make or break you. Let’s face it: talent, as important as it is, isn’t the be-all and end-all of running a profitable photography business. If taking stunning photos will take you only so far, what can you do to ensure success? Let’s find out!
Write A Business Plan | Pro Photography Business Guide
Winging it and making decisions as you go is something you can do while doing photography as a hobby. However, as every successful business owner will tell you, if you’re serious about turning pro, the very first thing you’ll need to do is write a business plan. This will guide you though the startup phase and help you avoid most of the common pitfalls, so make sure you define each aspect of your business, from the way you’re going to be handling finances, both savings and expenses, to the products and services you’ll be providing, as well as your target audience.
Don’t Be A Jack Of All Trades | Pro Photography Business Guide
Choosing an area of specialization might sound like a counter-intuitive move at first, but it will help you establish yourself and build a reputation of an industry leader if you clearly define your target audience. This will affect every aspect of your business, from the services you offer and the equipment you get, to the way you market your business and the type of a brand you build. To get the best results, you’ll need to define your ideal client in terms of age, gender, location, and even marital status, as well as any other feature you think is important.
Standing Out Is All About Being Different | Pro Photography Business Guide
Photography is becoming an increasingly saturated industry, with new photographers jumping on the bandwagon each day, which means you’ll be competing with other beginners, as well as experienced photographers who not only have talent and artistic vision but an established competitive edge and business know-how. You’ll have a much better chance of actually succeeding if you find a way to differentiate yourself in your niche or your particular area. This is where branding comes into play!
The very first step when it comes to branding a business is coming up with a name and having a logo designed. The name and the logo will be the cornerstone of your entire brand, so make sure they accurately represent your business, appeal to your target audience, and are easy to pronounce and remember. To create a consistent visual identity, create your branding guidelines with clearly defined color scheme, fonts, style of graphics and even brand-oriented words you’ll be using throughout your materials, both online and off, to tie them together.
Online Presence Is No Longer Optional | Pro Photography Business Guide
Having to put out an ad in a local magazine and carrying around your portfolio book is officially a thing of the past. While printed portfolios can still be useful, the main marketing strategy of most photography will almost completely be geared towards the Internet. The most important element of your online presence will be your website, so make sure you have a unique portfolio website that not only showcases your work, but is easy to use, fast to load, and able to attract your ideal client. However, setting up a website is just the first step.
Just because you built it, it doesn’t mean potential clients will come rushing in; instead, you’ll need to find the best way to boost the traffic. If you don’t feel like tackling search engine optimization on your own, you’ll definitely want to consider investing in a monthly contract with a reputable SEO agency. While paid advertising isn’t a bad idea, you’ll also need to build a social media presence. The great thing about social media is that it’s free; the only investment when it comes to building a solid social presence is your time, and once you set everything up, you’ll need only 15-30 minutes a day to maintain it.
Never Lose Sight Of The Client | Pro Photography Business Guide
Keep in mind that no matter the way you brand your business, or how much time you spend on marketing, you will never keep your business afloat unless the services your provide meet and exceed the expectations of your clients. There’s no marketing tool more powerful than a satisfied client singing your praises, so make sure you always put the service in front of the money it brings in and keep working on improving it.