If you’re confident with your photography gear and your skills so far, you can start exploring how to make money from your hobby. If you want to start your photography business, you will need something more than your gear, budget, and a couple of friends who want to order a photoshoot from you. You will need a business plan that will include a thorough digital marketing strategy, as today no business can survive without marketing. This article lists the important tips that you need to consider at the very start of your photography business as they will help you understand how you can boost your engagement and attract new clients.
There are several ways a photographer can earn a living. While offering photoshoots in the genre you work with is a solid idea for a photography business, it’s not a universal thing for photographers and not their only source of income. Many photographers become freelance contributors on Depositphotos apart from their regular workflow, and this helps them earn a passive income on commissions.
Check Out the 5 Tips on How to Start Your Photography Business:
1. Develop a strong social media presence
Whether you are planning to have your own photography business or are just an amateur photographer trying to show your work online, the most important thing these days for any photographer is a strong social media presence. Unfortunately, very often it’s those photographers with a solid online following and visibility that get all the clients and photoshoots, even if they are not the greatest artists.
It’s crucial that you are active on more than one platform since it makes you easily discoverable and lets you engage more audiences throughout several channels. At the very least you should invest your time and effort into Instagram and Facebook since they are the platforms that will bring you the vast majority of your clients. However, pay attention to other social media platforms as well, such as Pinterest, LinkedIn, or even Twitter, as each of them has its own unique features that might be of use when you try to find more customers. You should invest in social media ads to gain more exposure and consequently followers – luckily, they don’t cost that much and are very effective.
2. Invest into a website and SEO
Sure, if you live in a small area, or plan a small peer-to-peer photography business, you might not have the budget to create a personal website. However, if your photography business plans are ambitious, investing your money and time into a website is something you really should consider.
Apart from being your ‘face’ and a place you can organize a thoughtful portfolio in a specific way you like, your website or a blog can bring in organic traffic if you optimize it well. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a must for those who hope to acquire new clients through their inquiries on Google. However, it’s really hard to rank in the top 10 results with high online competition, and there are very few people who would click through past the first few pages. That’s why you should optimize your website with more specific keywords, including your niche and area. This way, you will have the chance to get measurable traffic to your website.
3. Be a perfectionist with your portfolio
All your marketing channels, from your website to your social media platforms, serve as your portfolio. It takes less than a few seconds to make a good first impression and keep in mind that people will possibly choose you over other photographers based on it. Be attentive with each of your channels and do your best to make sure your portfolio reflects your unique artistic style.
If you don’t have a website to organize your portfolio, consider uploading your works to a microstock platform. Your page there can serve both as a portfolio and bring you extra income. What’s more, there are several platforms dedicated to organizing a photography portfolio, so you can choose among them as well.
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4. Visual identity and branding
A photography business is still a business, despite it being an artistic field. That’s why you need to think about your brand image and recognizable visual identity, just like a regular company would do. One of the things that can make you stand out from the crowd is creating a logo for your photography business.
Of course, no logo is useful if your images aren’t appealing enough. However, a thoughtful approach to creating your visual identity and using design in your marketing efforts will help you distinguish your work from others. A logo is something that people will see even before they look through your photos on Instagram or your portfolio, which means you have a chance to communicate a certain message and make a strong first impression.
5. Collect contacts from your clients
As mentioned above, you will get the majority of your clients with the help of your social media platforms since they help you network. Those who already ordered a photoshoot from you usually share the pictures and feedback on their social media, which adds extra fuel to your online reputation. However, you shouldn’t rely solely on your Instagram or Facebook accounts in terms of connecting to your clients as something always can go wrong.
Imagine if your Instagram profile gets blocked for some reason for several days. You might think that this will never happen particularly to you, but never say never. Today’s algorithms on some social media platforms are hard to keep track of sometimes, and many artists get blocked from time to time, especially if they work with some ‘controversial’ topics such as sexuality and nudity. If this happens to you, you won’t have your clients’ contacts for some time. That’s why it’s a good idea to create a list with emails and phone numbers of your clients. First, it will help you stay in touch with your customers no matter what. Second, a list of emails can be used for email marketing if you ever consider this channel for promotion.
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Many photographers who want to start their own business don’t lack skills – they lack confidence. It’s totally understandable. Most of us will panic and procrastinate when it comes to starting something new and important, that’s just how human nature works. However, procrastination won’t help you ‘get ready’ to start, as you will never be ready enough for something unless you just make it a point with yourself to start.
That’s why you should start your photography business right now if this is something you have wanted for months or even years but was always postponing. Sure, it will be very scary at the beginning, but you should remember that as a photographer, you have several options to earn an income. If your images are of great quality, your potential photography business is already off to a good start.