As a photographer, you’ve got the technical skill and a creative eye. You may even have a few clients and are looking for more. It might be time to take on your biggest project yet: starting and growing a photography business.
When you develop a photography business, you’re responsible for every part of operations—from booking and shooting to advertising and balancing the books. Creating a solid foundation to build your photography business helps set you up for success. Here are seven tips to grow your photography business.
1. Do your research
Understanding the local market is important to growing any small business. Photographers are no exception, and some targeted research could help you make crucial decisions and help ensure success. Consider looking into:
- Your ideal clients – Who are they? What types of photography services are they looking for? Where do they look for photographers to hire?
- Your competition – Who are they? What services do they offer, and how much are they charging? How do they advertise their services?
- Revenue forecasts – Estimate how much you expect to make each month, quarter, or year. These calculations, along with business budgets, might be part of your business plan.
Research can help you make decisions about running and advertising your photography business. They can also help you set realistic goals and timeframes for reaching them.
2. Consider education and certification
A degree or special certification is not necessary to work as a professional photographer. However, formal training could help you beat the competition.
A degree or certification could help you grow your photography business by attracting new clients. A client might feel more confident hiring someone with a degree in photography or industry certifications over a photographer who does not. Some certifications may be required by your state, such as if you will be taking photos or videos using a drone.
Photographers can receive certifications in professional photography and drone photography from the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). Other certifications may be available through local universities, trade schools, or industry organizations.
3. Choose a specialty
Working within a niche is another way to grow your photography business. Becoming a specialist in a specific type of photography helps position you as an expert in the area. With the right branding, clients may think of you first when looking for certain photography and videography services.
Photography business ideas you could consider include:
- Engagement and wedding photography
- Family portraits
- Pet photography
- Business or corporate portraits
- Commercial photography
- Residential real estate photography
- Aerial photography
- Landscape photography
- Photo editing
4. Build an online community
The internet can be a great tool for aspiring photographers. Beyond building a portfolio on your website and advertising your photography business online, you can also use social media to build your own community. Social media can help more potential clients and customers find your work and connect with your business.
Platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, can be great spaces for photographers to gain a following. Depending on your niche, you might also use LinkedIn or other social media sites to advertise your business and communicate with potential clients. Along with your finished work, people may also enjoy seeing behind-the-scenes footage from shoots, editing sessions, or your vacation travels!
5. Network in real life
Online networking can help you reach people across the world, but real-life networking may also be essential. Meeting potential clients face-to-face could help you secure projects or get important referrals to grow your photography business.
Where you network may depend on the niche you’ve chosen. For example, a real estate or commercial photographer might find it useful to attend industry events where they can meet potential clients. If you specialize in family portraits, booths at a farmer’s market or baby expo might be a great way to book new customers.
6. Get some help
Office admin takes time but done right, it could help your business grow. However, balancing the books and writing contracts may not be your strong suit. These tasks might cause you to put in more overtime hours than you’d prefer. Some professional help could be in order.
Outsourcing some admin tasks may be useful. Enlisting the services of an accountant, contract lawyer, or marketing specialist (among others) could save you countless hours that can be spent on other areas. These professionals might also suggest ways to save money, protect your business, and reach more potential customers.
7. Protect your business
Accidents and other unplanned events can cause more than just a headache. They might put shoots on hold, divert cash flow away from your business, or even cause you to close up shop for good. That’s why you might consider insurance for photographers to help protect your growing business.
Insurance for videographers and photographers helps shield your business against a variety of risks that you might face. Different policies can be purchased to help protect you against events that could prove costly, like broken equipment, customer injuries, or missed deadlines.
BizInsure can help you find and buy insurance for photographers in as little as 10 minutes. Compare policies online and get instant coverage today!
The number of quotes provided varies between products, occupations and other underwriting factors determined by the insurers.
This information is a general guide only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Always check with your local licensing board when getting or renewing your trade or professional license to ensure you are meeting their current licensing requirements.
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