Running a small photography business allows you to continue doing something that you’re passionate about while still making enough money to keep a roof under your head and support your chosen lifestyle. If executed properly, you can potentially make even more. Unfortunately, many novice entrepreneurs approach this type of business with little to no planning or preparation beforehand.
The oversimplified assumption that it’s just “taking photos” of other people can be a detrimental mindset that can lead to business failure either instantaneously or slowly over time. Here are five tips on how to help your small photography business succeed.
Check Back on Your Initial Plan
Any how-to guide concerning business growth will tell you to have a plan. Although this advice is important enough to merit repeating, what is seldom discussed by these resources is how your business plan should adapt to new input. As you make decisions on the go, new opportunities and challenges emerge.
For example, if your initial business plan includes a marketing strategy that involves targeting leads between the ages of 20-30, recheck if this particular demographic remains your ideal audience after a few months of running your ad campaigns. During your campaign, you might find that your ideal audience is actually within the 40 to 50 age range. Thus, the marketing channels you use should be adjusted accordingly.
There is a wealth of strategic information you can collect from observing how your competitors are running their operations. As a small-time photography business, you probably do not have the resources to spend on a full-scale analytics team and research tools that many large corporations use for their R&D department.
Start by narrowing your list of competitors based on location and specific service niche. For instance, observe other local studios that offer Austin wedding photography and videography services.
Acknowledge That You Are the Face Of Your Brand
How you carry yourself when meeting up and conversing with clients, how you dress, and what you decide to share on your social media are things that embody your brand. If you behave immaturely or dress poorly on your photoshoots, this paints an unprofessional and untrustworthy brand for your business. People, either subconsciously or consciously, build trust with the businesses they hire and work with based on how professional that business is.
Be thoroughly kempt and well-mannered when you meet up with clients. If you’re neck to neck with another photography business that that person is considering, even the smallest nuances, such as the clothes you decided to wear during the initial meetup, can make all the difference between getting hired and getting passed on.
Get a Website
If you don’t already have one, you should have a professional website dedicated solely to your business. Having a website gives you 24/7 visibility and beats having to go door to door handing out business cards. Having a site also allows you to create a one-stop resource for frequently asked questions or FAQs.
Rather than having to answer the same question, again and again, you can simply direct them to your website. You can also add the types of service you provide, rates for each service, packages offered, a brief introduction about your brand, and a portfolio of previous work.
Stick to a Niche
There are at least a dozen styles or types of photography, such as abstract, architectural, wedding, wildlife, and so on. It may sound smart to target every niche possible in the hopes of making more money, but it can actually hurt your brand more than it can help. Limiting to a few niches or specialties makes you look more like an expert at that particular niche.
Specializing in one or two types of photography also allows you to efficiently distribute your limited resources towards finding and converting leads. It is simply impractical and unsustainable to target soon-to-be-married couples and a dozen other customer types with the advertising budget that a small photography business has in its arsenal.
In addition to the tips aforementioned, consider bringing in new people into your business. As your brand grows, you’ll be getting more clients than you can handle. Employing a partner or employees can help cater to this increase in demand.
Regina Thomas is a Southern California native who spends her time as a freelance writer and loves cooking at home when she can find the time. Regina loves reading, music, hanging with her friends and family along with her Golden Retriever, Sadie. She loves adventure and living every day to the fullest.
Small photography business stock image by Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock