10 Essential Tips for Scaling and Optimizing Your Business: Part 2 of 2

10 Essential Tips for Scaling and Optimizing Your Business: Part 2 of 2

In this rapidly evolving world of photography, it's essential to take a step back and scrutinize how well we're reflecting our business in its current state, including growth in our personal photos, websites, and social media profiles. In the previous article, we discussed five actionable strategies to address commonly overlooked areas, from updating personal images to refreshing website content, and from leveraging social media to nourishing creativity through personal projects and continuous learning.

Today, we'll be focusing on five additional areas that photographers often grapple with in their pursuit to provide superior service to their clients and importantly, in their journey of professional evolution. Unfortunately for us creative types, running a successful business has very little to do with creativity. In fact, most of the things necessary to even be profitable are downright boring. But a good business strategy will allow you to free up more time to get back to doing what you really want to be doing, the creative stuff.

Customer Testimonials

Positive reviews and testimonials are powerful tools for promoting your services. When potential clients see praise from satisfied customers, it reinforces your credibility and reliability. After completing a project, ask your clients if they'd be willing to write a testimonial. You could also set up an automatic email asking for feedback a week or so after delivering the final photos. Showcase these testimonials prominently on your website and social media. Always respond to reviews, whether they're positive or negative. Show appreciation for positive feedback and address any criticism professionally, showing potential clients that you value customer satisfaction. You could also set up an automatic email asking for feedback a week or so after delivering the final photos. Showcase these testimonials prominently on your website and social media. Always respond to reviews, whether they're positive or negative. Show appreciation for positive feedback and address any criticism professionally, showing potential clients that you value customer satisfaction.

Google My Business

Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to promote your business profile and website on Google Search and Maps. Playing an SEO game is like trying to outsmart a multi-billion-dollar company. You'll never thoroughly win. Instead, use the tools that they offer for free and build up a strong business presence using Google My Business. With your account, you can connect with customers, post updates, and see how customers are interacting with your business on Google. It's especially important for local businesses because it helps you stand out in local search results and provides potential customers with crucial information like your address, hours, and reviews at a glance. Up-to-date, informative, and positive Google My Business listings can enhance your online presence and attract more customers. It's also a platform where you can engage with customers by responding to reviews and answering questions, which can help build trust and rapport.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a powerful tool for understanding how people interact with your website. It can give you insights into how many people are visiting your site, where they're coming from (for example, from social media, a search engine, or directly typing in your URL), which pages they're visiting, and how long they're staying. This information can help you identify what's working well on your site and what needs improvement. For instance, if you have a high bounce rate (people leaving after viewing just one page), it might indicate that users aren't finding what they're looking for or that the page isn't engaging. By regularly reviewing and interpreting your Google Analytics data, you can continually refine your website and digital strategy to better serve your audience and meet your business goals. Regularly checking on your analytics, understanding the data trends, and paying close attention to your traffic patterns can help you refine your site to connect more effectively with your target market.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is another free service offered by Google that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site's presence in Google Search results. It's not only about understanding how Google sees your site but also improving your site's visibility in search results. You can use it to confirm that Google can find and crawl your site, fix indexing problems, view search traffic data, and see which sites are linking to yours. It can also alert you to any issues like mobile usability problems or security issues. By monitoring and optimizing your site with Google Search Console, you can improve your site's ranking in search results, increasing visibility and attracting more visitors. It takes time, but spending that time learning and improving each of these Google systems can result in much better data, allowing you to work more efficiently, and that time saved will allow you to find better customers and take on more work. It won't happen overnight, but continued progress will have a better payout than slapping some cheap SEO on the site and calling it a day.

Outsource Time-Consuming Tasks

Outsourcing is an effective strategy for photographers to free up time, increase efficiency, and even scale their business. The world of photography isn't confined to just taking pictures; it encompasses a host of other tasks like editing, marketing, administrative duties, etc. As your business grows, these responsibilities can become overwhelming and start to encroach on the time you dedicate to your core passion—photography. That's where outsourcing comes in. You only have so many hours in a day, and it's impossible to scale while also doing all the work on your own without any help.

  • Photo Editing: One of the primary tasks photographers often outsource is photo editing. It's a time-consuming process, and not all photographers enjoy this aspect of the job. Numerous companies specialize in providing professional photo editing services. They work with you to understand your style, ensuring the finished images align with your brand. Outsourcing this task can free up significant time, allowing you to focus on shooting more and expanding your client base. Personally, I outsource about 50% of my work. Not all my projects allow for outsourcing, but by having someone else handle even just a piece of my workload, I'm able to take on enough jobs to make a significant increase in my total throughput. 
  • Administrative Tasks: Things like scheduling, invoicing, email management, and other administrative duties can be outsourced to a virtual assistant. They can handle these mundane but essential tasks, freeing you up to focus more on creative and revenue-generating activities. Since many of the virtual assistants on the market that garner the most attention speak other languages, it will be important to communicate clearly and set guidelines and expectations before having someone else speak directly to your customers. I've heard stories of photographers losing clients simply because the communications channels get muddled when hiring a virtual assistant without effectively preparing that assistant beforehand.
  • Marketing and Search Engine Optimization: Marketing your business is critical for growth but can be complex and time-consuming. Outsourcing to a marketing or SEO professional can help improve your website's visibility, attract more clients, and build a stronger online presence. These professionals stay up to date on the latest strategies and algorithms, ensuring your business stays competitive in the digital landscape. Be cautious with this one. There are thousands, I mean literally thousands of companies purporting to be the industry experts in search engine optimization. However, in my experience with several of my clients, many of these companies like to build a basic SEO template, plug your site into their system, and let it coast. Make sure to interview your SEO prospects thoroughly before hiring them. Get a good understanding of what they offer and if they can actually perform to your needs.
  • Website Management: Keeping your website updated and running smoothly can be outsourced to a web developer or a website management company. They can handle everything from regular updates to troubleshooting technical issues. There are literally hundreds of such vendors on Fiverr that offer such services. If this is something you're considering, I would strongly recommend handing these duties to someone else. As long as an hour of their time is costs less than an hour of your time, then it's a great investment.

By outsourcing these areas, photographers can focus more on what they love doing—capturing stunning images—while the business aspects are handled by professionals in their respective fields. This approach not only saves time but also offers opportunities to scale the business and boost revenue. However, it's crucial to build a trusted team of outsourced professionals who understand and align with your brand vision. Communication and clear expectations are key to making these relationships work.

In the swiftly changing arena of photography, you, as a professional, must constantly evaluate and enhance your digital persona, nurture your professional growth, and implement strategic business practices. Hopefully, this guide will help you identify areas you can improve and provide ideas to tackle those tasks—from maintaining a dynamic personal and online presence to sustaining your creative spark with personal projects, fostering lifelong learning, and effectively leveraging client testimonials. We spent time reviewing Google's trio of powerful tools for you—Google My Business, Google Analytics, and Google Search Console—highlighting their crucial role in bolstering your online visibility and deciphering user engagement. Learning those Google systems will pay off better than you might expect. Ultimately, this guide is designed to provide you with the insights and tools to navigate your professional journey confidently and successfully. Make sure to bookmark it in your Fstoppers account to reference for later. Chances are it'll come in handy more than once.

Rex Jones's picture

Rex lives in Saint George, Utah. His specialty is branding and strategy, working closely with businesses to refine their branding, scale internal structure, and produce high-quality marketing efforts. His photography is primarily commercial, with intermittent work in portraiture, product imagery, and landscape photography for his own enjoyment.

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