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As someone that's started multiple businesses in my adult life, I can say firsthand that starting a company is a ton of work.
But as I've discovered over the years, there are certain things that successful businesspeople do to make their daily lives run much more smoothly.
Though not all the tips I've learned have to do directly with photography, each tip outlined below will certainly help you in starting a photography business and getting it off the ground and headed in the right direction.
Give Your Customers the Time of Day
Nothing is more annoying than when you call a business, get their voicemail, and don't get a timely response.
After all, if you're calling, you likely have a relatively immediate need or pressing question, otherwise, why would you call?
Since your income as a photographer is dependent upon clients booking you for sessions, you can ill-afford to make customers wait to get a response from you.
Whether they call, text, email, DM you or contact you by some other means, you need to be on top of returning customer inquiries sooner rather than later.
In the chaos of the day, you legitimately might not have more than a few moments here or there to even check your voicemail or inbox.
So, what you need to do is set aside time each day to make getting back to customers a priority.
That doesn't mean that you need to check your voicemail every hour or write emails to clients four or five times a day. In fact, that'll only bog you down and make your day inefficient.
Instead, start the morning by checking your messages and responding to customers. Check again at midday, and then again at the end of the day.
If you chuck it into three 10-minute blocks, you will likely find you have an easier time staying in touch with clients.
Ensure Your Marketing is On Point When Starting a Photography Business
Clearly, to get your business off on the right foot, your marketing messaging and strategy need to be on point.
That is, if you specialize in wedding photography, you need to tailor your marketing to that niche.
But beyond the obvious, you also need to develop a strategy for getting your branded message to the people that need to hear it.
In today's world, that means utilizing tools like social media to make connections with potential clients.
That also means having an awesome website where potential clients can find information about you, your business, and scope out examples of the work you do.
But having a beautiful website isn't all that needs to happen. You also need to have a domain that gives your website a professional presence that will impress your customers.
Think about it - what better way to tell the world exactly what you do as a photographer than by having it right there in your domain name?
These domains are not only easy to remember, but they're also super short, so you can more easily put your website URL in tight spaces like social media profiles or your business cards.
What's more, since these domains are new, there's a much greater likelihood that you can snag the precise name you need for your business.
And since these domains are through Uniregistry, you know that you get top-notch customer service.
That means no long wait times when you have a question, no shady add-ons or expensive options that rack up the price.
Instead, you get what you need and get it quickly and easily so you can tailor your marketing message to your target market.
What's not to like about that?
Realize That Your Time is Valuable
One thing I notice about some photographers (and other businesspeople, too) is that they don't value their time enough.
That is, they either undervalue what their time is worth and therefore undercharge their clients, or they don't take into account all the time they spend on business activities and don't even charge for all that time in the first place.
Whatever the case, you need to value your time and charge clients to cover it - all of it.
That means that when you determine your pricing structure, you can't just consider how much time you'll actually be with your clients taking pictures.
Instead, you need to factor in all the time you spend on marketing, returning phone calls and emails, post-processing, and so forth.
If you don't, you'll find that you make way less than you should, and if that's the case, you'll end up working way more than you want.
So, sit down and really think about all the time you spend each day working and use that number as a guideline for determining how much you need to charge.
Get more tips on how much to charge in the video above by The Art of Photography.