Are you ready to Start your dream business?
Turning your love of taking photos into a business sounds like a dream, but creating a successful business is more than just picking up your camera and shooting away! Whilst inspiration and passion is probably the most important component in finding your sweet spot, there are a range of skills and responsibilities that need to be considered. But “I just want to be a professional photographer” you say….! We hear you, but in going pro you have to accept you are also setting up an entire business, often on your own. There are lots of roles that you will be responsible for, and it is good to have an idea of these diverse tasks before you launch in. After years of experience building our own thriving businesses, we can help you move past the unknown and take action to bring your dream business to life – following a structured roadmap for building a growing photography business will save you from figuring it out as you stumble along and wasting time ‘re-inventing the wheel’.
Have You Got What it Takes?
Professional photographers don’t just take amazing photos. We spend a comparatively small amount of time behind the camera and a surprisingly large amount of time creating the opportunities to take the amazing photos in the first place! Yesterday I was photographing a small, intimate, lockdown wedding but the day before I was prepping my kit, confirming final details with the client, doing a recce on the venue to check the time of sunset, oh and also posting on social media, updating details on my website with a new testimonial, and adding receipts to my financial records! [far less glamorous!] Today after the wedding, I am editing yesterday’s wedding photos whilst also checking emails from clients, posting on social media [again] and ordering final prints & frames for clients’ Christmas orders! This is the reality of being a freelance photographer!
Many talented photographers fail while less-talented photographers may succeed. How come? Let’s consider the multitude of qualities necessary for success.
We all have the drive and passion for photography in our creative personalities, but photography is a competitive marketplace and we also need to have drive and passion for business. Whilst you can outsource some activities and get help with business tasks, it is fundamentally up to you to find your own clients. This takes time and energy. It is vital to recognise this as one of the key roles you have to undertake alongside taking photos. Are you ready to embrace this?
Being self-employed has many benefits and gives you huge freedom and control over your life, but it is also demanding and requires lots of juggling of multiple tasks. For us this creates a real buzz and satisfaction and pride – does this entrepreneurial spirit excite you?
Being an Entrepreneur
Being successful means taking opportunities, over-coming the fear and self-doubt and the imposter syndrome [continually not just the once, it creeps back in!] Being entrepreneurial requires self-motivation, bouncing back after a set-back and being the kind of person who isn’t afraid of taking risks. But you’re here reading this, so you that must be you!
Creating a successful photography business requires patience and hard work. It takes time to set up, build & sustain a reputation. Money probably shouldn’t be your motivator when you first start out, but you can enjoy a financially rewarding and fulfilling lifestyle once you are established in your new career. Educating yourself and learning from others’ experience is one of the best ways to kickstart your business when you are just starting out. What’s your motivator?
Selling yourself and your photography feels very personal and can be uncomfortable. You will take criticism personally – we have been there! Leaving a career in consulting sales I expected to find selling easy, however it is very different when you are selling yourself rather than another brand’s product or service. Be assured though most feedback is constructive and will help you improve so be prepared to listen to others as you grow! How well do you take feedback?
Being Business Savvy
You can be the best photographer around, but if you don’t treat your photography as a business you won’t succeed. You may have happy clients, but not be making enough money. You may be fully booked, but will be exhausted and stressed. Embracing business skills and setting up systems early on will be invaluable to the success of your dream business. Are you ready to learn to become a business owner?
Your reputation is everything. Always be professional – arriving on time, sticking to budget, avoiding double booking, getting location permits, responding to enquiries efficiently, dressing appropriately…. It’s important to maintain an efficient and professional approach throughout every stage of your engagement with clients if you want to build a solid reputation and get referral business and repeat bookings. This might seem obvious and easy, but you may be surprised where many photographers go wrong!
Lifestyle Photography is a people business. Clients will come back to you and recommend you to others if they enjoyed their shoot experience and liked being around you. You don’t have to be an extrovert, but you do need to be likable and like people!
Being a Good Communicator
It’s a distinct advantage if you can communicate well with clients – at promotion stage, enquiry stage, planning stage, during shoots, and when presenting and selling final products. Are you a good talker?
So our top tip for success is striking a balance between being creative and passionate about your photography, whilst being ambitious and business-minded at the same time. We’ve got your back here at Phox Planner. In the planner you will learn how to transform your business by learning habits for success whilst gaining the confidence & clarity you need to thrive and succeed!