Before starting any business, you have to make sure you prepare everything thoroughly. We all know that things will most likely go awry but running a business means being ready to adapt to changing situations. If you have decided to start a photography business, whether you are a freelancer who wants to sell photos online or a wedding photographer who is working harder and harder to set himself apart from the flock of amateur photographers, you need to start with conducting in-depth photography market research and your potential clientele.
Brainstorm your business name
It is vital to understand that you need something that will last when it comes to business naming. This is why this first step is so critical. First, you need to follow your state’s business naming guidelines. Some states have laws restricting a businessperson from using a name that another business entity is already using or is deceptively similar to another business’s name. This sounds fair, though, right? Choose a name that people can spell and pronounce easily. Stick to simple and memorable ones. You can even use some online tools for generating your business name. Life has become much easier with the internet. Choosing a name for your photography business is one of the exciting and creative parts of starting your own business. Make sure it reflects the photography business’s desired image.
Professional photographers must have top-of-the-line cameras. Make sure you upgrade your toolkit over time when your business starts to make progress. Many young photographers start with the amateur type of equipment: a simple camera with one lens and flash, which means that the price for their service is also out of competition. Create a business budget for your fresh-baked business that will help you to grow your toolkit over time. Based on the interviews of many photographers, a startup budget for the professional camera is 1500-2000 USD, but the exact specific price depends on the model and maker you pick. Multiple lenses can cost you over 1000 USD; flashes start from 700 USD; memory cards are at least 50 dollars each.
Purchasing the right insurance for your photography business is an important thing to do before you officially launch. If your business is going to have employees, then you need to get worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance. Most small businesses are almost always advised to get general liability insurance or a business owner’s policy. The first one covers your property damage, while the business owner’s policy covers personal injuries to yourself or a third party.
Another type of insurance, professional liability, covers you if something goes wrong while operating your business. You might want to consider this if you provide photography services.
Set up your service price range
Lots of photographers have difficulties in setting their price range and determining the value of their service. You should never overprice your service, but you should also not go less than the minimum wage. Conduct thorough market research based on your field, demographics, targeted audience, or potential clientele. The study will help you determine your target customers, their needs, behaviors, and preferences; you will get to know your competitors and come up with a better understanding of your opportunities and limitations.
We don’t even need to give you price range examples for any photography service. After the research, you will be able to do it on your own.
Just a valuable piece of advice: always require the upfront deposit for your service.
Invest in a win-win website
A potential customer turns to the internet to see what he is purchasing, and the most experienced way to persuade him is a win-win website. If your startup budget is not high, then you can go with buying a good WordPress site. They have ready templates, and it is much easier to optimize such websites. You can also go with Wix, PhotoShelter, SmugMug. You can buy a good template for an average 60$. Represent yourself as an expert photographer in your genre and draw potential clients to your website. Create good content, write about your photography, use your pictures in those articles to visualize your content. Hire a good SEO specialist so that your website can rank for specific keywords in your local area. If you think you cannot spend extra money on SEO service, then get ready to spend some time learning about the importance of search engine optimization.
Build your reputation
In every industry, you don’t just need to be an experienced specialist. You also need to be a “people person.” Meet with your clients before the shooting day, make a good impression, make sure you sit down and listen to what they are expecting from you, chat about your experience and expectations from your cooperation. Photographers are not only selling products or doing service; they also capture the most important moments in this life, the memories.
Don’t forget about social media. This is another great tool to promote yourself, tell stories of people you have worked with, share emotions and moments; people will definitely remember your name one day when choosing a professional photographer for their event.
Grow your business
For making a profit and staying afloat, you always need to grow your business. But it’s going to take patience and much effort, which eventually will get out of your business what you have invested into it. Collaborate with other more established brands in your market, reach out to other companies and ask for some promotion in exchange for a free service, partner with charity organisations, volunteer to build a good reputation.
Be ready to adapt and solve problems quickly, because even if you have the perfect business plan in the world, once you put it into action, there might come up lots of changes, and you must be ready and willing to deal with them. Your value lies in dealing with those problems, getting a lot more experience, finding the exact path for your photography business, and always moving forward.