Over in the Master The Business of Photography Facebook Community we have been discussing different important business techniques to help your business to the next level. Each week we pick a business topic from the SLR Lounge Business Training System to discuss in depth. Recently we discussed the importance of choosing a niche and specializing in order to best market your business to your ideal client, here is short video summarizing that discussion with fellow Ambassador Tanya Goodall Smith:

We also asked several top professional photographers “How has specializing helped you and your business?” and here is what they had to say:

Raph Nogal – Website | Instagram

Raph Nogals Photo“Specializing has helped me by being recognized as an expert in the field. This has become very evident within my online social network. Often I’ll see someone post “Can anyone recommend a good wedding photographer?” and I’ll see people I’m friends with online comment, “Check out Raph, he’s amazing”… even though these people have not worked with me, but seeing that I specialize and often share only wedding-related images, they are confident in recommending me to their friends. In addition, being consistent with posting within your niche has helped me reach a wider audience on potential clients.”

Tanya Goodall Smith – Website | Instagram

tanya goodall smith 1“Choosing to specialize in commercial/branding photography for local businesses has helped me be able to more effectively market my services. I know exactly who needs me and where to find those people. It’s made my brand super recognizable, people hear about WorkStory Photography and know exactly what we do. I get a lot of referrals and stand out from the hundreds of other photographers in the Spokane area because of my specialty. I’ve received awards by local publications for “best commercial photographer,” voted on by the public, based 100% on my reputation and have had the opportunity to be interviewed on local radio and podcasts because I had a unique point of view and “specialty”. I highly recommend specializing!”

Kristina Robinson – Website | Instagram

Kristina Robinsons“Specialization as a new photographer is tough because when you are new you want to dip your toe in all the buckets. You are so excited about the art and creativity of the craft that is photography, that it is hard to decide where you will thrive and be able to make a real ‘go of it’ as a business owner. After a year or two of practicing and honing in on your passion, it is critical to find one area to concentrate on. I think there is an assumption that you have to ‘micro specialize’; only families, only infants, only couples. That isn’t true. I think it is important to ‘macro specialize’ and hone in on one genre – event photography, commercial photography, portrait photography, etc. Each of these areas has so many ‘micro specializations’ that if you are exploring every facet you will have so much to do it will be hard to do it all. You will be able to perfect your workflows and automations and answer questions your clients didn’t know they had. When you truly specialize in an area you will be able to anticipate your ideal client’s needs before they are voiced and meet expectations they didn’t know they had. Your value will outweigh your price which will, in turn, lead to more leads, bookings and allow you to scale your pricing as your value increases.”

Jared Gant – Website | Instagram | Wedding Maps Profile

JMGant JM203312

“Anytime you have a very important service that needs to be done, regardless of what it is, if it’s important to you, you’re likely going to seek out someone who has mastered that service. Through years of trial and error, I have found that to be the case regarding my business and photography. Certainly, I can photograph more than one subject type, but by focusing all my energy into one specific genre (weddings, in my case) and into a specific aesthetic within that genre (creative photojournalism) I have better aligned myself with ideal clients who want exactly what I enjoy creating and who value me as the expert in just that.”

Sean LeBlanc – Website | Instagram

Sean LeBlancs Photo

“Over the last few years, our studio has worked towards specializing in luxury client experiences. All of the focus is on quality, instead of quantity. The photography has to be great, that is a given; however, when you genuinely take care of your clients with five-star service, they will not only refer great clients but also become an advocate for your studio. We have spent considerable time refining all of the details that are part of our client’s experience. Every little detail matters and there is always room for improvement. We continue to work on creating the ultimate experience for our clients.”

Jay Cassario – Website | Instagram

Jays photo 1“Creating a unique brand was the most challenging piece of the puzzle when it came down taking my business to the next level. For the first few years that I was charging for photography, I was more of a “jack of all trades” studio. I quickly learned that the clients I wanted to market to were hiring specialists, who’s photography centered around only one style. Their focus was very clear and only for clients who needed their expertise. Whether it be family, newborn, senior, or in my case, wedding photography. In 2015, my wife and I knew what we had to do and completely rebranded to represent exactly what our photography and our studio are all about. We created a very specific brand that made it crisp and clear what we specialized in. That brand is what took us from shooting 10 weddings to over 120 with multiple photographers working for us. While a lot of photographers think of rebranding as changing a logo or color scheme, it’s so much more than that. If you look at our site it’s not hard to tell what we specialize in which is weddings and engagements with a unique style which also offers a very specific experience. It’s not for everyone, and that’s the point. To be successful in this over-saturated market you need to be willing to accept that and know that the clients you hire will appreciate your work that much more.”

Have you selected a niche to focus on and specialize in? If not, what are your thoughts on the subject? If you have, how has it helped you and your business? Join the discussion in the Master the Business of Photography community!