"My Camera" by Paul Reynolds (Flickr Creative Commons)
“My Camera” by Paul Reynolds (Flickr Creative Commons)

The Bread and Butter

The ‘bread and butter’ is an essential part of any business and, in this case, more directly, a photographers business. When I say, “bread and butter,”  I am speaking of the sales facet of a business, which of course, is often the most daunting part. In this series, we’ll primarily be looking at selling and business processes as pertaining to photography.

I want to show you that we (as humans) are always selling. We may not realize that we are selling, and it’s ok to put on the “sales professional” hat, and to get that gear of the business moving efficiently, and effectively. Doing so will leave you more time to do what you love – taking photos and exercising your creativity.

The truth is, physically shooting, the real aspect of our business we love, makes up a small percentage of the time spent running our business. The majority is spent on the back end, post processing and ensuring the business is producing and running smoothly. We will break this system down from an elementary level, and fine tune it for efficiency, so you can do more of what you love. This article will be an overview of the “The Business of Photography” series and the basic idea of selling. Through the next few articles, we will dive into the business fully and discover ways to maximize your business in sales, marketing, and client retention.

Selling is Selling

Seems idiotic to say, however, we are always selling something.  Have you ever had a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or relative suggest a restaurant to you and you went and tried the restaurant? If so, you were sold an idea. You trusted this person enough to take them up on their word and try something you have never tried before.

Being sold isn’t the end of the world, and selling isn’t the end of the world either. Once we change our paradigm and realize this, the process becomes smooth and easier. Ideas, goods, and services are all sold, everyday and everywhere,  person to person, business to business, and business to person.

We are in an industry that sells a service. It’s essential to understand that the business process starts with the sales process. Without a client, you don’t have a business, you have a hobby. And hobbies are great, but they don’t pay the bills.

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Spend More Time Doing What You Love

How can you spend more time doing what you love? As eluded to above, the answer is actually straight forward; Become more efficient with your business process so you may have more time to spend shooting, developing your skills, or whatever you choose.

[REWIND: THE NUTRITIONAL FACTS OF A SUCCESSFUL PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS]

 

Things to Think About

As with any process, you must begin by evaluating yourself and where you are at now, so that you can know where exactly you’re going.

  • Rate yourself personally (being honest, of course) on where you are at as a sales person on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being terrible 10 being terrific.
  • Ask yourself: where are your clients coming from (sales and marketing are directly related) and write them down. It will come in handy in a later post.
  • Dissect your time. Where are you spending it? Are you spending it on where your strengths and passions are? If not, then stay tuned, we will discover ways for you to spend time with those passions!
  • Is your business exactly where YOU want it to be? Are you energized and excited daily to get to work on it?

Feel free to jot these answers down in a notebook that you can look back to. It is important to see growth and victories as they will continually push us forward.  You can even answer these in the comments section and let’s start a discussion. Let’s help each other grow and learn. We can inspire one another as a collective unit.  I look forward to working and growing with you.

In the next article, we will dig into the beginning of the business process: finding more potential clients.  Thanks for taking the journey with me.