Startup Success Guide | Beginner’s Checklist For Starting A Business: What Every Photographer Should Know

Startup Success Guide | Beginner's Checklist For Starting A Business

Startup Success Guide | If you have some creative photography chops, you might be thinking about starting your own business. It’s fun to realize that a photography hobby can become a great way to earn a little extra cash on the side. Unfortunately, we have seen countless photographers start out with all the excitement in the world, but eventually fail at turning their business into a success story. Photography is a popular profession and hobby right now — which is exactly what the problem is. In the past few years, camera gear has become more affordable, and as a result, everyone can become a photographer.

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Taking stunning pictures will only take you so far when it comes to running a successful photography business. If you’re really going to succeed in a photography career, you’re going to need to become just as good at running a business as you are at taking great pictures. Running a business can be extremely demanding, both financially and in terms of work hours. But if you are passionate about it and you are okay with a bit of unpredictability, it may be just the perfect job for you.

Differentiate Yourself From The Competition | Startup Success Guide

Research the photography market and find the niche that suits you best. Choose to focus your photography business in a type of photography at which you excel or in some unsaturated area of the market. Beginner photographers often feel they have to take on any business that comes their way. Choosing an ideal client up front, however, gives you the comfort and confidence to turn away the client who is too far away from your location, can’t afford you, or is simply a pain to work with.

Startup Success Guide | Beginner's Checklist For Starting A Business

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Invest In The Right Equipment | Startup Success Guide

This will be your most important investment, and it pays to buy the best you can afford. Do your research and work out how to use your budget to get the most useful equipment. When it comes to camera gear, you’ll definitely need two cameras, two high quality lenses, two flashes, as well as Photoshop and Lightroom to edit the pictures you take. As your business grows, you will be able to afford better, but, when you are starting out, it may be a better idea to take out a loan or seek third-party investment.

Write Your Business Plan | Startup Success Guide

Whatever business idea you have, all abstract ideas and great initiatives have to be formulated into a tangible plan. Writing a plan will help you figure out what your goals are and identify the tactics that will help you achieve those goals. A business plan will act as a detailed document, describing what your business is and how it will be profitable. It breaks down things like cash flow, expenses, ownership, and competition.

Beef Up Your Portfolio | Startup Success Guide

To charge a professional fee for your photography, you will have to convince potential clients that you have the skill and experience necessary to deliver the job. Clients will always want to see proof of your talent so they can be sure they will be getting their money’s worth. After you’ve written your business plan and know the audience you’re targeting, you should set up a portfolio website that appeals to that market. There are free website templates out there, but your website is like your storefront. You want it to be impressive, so it’s best to have a website professionally designed.

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Startup Success Guide | Beginner's Checklist For Starting A Business

First Steps In Marketing Your Business | Startup Success Guide

Once your portfolio is online, it’s time to start marketing your business. Getting work through word of mouth is a great way to promote your business but it’s not always available, particularly if you’re just starting out. As well as being an expert photographer you’ll need to learn all about search engine optimization and social networking to get the word out about your services. If you find it hard to do it all yourself, then investing in a monthly contract with a reputable SEO agency will definitely be worth your while.

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Small business ownership can be exciting, but it’s also a lot of work. It will take a commitment of time and money to stay on the right track. Take the time to set up everything properly in the beginning so you aren’t unprepared later. You will present yourself as a professional because you will have taken the right steps to BE a professional business person. When you know that you’re ready to take on the challenges of owning your own photography business, go for it!

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