Updated: Sep 28, 2019
Deciding to finally go all the way and start up your own full-time photography business must have been hard. But you did.
Now let’s get down to business.
Learning the trade secrets in photography would go a long way in helping you grow your business as quickly as possible, especially in the fast-paced digital era.
Having chosen to become a full-time photographer, it's crucial to develop a perspective and a business strategy that would guide you.
There is more to becoming a successful photographer today than knowing how to build or identify a fantastic scene, shoot it, and edit — in most cases, even having the very best gear and years of experience can only take you so far. To achieve success and of course, make money from photography, you’ll have to develop work muscles that might likely not be intuitive to you as a Photographer but no less critical.
Here are some great tips that would help you jump start and grow your photography business
Have A Business Plan
Every successful business owns its success to a perfect plan. A business plan is a design draft that will guide you in building a solid foundation of your business, giving it a solid anchor.
By writing your business plan, you quickly outline for yourself your visions, goals, and framework with which you can use to operate your business.
A business plan gives you a clear path to your destination, helping set your business goals and work according to that outline.
Define your Niche
A mistake that most start-up photographers make in business is that they don't identify themselves as experts in one particular niche but would instead seem to be a jack of all trade. Every potential client would want to know the type of photographer you are, your style, and your ability to deliver on their specific needs.
The first thing you need to do while starting your photography business is to identify your niche.
You need to know if you are a wedding photographer or a food photographer or portrait photographer. Even in some cases, being more specific will help you go after your target market.
For example, food is an extensive niche. It includes restaurants, farmers, advertising agencies, and packaging for products.
It may seem counter-intuitive. But choosing a particular area to focus on is likely to speed up the growth of your client list.
Specializing in a niche would help you hone your skills better as every niche has its challenges. If you shoot landscapes in natural light, you will be faced with some challenges. If you’re a still life photographer working in a studio with a three-light setup, you’ll have a different set of challenges.
Stick to what you are passionate about shooting. And focus on the marketing efforts that make the most sense for your business.
Build An Online Presence:
Building and developing your online presence is an indispensable tool to help you grow faster in the photography business.
The internet is the photographer’s best friend and when appropriately utilized, has the capacity of exponentially growing your photography business. Every photographer that wishes to expand his business should learn how to use the following platforms:
Website: Once you have decided to go into the photography business, you’ll need an attractive and impressive website as it would serve as your storefront.
So, the best move would be to hire a professional web designer to build an innovative and creative website with photographic style.
Your website is like a showcase of your work which your customers will visit to see your sample work. It should include samples of your work and a page that describes your background and experience. It’s a good idea to list your pricing details. It will help in managing customer expectations and keeps people from trying to negotiate for a lower price. Contact information is also mandatory.
Your photography website is the most potent tool to propagandize your brand to a global audience. In today’s digital era, usually, most of the clients will find out about your business and interact with you through your website.
Blogging: When done the right way, a blog can go a long way to boost your photography business. Once you learn how to start and manage a photography blog, it serves as a portfolio and a place to share great content that can benefit clients. Using your photography blog to share your experiences and knowledge as a photographer allows your clients to get to know you better.
Facebook: Between having the opportunity to share your images with your followers and the ability to specifically market to your target audience, it almost seems as if Facebook was made for photographers. You can share your unique content with thousands of people, and you can create custom audiences that allow you to reach out to your ideal clients.
Instagram: Instagram is a social media platform that also seems to be made for photographers. On your Instagram business account, you can display your images, and the primary focus for users is to like and comment on your photos. Like we said, made for you as a photographer.
Twitter: Twitter has over 328 million monthly active users, and has over 500 million tweets sent per day! In one full day, your clients’ newsfeeds are filled with content from businesses all over the world. You need to make your business stand out of the crowd
Pinterest: Pinterest allows you to create individual boards you can “Pin” your images to. What is terrific about this social site is you do not have a limit of how many photos you can post at once. You have the freedom to pin your favorite images from a past engagement session or a wedding shoot. The more pictures you have on Pinterest, the easier it is for clients to find you.
Learn how to Marketing:
Most Photographers hear the word marketing, and they feel they cannot do that or think it is sleazy, but marketing can be much more natural than you may think.
As a photographer that wishes to grow your business, there are natural ways you can market your photography business, such as:
● Always have business cards handy and give it out too.
● Sending a thank you card to your clients within one week of the delivery of my final shots.
● Offering bonuses for things like referral bonuses to past clients.
You can further learn a few tips on how to market your business as a Photographer from the marketing video by Togs in Business
Build a Solid Brand:
Your brand in Photography is everything in your business and speaks volumes of your professionalism. A brand built on quality and competence can go a long way in helping you stand out from the competition in the industry.
Good branding might not appeal to everyone. Your goal is to make it appeal to your ideal client, whom you should define in the very early stage of your business.
Develop a strong Client Relationship:
Growing your business relies a lot on creating an excellent experience for your clients. When your clients are happy and satisfied with the services you render, they grow from just being your customers; they become your marketing department.
When Client starts referring you then know you are in business as it is the most natural form of photography marketing available.
No website, blog, or social media activity can generate as much revenue as a passionate client spreading the word about you, your services, and how much you helped them.
Partner up with Local Business:
Building and growing your photography business from your locality outward would give you a strong foundation and starting ground. There are local businesses within your area that line up with your niche or brand and would need your services; make a list of these and introduce yourself to them. Build a business relationship with them that is based on mutual trust.
Collect and Share Client Testimonials:
Putting testimonials from your satisfied clients on your website, blog, and on your other marketing materials is a powerful way to connect to your audience.
People's psychology is generally built on trusting the opinions of others hence online reviews on sites like Amazon are so effective.
Don’t shy away from requesting testimonials from all the clients who enjoyed working with you. Put them on social media, incorporate them into blog posts, eBooks, and other print materials.
Get Your Pricing Right:
One challenging question every photographer finds difficult is- How much should I charge for my services? More so, when you are just starting your photography business. You have to figure out the worth of one hour of your time.
Maybe you need to redesign your price menu, or perhaps you need to re-think what you’re charging completely.
You must understand that for every hour you spend while shooting, you’ll spend about three hours in editing the photographs. These are all the factors you have to put into consideration while coming up with a price for your services.
Practice makes perfect - Execute:
Just like in every other business or industry, practice is essential for growth. Irrespective of what level you’re at in your photography career, always take yourself out of your comfort zone sometimes and challenge yourself with doing something you haven't done before.
In as much as you are willing to learn how to grow your business, be proactive in practicing what you have learned as in some cases you can learn even faster as you practice, make mistakes and practice again.