Tips for starting a photography business
I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend! I personally ate way too ham much and played way too much ladder ball:)
I have had a couple people ask me recently about how I started my photography business....to be honest I had no idea what I was doing when I first started ( and I am still learning as I go). I went to school for photography, so I had the picture-taking part down, but I never learned much about the business end of running a business!!
I found some great tips for taking the first steps to starting a photography business (or any business, really) that really helped me. These specific five tips come from Molly Marie of Molly Marie Photography (www.mollymariephoto.com) They are so simple, but if you keep these in mind and revisit them often these seemingly easy steps can go a long way!
This sounds easy...but for me its really hard! It's easy to say "I want to have a successful business" but this won't get you anywhere. This is a dream, not a goal. It's really important to put a number to your goals. “Make an average of $2000 per shoot over the next six months” is more of a goal you should have.
Most goals involve a number. If your goal doesn’t have at least one number in it, it’s probably not a very good goal. Get more specific.
Think about what you need to make in order for your business to survive. Then, think about what you need to make in order for your business to be successful. Set goals based on these numbers!
2. Make a Plan to Reach those goals
Again, this sounds so easy! You really need to spend the time planning and researching for your business.This part is always hard for me...we all want instant results this day and age, but this stuff really takes time-I have learned this first hand. Making a business and marketing plan will help you see the challenges that lie ahead and have a realistic goal.
Next, figure out what you need to charge based on your expenses. But make sure you are not just covering your costs...you want to make a living, people!! You can do some research and see what others are charging in the area to get an idea, but don't feel like you have to be priced the same way. You do not need to be the cheapest to get business. Just make sure what the client is getting for that price is of great value.
4. Make friends
I have also learned first hand that you can not run a successful business by yourself! You need to think about how you can partner with other businesses to start to grow your business. Get to know other business owners, not only photographers but all kinds of business owners. Really just befriend these people and find ways to help them grow....they will do the same for you! Just one example is to partner with a salon. I send clients to a salon for hair and makeup and they send me clients who want to book shoots!
And finally, my favorite tip (and word).... 5. Focus.....
Being self-employed is hard.work. I thought it would be easy but I find it can be really hard to self motivate and be my own boss. Focus is a huge one for me. ( one reason why I have the word tattooed on my wrist!) Part of focus in narrowing down your business to one thing. I have found it much more easy to focus on growing my business now that I have narrowed it down to (almost) one genre. Its hard to focus on one area if you are preoccupied with shooting weddings, families, babies, puppies or whatever else! Choose where you are most passionate are really want to devote your time and focus:)
Keywords: beauty, focus, glamour, goals, make a plan, make friends, photography, pricing, set goals, starting a business, tips
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