Own business is never part-time. If you decided to quit your day job in favor of photography, be prepared to a rather intimidating experience called entrepreneurship. Fear not though, as this experience is also extremely interesting, and as long as you take time to do research and create a game plan, the results won’t keep you waiting.
As an entrepreneur currently developing a software product for photographers, I have a great opportunity to connect with many photographers from different countries, and share our experiences. Many of them are taking their first steps in the photography business with mistakes, discoveries, and a lot of coffee coming along.
In this post I’m sharing with you some basic tactics to follow while taking the career of your lifetime off the ground. These are the lessons that my fellow photographers learned after making their mistakes.
If you haven’t yet made your business plan, this article will help you revisit the aspects to give your business a boost and turn it into success. In case you’re not a newbie, you could use it as a checklist for your current photography marketing strategy.
1. Understand Your Market
As soon as you decided to establish your photography business, do a thorough market research and single out the sector(s) of it with the highest potential. What is the competition in your local area? Can your market support your prices? Is there enough demand for a certain photography genre you mainly shoot in? These and other questions are supposed to help you ensure that you’re putting your energy, time, and budget into the right niche.
2. Create a website that works
I really like the tip from a well-known fashion photographer Reka Nyari which suggests beginner photographers to set up a website as soon as they have a few images they are proud of. Indeed, these days if you’re serious about making money out of your photography, a professional online portfolio is a must. That’s why an intuitive photo website builder is one of the key features of Defrozo, the free photography marketing platform my team and I are developing.
We believe that an effective site should be easy to manage, versatile in customization, and work well for converting visitors into leads and customers. But how exactly can that be achieved on your photo website? Well, among the key things to pay attention to when creating your online portfolio or blog are:
3. Impress them!
Yes, that’s not an easy task in the over saturated market of photography services, but if you want your clients to be happy and referrals come your way, you have to WOW them. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel – keeping your promises and delivering more once in a while is often quite enough to leave a positive impression and make people recommend you.
Always stay on the lookout for the latest trends and tools in social media and marketing, and think how you could apply them to your business. For instance, online client galleries are becoming a popular way for photographers to deliver their final product to customers, but too many photographers are still burning those DVDs just because they don’t bother checking what’s new in town.
4. Stop referring to yourself as a photographer only
If you’re serious about making money from your photography, you need to realize you’re just as much an entrepreneur as a photographer. Focusing solely on the creative side of things is a shortcut to failure. So turn on the “pushy suit guy” mode and promote your name! Never forget about such things as high-quality business cards, network building, and client relationship management. All your clients are your potential marketers, so make sure you’re on top of the game when it comes to customer service. Learn how to approach social media the right way (the one that engages your followers and turns them into clients). Just posting your work in every social network is not enough these days. Give your audience relevant, valuable content and they will reward you with click-throughs, inquiries, and bookings.