How To Turn Your Photography Passion Into A Business
Many creatives spend their lives dreaming about turning their passions into a livelihood. While artistic hobbies and side projects are commonplace in every industry, very few people take the leap toward establishing a business from their pastimes.
Workers today are demonstrating a shift in values when it comes to their jobs. Whereas job security and a steady wage were valued highly in the past, the modern workforce places a much greater value on their happiness and overall quality of life. Slowly but surely, people are looking away from the 9-to-5, and are beginning to focus on the things they are more passionate about.
The world is full of amateur photographers. From selfie-taking grandparents, to Instagram influencers, to professional wedding photographers, there has never been quite the spectrum within the industry. Camera technology in smartphones has made amazing photos accessible to everyone. In fact, there will be an estimated 1.4 trillion photos taken in 2020.
However, something that smartphone photography has shown us is that there is a significant difference between an enthusiast and a talented photographer. Those who have spent time learning their craft and clocking in hours of editing can produce the most spectacular images. People still value professional photographers.
If you’re a budding photographer with aspirations to turn your passion into a business, there is no time like the present. Life is full of opportunity, so why not take a leap of faith to pursue your passion. Here are ten tips to help get you started.
Find your niche
Finding your photography niche can help you to focus your brand and demonstrates expertise in a particular area. Although you may be adept at photographing in various scenarios, this can be difficult to market, and you may lose business to those who specialize in specific industries.
Whether you’re a wedding photographer, a sports photographer, a fashion photographer, or anything in between, finding your niche gives your business direction and clearly shows your customers that you’re skilled in that particular niche.
Establish clear and measurable goals
Setting goals is very important for any business. Establishing measurable goals is essential.
Goals give your business direction and can help to clarify what your intentions are. To give yourself the best opportunity for success, make these goals as specific as possible, measurable, and with an end date in mind. This gives full accountability for achieving them.
As people, our brains are geared toward problem-solving. Create your goals around solving needs in your industry and work toward them.
Create a business plan
Any business needs a comprehensive business plan to be successful. An effective business plan outlines all the core details about how a business operates. It contains the visions and goals of the business and explains the strategies behind achieving them. It also includes financial projections and profitability potential.
A business plan not only keeps you on track throughout the year, but it also helps you to create a clear vision of what you are trying to do, as well as how you are going to do it.
Build your portfolio
Every decent photographer should have a strong portfolio to demonstrate their work. In such a competitive industry, your portfolio can be the difference in securing or missing out on work.
If you don’t have a body of work to accurately demonstrate your abilities, you should prioritize creating one. Work on creating images that will appeal to those within your target market. You may have to work for free or pay models to get the photos that you need. However, this is a crucial step and could lead to significant revenue down the line.
Become an editing guru
A modern photographer’s job doesn’t end when the camera is powered off. Some would argue that the real work hasn’t even begun at this point. Touching up or editing images is one of the most critical factors in delivering desirable and high-quality photos.
Become an editing guru and make Photoshop your friend. Learn key techniques like editing with lightroom presets. Set yourself apart from the competition in the editing booth.
Optimize your marketing strategy
A strong and well-organized marketing strategy is essential for a new entrepreneurial venture, particularly in photography. As a visual-based business, it’s important for marketing activities to be consistent across the board.
Some of the key aspects of this strategy involve:
- Having a pre-planned social media content calendar.
- Having a plan for building an e-mail list.
- Targeted social media adverts.
- Slick and easy to use website.
- Lead generation strategy.
- Business cards.
- Photography catalog.
Make an effort to network, attend events and trade shows, and do everything in your power to market your business.
Create a pricing structure
If this is your first solo business venture, establishing the value of your services is likely to be difficult. The most important thing you can do in this situation is to detach yourself from the discussion. Make the decision based completely on business.
Research the competition, consult your business plan, and develop a list of competitive prices. Be careful not to start out too low. Although this can be an effective way to get your business off the ground, it might not be sustainable and can lead to future financial problems.
Customer service excellence
As a sole trader, you become the face of your business. If you offer an excellent level of customer service, you are likely to develop influential personal relationships with customers that can help cultivate a strong and loyal client base.
Encourage clients to leave testimonials on your webpage and social media channels. Testimonials are powerful influencers when it comes to customer decision making.
Be a professional
As a sole trader, you’re in a unique position when it comes to client interaction. While it’s effective to present yourself in a friendly manner, it can be difficult to maintain professionalism at all times. However, if you want to achieve success, you must find the line between you and your business.
Use your natural flair to your advantage but set appropriate professional boundaries. Don’t compromise your business values and strategy.
Invest in equipment
If you have been an amateur photographer for many years, you may have collected quite a bit of equipment. If you don’t have adequate lenses, flashes, batteries, editing software, lighting, screens, and any other necessary equipment, you must invest. If your business is lacking in materials, it will likely fall short when it comes to providing exemplary photography services.