Photography is a popular profession and hobby right now. If you have creative photography skills and want to own your own business, what can you do to stand out? It’s common for professional photographers to spend a lot of time researching the latest technical tips and tricks. However, our mundane day-to-day office tasks shouldn’t suffer because we are spending hours researching. In order for your business to really thrive, you need to step away from the camera and start looking at the business side of things. Here are some tips for success for your photography business.
Know Your Schedule
Think about when you have tried setting up an appointment. There is nothing more annoying than inquiring about someone’s schedule and having them say “Let me check my calendar and get back to you.” If you have a potential client inquiring about scheduling a shoot, don’t put them on hold. Professionals know their own schedules. While it is good to memorize what is coming up in the near future, you don’t need to memorize your whole schedule. When planning events or photoshoots, it is always good to have a planner in your bag or a calendar app on your phone. That way, you can be positive about what you have going on when scheduling new clients.
Respond To E-mails
Over time, our inboxes can start to look ridiculous. It’s important to keep up with your emails before they become too much to handle. It’s very tempting to look at an email and tell yourself “I’ll respond to it later.” Do yourself a favor and respond to emails and social media messages right away. With daily distractions, you may forget it even existed if you do not respond to it promptly. Plus, you may lose business when you find out they decided to hire someone else because you waited too long to reply.
While you’re at it, delete spam and save important emails. Designate folders for ongoing projects, projects that have finished, and prospective clients. Hang onto emails with specific dates and other important information. Referring to an archived email on your phone can save you from forgetting important details that you may be responsible for.
Market To The Right Crowd
Marketing is a key factor for the success of any business. However, so few of us really put that much into it. We often think that if we produce high-quality work, then our photography will speak for itself and clients will line up at our doors. However, that is not true. Like any good product or service, we need to take the time (and money) to market ourselves towards our potential clients. Establish connections in your community. Find out who your potential customers are and introduce yourself. Get the word out about your business. The more you promote your work on a daily basis, the better it will pay off over time.
Market your heart out by trying these things:
- Google Ads
- Generating Email Lists
- Maintaining a Blog
- Posting on Social Media
- Direct Mail
- Print Ads
- TV/Radio Ads
- Attending Industry Events
- Referral Plan
Set Goals And Create A Plan
Don’t wait until the end of the year to set new goals. It is never a bad time to work on improving yourself. Photography is a competitive market, so if you want to make it, you constantly have to work on improving your skills and your business. Think about two or three business-related goals and the time frame you want to accomplish them by. Then create a business plan of how you will meet your goal. This serves as a roadmap, describing what your business is, what changes you will make and how it will be profitable. More detailed business plans break down things like cash flow, expenses, ownership, and competition. However, if you are setting realistic goals, use your plan to make changes, write down results, and move closer to your desired outcome.
Print Your Images
There are many positive effects of printing your photos. By connecting with a print lab you trust, you can offer a wide range of products to your clients. Many labs offer press-printed products, which include greeting cards, posters, business cards and other related paper products. You can also choose to offer specialty products to your clients as well. Consider what you’ll want to be printing on. For example, if you know you’ll be providing canvas wraps, ensure that your photo lab can provide an outstanding version. With incredible print options, your clients will leave with their jaws on the floor.