If I were to take inventory of the number of photographers that owned photography businesses in 2008 (the year I began), and where they are now, a large percentage of those professionals would no longer be in business. The ones that are still around and thriving have one thing in common – they are business savvy individuals that focused much of their time and attention on marketing instead of taking photographs.
Of course, there has been much debate, negativity, and anger toward some of these photographers who have been accused to be better marketers than photographers, but be that as it may, if you want to have a successful photography business, you have to market yourself; and you have to do it well. As creatives who would rather spend time hiding behind a camera hoping clients will come to us, knowing where to find and how to book clients can seem like an insurmountable task.
Just last week I spent an hour chatting with a fellow photographer who wanted to raise her prices and take her business to the next level but was unsure of where to start. It’s overwhelming; there’s so much to do, so much to think about, and so much to know (like websites, SEO, product offerings, etc.). And who really wants to spend time thinking about these things? I’d rather be shooting.
Most of us do not have business degrees, so what next? How do we write a business plan – or even something less formal – a roadmap of where we are going to take our business this year? Hire someone? YouTube? Wing it? Well, it’s always good to have a starting point, and this useful document created by PhotoShelter is an easily “digestible” guide with action steps to help you begin this process.
The 24-page guide is free; all it costs is your email address. The workbook comes with short and easy concepts coupled with questions and actionable steps to help you define what you want your business to look like. It’s not comprehensive, but the guide does include additional resources to help you in the areas you may need more assistance in. The workbook covers the following areas:
- Define your products & services
- Determine your audience and addressable market
- Create a marketing plan
- Fix your finances
- Tune-up your website
- Build your Search Engine Optimization
- Get social
- Create an advisory group
- Follow up with old clients
You can get your guide by clicking here.
When building a photography business (or rather, any business), there is much to consider. If you are looking for more help on building your website and SEO, be sure to check out our Photography SEO and Web Marketing eBook here.