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April 2017 archive

Being A Photographer Can Be Very Challenging.

It has many “ups and downs”.
Having been a wedding/portrait photographer for over 40 years I have learned to understand the value of taking time to work ON the business rather than just IN the business. Now as a photography business coach, I have discovered that there are four main areas in running a successful wedding and portrait business.
These are Positioning, Products, Pricing and Selling.
Here are 8 more key areas to work on to re-evaluate your business to help it grow.
1. Market Continually.
Committed to owning and running a business you must be committed to the marketing and selling
the products and services of that business. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to be profitable
without a strong commitment to continually marketing your product or service.You should implement
some form of Marketing Plan that includes doing something every day towards getting more customers
to your business.

2. Keep Your Costs Low.
Constantly assess your business expenses to find ways to reduce costs. Always negotiate with your suppliers,
for a lesser price. Money saved is money made. Don’t waste money on glossy, slick marketing materials
and expect customers to flock to you. Marketing materials should reflect your Brand and be of good quality,
and only used in conjunction with more effective forms of marketing such as networking, and setting up
Third Party Alliances.
3.Have A Good Sales System.
When we think of selling, we think of having to be pushy or dishonest. Having this attitude, allows many
profit-producing opportunities pass us by. If you find it difficult to “ask for the sale”, you can be sure that
you’re not bringing in as much money as you could be. Practice asking for the sale. Write your approach down
if you have to. Learn to handle any objections confidently.
4. Don’t Use Outdated Business Plans.
You must have heard the old saying that if you keep doing what you are doing you will keep getting the same
result. If something isn’t working in your business, then it’s best you look for a different way of doing it.
A good business owner has a mindset that is always challenging the way things are done in the business.If you
are serious about improving your business’ profitability, then taking action on these areas will help you make
more money.
5.Get Help If You Need It.
Most business owners have strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes the business owner often works in the areas
that they aren’t strong in. This not only builds inefficiencies, but potential loss of income in the business.
Don’t struggle on trying to do the stuff that you don’t do well. Every day with your business not running at
maximum efficiency, of course means dollars lost. Get a professional to help you sort out how to run your
business most effectively.
6. Use Your Existing Customer Base
Research shows that it is easier and cheaper to keep working with customers you already have, than to get new
customers into your business. If you are not following up with past customers on a regular basis, you are reducing
your profitability potential. Use automated email Marketing software like iContact and MailChimp.
7. Don’t Waste Time on Doing the Insignificant Tasks.
Every business owner knows that they waste a lot of time doing the wrong things. Don’t spend your day doing tasks which you could outsource. The best activity that you can participate in, is bringing in new business in the door.
8. Charge The Right Prices.
Working out the right prices that you should charge can be difficult especially to those in the service industry.
We often worry more about what competitors charge, that it deflates our enthusiasm in bringing more money into the business. You may feel embarrassed to ask what you are worth, and don’t value your time. You don’t have to justify any increase in your fees. One of the things I teach as a photography business coach is to review prices is a normal business practice,and contrary to our fears, the customer may willingly pay the increase. Sometimes a fee increase can attract a better class of customer.
http://www.berniegriffiths.com

#photographybusinesscoach
#photographybusiness

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Ultimate Facebook Advertising For Photographers

Just over 12 months ago while in my role as the world’s only full time, 365 days of the year, 24 hours a day photography business coach, and coaching many photographers around the world, I had this thought…. wouldn’t it be great if portrait and wedding photographers could easily get paying subjects in front of their cameras.
Getting customers is the biggest challenge photographers have and let’s face it, if we aren’t pressing that camera button, we aren’t making any money.

So with the clients I was coaching at the time we did heaps of test ads on Facebook, and after 3 months I finally came up with a method that guaranteed getting paying customers to their photography business.

We kept refining what we were doing and the results were amazing.

My clients began to make thousands of dollars from their small investments with Facebook advertising.

We had the magic wand, the silver bullet, the answer to the Facebook puzzle.

A simple inexpensive way to get paying clients.

I became really excited!

I felt I needed to get this out to all photographers around the world so I contacted Andrew Hellmich from PhotobizX, and asked him if I could go onto his podcast show so that I could spread the word about this amazing advertising magic.

He agreed to my request, and so I put out a Facebook Challenge to all the photographers listening to the podcast, to do a Facebook ad, and to do it exactly the way I detailed in the show.

Well that was over 12 months ago and since that time Andrew has been inundated with questions about “Bernies Facebook Challenge.”

Andrew has put together what I call the ULTIMATE FACEBOOK ADVERTISING GUIDE TO GET PAYING CUSTOMERS IN FRONT OF PHOTOGRAPHERS CAMERAS. FULL STOP.

Join Bernie’s Facebook Movement
In a nutshell, the course is a step by step tutorial on how to craft an ad to appeal to a photographers perfect target market (with lots of examples).

Also included are sample ads, questionnaires from members that are actually in use and everything a course purchaser will need to attract more leads, bookings and sales.
Following the post creation, there are videos showing how to set up your ad inside the ads manager and use the best targeting for fast results.

There are “role play” audio recordings demonstrating how to book the right clients for shoots and pass on the ones who are only after a free shoot and print.

Testimonials flowed in after my appearance on the podcast from those who had done it, and the results were amazing.

PBX Member James Westray says: “What a fantastic course… Super easy to breeze through and it’s all killer, no filler.”

“Just buy it, you will start making money as fast as you start phoning and shooting sessions”. Jerry Van

“Delighted to say I’ve just gone and booked a ‘destination’ wedding in Finland next year, off of one of my first FB Ad Challenge engagement shoots this weekend”. Darren Lehane

“I have followed Andrews instructions to the letter and in 24 hours I have 24 completed questionnaires, 2 wedding enquiries and the ad has been seen by 4,000 people. This stuff is gold. All for £20, and I have 6 days left to run”. Simon Hawkins

“I just wanted to drop you a message about the Facebook Ad Challenge! What the? My mind has been blown! The reach was over twenty thousand, nearly a hundred people applying for the shoot, three wedding enquires, and nearly a hundred page likes! I can’t wait to do the shoots, I’ve got people wanting pictures in tattoo studios because they are tattooists, people on dirt bike tracks, couples in the sea at sunset, and powder paint fights on the beach! Amazing! Honestly man, can’t thank you guys enough for putting this together.” Daz Mack

From a Facebook ad last month.

Check the stats above..14,620 people reached..51 shares..150 likes..129 comments.

Facebook ad cost was $50.

Ok…So You Want This Right?

Go HERE http://www.photobizx.com/berniegriffiths/16

Ok…You Want to Know How Much?

$47 for a very short while.

Who Is This For? It’s for YOU!

You have come this far so stop stalling and go to the link. http://www.photobizx.com/berniegriffiths/16

Being the world’s only full time, 365 days of the year, 24 hours a day photography business coach, I am telling you this works.

Do you need more complete photography busines strategies to grow your photography business?

Real Coaching. Real Photographers. Real results.

Go Here http://www.berniegriffiths.com

Photography Business Coach http://www.berniegriffiths.com

Enquiries….info@aswpp.com.au

#photographybusinesscoach
#businesscoach
#worldsbestphotographybusinesscoach

Bernie Griffiths
Bernie Griffiths
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Photography Business Targeted Marketing ‘is Everything’

Bernie Griffiths is a photography business coach, and he is certain the service he offers to wedding, portrait and family photographers is unique, with no one else in the world doing it quite like he does.

bernie0Bernie (pictured right) operates a photography coaching business with an emphasis on marketing strategies and creating successful business models. But what separates him from the touring seminars and other business coaches is that he corresponds one-on-one on a weekly basis with all his clients, and tailors the coaching program around photographers and their businesses.

‘The way I do the coaching is one-on-one. I don’t do group coaching or send a bunch of generic videos to clients. It’s a weekly, one-on-one ‘face-to-face’ Skype session,’ he told ProCounter. ‘What I offer is quite unique within the industry. Photographers running marketing seminars only teach others based on their own business and what has worked for them.

‘But every photographer comes from a different place, has different clientele, style, skill, and expectations. So I extract information and implement a pricing, selling, and photography structure for that particular business.’

Bernie opened his first and only wedding and portrait studio in Melbourne back in 1969 when he was 23, only to sell it three years ago when he decided a career change was in order. He doesn’t claim to have been overly skilled with a camera, but was in tune with how to market and promote his business. That’s what he sees as an art.

Because Kodak and other industry-related businesses sponsored his seminars during his photography career, becoming a full-time photography business coach seemed like a natural next step. And given his business was successful for a long timer, he figured a few tricks he learned along the way could be shared to help others make more money.

The vast majority of the 65 clients he has coached in the last three years are from Australia and New Zealand. Some are masters of photography looking to freshen up their business whereas others are completely new to the industry.

In total he estimates around $1 million in profit has been generated for clients with his assistance.

The coaching is done in either a six or 12-month program which involve a weekly hour-long session. Specific tasks for the photographer are set, and those taking the 12-month program have a two-day visit from Bernie – be it in a studio, or a desk and chair crammed in the corner of a home office.

Given Bernie believes no two businesses are the same, it can be difficult for him to be specific about challenges wedding and portrait photographers face. However he’s noticed a few areas where photographers can improve: ‘New photographers generally fall short because of their ‘non-actions,’ he said.

‘They have to learn a lot of new skills – as I did when I became a full-time coach. First and foremost they have to know how to use their camera and post-processing software, but there is also an art in learning how to market, and sometimes I find they don’t follow through with actions.’

What he means is that photographers aren’t reading the ‘business manual’. Instead, and like many of us, they just hastily rip open the box, throw the instruction manual aside and try to figure it out on their own. Only later, after a few mistakes, will they come back to it and take the time to learn how to run a business.

Bernie makes photographers accountable for their business, he said. Here he is with Fi Mims at her studio in St. Kilda, Melbourne.

Bernie makes photographers accountable for their business, he said. Here he is with Fi Mims at her studio in St. Kilda, Melbourne.

Spending less is more
When it comes to marketing, Bernie recommends spending as little money as possible. The best way to do this is by posting consistently on social media to draw attention to the brand. It’s cost-effective but obviously has limited reach and, frankly, everyone does it.

But marketing can also be a little more creative.

‘Starting a third party alliance with a business or organisation can be really handy and cheap, and I’ve noticed a lot of the successful, big studios do this. Let’s use car dealerships as an example,’ he said.

‘Make an agreement where each time the local dealership sells a car, have them send the customer a letter saying “As a thank-you we’ve organised a family portrait session with the area’s leading portrait photographer, with a print included at the value of $600”.’

But strategically targeting the right market is important. A photographer at the high-end of the market will yield better results by partnering with a Mercedes or Lexus dealership than, say, a Holden or Toyota dealership. Someone like Yervant or Rocco Ancora would be best suited with a Maserati or Ferrari dealer – ‘targeting is everything’.

For photographers in regional areas of Australia in particular, these strategies can prove hugely successful once word-of-mouth spreads.

bernie2

New and up-and-coming wedding photographers often base their pricing off what others are doing – but that’s not always a wise strategy!

Perceived value creates opportunities
Pricing is another area Bernie finds photographers struggle with because, again, many base it on what other photographers recommend.

He suggests to clients that they adopt a system of collections or packages, ‘perceived value is very important and creates opportunities to upsell’.

‘One of my client’s wedding packages averages around $10,000. He does this because he only does albums – no shoot-and-burn coverages. His incoming price is around $3000, but when the clients come in for the album design he sells about $7000 more. He uses the files at a lever to encourage clients to go with the upgrade.’

Given customers cannot resist the temptation of digital files, making the more expensive packages the ones with digital files can push a client to spend more.

‘It’s common for clients to specifically want digital files rather than prints. It’s a product that they want,’ he said. ‘So knowing that, perhaps offer prints in the cheaper collections, and then offer some files in the slightly more expensive collection. And the fourth collection – the most expensive – offer all the files. We know what the consumer wants, and if that’s files, we can encourage them up the ladder so they spend more money.’

Resist the trends!
Lastly he thinks too many photographers – particularly those entering the industry as part-time professionals – tend to copy or mimic other photographers, rather than testing out what works for them.

When it comes to things like shooting style and locations, too many photographers follow the leader, making it harder for potential clients to differentiate one from the other. Ultimately they start making decisions based on prices.

There's far less professional portrait photographers who operate their own studio these days.

Far fewer professional portrait photographers operate from their own studio these days.

At the moment the trend (latest fad?) among portrait photographers he’s noticed is to shoot at a client’s home with a documentary, black-and-white style. (Possibly because fewer photographers have their own studio and this keeps overheads low.)

Throughout his career Bernie said that when a trend emerged he’d resist it – when the majority started shooting portraits in the outdoors, he put more focus on the studio.

Bernie said he is currently running at 80 percent capacity with his coaching business.

He told ProCounter that not all photographers will benefit or be able to work with him and he will be upfront with a cashback guarantee.if that’s the case.

Photography Business Coach Bernie first appeared on ProCounter’s radar earlier this year when he was interviewed about National Family Portrait Month, a charity-based event he organised with the aim of raising the profile of professional family portraiture in Australia. (And… possibly his own business!)

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Photography Business Coach..Why You Need One.

SIGNATURE PLUS COACHING PROGRAM

Accountable – Measurable – Proven

http://p1.pagewiz.net/signaturepluscoachingprogram/

Many Portrait Photographers around the world struggle with their Photography Business with the increased competition and lack of customers.

Without customers there are no sales and no money!

I have spoken to photographers who are either trying to start their business or re-invigorate an existing business which is not getting results.

There is a common theme – photographers are passionate about their photography but are frustrated that they can’t get enough good customers to sustain a viable business.

They need help to reinvent the way that they do things.

This personalised step-by-step 12 month Program will get you “bums on seats” and teach you marketing principles to help grow your photography business.

Why sit by the phone waiting for it to ring?

Get more paying customers now.

How much money are you losing right now using your own marketing methods?

Wouldn’t it be great to have your camera in your hands, and be doing what you are passionate about?

What You Get

A personal full 12 month “One on One ” Coaching Program.

Includes weekly one hour Skype ” face to face” sessions with Photography Business Coach Bernie Griffiths.

Learn What the Top Photography Studios Do To Make Them so Successful.

A full day studio visit at no extra charge after 6 months.

Private Facebook Support Group Page.

Facebook Posts, Blog, and Newsletters done for you for 3 months.

PLUS BONUS unlimited  Email and Phone Support.

The Cost?

Get access to this comprehensive business for photographers program … and start developing everything you need to finally get customers, and revive your business.

 

SUPER EASY MONTHLY PAYMENT PLAN

I’m confident that the Signature Plus Coaching Program will grow your business.

I  also know that if you follow the steps that I give you, and you do the work, you will have more customers than ever before.

Are You Serious?

I have coached many photographers over the years from those with many years as big studio owners, to photographers who are working part time.

Most photographers I speak to seem to have similar challenges to overcome.

Their cash flow is not showing any signs of growth.

They are spending all of their time in their business and no time working on their business.

Having trouble getting enough customers.

They feel guilty spending too much time at work and not enough with your family.

Most customers don’t value their photography.

They want to take your business to the next level but are not sure which direction to go.

If you relate to a lot of these challenges, then this Program is for you.

I Had To Get Serious About Marketing!

Many years ago, long before Digital, Selfies, Facebook, Lightroom, SEO, and Photoshop, I had a super successful wedding/portrait business.

My business stood strong through good and bad economic times.

It even survived a long recession period.

I had that same successful Photography business for over 40 years.

As the sole income stream it provided me with a good income to bring up my two kids in private schools, have regular holidays, meet amazing people, and enabled me to do what I loved…Photography and Marketing.

When I had a camera in my hand I always felt an adrenaline rush, but I felt at home.

The Marketing side of the business also excited me.

I learned early on in my business that if I didn’t do any or enough Marketing, my business would die.

Understanding Marketing is the key to your business success, not just in the short term, but more importantly in the long term.

I’m looking for particular photographers who are committed to taking their photography Business up to the next level.

Photographers that I can guide with all my years of experience, toward a financially sound business future.

If that’s you, I want to personally work with you in your business to help you get over the obstacles that are holding you back.

I know that you may find it hard to believe at present, but I believe that you can achieve so much more in your business.

Having owned a successful Photography studio for over 40 years, I have some good insights into how to do the right things, and not waste time and money on the wrong things.

You may have spent time and money on books, seminars, webinars and education over many years. That’s all good, but with me by your side as your Mentor, your journey to business success will be accelerated.

What Have You Got To Lose!

One of the important things I’m going to do for you is to create a few steps to help bring customers to your business.

I will also guide you through  Marketing strategies that you can implement straight away into your business to attract loads of new customers….Guaranteed!

As we progress to the end of this12 month program ………….

You’ll be more motivated.

You will Learn Proven Marketing strategies.

Start Turning Customers into Cash.

Have More Time For Yourself And Your Family.

Think about this…

Lots of photographers are finding it tough out in the marketplace.

There is a lot of competition out there from cheaper photographers.

Running a successful business has changed rapidly, and a totally new approach is needed to keep up. I will guide, with proven systems, and a way to create success and fulfilment in your business.

Do You Understand Marketing?

You may be a good Photographer, but in order to have a successful business, you need to have a clear understanding of what Marketing is, what you do, and what you need to do to be successful.

More and more photographers are working from home, and this trend is set to continue into the future, as more and more photographers take control of their passion for photography to create a small profitable business.

Photographers are willing to juggle their business and family life for a more simplified lifestyle that can bring rich rewards.

Photography is your Passion? 

Do you like the thought of having more spare time? How about just working the hours that you want?

Having a holiday whenever you feel like it?

Making a great income?

Working the hours that you want?

Earning lots of money?

Starting a photography business without any training, and very little capital, can be daunting.

The photographers that succeed in the industry are good at marketing and promotion, and not necessarily masters of photography

You don’t need to spend tons of money on Marketing and Google Adwords.. in fact, everything I will show you is either at a very little cost or is completely free.

Who Is This For?

The program is only suitable for photographers who are looking to progress their business, by focussing on Marketing, and putting in the necessary work.

You will receive the best results of this program by putting in the effort, and turning thought into action. But trust me, it will be worth all the effort!

You must be willing to have an open mind and you may have to change some of the things that you’re currently doing.

The truth is.. if what you’re doing now isn’t getting you the results you want, it probably never will. To get better results you need to start doing things differently.

I want to share with you the Marketing that I have learned, not only in my own 40 years of running a successful photography studio, but what I have learned as a Coach and Mentor  hundreds of other photographers.

There is an old saying that says “You don’t know what you don’t know”. Learning the shortcuts and what does work will save you heaps of time and effort, and loads of money, in wasted attempts at trying to get it right yourself.

In fact it could take you many years to get the number of customers that you want who will pay the price that you are asking.

This program can “Fast Track” your learning on how to market your photography to get heaps of customers, who are happy to pay good money for your photography.

The Key that Makes This Program Unique.

This is a personalised program “one on one.”

I’ll be there to help you throughout the whole Program.

You’ll get 1 full hour with me LIVE by Skype, where I can get your top questions answered, and also guide you and teach you the strategies that you need to learn for your success.

I’ll provide powerful coaching and feedback to help you and show you exactly what to do.

There are lots of mentoring programs out there but this one is unique. It is truly  “one on one”.

You will have me right next to you, holding you by the hand, and showing you exactly how to apply the strategies for your business.

It’s exactly what I would be doing with my higher priced clients with my Coaching Programs. I will personally answer each of your individual questions!

Imagine having someone who has had over 40 years of experience of doing what you are trying to do.

Think of the amazing clarity and direction you’ll have by doing his program.

What other Photographers saying about my Photography BusinessCoaching.

“Facebook ads/boosts had been a disaster until the Bernie Griffiths episode, I now feel like I could sell ice to Eskimos using Facebook.”  Derek Anston

“Have booked about 10 sittings from the Facebook promo that you suggested.

I have had an amazing week of sales all over $2000, our first sale from the Facebook response made it to $2000 and were just wrapped & excited at the arketing results”……. Marie Raconnello

“The feeling for me from being stationary (and let’s be fair, stagnant) to building some momentum, seeing desired outcomes and making progress is a brilliant one. Monetary benefits aside, the psychological benefits of this forward movement are invaluable as every step forward brings a sense of achievement. No matter how big or small they are successes and I’ve developed a taste for it such that any set back (or learning opportunity) just motivates me further to turn it in to success, not just by thinking but by doing.

I have you to thank for that. You’ve helped me build this momentum and together we will build it further. I guess another important point is you’ve not only shown me where the accelerator is but you are also teaching me how to steer”  Brook Durling

“Jill just did the first sale from the Babies Wanted campaign – $3490 !!! It was from the window. Another client saw it & told her friend to ring me ! Have booked 4 so far…,Very happy.” Carol Gibbons

“Last week I interviewed Bernie Griffiths, a photography coach who helps photographers attract clients and make sales. Anyway, he put forward a challenge to the listeners and me. The challenge: construct a FB post, boost it and get more bookings than ever before. I’ve done this a heap of times already but have never seen the success I did this week!

Bernie explained exactly what to put in the post, no need to guess anything. Super simple stuff.

I ran my ad one week ago today and paid $30 to boost the post. My results so far have blown me away!

40 Enquiries about the shoots, 17 confirmed bookings, 14 potential clients we’ve left messages for and are yet to hear from 9 potential clients to call back following voice mail messages they’ve left for us over the weekend.

I’m sure the number of shoots will be in the high 20’s once all the contacts have been exhausted.

Listen to the interview with Bernie………………….  http://photobizx.com/Book+More+Portrait+Photography+Sessions

P.S Linda (my wife and studio manager) just emailed me that second… “booked another 4…  that’s 21 all up”       Andrew Hellmich….. Photobizx

“Facebook ads/boosts had been a Facebook.”

Derek

 

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The Home-based Photographer

Working From Home

More and more photographers are working from home, and this trend is set to continue into the future, as more and more photographers take their hobby into a new world of small business. Photographers are willing to juggle their business and family life for a more simplified lifestyle that can bring rich rewards if handled correctly.

However, a business at home does have many challenges. Small business owners, have been hit hard over the last few months as power bills, petrol prices, food prices, and just about everything else has reached record price highs.

The home-based photographer is rapidly becoming the boom industry of this new era. More and more people are opting to change their lifestyles, as more and more mothers become skilled in taking good photographs. Working from home has great benefits, but can also have its price.

Working from home, changes your entire life. Your castle, and your family’s once safe sanctuary, becomes a multi purpose abode, trying to be all things to all purposes, and can effect all of those around you.

Your work life can easily spill over to your personal life. Your home now becomes your place of business where receiving client visits, and telephone calls, becomes mixed with your family demanding attention.

In making your decision to work from home, you have to realise that your personal or home life could intrude on your work, and vice versa. Your child may grab the phone to answer a wedding enquiry, or your dog or cat may come to the door when a client comes to do business with you. Your husband may wonder why you are so tired every night, or why you sit in front of the computer for hours on end.

A major concern in working from home is the total loss of privacy.

Your privacy is compromised when you are bringing clients into your home on a daily basis. Complete but invited strangers will find out about your children and family, your pets, and your lifestyle.

The fact is that working from home is hard, and more than ever, discipline is needed to push you to focus on your work. 

The Good News!

The good news is that working from home can provide you with a fulfilling career, while being constantly around the family. There are many other benefits of course, and the best one is that if carefully planned and executed, your business can give you a great income.

The Joys of having your Own Photography Business

 Photography is your passion?

So why do you want to have your own photography business?

Do you like the thought of having more spare time?

How about just working the hours that you want?

Having a holiday whenever you feel like it?

Making a great income?

Working the hours that you want?

Earning lots of money?

Like owning your own business?

See more of the kids?

Having freedom?

Running A Photography Business Is Not Easy.

This is what a lot of photographers have told me. Especially when you are isolated in a country area, or run the business on your own. It can be lonely. It is not easy. Running a business from home can also be stressful, with the added pressures of balancing family life.

The market place is also very competitive, with photographers opening up on seemingly every street corner.

Starting a photography business without any training, and very little capital, can also be daunting. I have seen over my forty years of owning a studio, some photographers become millionaires, while others have failed.

What is the secret of success? I believe that everyone has the secret hidden inside of them, but sometimes they just need that spark or inspiration to start the “ fire of success.”

The one key ingredient for success is passion. Not being able to see failure. Your passion will drive you. This book is the road for your passion to drive along.

One of the weaknesses I often see in home studios is that they believe in the old saying ”build it and they will come.” This is no longer applicable in today’s highly competitive market place. Especially in the wedding and portrait market areas, where there are literally hundreds of small photography home studios, in large and small towns all over Australia.

The photographers that succeed in this industry are masters of marketing and promotion, and not necessarily masters of photography. They have also made the effort to seek the help and advice from an experienced and qualified photography business coach or consultant.

Here are the top 8 challenges that you may experience if you chose to work out of home.

 

  1. Not being taken seriously.

A common concern of most home-based photographers is whether their customers will consider their business a real one, rather than just a hobby that they are making a bit of money from. They think that their customers may feel that the business is not legitimate.

Home businesses are generally seen as part time concerns, and therefore their professional image and credibility suffers. They are not taken seriously! Although this perception exists, the business owner should do everything that they can to change this. This can be done by presenting a strong professional business image, not only in the physical appearance of the home, but more importantly in the way that the business is conducted. The way that you treat the customer, together with strong branding, advertising, and business practices, will go a long way to justifying working from home. Your own mindset is also paramount in having a strong profitable photography business

Separating work and family life.

When a photographer makes a decision to work from home they feel that one of the advantages is that they can be there for the kids, but this can be an enormous disadvantage as well. The daily household chores, picking up and dropping off kids, and working around sleep times of smaller children, can be a great source of distraction in running your business.

As everyone knows, there is always something to do around the home, especially when you have kids. It is very hard to talk professionally to a customer over the phone, with a two year old screaming in the background, or trying to photograph someone else’s children, while yours are fighting in the other room. Handling two or more different roles under the one roof, can create challenges and difficulties, as you juggle the demands of both your home and your business.

Lack of space.

The setting-up of a home business is made easier if you have a large house, and you can separate spaces for the business. Lack of space can be a concern if you are living in a small house or an apartment.

Compromising some of your family space can be quite confronting, but this is a trade off that you sometimes may have to accept. A separate entrance for the business would be ideal, and just thinking through the problem and discussing it with someone outside of th immediate business can often bring a solution.

Working too much or procrastinating.

When working from home, there is always the constant temptation to work long hours. You shouldn’t feel guilty if you check and answer emails in the evening when the kids are in bed. If you are passionate about your photography and are constantly working on growing your business, you should work hard. Only if working too much intrudes on  and effects your family life negatively, should you re-evaluate your work ethic.

The opposite of working too much, is procrastinating on work related tasks.

There is an unlimited amount of things that you could do around the home instead of doing work related things. Failure to keep up with your work-load could amplify and create a massive problem in a very short space of time.

Another potential problem is spending too much time on tasks which you enjoy and may not be generating income and neglecting the tasks you don’t.

Lack of privacy.

Even if you have your own private business space in your home, privacy and security is always a concern. You also need to keep the whole house tidy, just in case the customer has to walk through your house to go to the toilet.

Some customers can be annoying if they knock on your door at all hours of the day and night. You must make it clear to your customers that you work strictly by appointment, and are not available at other times. Your customers will appreciate your professionalism in this regard.

 Strain on family relationships.

Be sure that your family understands what it takes to operate a home business. Talk to your husband or wife and ask for their support, and explain to the children your need to be given time to work for the business.

Some members of your family may resent the fact that while you stay in the house for most of the day, your attention is not focused on them. However, be sure also to know when to stop working for your business and start living as part of the family. Your family and kids need your attention, and of course housework, friends, and even pets, can demand your attention at different times. Working at home can be very hard if you have a newborn baby or three or four small children who always demand your full and complete attention.

You can feel isolated.

If you are the sole worker in your home business, you may feel isolated and often lonely. It can be a confronting and solitary existence, when you are dealing with customers, phone calls, emails, and the photography, without having someone to share your experiences, or ask advice. The isolation can become quite intense, especially if you have a naturally outgoing personality.

Self discipline can become hard with no one looking over your shoulder. Failing to maintain a tight time management regime, and not being able to control and handle your feeling of isolation, will make it very hard to achieve success in your business.

Lack of experience

When a photographer commits to working from home in the hope of making some money from their passion, the one thing they lack is the knowledge and experience of how to control and maximize the way in which they conduct their business. Many of these photographers may be like yourself, a mother/father and wife/husband first, and a business person second. Taking that transition in becoming a business person may be difficult to handle, if you have not had any training in setting up and running a business.

Experience of course can only come with time. Time will allow you to learn. The question of course, is whether the things that you learn are the most effective and profitable way, of going about it.

Attending seminars and workshops held by other photographers may motivate you and help you take better photographs, but may not give you the individual and specific answers to your particular circumstances. I’ve attended heaps of seminars and workshops, and what I found was that they gave me short-term inspiration, but did not put any money into the bank. Only practical advice from and experienced and readily available mentor or consultant can achieve this.

Every photographer working from home, has their own individual and personal challenges. These challenges need to be addressed individually with their own unique circumstances taken into consideration.

Solving the problems.

So what’s the secret to growing your photography business despite the tough economy, and the challenges of working from home?

Any business whether large or small is mainly about solving day to day problems. Getting more customers, increasing sales, lowering overheads, staff relationships, and maximizing the efficiency of work spaces, are all focused on to improve profitability. A micro business that is operated from home by a single person, has the same issues to resolve. What you may need is a viable and long term business model.

You need to develop business systems which cost very little time, money and energy, together with sourcing help and guidance in integrating them into your business. In other words, a business model that puts money into your account regularly, year after year.

I have consulted with many photography businesses over many, many years, and have seen the effects of the pressure that it can have. I have seen marriages break down, uncontrolled debt, and legal proceedings, all happen with bad business practices.

Identifying and resolving problems

Swiftly identifying and resolving any problems within the business, whether they be customer complaints or financial issues, is hugely important. A photographers dream can quickly become a nightmare, if the problem is not identified and immediate action taken to diffuse it. Alternately ask for help from a business coach or consultant. You can get my free report on working from home, which gives more in depth answers to the questions above. info@aswpp.com.au

The rewards of good business management are well worth the effort. Those who succeed enjoy freedom, lots of quality family time, and have great holidays.          Photography Business Case  Case Studies

 Working from Home and Life Balance.

Sally is married with two gorgeous four and six year old daughters. She was a school teacher for thirteen years, but always had a love of photography. She and her family live in an outer suburban town in Victoria with a population of around 300,000.

When her husband was made redundant, they decided, after many lengthy discussions, that Sally would start a photography business. Their plan was to run the business from home, and then maybe later move to a shopfront. Sally was to operate all aspects of the business, while her husband was to look after the children. They had a small amount of savings that would sustain them for a while, and if things didn’t work out as planned, Sally could go back to teaching. Their plan went well, and after two years they were making enough money to support the family.

Business Breakdown

Then they had a problem. Although business was fairly good, they became increasingly nervous about the future. Although Sally was working from home she was spending less time with her children, and her relationship with her stay at home husband was becoming increasingly strained. Her youngest child also began to have behavioural issues, due to Sally not spending enough time with her.

The Solution

 It was at this point that Sally called me asking for my help. I have consulted with many photographers who have encountered similar problems. Sally’s intense focus on the business, meant that she was placing her family secondary in her priorities. This of course, was in turn, putting pressure on her husband, as he had to spend more and more time with the children.

The first thing that I did was to ask Sally and her husband to sit down with a twelve month planner. I then asked them to select dates for family holidays, and other events that would be dedicated family time. This could be as simple as a walk in the park or a family barbecue or picnic in a park. I encouraged them to let their children participate in this family time exercise, so that they could make some suggestions of what they would like to do.

Now that they had set the family time, any business time would have to be planned around this. So now family time had priority.

Solving Business Issues

My next step was to go through all of the business elements that Sally had put into place with her business model. She had done quite a good job of this, but did not know how to lift the business to the next level. Together we looked at the types of products that she was offering to her customers, the pricing, the way that she did her selling, and the way that she photographed. We then reviewed her advertising and promotion strategies.

I then implemented changes in all of these areas. I introduced a new product which unique to her photography business and separated her from others. I raised the prices of the rest of her products, and trained her in my unique photography selling system.

I gave her new ways of attracting customers, with different types of promotions and together we set some realistic financial and family goals. I also helped Sally to re-brand the business, so that it would attract a better type of clientele.

The introduction of my Pop Up Studio http://www.popupstudio.com.au solved the problem of not having enough room in the house to set up a studio.

We communicated weekly by Skype and in a very short time Sally and her family were “back on track.”

One year later the business continues to grow and Sally now employs three part time employees to help with the workload. Her portrait sittings are consistent each week, and her weddings have increased by thirty percent.

The family has had a long holiday in Fiji, and their new work and life balance plan is working well. They are financially strong and managing to save money each week, and I am continuing to help and guide them. 

Photography Business Coach Case Study 2

 A Single Mom

 Jane is a single mom with a fourteen year old daughter. She lives in a rented house in a small regional city in Victoria with a population of 29,000. The main industry in the area is farming.

Jane was a photographer, working for a studio, when her partner of three years decided to end the relationship. The only skill that she knew was photography, and so she decided to try and support herself and her daughter by taking photographs. She began photographing kindergartens and child care centres, as well a few portraits and a few weddings. She ran the business from her home.

Lack of Money

 Jane was able to sustain an income for a number of years, but not enough to create any savings. She lived a financially controlled lifestyle, and never went on any holidays. Things changed dramatically for Jane when digital cameras came onto the market. Now almost anyone could produce quality images and get them printed at ridiculously cheap prices. Jane’s income declined dramatically. She had no idea how to advertise or promote her photography, to lift herself out of her financial burden.

 The Photography Business Coaching Consultation

 Jane called me and told me of her desperate plight. I drove the three hours to her home and started the process of finding a solution to help Jane to get more customers and create better sales. I looked at her photography, and saw that this could be improved. She was photographing all of her customers at outside locations.

The digital world had caught up to her, as moms and dads were taking perfectly acceptable photographs in an outdoor environment with their digital cameras. Jane’s problem was that there was not enough difference between how she was photographing, and how they were photographing. I suggested firstly that she change her photography style and create a defined brand. I set up some simple studio lighting in a spare bedroom, and complimented that with a couple of modern backgrounds. After I had given her instruction on how to get the best from the studio set up, we sat down and looked at the other areas of her business.

Linda’s Story

I am so excited! I love photography and two years ago I started a business from home. I just did portraits of children and did a “shoot and burn“, offering a CD of images for $175. After a little mindset change and going through a lot of learning curves, and after making some hard decisions, I am now charging closer to my real worth, and I am regularly selling nearly $1000 per sale. I have also had quite a few sales even higher than that.

What it took me so long to learn, was that people will pay a lot more, than what you think you are worth.

I used to photograph a lot of sessions a week, and I thought that I was making good money. But the time and effort involved was just not worth it.

I was just about to give my photography passion away, and go back to my previous job as an administration officer for the local council, when a close friend who was also a photographer, suggested I contact Bernie at The Australian School of Wedding Photography and see if he could help me.

I didn’t have much hope that anyone could help me, as I am no good at selling, so I could not see any way out of my situation as I only knew Shoot and Burn. I would show my customers their images on my computer and then give them the CD, and they would leave.

I organized to have a free Sype session with Bernie. He asked me lots of questions, and then suggested that he could help me in the key areas that I was lacking.

One was that I needed to stop Shoot and Burn, and start selling wall portraits. Then to design a structured price list, and then to adopt a simple selling system.

The structured price list was the most important thing. Once I had that, all I would have to do, was to adopt Bernie’s unique, and easy selling system. I would show the customer the products that I have for sale, go through all of the prices, and sit back to let them make their own decisions. Simple really. But it worked!

Having an effective photography pricing strategy, combined with a simple selection of products to sell, resulted in less work and a lot more money.

By the way, I understand if you’re charging less than $35 each for your Gift Prints (8×10 and smaller). Those were the prices that I had been charging. All I can say is that you are probably cheating yourself, because I know from my own experience that the customer is willing to pay heaps more than you think.

If you love what you do, and are passionate about your photography, sometimes you forget about the money. You take photographs because you love it. It could be the only thing that you have found that you are really good at. I just got so tired of working so hard and having no money in the bank.

I have spent the time, money, energy, and then even more of my time to take better photographs, so why was I giving it away?

Yes it was scary at first trying to lift my self worth and lift those prices up. But when I did, my customers respected me more, and raved about their photographs.

My advice would be to get rid of that nervous and devalued mentality, if you have it, and get help to develop a photography pricing plan and selling structure that will take you to developing a strong home business.

Be strong – do it for you and your family!

Call Photography Business Coach Bernie for a free consultation like I did. Better now than never.

+61 0418509228

Photography business coach

   TESTIMONIAL

Sara Taylor Photography http://www.sarataylorphotography.com.au

Working through consulting programs with Bernie has taken my business far and beyond what I thought ever possible!

Not only has he world of experience in the actual craft of photographs but his focus on the business of photography and getting the fundamental of business practice spot on is exceptional and totally inspiring.

When I contact Bernie he swiftly took a snapshot of my business as it was operating, suggesting some quick fixes that could be implemented straight away to assist with efficiency of running the business on a day to day basis.

Over the next 3 months we worked together on implementing a number of marketing programs, restructuring my products and prices, implementing a sales system along with growing the business with additional part time employees. The result was an array of structured business systems which could be employed across a variety of clients and situations, along with a more than a 75% increase in my average portrait sale. The business structures allowed me to spend less time working in the business and more time working on the business, and having more time with my family.

One of the best things about working with Bernie is that he is a straight shooter – no nonsense, just effective ways to improve and enhance your business of photography and your photography itself. As he has been running his own successful business from the time I was born (!) he has experienced all there is to experience and is willing to share his knowledge to assist others to take their businesses above and beyond. He is always easy to contact and reliable which when working business to business is essential.

Consulting with Bernie has changed not only my business life, but my family life. I am now making really good money in my business, and am looking forward to the two week, five star family holiday coming up soon.

I could not have achieved such freedom, or such financial reward without Bernie’s guidance.

I have been awarded 2 silver and a Gold Award in the Australian Professional Photography Awards. At my first attempt at entering photography competitions. Under Bernie’s direction, I also won the Micro Business of the Year Award in my local community- testament to the fact that Bernie really knows his stuff, from the photography side to the business side.

Sara    http://www.sartaylorphotography.com.au

 

 A BRAND NEW SOLUTION

Through the magic of SKYPE, I am talking “face to face” with photographers around Australia, and helping them with all of their business needs. We talk on a weekly or fortnightly basis. Using Skype means that I can show photographers solution to problems, as well as talk to them about their creation of more business, pricing, customer problems etc.

There is also the commitment of meeting on a regular basis, giving inspiration and motivation.

SKYPE CONSULTING

Bernie has had over 40 years experience owning a successful wedding, portrait studio, still operating in Malvern, Victoria. He is a “down to earth“ person who can relate to all areas of your wedding /portrait business. He has walked the path as a wedding/portrait photographer, and knows the frustrations and day to day challenges.

Skype Consulting includes “one on one” consultation by Skype, which is a “face to face”  with Bernie, over a period of time. FREE Memberships PLUS an added BONUS of Complimentary seminars and events.

CALL Bernie on 0418509228 or email info@aswpp.com.au or Skype  bernie.griffiths