- Advantages and Disadvantages of a Home-Based Business
- How to Attract Clients to Your New Photography Business
I've started a number of businesses in my life, and I can tell you firsthand that it is much more difficult than it looks.
Of course, back in the day when I started my first company, the internet wasn't really a thing yet, so I didn't have tons of photography business guides, tutorials, and YouTube videos to help me out.
Things have changed, though...
Today, starting a photography business is easier than it used to be, but don't be fooled - it's still a lot of work.
To help you get started on the right path, here's a few photography business tips regarding things you should worry about and things you can let go.
When Starting a Photography Business, Worry About Clearly Defining What You Do
One of the most common photography business mistakes that people make is not being absolutely clear about what kind of photographer you want to be.
You aren't just a photographer; instead, you need to identify yourself as something more specific like a portrait photographer, a wedding photographer, or a fine art landscape photographer.
But beyond that, you also need to clearly define your personal photography style. That is, what sets your portraits or landscapes apart from what all the other portrait and landscape photographers do?
By drilling down to a specific niche and formulating your personal style, you'll do a couple of very important things.
First, you communicate to clients that you have expertise in this specific area. If you advertise yourself as a "do-it-all" photographer, that's a much more difficult task. People want expert photographers, not just some guy that's got a camera and calls himself a photographer.
Secondly, by developing your personal style, you not only have a means of differentiating yourself from the crowd, but the chances are good that doing so also helps you iron out your post-processing workflow.
By having your Lightroom or Photoshop strategy nailed down, you'll have a much more consistent look to your photos (and post-processing won't take as long, either).
Don't Worry About Gear
If you want to know how to start a photography business, you need to understand that putting your money towards new gear is not the way to do it.
Sure, a brand new Nikon D850 would be a great rig to have, but if your Nikon D810 still works, why not use it?
Gear, as you're likely acutely aware, is very expensive, and when you're just starting a photography business, you need to keep as much cash on hand to pay for vital things like studio space, photography insurance, and advertising, among other things.
Resist the urge to splurge on new gear, and instead work with what you've got or find other ways to save like buying pre-owned gear or simply renting specialized equipment when the need arises.
The point is that most new businesses fail because of a lack of money. That means that whatever money you have on hand right now needs to last until clients start coming knocking.
Worry About Your Online Presence
Having a solid online presence is an absolute must in today's world.
And that doesn't just mean having a Facebook page and a Twitter account, either...
Instead, you need a top-flight website that highlights the work you do and makes it easy for potential clients to contact you.
A large part of making yourself visible online is your website URL, so be sure not to neglect that.
I've seen many photographers use free URLs that have impossibly long strings of words with assorted periods or dashes mixed in.
Not only does that look completely unprofessional, but such long URLs are also extremely difficult to remember (and spell).
Clearly, the advantage of doing so is twofold - your website URL is short and easy to remember while also being professional.
Additionally, these URLs are relatively new, so there's much less worry about getting the specific URL you want than if you opt for a .com or .net address.
And as if that isn't enough, Uniregistry offers these URLs exclusively to photographers at a great price.
That means that you can build an incredible website that shows off your work, is easy for clients to find and remember, all without breaking the bank.
I switched to Uniregistry a few months ago, and I haven't regretted the move in the least. The service is great, the prices are even better, and unlike other domain providers, they're actually helpful when you have a question or problem!
The same goes for my hosting company, OVH.
I switched to OVH three years ago after many, many years of putting up with expensive, unreliable hosting from other companies.
OVH promises 99.9% uptime, and so far, they've certainly delivered on that promise.
It's so nice waking up each morning confident that PhotographyTalk will be live for all to see - and that's thanks to the reliability of OVH.
When you put your blood, sweat, and tears into building a photography business, you want to be sure that people will be able to find you online.
That means not only having a killer website but also having killer hosting too!
Don't Worry About What Other People are Doing
Though there is a need to understand what the market is like and what other photographers in your area are doing, it shouldn't be something that you obsess over all the time.
That's because the more time you spend Facebook stalking your competition, the less time you'll have to work on becoming a better photographer and businessperson.
So, that being said, keep feelers out there to see what the competition is doing (i.e., pricing), but don't fall into the photography business mistake of worrying about the competition all the time.
At the end of the day, what will get people in your door is what you do, not what your competitors are or are not doing!
For a few more insights into starting a photography business, check out the video above by Kristy Dickerson.