Running a photography business can be a lonely job. When you take the plunge into running a small business full-time, you quickly realize how solitary the work can be. Here’s why it’s so important to meet and build relationships with other photographers.
Networking for Sanity
I’m a homebody. One of the perks of running a photography business full-time, for me, is the ability to stay home and stay content in my introversion. However, when you drop the 9-to-5 job and go full-time, it can be lonely for even the truest of introverts. Finding and meeting other photographers can help with the loneliness. Even if you have a partner or spouse to confide in, you still need people who can appreciate the unique circumstances and problems that may arise while running a photography business. I didn’t understand how much I craved having someone to relate to and get advice from until I started building relationships with other photographers.
Not only can other photographers become close confidants, they are also a source of information and help. If you’re needing advice about your local photography market or need technical advice, knowing other local photographers can be invaluable.
Networking for Referrals
Beyond the personal perks of being able to establish relationships with other local photographers, you’re also able to gain client referrals from photographers who’ve learned to trust you. After building a network of photographer friends in my city, I now receive several client inquiries on a monthly basis from clients who were referred to me by photographers that are unavailable.
Likewise, I love being able to offer inquiring potential customers solutions if I’m available for the photo session date they’re requesting by referring them to other photographers who I know and trust and know will take care of them. Not only does this help out your fellow photographers, it gives you a little extra clout with clients, who, though you may not be able to book at the time, may come back for a different photo session or refer family or friends to your services in the future.
Networking for a Backup Plan
Lastly, having stable relationships with other photographers within your local market can be excellent if you’re in need of a backup plan for a photo session. Since most photography businesses are a one-person job, one of the biggest fears for photographers and clients alike is that something unexpected can happen that inhibits the photographer from making it to a photo session. This is especially scary for wedding photographers. Knowing other photographers in your city and having well-established relationships with them can help you to have a backup plan in place should you need to have another photographer swoop in to shoot a session for you.
How to Meet Other Photographers
Social media is the champion of bringing people together, and that is no different for photographers looking to meet other photographers. Searching Facebook for local photography or entrepreneur groups is a great way to start networking. Another fantastic resource for photographers are local meet-ups. National groups like The Rising Tide Society hold monthly meet-ups across the world for creative entrepreneurs (like photographers) to not only network but learn valuable business topics (full disclosure: I am the local Rising Tide Society leader for Las Vegas).
The key to networking is to make sure that you push yourself to get out and meet others. Networking can be an often scary topic, but you won’t regret it when you start establishing strong relationships with other people who can relate to you on a personal and professional level. Challenge yourself to get out and network more. The new year is just around the corner, and it may be a great resolution for the upcoming year.
Lead Image by Pixabay.com via Pexels, used under Creative Commons.