Have you ever been called a shutterbug? Do people rave over the photos you’ve taken? Perhaps you and your sweetheart share a love of photography—and you may have thought about turning this passion into a profit. Great photography can tell a story or show a unique perspective through images. If you have this skill, you have the opportunity to make a living doing what you love.
Even though everyone has a camera within 3 feet of them at all times, the photography industry still generates over $10 billion annually. The need for a professional who can capture moments, emotions, and tell a story in pictures, is still in demand. If you are thinking about starting a photography business, or have already started one, the goals you set for the business will help you succeed.
Having good goals for your business will ensure that you learn, grow, and will help make sure you stay in business. However, goals for a photography business can be slightly different than those of other service businesses. In this article, we will lay out the goals you may want to set for your photography business.
1. Find Your Niche
What kind of photos do you want to take? There’s corporate photography—the types of photos that businesses need in order to sell their products. If you like to take photos of products, this could be a great option for you. Corporations often need photos of their buildings and headshots of their executives for various marketing purposes.
Your niche could be wedding photography, which can be in great demand in the warmer seasons. Or, you may consider making your mark as a photographer specializing in yearbook and prom photos, capturing the moments that high school students and their families will remember for years to come. A photographer with the right temperament could work with infants and young children, the way that photographer Anne Geddes did, creating her iconic portraits of babies in various settings.
2. Create a Profitable Photography Package
After you’ve decided on your photography business niche, you’ll need to make it easy for your clients to do business with you. Creating a profitable photography package makes it easy for you to generate profits. Generating profits is one of the most important long-term goals for any business. Your photography package can help you generate profits by quickly showing clients how they can most effectively use their time with you and what they can buy within their budget.
A great photography package takes the guesswork out for clients—especially if they’re not sure what they need. Your clients will know that they want beautiful, high-quality photography, and some of your clients may know what their budget is for their big day. When you create photography packages that make a profit, you can also save time for your clients by focusing on popular offerings that are in-demand and that are most requested.
3. Hire an Assistant or Build a Team
Once you’ve found your niche and created a profitable photography package, you may find that the demands on your time will increase. Success won’t only be based on how well your portraits look. Your ability to manage other aspects of the business will be critical.
This is where the help of an assistant or a team can be extremely helpful. While you could attempt to hire one person who is good at many things, it can be an equally good approach to build a team of experts to hire on a project-by-project basis for different needs.
As an entrepreneur, it may be hard to give control to others. However, as you delegate some tasks to trusted team members, you can achieve your goals faster. Here are some tasks that you may consider outsourcing to an assistant or a team of experts:
- Customer service
- Social media
- Taxes and accounting
- Website development
4. Acquire Influential Clients in Your Niche
Acquiring influential clients can potentially skyrocket your business. Influencing clients are customers who can share your business with others. Influential does not necessarily mean famous. Although landing a famous client isn’t a bad idea either.
An influential client can be a corporation, a school, or even an influencer. The important thing is that the client can spread the word about you and your business. These clients usually have a network of people they can connect you with or make recommendations.
Think about the people, places, and events that are associated with your niche. Here are some ideas to get your brainstorming started:
- Corporate photography: If this is your desired niche, try building relationships with entrepreneurs. Think about how you can meet the needs of up-and-coming businesses, particularly those that may not have a photographer.
- Student photography: Want to take photos for yearbooks, prom, or football games? Build relationships with your local schools.
- Wedding photography: Get the word out into the wedding industry that you’re in business. Start making connections with people in the wedding industry, who may be able to recommend your work to brides- and grooms-to-be, such as people at reception halls, bridal stores, and bakeries.
Be cautious about looking for influential clients when you are just starting your business. In the same way an influential client can rave about you, they can also be critical if they have a negative experience. Take time to grow your skillset and experience before taking on an influential client. Having a team in place will also help relieve some of the duties which will allow you to focus on doing the best job possible.
5. Find Passive Income
Most photography businesses begin with one or two people taking photos for clients. In order to do this, however, you will need to trade your time and skills for money. This means that in order to for you to make money, you must be present to take photos. However, at some point, you may want to find ways to make money without
Passive income can be a wonderful option. Passive income allows for a steady income stream after you’ve already put the work in. Collecting royalties after publishing an e-book is just one example of passive income. These royalties can be paid for years after you’ve written your book.
Other passive income options for photographers include selling stock images online. Many companies use stock images in their web and print content. Stock image sites allow you to make your shots available for purchase. When someone downloads your image, you earn a small royalty.
You can also create passive income by creating a photography course online and offering it to friends, family, and fans.
6. Improve Your Craft
Like with any creative work, constant improvement is the only way to stay relevant in your field. This is especially true in a business like photography where the competition is fierce. Growing your skills can insure that you stay in demand.
Are there areas of photography where you could improve? Perhaps you are great at taking still life photos. But, how well can you capture a photo for editorial content? Or, are you able to take great sports photos? Are you familiar with the latest technological advances in photography? If there are areas in your skillset that can be improved upon, make it a goal to work on improving your craft.
Partner with photographers in the niche where you want to improve and trade insights with them. You can also take courses or workshops in those areas where you want to grow. The photography business is an ever evolving space. Don’t be content with being good. Always seek to be great.
Photography can be an enjoyable way to earn income. To maximize your success, first select a niche. Then create a quality photography package to help you efficiently maximize profits. Delegating tasks to an assistant or team members will allow you to focus on what you do best.
Don’t forget to chart your goals so you can monitor your progress. Soon, you’ll be able to think big picture and consider passive income streams. Your future is bright!