- What You Should (and Shouldn't) Worry About When Starting a Photography Business
- How to Make Money With Photography
- The Legalities of Setting Up a Photography Business
- Insider Tips for a Successful Photography Business
Starting a photography business can be a stressful, time-consuming task. But do it right, and you can build a business that is successful for years to come and provides you and your family with the income you need to lead a good life.
There's a lot that goes into making a business successful, and if I'm honest, the cards are stacked against you.
It's a fact that most businesses fail within the first year. Heck, not that many survive past two years, and fewer still are in business a decade down the road.
As with anything, building a successful business requires a ton of preparation. The groundwork that you lay now will be a crucial element of how successful your photography business will be.
Though this isn't a comprehensive guide on jumpstarting your photography career (that's available here), what's included below are a few simple and quick steps you can take to be sure that you're starting things off on the right foot.
Let's have a look at how to start a photography business.
How to Start a Photography Business: Goals, Goals, Goals
I'm not really a goal-oriented person in my personal life, but you can bet that I learned how to set goals in business.
Having something to work towards gives you and your business direction. In the short-term, goals can help you sift through everything that needs to be done just to set up a business (i.e. creating a business plan, securing financing for a studio or office space, setting up a website, having a logo developed, etc.).
Long-term goals help frame everything you do in the short-term in terms of how they will help you achieve success in the future.
Basically, having tangible and attainable goals helps you develop a roadmap for success. Achieve one goal, then move on to achieve the next one, then the next one, and so forth.
It's easy to become overwhelmed by everything you have to do as a business owner. It's also easy to get stuck on the little details when you should be looking at the big picture.
Developing goals for your business will help you avoid both of those things and focus on what you really want - developing a successful business.
For more tips on what you should know before starting a photography business, check out the video above by Jeff Rojas.
Editor’s Tip: Don’t wait for the long-term to get your photography website up and going. Instead, act now and get a professional domain name just for photographers.
Your Web Presence is Key
If you open up shop without a website in this day and age, you’re just asking for trouble. On the flip side, if you start your website and assume that just because it’s awesome and it's live that people will find it, you’ll be disappointed.
That’s why it’s so important to start your business off on the right foot with the right kind of web presence. And sure, you need an awesome website, but if you don’t pick the right domain name, it won’t matter how cool your website is - no one will find it.
That’s where Uniregistry comes in.
Think about it - you can tell people your website, like jackharrison.pics, and they not only immediately know you’re a photographer, but they will likely have an easier time remembering it because it’s so short.
And the fact that these domains are so short helps you too, because it’ll be easier for you to fit your URL on business cards, social media profiles, and the like.
Your website is your window to the world, so locking it down with the right domain will be crucial to your success.
Spend Time on Marketing
You can take the best photos in the world, but if you aren't able to market yourself and your work, it's going to be tough for you to stay in business very long.
One of the behind-the-scenes tasks you'll need to tackle is marketing your business.
Now, this can mean a lot of different things, but at its heart, your marketing strategy should serve to not just get your name out there amongst the buying public, but it should also be geared toward differentiating you from everyone else.
Photographers are a dime a dozen, and as the new kid on the block, you need to prove that what you offer is better than everyone else, including the photographers that have been at it for awhile.
When you market your business, be sure you have a consistent message. That message should focus on your personality. Why? In a sea of photographers, you are the only you! It's the simplest and most effective way to differentiate yourself from the crowd.
Who you are impacts everything you do, from the style of the photos you create to the manner in which you interact with clients. The question is, how do you incorporate your unique personality into your branding?
It's simple - use mediums that allow you to showcase who you are...
Post photos to Instagram to showcase your artistic style. Make YouTube videos to introduce yourself to your clients and show them who you are as a person. Write frequent blog posts talking about your workflow or offer educational tips about taking photos or processing them.
The point is that putting an ad in the paper saying, "Hey, I'm a photographer, and I'm open for business" isn't going to do much for you. Instead, focusing on getting your name, your face, and your personality out there will get you started off on much stronger footing.
Editor’s Tip: A great way to market your business is with a professional domain name. Get your business going with a photography domain name today.
Take Time for You
The quickest way to burn yourself out and start to hate photography as a business is to push yourself too hard.
Yes, there is a lot to do - perhaps much more than you initially thought.
But burning the midnight oil each and every night and neglecting your mind and body is not going to do you any favors.
When you're self-employed, it can be extremely difficult to get yourself into a schedule, but as I've found, setting some boundaries for when you do and don't work can do wonders for your spirits.
That means that when the clock strikes 6:00 pm (or whatever time you choose), make it the end of the day. Resist the urge to check email, edit one last photo, or add a few more things to your to-do list.
Additionally, make sure you take breaks during the day to recharge your batteries. Take a quick walk. Grab a snack. Text your kids. Give these photography business tips a try, just step away for a moment a few times a day, and I promise you'll find that you can get more done (and with a better attitude)!