Whether you enjoy taking photos or you’ve simply always been attracted to this visual medium, you might be thinking about starting your own photography business. Photography has always been a popular and enticing profession, but this also means that it’s a particularly competitive field as well. Success and profitability can be challenging to reach in such an environment, but it’s not impossible. You just have to have a good plan and take some wise steps from the very beginning. To that end, here are some ways you can start and market a photography business successfully:
Invest in the right equipment
If you’re already an amateur photographer, you might have the necessary equipment for starting a business. However, it’s still advised to see whether the quality of your current equipment is good enough for professional work and higher fees. If it’s not, or if you’re simply just starting out with photography, keep in mind that there’s plenty of quite costly gear you will need to invest in. This includes at least one professional (DSLR) camera, additional lenses depending on your niche, tripods, lighting equipment, camera bags, backdrops, props, and studio space, among other aspects.
Consider the operational tools
Along with the right equipment, you will also need some operational tools to ensure your photography business can run smoothly. This can mean a business license, crucial certifications, and memberships in photographer associations, for instance. For maintaining streamlined processes, you will also need accounting software and equipment insurance in case of accidents, while working with clients requires contracts and a good payment system. Even when it comes to editing images, a good computer and professional photography software will also be needed. These are all important costs to consider as well.
Find your photography niche
Just like any other business, photography also comes with a number of different sub-niches, and selecting the right one could be key to success. For instance, you can attend a night photography workshop and learn how to capture beautiful images in this environment, thus giving you a unique, interesting, and profitable business idea. Similarly, you could also choose more commercial niches such as weddings, travel, food, fashion, product, and sports photography. No matter which area you opt for, make sure the competition isn’t too high, to help you guarantee success.
Set the right pricing model
Of course, you will have to charge for your photography services, but setting the right price can be challenging when you’re just starting out. To make the process simpler, consider your niche and the types of jobs you will be doing. This will allow you to decide between a fixed or an hourly rate, although most photographers tend to go the fixed route. In terms of the rate itself, this will likely depend on the area where you operate. Consider your competition and their prices to set a reasonable and competitive rate. In general, the price is determined by skills, experience, and niche.
Develop a great website
When it comes to marketing a photography business, nothing works as well as a website. It’s a standard feature in this modern world, but it’s still vital to showcase your work, attract new consumers, and increase profits. But in order to be effective, your site also needs to be designed well. Choose a sleek, simple, and professional theme, make your portfolio visible and easy to look through, and share all the necessary information about your business such as your name, location, pricing, and contact information. Don’t overfill your website with text, however - you’re selling a visual service.
Advertise on social media
Apart from a great website, social media can also be particularly effective at advertising the photography business. Choose visual platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, and post daily to raise awareness and boost traffic. Make your profiles as visually appealing as possible, and ensure you always include relevant hashtags with each post to expand your outreach. Investing in social media ads could also be of help, as well as partnering with local influencers, magazines, and businesses to increase exposure.
Focus on getting referrals
After all, word-of-mouth marketing is a brilliant compliment, but it can also be a great way to advertise your business. Potential customers trust previous ones the most, and they tend to make a purchasing decision based on positive reviews and recommendations. That is why you should aim to get your clients to refer their social circles to you for photos, and exponentially grow your business. To achieve this, treat each client with kindness and respect, provide an excellent service, and consider referral bonuses as well.
Photography can be quite a tough and competitive field, often making success in this business difficult to achieve. But as long as you plan in advance and follow the tips above, growth and prosperity will be guaranteed.