- Photography Business Growth - How Far Do You Want to Go?
- Photography Business Growth - Finding Customers
- Photography Business Growth - Specializing
- Photography Business Growth - Expanding Services and Products
- Photography Business Growth - Value vs Profit
- Photography Business Growth - Last Word
- Recommended Photography Gear
- How To Make Extra Money as a Photographer
- 5 Tips for Starting a Photography Side Hustle
- 4 Ways To Improve Client Relationships
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Have you started a new photography business recently? It may be a side hustle for you, or perhaps you jumped into it full-time. Either way, you want your business to grow.
How you get photography business growth is not a secret, but it also doesn’t come automatically.
Some methods used for photography business growth include expanding your service portfolio, networking with other businesses, using online promotional tools, offering photography packages, and finding and exploiting a niche market.
Each photography business is unique, so some of the tips we speak of in general terms may not apply to yours as specifically as others. A wedding photographer will have some different business needs than someone selling fine art images or making YouTube videos for local businesses. Still, many of the principals involved overlap each other.
Here are some basic tips for photography business growth.
Table of contents:
Photography Business Growth - How Far Do You Want to Go?
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How much photography business growth you achieve depends so much on just how much you want to do with your photography business.
In this gig economy, many photographers love having their business as a side hustle. Some professional photographers work full-time at another job or have their pro photo work mixed in with other gig work. Freelancing is bigger than ever, whether for side hustles or full-time work.
If that describes you and your business, you will want to decide if you will keep this business model or use it to make it your primary job. Either way is valid; either way, it makes money and can be enjoyable and professionally fulfilling.
Also, in any of these business model ideas, growth is a key factor in the business's survival. As with any business endeavor, photography business growth will require hard work, good time management, and continually improving the quality of what you do.
Photography Business Growth - Finding Customers
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As a new business, you might have had some photo work pretty much fall into your lap, which could be why you “went pro” in the first place. After that initial surge, though, you had to find a way to keep it coming.
Most of the time, people aren’t simply going to invite you to take their money; you have to take the first steps. That means you need to find more clients and new customers. This is an ongoing process if you want to realize photography business growth.
How does a professional photographer find more and new customers? The same way virtually any other service or product business does: get the word out. People have to know that you are capable and available, plus they want to know that what you do or provide benefits them.
Advertising is the key. Looking for a simple explanation of the idea behind advertising, I found this useful definition from Wikipedia:
“Advertising is the practice and techniques employed to bring attention to a product or service. Advertising aims to put a product or service in the spotlight in hopes of drawing it attention from consumers.”
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For photography business growth, two proven successful advertising methods are networking and having an online presence.
Networking is teaming up with other businesses that are related somehow and offering incentives to that business and their customers to use you professionally. In return, they do the same for you and your customers.
As just one example of networking for photography business growth, a wedding photographer could team up with wedding planners, wedding venues, florists, makeup artists, DJs, clothing alteration businesses, or any other business that gets used for a wedding.
Being online is a great way to be seen as a photographer. This can be accomplished by having a website and through social media platforms. A huge question is, how do you get people to see those?
Another online tool, Google Maps, can be a key part of your online advertising. Follow the points in this YouTube video from web designer Kyle Prinsloo and adapt them to your particular photography business model:
The thing is, even if your photography business’s focus is old school, photography business growth comes from using the advertising ideas that work in today’s market. A mix of ideas will likely find you some new clients, creating business growth.
Networking with a high quality printing company such as Photo Book Press is a fine way to get your customers excited about your work for them, resulting in possible referrals of new customers or as repeat business from themselves,
Photography Business Growth - Specializing
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It’s not true only for photographers, but I see it all the time with people starting new businesses in that they try to offer everything to everybody, hoping to cash in better by not missing out on something.
While you can sometimes see success in photography business growth by using that mindset, I’ve seen many promises fail or fail to grow because of overreaching. Sometimes, it’s better to make a name for yourself in one niche (or two or three related niches) so that people respond to your networking and advertising.
With a photography business, it can be a little tricky to manage our expectations concerning our products and services. After all, we are photographers. A wedding photographer can do commercial real estate photography or vice versa.
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But, the big concern is, are you ready to offer a professional service in a field you only dabble in? A portrait photographer can be great with people pictures, but are they automatically ready to handle the specific aspects of wedding photography? Can a product photographer make perfect real estate images simply because they know photography?
Everyone is different, though. Some photographers really do have top-level skills in multiple genres, but that level of expertise and success likely didn’t come all at once from the very beginning.
Big gains in photography business growth can indeed come from offering multiple services and products. However, starting out in one or two related niches can put you on a firmer foundation for future expansion than trying to be that all-in-one photography business from the first moment we start charging for our skill.
Photography Business Growth - Expanding Services and Products
Now that we’re in business as photographers, we want to find ways to achieve growth in the photography business. This is where expanding our portfolio of goods and services makes sound business sense.
Using portrait photography as an example, we may want to venture into the event side of photography and start offering weddings and other events. Many of the skills overlap, at least photographically, so it can be a good path for the growth of the photography business.
Here’s another way to get photography business growth as a portrait photographer: offer other styles of portraits. Expanding into environmental portraits might boost our business if we primarily work out of a studio or in a home or office studio setup. Or, seek out companies that want corporate portraits or event coverage.
Another way to get photography business growth is to expand what we offer as physical products of our photography. A portrait photographer might regularly provide classically beautiful Canvas Prints to their customers, but adding in environmental or on-location family portraits might open up extra sales of Photo Books.
If your business revolves around corporate events, sports activities, group portraits, pet photography, or the like, you could supplement your basic fees and products with other photographic goods such as drinkware, home and office items, apparel, and accessories.
The point is you don’t even have to step out of your niche to get photography business growth. You can get it simply by offering more of what you already do - more types of photography in that genre or more types and styles of physical photo products.
If you want to include other types, styles, and genres of photography in your business, go for it! Many photographers specializing in one field are also very successful in other fields of photography, applying what they know about photography, in general, to be able to offer professional quality work in their other lines.
Photography Business Growth - Value vs Profit
A lot of photographers starting out have questions about what to charge for their photography.
No one pricing method can be applied to professional photography simply because there are so many variables involved. Every aspect is completely variable, from where you are, what type of photography you offer, and your skill level.
So, what you did is figure out how much profit you want for what you do or the products you provide. Photography packages are a fantastic method for giving your clients real value while allowing you to make a profit.
Photography packages can involve multiple types of end products, several different types of photography styles and services, or a mix of photography services and physical products. Leveraging this idea well can result in real photography business growth.
Again, partnering with a high-quality printing company like Photo Book Press will have real benefits for both you and your clients.
Photography Business Growth - Last Word
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Achieving photography business growth is the goal of virtually every photographer who has ventured into the exciting world of professional photography.
It won’t come automatically, but you make it happen by hard work, being exceptionally good at what you do, advertising effectively, and providing good value to your clients.