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? Having freedom? Making a great income? Working the hours that you want?
When you become a professional photographer, you are no longer just a photographer! You are a marketer, salesperson, accountant, Photoshop and Lightroom expert, copywriter, customer relations person and business owner.
Your destiny is well and truly in your hands!
Photography is becoming increasingly competitive, so it’s essential to be savvy with your marketing to keep a constant flow of customers coming in the door.
Many people think they’re a professional photographer, but they cannot manage to maintain a steady flow of income.
Having creative talent is just not enough – there are too many struggling photographers, because photography can be a tough and competitive business.
Photography, like any business, requires a good marketing plan, expertise in handling customers and have good sales skills.
I have owned a photography studio specialising in weddings and portraits, for over 40 years, and now I am an International Photography Business Coach.
I feel that today’s photographers trying to break into the industry, do so without learning the basic business principles needed to succeed.
So many people pick up a camera and with little or no experience in the photography industry call themselves professional photographers, simply because someone commented on Facebook that they take amazing photos and could make money from it.
To experienced professionals, this is one of the leading causes of frustration as it creates a lack of respect for the industry.
There are many different ways that photographers operate their businesses. It may be from a commercial property or from home, but the principles for business success remains the same.
A solid business foundation is vital if you are starting a photography business if it’s to be successful in the long run.
So what constitutes a solid foundation?
My photography business coaching states that there are four key areas to focus on to give your photography business base it needs to facilitate growth.
photographer professional quality working in day
Credit: Clem Onojeghuo
You are trying to sell something intangible…something that doesn’t exist until you press the shutter and take the photographs, so you have to build trust.
What is positioning, and why is it so important?
It’s about Defining yourself and your business.
It’s about being professional in every aspect of your photography business.
We live in a world where we are exposed almost every minute with thousands of images, messages, ideas, and other peoples opinions.
As a photography business coach I feel you need to define yourself and your business so that you will feel more comfortable in your business and will have a clearer direction.
What is special about what you do, how you do it, what you believe in, and what you produce?
What makes you different from everyone else?
Do you offer a special service, or have a unique way of taking the photographs that give all of your images a DIFFERENT LOOK.
I know in the good old film days I used to use a square format Hasselblad camera but so did lots of other photographers, so I bought a Hasselblad X Pan camera, and I used to shoot panoramic images throughout a wedding.
In my advertising material and all of my displays, I used these photographs to give me a point of difference.
Do you have a specific genre that you photograph?
Maybe you have an unusual studio location like in a church, or maybe you are on a large acreage in the country.
The general public is more and more feeling that they don’t need a professional photographer.
Maybe it’s because of all the “selfies” and such being taken with phones – the style of photography people are looking for has changed.
Once you have your positioning in place, it is easier to choose the right products you want to sell.
With so many products available, like prints on fine art paper, framed collages of wall portraiture, boxes of matted prints, or silk canvas, you may find it overwhelming to try and pick the right products for your business.
Try to select Products that suit your Positioning and your Branding. In considering the types of products you should offer to your clients, it is also important to keep in mind the profit that you want to achieve. Could you maybe sacrifice a little bit of quality in buying a cheaper product, for more profit?
You just need to source a product that your particular target customer wants.
A lot of hard work needs to go into finding out what customers want, and this can be done by simply keeping a record of what each customer purchases, and then seeing what are the most popular products.
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