Starting and maintaing a photography business takes a lot of work, and often times, it is easy to get swallowed up in the shooting portion of the business before establishing where you want your business to go. In my new class, Photo Business 101
I share helpful tips to ensure that you don't get toppled by the learning curve. I think it’s essential to understand what must be done when starting a photography business, and what can be skipped. Here are five tips for photography business owners.
1. Know Your Target Market:
Define who you want to work with. Think about your ideal client. What can they afford? What other things do they value? What do they do for fun and where do they hang out? TIP: Know that a “wealthy” client doesn’t always mean an ideal client. Having a client that owns a big home does not mean that they will value your work and spend more on your products.
2. Define Yourself
A hard part of owning a business in an artistic industry is keeping your work true to yourself and your vision. Defining the type of photography you want to specialize in will allow you to always shoot what you love. Do you dislike shooting posed newborns? Do you shy away from weddings? Be bold about what you do and stick to it. It’s hard to say no to a client that is willing to pay you, but it’s important to prioritize and specialize.
3. Brand Yourself
Once you know your target market and ideal photography style, you can brand yourself to attract those clients. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to brand yourself. But you do have to put time and effort into branding. I use the free tool, Pinterest, to organize my thoughts and save photos and elements that inspire my dream branding. Your brand attract your target client; it should also give you room to grow into your business and photography. Do not limit yourself to baby photography by naming your business “Baby Toes Photography." It’s hard to say where you will be a few years from now. Who knows, maybe next year you will decide you love shooting weddings.
4. Have a Solid Portfolio & Online Presence
Because you now know who and what you want to photograph, you can begin filling your portfolio with the type of photography you want to shoot. When setting up your website and social media presence, be sure to only showcase your best work, as well as present the type of work you wish to shoot more of. For example, avoid adding photos of families if you only want to shoot weddings.
5. Market Yourself
Once you have defined your target market, you can partner with businesses that you think your ideal clients support. Is your ultimate client a free spirited mom? Why not hang photos of your work in a birthing center, or in a shop that sells cloth diapers? Make sure you talk with local business owners professionally, and offer them something to enhance the idea of a partnership. Hold a raffle in their store, host a class at the local cafe, offer gift certificates to the clients at a local salon if they spend so many dollars--the possibilities are endless.
There is much more that goes into owning a small business, but these five tips will start you in the right direction. Learn more about creating a profitable business in my atly class. After all, a little sound information can go a long way.