Your Photography Business: The following 8 bits of advice can and will, make a huge difference in the way you look at your photography website, finances and business in general.
It really isn’t very difficult to start a business as a photographer, especially today. Generating a stable income and sustaining it, that’s a completely different story. There’s a huge difference between shooting as-and-when, earning bits here-and-there and building a business that can generate enough income month-on-month, year-on-year. If you are looking to really make a go of it, or maybe you’ve been at it for a few years; the following bits of advice can and will, make a huge difference in the way you look at your business.
In 2012 Photoshelter shared a free Photography Business Plan Workbook, back then I downloaded it for myself and found the tips and advice to be extremely helpful. The information they shared is as relevant today as it was two years ago. They discuss topics like Fixing Your Finances, Tuning-up Your Website or Following up on Old Clients. Sure some of you might think “well I know that already”, or “I don’t have to worry about SEO because my website is doing that for me”. Fair enough, but breathing new life into your business and maybe getting a fresh perspective on your approach has never hurt anyone right?
The video at the top of this page looks at Defining Your Products and Services, the rest of the series you will find below. Photoshelter has updated the Photography Business Plan Workbook to a 2014 version, you can download it for free here. As always we love to hear from you, so if you have any tips you feel could be added to this list please share with us in the comment section below!
Define Your Products & Services (above)
Clients or potential clients appreciate when photographers exhibit a clear speciality. This is not to say that you can’t photograph a variety of different subjects, however limiting your scope will help you be more effective in the long run.
Identify Your Audience
This section asks you to really think about your intended audience and the relative size of that audience: Who are your potential customers? Is your audience big enough to sustain your business? These are important questions that you’ll need to consider in order to truly target your market and build a stronger photography business.
Create a Marketing Plan
Some of us start to break a sweat when we even hear the words “marketing plan”. There’s no need to get tripped up on terminology, it doesn’t have to be a very serious or formal. However, it is good to put together a list of current and future marketing activities, one that goes beyond posting on Facebook every now-and-again, or running an ad for 3 months on an industry-related blog. You can get smart about it, spread multiple campaigns through multiple channels and get noticed, sell photography and power your business.
Fix Your Finances
If your photography is your occupation, then you need to treat it like a job, not a hobby. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of money in, money out. Or using your personal bank account instead of a business account. If you want to be serious about your business it means maintaining a level of professionalism and accountability. There are several things that every business needs, and Photoshelter looks at those in Fix Your Finances.
Build Your SEO
SEO for photographers is no joke, if you aren’t employing the most basic SEO strategies (at the very least), then you’re selling yourself short. The goal of SEO is website traffic, as much of it as possible. You want clients and potential clients who are looking for your service or product to find YOU. Allen talks about three main areas that all photographers can focus on immediately to improve their website’s SEO.
Tune-up Your Website
Is your website a full-blown marketing tool or simply a display of beautiful images? It can be so much more!
Create an Advisory Board
Most photographers hanging out with a lot of other photographers, you discuss work, marketing tactics, pricing… chances are everyone is doing the same thing. You might have developed a narrow understanding of how other industries build successful businesses. An “Advisory Board” simply means spending time with people from other industries. Maybe you have a friend who is a business consultant or a social media marketer, sitting down with such a person with a different point of view could give you a new, fresh perspective, provide guidance and constructive criticism. Watch this video for Allen’s picks on what type of people you should consider for this group.
Follow Up With Old Clients
The last point in Allen’s Business Plan Workbook series is Follow Up With Old Clients. Assuming that in the past you’ve provided high-quality work with a smile, your old clients should be happy to refer you. This video offers tips for getting more work from existing clients.