Start Building a Photography Business With These Critical Steps

  • By Naomi Harreman
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I won’t mince words, here – building a successful photography business is hard to do. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t take measures to make it easier on yourself and make success a more likely outcome.

In fact, part of what might ensure your success as a photographer is the “behind the scenes” work you do before you ever open your doors. By that, I mean that devising a business plan, getting solid experience, and having a means to share and sell your work can go a long way in helping you achieve your dreams. Let’s look at each of these steps in more detail.

Develop a Business Plan

If building a successful photography business is the goal, a business plan is the roadmap to get there. A business plan will help you organize your thoughts and ideas, develop a name, a brand, and a marketing strategy, help you identify your strengths and weakness, as well as your needs to move forward. What’s more, a business plan requires that you outline in specific terms what your business will be and how it will make money. That includes analyses of things like cash flow, expenses, the type of business structure (i.e., sole proprietorship, LLC), and an examination of the target market and competing businesses as well.

Additionally, when developing a solid plan for your business, consider the following:

  • Your unique selling points – why customers will choose you over your competitors.
  • Your target market – the range of customers you intend to cater to.
  • Your business policies – ranging from your hours of operation to your client contract to how you’ll handle dissatisfied clients.
  • Your goals for the short-term and long-term.

Creating a business plan requires a ton of thought and effort, but when you’re done, you’ll have a solid outline of where you are, where you want to be, and how to get there.

Get Experience Behind the Lens

Even if you have a ton of raw talent and you can create jaw-dropping images, you still need to get some experience actually working as a photographer. I mean, it’s one thing to grab your camera and head out to take photos of landscapes or your friends or the night life in the big city whenever you feel like it. It’s another thing entirely to have to work on other people’s schedules, taking photos that they want you to take that may or may not jive with what your creative vision would be. In other words, you have to learn how to be an employee and get the job done with your camera.

What’s more, more practice never hurt anyone. Whether you dedicate a couple of hours a day to perfecting your approach in the field or in post-processing, getting more camera time will only help you develop your artistic style and your workflow. And if you can get some time behind the lens and find a mentor too, then you’ll be even better off! A mentor can be the best asset you have as you build your business because they’ve been there, done that, and can offer real-world advice of what to do and not to do.

Maybe it’s just a good friend that you talk with on occasion. Perhaps you take a job as a second shooter under the wing of a more experienced photographer. However you do it, getting more experience, learning about the industry, and perhaps most importantly, getting sage business advice, are critical components of your future success.

Find a Way to Share and Sell Your Work

A crucial component of whether or not your new photography business will be a success or a flop is your ability to reach potential customers. That means having a website that acts as a hub for marketing your brand, sharing the work you’ve done, and selling photos to clients. There are plenty of ways to do this, ranging from hiring a professional to create your website for you to finding a WordPress template to work with. The problem with hiring a professional, though, is that it can be incredibly expensive. And the problem with something like WordPress is that you have to have knowledge of website design and development to build your site.

That’s why using something like Photler is a better choice. Photler has stunning pre-made website themes that were made by photographers, for photographers. That means you don’t have to sift through thousands of so-so templates to find something specifically for photography. Instead, you have access to gorgeous photography themes that allow you to get online and do so quickly because Photler doesn’t require you to know anything about coding. In that regard, it’s like a plug-and-play website. You just pick your desired template, add your information and images, and you’re on your way!

But don’t think that Photler is just a slick-looking image portfolio. It’s a total website solution that includes blogging tools, contact forms, built-in social media integration, and analytics tools. Photler also has built-in e-commerce so you can begin to monetize the images you take. In other words, Photler not only gives you a quick and easy way to get online, but it enables you to have a professional-looking website with custom branding, blogging, communication tools, and e-commerce, and all without the huge price tag of hiring a professional to do it for you.

When you’re building a business, keeping an eye on your bottom line is necessary for your survival. With Photler, you have a way to build your brand, expand your clientele, and build your business to start bringing money in.

Now that’s how to start a business!

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