Not all of us use our skills as photographers as our primary means of income.
But if you do, there's always room for improvement to make your photography business more successful.
As 2017 winds down and we look forward to all the possibilities that 2018 brings, it's a good time to think about what you can do to improve your bottom line in the coming months.
With that in mind, I've put together this short list of easy, yet highly impactful ways to breathe new life into your business in the new year.
Dazzle Clients With Gorgeous Products
Artwork by Luke Woodford
Obviously, what will get clients to contact you for your services will be the quality of the work you do.
Your images are like your storefront sign - it's what people will use to determine whether or not you're the man or woman for the job.
But the quality of your work isn't the only factor at play here.
How you present that work is also an important factor in how many clients you get and how much you can charge them.
As a result, you need to be sure that the products you offer your clients are second-to-none, pieces that dazzle them and make their friends and family say, "Who was your photographer?"
Artwork by Luke Woodford
When you think of photography products, I imagine the first place your mind goes to is photo albums.
I've seen some really bad photo albums over the years - books with flimsy pages, washed out colors, and covers that not only look and feel cheap, but don't stand up to the test of time, either.
On the other hand, I've seen some absolutely incredible photo albums, too.
Obviously, if you want to build a more successful business (who doesn't?!), the choice between the two is clear.
When your clients see your images in an album, you want it to be a total experience.
That means having a product that has a beautiful, custom-made cover that offers a wow factor right off the bat and invites your clients to open the book to be dazzled some more.
That also means having albums for your clients that have strong, heavy-weight paper that not only makes your photos look good, but feels expensive in your clients' fingers as they flip from one page to the next.
Additionally, you don't want your clients to fight with pages that want to curl upward as they're looking at their photos. Giving them an album with layflat pages only enhances their viewing experience.
You can get all that - and plenty more - if you partner with nPhoto.
As you can see in the images above and below, their photo albums are the height of quality and beauty - products that you can use to blow your clients away.
Artwork by Luke Woodford
But beyond that, these albums are so impressive that when your clients show them off to friends and family, you're more likely to get referrals.
By that I mean this - nPhoto's albums are like your very own marketing team, promoting your work to anyone that sees it and compelling people to contact you to do work for them as well.
When it comes to getting more clients, word of mouth is one of the best tools to do so. Help your clients help you by giving them the best photo album to show off your work.
For my money, that means working with nPhoto. Their products speak for themselves!
- Explore nPhoto's Complete Line of Photo Albums and Accessories
- Why We Need Photo Albums, Even in the Digital Age
Don't Stop Learning
Owning your own business means lots of long days and hard work.
And even if all that hard work results in a nice payday, it's important not to get complacent.
By carving time out of each week to dedicate to learning new photography techniques and honing your Photoshop skills, the images you deliver to clients will only be that much better.
But don't think that learning more about photography is the only type of learning you need to do.
Continuing your business education as your business grows and changes will certainly prove beneficial as you seek to continue your business's growth.
In fact, learning how to operate your business more effectively, developing sound marketing strategies that bring in more clients, and addressing other business needs is perhaps even more important than working on acquiring more photography skills.
That's because most photographers are already skilled in their craft when they decide to jump into business for themselves. What a lot of photographers lack, though, is the business acumen necessary to build something sustainable for the long-term.
Whether you take a business class at a local college, watch a YouTube video about marketing or read articles like this one, spending a few minutes each week learning something new is a great investment in your future.
Adjust to the Times
The world in which we live and work is rapidly changing, and if your business is going to continue to grow, you need to adjust to the changing times.
One of the ways that this is most important for business owners is the manner in which you reach out to clients and potential clients.
A few years ago, I would have recommended that you focus on building a long and illustrious email list, that way you have an easy means of contacting clients and notifying them of sales and promotions, or even directly contacting them to follow up on work you've done or the possibility of booking future work.
But email has lost some of its luster in recent years...
Don't get me wrong - you still need an email list. But there's an easier, more personal, and more effective way of communicating with clients and potential clients: messenger.
Just hear me out on this...
Email is great, but for many people, it's also a huge burden to sort through the endless chain of emails from friends, family, colleagues, and businesses.
Furthermore, email providers are getting stingier and stingier with what emails even show up in someone's inbox. That means that if you send out a promotional email touting an upcoming sale to everyone on your email list, many of them might never see it because it's shipped to the "Promotions" folder, or worse, the Spam folder.
But with messenger services like the one on Facebook, you have a much more direct route to your client or potential client.
Where emails might only get opened at a rate of about 20% or 30% - if you're lucky - messenger can get you open rates in the 90% range.
You can even automate the process with a messenger bot that streamlines the messages you send and automates your responses to inquiries.
Obviously, that means you can reach many more people in less time. What's not to like about that?