You want to start a photography business and turn your skills behind the lens into a profitable business for you and your family. Where do you start? How do you break into a crowded marketplace, show your unique talents, and bring home enough money to make it all worthwhile?
In this article, we’ll look at how to get your photography business off the ground.
Renovate Your Lobby
What people see first when they enter your place of business makes a strong first impression.
This is why modern furniture stores are carefully decorated and arranged to create a calming, comfortable space for customers when they walk in. If someone feels out of place or uninspired by a first impression, they could leave and not return.
This is how to get your photography business off the ground. Always make a solid first impression. Do what modern furniture stores do and cultivate an atmosphere that makes your customers comfortable, and makes them want to buy from you. This could mean renovating the lobby in your place of work, updating your website, or making your portfolio more accessible.
Keep Pests Away
A negative review is much heavier than a positive review, and a bad experience working with a photography company can lead to a lot of lost business. How do you avoid these pitfalls and protect your photography business from pests?
If your home has termites, you can hire a termite control company to annihilate the infestation. Even if some damage has already been done, you can pay carpenters to come in and repair it. This is impossible with bad reviews. Once they are up, they never come down, and once your reputation has been damaged there isn’t much you can do to fix it.
This is how to get your photography business off the ground. Since you’re not a termite control company, avoid pests rather than destroying them. You need to make sure that every customer is happy. If they’re not, you must be available to fix the situation before they go online and start posting.
Host a Launch Event
Starting a business is a big deal. The day of your launch is one that you’ll want to remember forever, and it’s a personal opportunity to celebrate. But don’t forget – you’re a business owner now. That means that you see opportunities everywhere.
Your business launch is a chance to network and potentially pull in leads that could land you clients. Remember, both individuals and businesses need photos, and you never know who your next customer could be.
You could hold a launch event and invite not just your friends and family, but a wide range of people who might be interested in your services. If you serve businesses, why not invite some local business owners to your launch? It’s an opportunity to meet and greet and rub elbows with people, makes an impression, and give out your business card.
Even the catering company you hire is a potential customer. If you’re a personal photographer, their staff could even be potential customers. It’s impossible to know in advance that Denise, one of the servers at the catering company you hired for your business launch, has a nephew with a baby shower that needs a photographer. This is the kind of opportunity to just need to be open to by networking as much as possible.
This is how to get your photography business off the ground. Cast a wide net for potential clients by taking every opportunity to meet and greet the kind of people who might hire you. A public business launch is an incredible opportunity to get leads and start selling your services – even if it is to the catering company.
Keep the Temperature Comfortable
If it’s too hot or too cold, people get uncomfortable.
In photography, how comfortable people are matters a lot. The difference between a genuine smile and a grimace could be a couple of degrees on a thermostat. Not all business spaces are equipped for precise temperature management, but if you run a commercial photography studio, you need to make sure that your temperature is just as precise as your lighting.
Local AC contractors can make sure that the people in your photos aren’t red-faced and sweating, and HVAC services can update your heating so that people aren’t shivering or tensing their muscles in the cold.
This is how to get your photography business off the ground. If you are working in other commercial spaces, outside of your own studio, you might need to advocate hard for access to the temperature dial. Not everyone understands how important temperature is to create a comfortable environment for people who are being photographed.
Protect Your Data
We don’t always think of photography as being a tech skill, but it really is.
As a photographer, you understand how important digital editing and file management is to your work. People think about photography itself as being the entirety of the job, but the reality is that a photographer is responsible for constructing the shot, and then delivering the digital file the client is looking for. Practically, that means transferring and uploading files, editing everything digitally, and storing your data securely on a hard drive until you can provide it to the client.
Photos are private and proprietary. As the photographer, you are entrusted with keeping these images safe and secure. A data breach could lead to unauthorized parties getting access to photos that could be leaked. A hacker that got into your system could also hold all of your work for ransom, and threaten to delete images that belong to your clients unless you pay up.
This is how to get your photography business off the ground. Invest in protecting your data by finding IT security solutions. It could be as simple as storing your files on a disconnected hard drive, or as complex as finding a cloud storage solution that is secure enough for you to upload and download to the cloud from any location you are shooting in. The important thing is that your work and the images that belong to your clients and customers are secure.
This is why it is critical to protect your data.
Most photographers are good with a camera. That seems obvious, right? What separates the photographers who struggle to pay rent from the photographers who regularly pull in six figures by working with the clients they want is not their talent behind the lens. If you want to know how to get your photography business off the ground – here it is. Advertise property.
That means getting your name out there by finding the clients you want to work with and making a connection.
Advertising improperly is what most photographers do. They are so scared of not getting any clients that they cast too wide a net. They try to reach everyone with a billboard, an ad in a local paper, or a television commercial.
The reality is that these methods are not only some of the most expensive, but they also just aren’t very effective anymore. Advertising properly will cost you much less, and get you many more clients and customers. The trick is to niche down and present a very clear and specific offer.
Which sounds better?
Buy my photos! I take good photos of people, businesses, dogs, nature, and food. I can photograph anything!
I take professional business photos for real estate agents and salespeople, to improve their brands and get them more business. I take care of everything for $399.
The first offer sounds like an amateur, and the second sounds like a professional. They might both be fantastic photographers, but the second photographer is advertising properly by targeting a specific customer and presenting a clear offer. The second photographer is likely to get more customers and make more money.
Pay for the kind of advertising that will reach your clients. You can advertise on social media for free, but your physical business deserves some love, too. You can print custom business signs that customers will remember, and use the same logo or font on the business cards you hand out. A brochure printing service can outline your key services and offers, and give customers something to hold on to and bring home while they consider working with you.
This is how to get your photography business off the ground. Be clear and specific about the customers you want to work with and craft an irresistible offer for them. Then, use free advertising on social media to spread the word, while paying for the physical essentials like custom business signs and a brochure printing service.
Find the Perfect Location
So much is done online now, but photography is still pretty local, and clients or customers like to have a location they can visit to meet with you or schedule your services.
Finding the right location can set you apart from your competitors and get you more business. If you do want your physical location to be a studio where the photography is done, the location matters even more. A studio has its own requirements, like precise temperature and lighting controls, ventilation, and more.
You want to find a location for your business that is central to the customers who are going to be visiting. A wedding photography business could be located in a more suburban area where many of the clients will live. A commercial photography business seeking to work with larger companies would be better off with a physical location in the business district.
Before you start looking for available commercial property in Florida, remember that this will be one of the single largest overhead costs to your business. You want to work in a nice environment and you want to be central to your clients or customers, but you should be shrewd and frugal with your rental dollars. You probably don’t need a storefront on a busy street, and clients who find you online are probably fine with walking down a sidestreet to find your office and studio.
This is how to get your photography business off the ground. Without paying too much, find a physical location that meets all your studio or office needs and is central enough to be convenient for the clients that you want to work with.
Renovate Your Roof
People forget about the roof. You don’t usually need to think about it, but it protects everything in your home or business. If the rain comes through the roof, not much else matters.
As you figure out how to get your photography business off the ground and build up a roster of clients and customers, you’ll want to protect your business from disasters of all kinds – natural and artificial. This means buying insurance, keeping some funds in reserve for unseen expenses like travel or equipment replacement, and regularly examining the risks you are taking as a business owner.
Roofing services are cheap when your roof is in okay condition. However, once the rain has come in it costs a lot more to fix. A lot of things in business are like this. Whether it is IT services, roofing services, business or renters insurance, or even customer service – prevent the worst by doing what you can do today. Renovate your roof.
This is how to get your photography business off the ground. Hope for the best, but expect the worst. You are a photographer, but you are also a business owner and the world of business can be tumultuous and unstable. Put away money when you can, buy insurance, and have a plan B.
How To Get Your Photography Business Off the Ground
You take great photographs, but there is a lot more to think about, isn’t there? Becoming a business owner means understanding local markets, advertising, copywriting and sales, customer service, and even insurance and rental agreements.
It seems complicated – and it is – but this is how you get your photography business off the ground. You wear a lot of different hats, dream big, get specific, and work hard. If you put as much effort into running your business as you do in taking incredible shots, you can become one of the photographers who pull in big incomes doing what they love.