Being self-employed is a tough task, regardless of your specialization.
But being a self-employed photographer is perhaps on the more difficult end of self-employment, simply because it's an industry that has its ups and downs.
By that I mean you might have several months of being incredibly busy, then several months during which you don't have many clients.
Making a solid income as a photographer doesn't have to be a huge struggle, however.
All it takes is making some smart business decisions such that you can squeeze as much profit out of the time you have.
Let's examine three ways that you can increase your profits without much additional time or expense.
If you've been a photographer for any amount of time, you already know that actually taking photos doesn't consume that much of your day. Editing those photos, however, takes a significant chunk out of your billable hours, as does design and production of products like photo albums.
So why not outsource those duties so you can use that time to focus on working with other clients, taking more photos, and getting even more revenue coming in?
The problem with outsourcing in the past is that it was a hit or miss proposition. You might hire a freelancer to do some work on wedding photos, only to get a product back that wasn't up to snuff, and which you certainly wouldn't present to your clients.
But now there's a new sheriff in town - Freedom Edits - that offers premium outsourcing services so you get a gorgeous, consistent product each and every time.
Think about it...
You meet with your clients, develop a shot list, and do your thing with your camera. Then, instead of slaving away for hours hunched over your computer putting the final touches on your photos, you send them to Freedom Edits, where your dedicated team of three editors uses what they learned about you in your video consultation to edit your photos in a way that reflects who you are as a photographer.
That team of editors will do everything from cull the photos to make basic or advanced edits, depending on the service that you select. See how it works in the video below:
What's more, Freedom Edits is available 24/7 and has lighting fast turnaround times. Even better, their editing services are budget-friendly so you aren't spending an arm and a leg to get your photos edited the right way.
Freedom Edits will even handle designing your photo albums, and soon they'll have their own bespoke album production service that gives you an all-in-one solution for editing photos and delivering gorgeous albums to your clients.
Better yet, all of these tasks can be tracked in the Freedom Dashboard, where you can keep in touch with your editing team, make suggestions for changes, see your orders, and even keep tabs on all the time you save.
It's like having your very own personal team of assistants, but without the expense!
If you want to boost profits, work with Freedom Edits so you can spend less time in front of your computer and more time bringing new clients into the fold.
Offer Quick Photo Sessions
Like a lot of businesses, photography is cyclical, so you'll have stretches where you're booked solid for weeks at a time, followed by stretches where you wonder how you're going to pay the mortgage because things have gotten so slow.
The key is to level out those ebbs and flows by taking measures to ensure that you've got a means for extra income when your primary source of income slows down.
A great way to do that is to offer short photo sessions during slow periods.
For example, if you're a wedding photographer, you'll be busy from spring through fall. But in the winter, when fewer weddings occur, you can offer a 30-minute or hour long session for other purposes - a short engagement shoot, a quick family portrait session, or a small series of photos of a newborn.
The point is that most people aren't going to want to spend the money for a full-blown photography session for each and every special event that occurs over the course of the year.
But what many people will take advantage of is professional photography services at a reduced rate. So, while you probably won't get a lot of people paying you $1,000 to do a full family portrait session, you could very well get a lot of folks in the door that are willing to spend a couple of hundred dollars for some quick portraits.
Better yet, if you pair up with Freedom Edits, you'll have even more time to use for these short photo sessions. It's a win-win!
Offer Steep Discounts
I know that offering your services at a greatly reduced rate doesn't exactly sound like the best way to increase your income. But hear me out on this...
As noted above, there will be slow times over the course of the year. Filling that time with short sessions is a good approach, but even then you might find you still have holes in your schedule.
Those holes represent zero income, so trying to fill those holes by offering steep discounts actually improves your bottom line.
Even if you offer a special deal that's 50% off your normal rate, it's still 50% more than you'd make if that time passed by without performing any work.
The trick with steep discounts is to offer them as a special deal to your existing clients.
You should have a contact list of all your clients, so it's a simple matter of identifying which clients you haven't seen in some time, and sending them a quick email or making a short phone call letting them know that as a valued customer they are being offered a discounted price.
Everyone loves discounts, so this is a proven method of getting more people in the door. What's more, it's a nice gesture to offer former clients to show them your appreciation for their patronage.
Besides, you never know when a well-timed discounted session reminds your client that they need a photographer for an upcoming event. It's a strategy that can pay dividends over and over again.
And that's the whole point of being in business - ensuring that your income is steady and that you can make a good living. By working with partners like Freedom Edits, filling your schedule with mini sessions, and offering past clients discounted rates to further fill your schedule, you're sure to find that you have more time to make more money.