There's one question photographers should ask themselves everyday, and that is: What did you do today to build your business? Emphasis on the word “today.” Simple words I first heard while taking a business of photography class a few years back from a noted photographer. And while the class itself droned on a bit and may not have been as compelling as I’d initially hoped for, those simple words stuck with me then as they do today.
I’ve been posting my work online for almost 8 years. What’s been consistent throughout that time is the pressure to post only my best photos. With the introduction of Instagram Stories, I feel as though I’ve found an outlet that not only relieves some of that pressure, but also allows me to showcase a bit more of myself and my personality too. It’s completely revolutionized the way I use social media.
For just about the past year now, I have been working in real estate and aerial photography. I mainly work with the agents directly and the most important thing for me to do is be able to establish a good relationship with each and every agent I work with. These agents are my clients and I want to be able to keep them as clients so they continue to come back to me for any photo, video, or aerial work they need to market their properties. Within this short little year I have been working, I've dealt with so much and learned more than I ever could have imagined.
In 2006, Leah Caldwell was eating at a Chipotle near the University of Denver when a photographer took her picture. When she got up to leave, the photographer asked her to sign a release form for use of the images, but she said no. Eight years later, when Caldwell went into a Chipotle in Orlando, Florida, she saw her picture on one of the restaurant’s walls, and subsequently in two other locations in California.
Getting clients is one of the most difficult parts of being in business. Unfortunately, marketing knowledge doesn't just appear once you have your license in your hands. As a result, many of us look at what our competitors are doing and try something similar, never realizing that there is a good chance that our competitors are also operating from a place of marketing ignorance. One of the most common marketing mistakes I've seen is photographers spending too much time talking about themselves, and not enough time talking to their clients. This means many photographers are shooting themselves in the foot by making their landing pages self-centered, rather than client centered, and they may be losing out on business because of it.
Your website is your calling card: it's the place where people go to decide whether they're going to book you or some other photographer. As such, it's important to make yours as memorable as possible. This helpful tutorial will give you some great tips to build a stronger brand on your website.
The journey that a photographer takes in turning an enjoyable pastime into a full-fledged career is a common path that that describes the origins of many photography businesses. With limited business experience, hobbyists-turned-entrepreneurs often make incorrect assumptions about what makes a photography business successful. There is one particularly common misconception that holds a lot of photographers back in the early stages of starting a business.
Disclaimer: This isn’t one of those articles suggesting that you buy this book to learn how to write a book about writing books. It’s not a secret recipe for success, or some sort of made up list of chores you must first complete before winning a coveted golden ticket. These three stages are noted because I’ve observed their tenants, and with a little of your own investigative digging, you’ll learn that many of your favorite photographers have resided within the boundaries of each of these stages as well.
So, you've bought the camera and lights, you've watched hours of tutorials and done lots of shoots with friends to get your technique up to speed, and you've printed up business cards. Now, it's time to get the clients you want. Check out this quick video that'll set you on the right path.