photo by LeoPatrizi via iStock
It is the New Year and we’re celebrating by compiling all of our best photography business tips so that you can try and improve your photography business in 2021.
It’s not really a secret that 2020 was a downright terrible year for a lot of photographers and we don’t want to pretend that 2021 will automatically be better, because very likely, many of us will still be struggling.
However, if you get ahead of any foreseeable problems with these photography business tips, then any of the challenges you’re going to face will be made that much easier.
So, let’s dive right in.
photo by Morsa Images via iStock
A lot of business tips for photographers fail to account for the fact that the first 5 years of any photography business is essentially a mad scramble to bring in any regular money.
I know that I was working a second job for the first 3 years of my photography business and then when I was finally making enough to only work the one job, I was working 60 hour weeks in order to get enough name recognition for myself to be able to afford any of my expenses.
That’s why one of the most important photography business tips is to diversify your income as early on in your business as possible.
photo by damircudic via iStock
I didn’t realize this until I had already been in business for over 5 years and feel as if I worked much harder than I had to if I had known about this tip.
There are a few ways you can diversify your income. When you’re first learning how to improve your photography business, it can feel like you have to pour all of your hours into your main revenue stream. But, if you take just a few hours each week and dedicate those to different revenue streams, you will set yourself up for success in the future.
Some ideas for diversification include creating and selling stock photos, creating a YouTube channel, or building a blog to join affiliate programs.
Get More Organized
I think we can all agree that 2020 was challenging, and 2021 is shaping up to be a challenge as well.
For me, this means that 2021 is an opportunity to really buckle down and get myself more organized. After all, I have a little more time on my hands to focus on organization, and working on my organizational skills will only benefit my business moving forward.
The question is, how do I accomplish improved organization?
Well, step one of the process is to limit distractions.
I fully admit that even if I'm in the middle of a task, a ding from my phone can quickly derail me.
And sometimes when I'm working late, I'll plop down on the couch to get some work done on my iPad, and before I know it, I'm watching a movie or checking out YouTube.
Part of my quest to limit distractions is using my reMarkable 2 paper tablet...
This thing doesn't bother me with apps or social media notifications. Instead, I can sit down, jot down some notes, review documents, and read without constantly being notified of something. From a productivity standpoint, it's a Godsend!
Speaking of productivity, 2021 is all about getting more organized.
I can be a bit of a scatterbrain - I fully admit it - so using tools to help me organize my thoughts is critical for me. Again, reMarkable 2 delivers on that front.
I can use preset templates on the reMarkable 2 to get me going. I can also organize my files into folders for safekeeping (and easy finding later on).
Of course, it helps that reMarkable 2 has replicated the feeling of writing on paper really well. It truly feels like the real thing - and there's something to be said for that.
Clacking away on a keyboard is one thing, but for people like me that are really tactile, the experience of actually writing my thoughts down makes it a much more productive experience. reMarkable 2 has managed to combine the benefits and convenience of the digital world with the timeless, proven benefits of writing on paper. It really is the best of both worlds - you should try it!
Don’t Be Afraid of Outsourcing
photo by filadendron via iStock
I refused to hire anyone to help me with my business for longer than I refused to diversify my income. I had worked so hard to get a steady stream of money coming in, so I was terrified to let any of it go.
But, when I hired my first employee, I enabled myself to spend more time doing what I actually liked doing, which in turn meant I was able to sell more sessions to potential clients.
If you can’t afford to hire an employee, you can also outsource some of your work to freelancers. This will be a cheaper option for you in the short term before you can afford to hire an employee.
photo by monkeybusinessimages via iStock
I don’t think enough photography business tips deal with flexibility. My photography business has changed course so many times over the years I’ve been doing this and what I’ve learned from my experience is that it is much easier if you understand you have to be flexible.
Rigidity just doesn’t work in a small business environment. This means that you need to be flexible with yourself, but it also means that you need to be flexible with your clients.
I’ve definitely noticed that more people change plans at the last minute now than ever before, likely because we all have cell phones and can do so. If you don’t listen to any of the other photography business tips on this list, you need to listen to this one.
Get Out of Your Box
photo by Pollyana Ventura via iStock
Some of these photography business tips overlap, like this one about getting out of your comfort zone and being flexible.
But, here’s the deal. Given the fact that we’re living in unprecedented times, I think it’s fair to argue that nobody really knows what the winning formula for running a photography business in 2021 is going to look like. So, if ever there was a time to try something new in your photography business, it would be right now.
I know that I’ve kept a running list of different ideas I’ve wanted to try with my business over the last several years, but I’ve mostly been too busy to. This is the year I’m going to pull out this list and get started.
If you’ve found yourself attracted to some particular niche in the photography industry but haven’t had the chance to try it before, use this year to do so. You may end up with another revenue stream, like we talked about above, and you may end up absolutely loving it. The best photography business tips are the ones that let you push your creativity.
Stay in Touch With Your Clients’ Needs
photo by Youngoldman via iStock
Just like 2020 was a tumultuous year for photographers, it was a tumultuous year for just about everyone else as well, including your clients.
If you haven’t evaluated your clients’ needs in a few years, then 2021 is definitely the time to do so. You can start by reaching out to pre-existing clients with a little survey asking them what types of sessions they would be interested in over the coming year. You can offer them a discount for filling out your survey.
But, you also need to take a look at the market as a whole. You likely did some market research when you were first starting your business, but I find that not enough photography business owners follow up on their market research as their business grows.
What type of competition is there in your local market? Do you need to pivot your business a bit to meet a need that isn’t being met?
Although many photography business tips deal specifically with the way you’re running your business, don’t forget about the client experience.
Challenge Yourself to Improve Communication
photo by Prostock-Studio via iStock
I typically hate photography business tips that discuss communication because they aren’t actionable. Other photographers and bloggers will talk about improving communication with clients, but they won’t tell you how to do it.
This photography business tips article is different. You need to sign up for Podium in order to improve your communication with your clients.
Podium is a messaging platform that collects every single message your business receives, from your texts, your social media accounts, your email, and more, and puts it all on a single platform. It has prevented me from accidentally forgetting to respond to potential clients, which means it’s saving me money.
Podium is also offering a free trial of their product right now so you can try it out in the beginning of the new year before you decide if it’s going to work for your business or not.
If you’re interested in learning more about Podium, or signing up for that free trial, you can do so here.