You love photography. You have a passion for it, and you’re good at it.
You’d love to start a photography business. But, what kind of business? How do you know what direction to go in?
Since I’ve been in your shoes, I’d like to share with you the best advice I received, how I found my path, and the skills you’ll need to make your business successful.
1. Start building your audience now
Even if you’re not sure what direction you’re going in yet or who your customers will be, you need to start building your audience right away.
This is the best piece of advice I received when I was thinking of starting a photography business.
The thing is that once you have a photography product or service ready to sell, you’ll need some people to tell about it. So you need to start building your audience now.
Whether your ideal customer is a stranger on the internet or someone you’ll meet in person in your town, they will do their research by looking you up on the internet and checking out your social profiles. And you don’t want them to be empty!
Get started on a few social networks and just start sharing your work. You’ll need to spend a bit of time interacting and engaging with people to get them to notice you. Follow other people, perhaps some photographers you admire, like and comment on their work, and they will likely reciprocate.
It can be slow going at first (which is why you need to start now) but having that audience will be critical to your future success.
2. Find your unique place in the market
I’m not going to lie, it isn’t easy making a living in photography these days. And if you think you’re going to do it selling prints or selling stock photography, you might need to think again.
The market has changed a lot since microstock companies arrived. Many big name photographers who made their living selling their photos for decades no longer can. Most of them are now doing workshops to make a living.
It’s really hard to sell prints and even magazines rarely pay for photos anymore. They will often run a photo contest where the entrants give away their rights to the photo in order to enter, and then the magazine gets to use all the photos for free. If they do decide to purchase, they’ll probably go with one of the big name photographers who have a reputation in the industry.
I’m not saying it isn’t doable, I do know a few people who make a living that way, but it’s a tough way to go.
On the other hand, there are lots of photographers out there making a go of it and there’s no reason you can’t be one of them.
The trick is to find your own path. Try to find a way to create something unique in the market by combining photography with something else that you have a specialized knowledge of or interest in.
Make a list of all the things that you have a good deal of knowledge about, and then brainstorm how you might combine photography with each of those things.
For example, when I was planning my business, I wrote down my areas of expertise including: software development, teaching, writing, dogs, boating, travelling, music and more.
One of my ideas was to combine photography with my love of boating. How? I could do marine based photography tours. Or I could give boaters something they all want and very few have: a photo of their boat underway. Or I could photograph boats for sale like a real estate photographer. Of course, I ended up going down a different path, but this is just an example of how you can brainstorm ideas to find your own unique place in the market.
Once you have chosen your idea, do some research, define exactly what your product or service is, and who your customers will be.
3. Learn internet marketing and sales strategies
Understanding how to market and sell your product or service is essential to having a successful photography business.
I know of a lot of exceptionally talented photographers who cannot make a living because they don’t have business skills. By the same token, there are photographers out there who are perhaps not as talented, yet have successful businesses.
The key is understanding how to market your business.
If you’re going to be marketing your products or services on the internet, there is a very specific group of skills that you’ll need to master. And some of those can be a real headache, believe me!
I’ve pulled my hair out trying to figure out things like google analytics, Facebook tracking pixels, lead generation, and email marketing. All of those were foreign concepts to me even though I was self-employed for 17 years before switching careers to photography.
That’s why I’m so excited about a course I’m going through myself right now. It’s called “Essential Marketing and Sales Strategies for Photographic Storytellers”. Sounds perfect, right?
It includes 10 modules:
- Preparing your marketing and sales system
- Who are you selling to?
- Lead generation basics
- Finishing up your lead magnet
- Preparing your email marketing system
- Building the email signup process
- Essential writing skills for photographers
- Email marketing development
- Using Facebook ads to acquire leads
- How to turn interested leads into actual clients
Normally this course sells for $197, but I know a way you can get it for only $97.
But that’s not all…
You’ll also get 57 other photography education resources, along with the eCourse I just mentioned!
They’re all part of the Ultimate Photography Bundle, a collection of eCourses, eBooks, a membership site, and 10 tools (like overlays, presets, and more!).
Now, I get that it’s a HUGE number of resources, but here’s the thing … even if just a handful of products in it resonate with you, it’s well worth the investment.
And the best part is this collection is yours to keep. It isn’t going anywhere. So whenever you decide to focus on a new area (trying new editing techniques, learning time-lapse photography, improving your workflow, even trying new types of photography like food, concerts, street, family etc.) you’ve got a resource ready and waiting.
Many of the resources in the bundle are also business related, like these:
- 6 Weeks to Profitability by Susan Stripling (worth $49.00)
- Build a Profitable Photography Business for Nature & Travel Photographers by Will Burrard-Lucas (worth $39.00)
- Breaking Into Business by Will Nicholls (worth $20.00)
- 21 Pre-Written Photography Emails by Magazine Mama (worth $99.00)
- Mini-Sessions in a Snap: A complete guide to planning profitable mini-sessions. by Nicole Begley (worth $297.00)
- Get Connected by Lara White (worth $49.00)
- Intentional Documentary: The Session Workflow for Documentary Family Photographers by Marie Masse (worth $149.00)
- The Winning Creative’s Way by Christina Scalera (worth $997.00)
- And more…
This entire bundle can be yours for only $97, but only if you buy it before the sale is over on Friday March 2nd at midnight!
To sweeten the deal, I am also offering an exclusive bonus of my own.
My Exclusive Bonus Offer
If you purchase the Ultimate Photography Bundle using the links on this page, you will get access to my 5-day video course, Understanding Natural Light in Landscape Photography.
We’ll cover the characteristics of natural light and you’ll learn what kinds of photos to make under various lighting conditions.
You’ll receive “Essential Marketing and Sales Strategies for Photographic Storytellers”, plus 57 more resources that are included in the Ultimate Bundle, plus my video course for only $97.
But don’t wait too long. It’s only on sale until Friday March 2nd!
Don’t forget, it comes with a 30-day happiness guarantee – so there’s no risk at all.
*This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase, I will earn a commission at no cost to you. Read my disclosure.