- How to Make Your Portraits Look More Professional
- Strategies for Finalizing the Sale With Your Client
photo by Rawpixel via iStock
While 2021 may not seem like a good year to grow your photography business, it may just be the best year.
Since the pandemic is still a big problem in a lot of the world right now, fewer and fewer photographers are still working, either because their businesses have closed or because they don’t feel comfortable shooting with the public right now.
Their loss could be your gain this year because photographers are still in high demand and there is now less competition for you.
Of course, it will take a lot of hard work for you to grow your photography business in 2021 and if you haven’t started planning how you’re going to do so, then you’re a bit behind, which is why we’ve created this list with 4 simple tips that will help you grow your photography business.
Make Each Step Simple
photo by Prostock-Studio via iStock
If you aren’t especially savvy when it comes to marketing then you may have never heard about this tip before. I’m going to give you an exercise to help you understand it.
The next time you’re on a major retailer’s website, like Amazon, I want you to count how many clicks it takes you to purchase whatever item you’re trying to buy.
Research shows that when a consumer is looking for information on a website, or when a consumer is looking to buy something on a website, the chances that they leave that website go up with every click of the mouse.
photo by GaudiLab via iStock
This means that you want to make your website as intuitive as possible. Count how many clicks it takes a potential client to send you a question from your website. Count how many clicks it takes for them to book a session with you. Then try and bring that number down by at least 2 or 3.
You can apply this simple marketing technique to other parts of your photography business as well. Your ultimate goal, whenever you’re creating anything for your client, is to make it easy for them to use. The easier your website is, the easier it will be for you to grow your photography business.
Build Your Pricing Model Backwards
photo by ljubaphoto via iStock
One of my favorite success tips for photographers is to build your pricing model backwards. Most photographers figure out their pricing model by researching what other photographers in their area are charging. Conversely, they’ll figure out their pricing model based on outdated national averages for photographer salaries or other data that doesn’t really directly apply to them.
If you really want to grow your photography business this year, then you need to build your pricing model backwards. What I mean by this is that you need to figure out how much you need to make before you figure out how much you want to charge.
In order to do this, figure out your personal monthly budget then figure out how much you would have to bring in every month to cover this budget (leaving as much room for spending money as you want). Add that number to all of your monthly business expenses. Importantly, you should not forget to account for business expenses that may only be charged yearly, like insurance. You can just divide any annual expenses by 12 in order to put it in your monthly expenses.
photo by Moyo Studio via iStock
Next, figure out how many hours you want to work a month in order to hit this number. Again, you can make this a goal number, but be realistic.
Then, based on these numbers figure out what you need to charge your clients.
Building your pricing model backwards will help you grow your photography business in the long run because you’ll ultimately be aiming for your perfect salary and your perfect schedule, which means burnout won’t be as big of a deal for you as it may be with other photographers in your area.
Bonus: Be One With Your Thoughts
There are distractions throughout the day that take you away from your work - physically, mentally, or both.
But one of the keys to growing your photography business is understanding how to carve out some time during the day when you can minimize distractions, focus on your thoughts, and get yourself more organized.
It's a tall task, but one that is crucially important to the long-term success of your business.
It might sound crazy, but simply taking 15 minutes out of my day to think about what I need to do, organize my thoughts, and set goals has helped my business immensely.
And one of the tools I use during my daily distraction-free sessions is the reMarkable 2.
What I love about this gizmo is that it truly replicates the feeling of holding and writing on paper. The tablet is ultra-responsive, lightweight, and thin, and the marker feels like holding an actual writing utensil. Writing on the tablet is seamless and harkens back to the days when we used to physically write everything down as opposed to typing it out on a keyboard.
So, the obvious benefits of having a comfortable writing experience are great. But so too are the functionalities that the reMarkable 2 does (and doesn't) have.
I can write down notes and it will turn those notes into text. I can take notes on PDFs, save my files in an organized folder system, sync notes via Wi-Fi and even choose from pre-made templates to get me headed in the right direction.
What I can't do, though, is play games, download apps, watch movies, or surf the 'net - and that's a good thing! Free from the distractions of the modern world, I can have those few minutes to get my thoughts together - and get them down on paper (digital paper, of course).
If you're ready to take your business to the next level, you need tools like this to help you. Check out reMarkable 2 for yourself. I think you'll be as impressed as I am!
Don’t Be Afraid to Hire People
photo by Yuri_Arcurs via iStock
A lot of photography business tips focus less on building a business that actually works for photographers and more on building a business that is economical. I understand why this is because photographers usually don’t have a ton of wiggle room when it comes to their businesses, but if you want to grow your photography business then you need to be willing to make some sacrifices up front.
I think the number one mistake most photographers make is trying to do everything themselves. Small business owners are most effective when they get to spend their time doing things they love and a lot of photographers are really creative people who don’t love certain, more technical aspects of running a business.
Speaking from personal experience, I am absolutely awful at numbers. I understand enough to create a budget and track expenses, but when it comes down to a lot of the other responsibilities of a bookkeeper I just can’t keep up. I hired someone to do this for me a few years ago and it relieved an immense amount of stress.
Plus, if you can’t hire someone to be your in-house accountant, for example, then you can hire a freelancer to do the work for you at a much cheaper cost.
Don’t Neglect the Importance of Building Relationships with Vendors
photo by PeopleImages via iStock
Another great way to grow your photography business is by building relationships with vendors. You can grow your photography business to a certain extent by yourself, but if you’re really serious about getting bigger this coming year, then there’s no way to do it alone.
This is because you will eventually find yourself in a predicament where a client needs a rush order job and if you haven’t built any relationships with suppliers, then you could be out of luck and lose that client.
This is one of the reasons I love working with small, family-run companies like CanvasHQ. Smaller companies are just as interested in seeing you grow your photography business as you are because they understand that, as you grow your business, they will also grow theirs.
CanvasHQ, in particular, makes it really easy for you to build a relationship with them because they treat all of their clients especially well from day one. For instance, they dedicated a portion of their website to inform you of exactly when you can expect your canvas to get to you (or your clients) if you sent in a photo today. This helps ease your mind about meeting deadlines you’ve set for yourself.
Each one of their canvases also comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, because they understand that there are some clients you just can’t please, and a lifetime warranty because each of their canvases are made to last well over a century.
You can find out more about CanvasHQ here.