- Best Business Practices for Photographers
- The Fast Track Photographer Business Plan: Build a Successful Photography Venture from the Ground Up
- Stock Photography: Residual Income With Your Digital Camera
- Get Your Photography on the Web: The Fastest, Easiest Way to Show and Sell Your Work
- Starting Your Career as a Freelance Photographer
- Selling Your Photography: How to Make Money in New and Traditional Markets
- Business and Legal Forms for Photographers
If you’re serious about developing your digital photography skills, then there may come a day when you decide to go “pro.” It’s unlikely you’ll start with a beautiful, spacious studio and a long list of clients. The reality is that you will probably never progress beyond the point of photography as a sideline to your full-time profession. Virtually every photographer that went “pro” started as a part-timer. Those that do make a living as a professional photographer are usually able to balance the artist within them with the entrepreneur/businessperson they must also be. They’ve learned some insider secrets, often by making mistakes, which this PhotographyTalk.com article will reveal, so you can avoid them.
The Busy Bird Catches No Worms…
To the uninitiated, it may sound cool and professional to tell a customer on the phone that your schedule is extremely full. After all, what could make you seem more professional than that customers are in a line outside your front door? Established professionals’ experience proves that that is not the first thought that crosses customers’ minds. Instead, when they hear you’re busy, they think that you won’t miss the business if they decide to miss the appointment (and not inform you).
There are two methods to avoid this pitfall. First, don’t refer to your shooting schedule at all. Telling customers that you’re flooded with bookings or business is slow (see below) should be considered the same as revealing financial data. You wouldn’t show every customer that data, so why refer to the productivity of your business (number of bookings), which is directly related to your bottom line? The second method, which is the professional method, is to suggest a date and time for their portrait, wedding, etc. You know when you’re available; they do not. One of the secrets of telephone sales is to control the conversation, so continue to suggest dates until the customer agrees to one.
…Neither Does the Idle Bird.
Telling your customers that they can pick any date or time because you have very few sessions scheduled is the other side of the bad penny described above. Your lack of bookings is not information you should be sharing with your customers. Again, it’s the same as showing them your financial data; and it’s also causing them to think that you’re not a good digital photographer. “It seems as if no one else wants to pay for the services of this photographer, so why should I?”
The solution is the same as above: pick and suggest a date and time to your customers before they do. Another pitfall to avoid is revealing too much about the current status of your bookings on your Facebook page or on Twitter. Don’t post negative messages: “Another day without bookings;” instead, share the positives at your digital photography business: “Looking forward to wedding job this weekend” or “Just bought a new lens that will allow me shoot even better portraits.”