Let's talk Business 101.
So you're ready, or at least you think you are ready to start your business! You've mastered your camera and have done some portfolio building (aka free shoots) and now you're ready to take it to the next level! Congratulations! Here are five tips that can help you get started!
1. Make a Plan! List out all the things you need and create a budget. Research your costs for websites, email addresses, programs, image hosting, products, packaging, taxes, insurance, education, etc.
2. Show your best work! Now is the time to go and create your fabulous website/blog and show the world what you have to offer! We know you have a lot of pictures you're proud of, but here's the thing: ONLY show your BEST images. (You don't need to include all 400 photos from your cousin's senior session!) Narrow it down to only the images that really make you stand out! One more thing, only advertise the images that represent the kind of photography you want to do! If you post a session of a 1st birthday party, but you absolutely do not want to photograph birthday parties, don't show that session! If you already have a website/blog, go back and edit out of your galleries any images that don't represent you and aren't your favorites.
3. Work on your pricing! Now that have your budget, you can decide how much you should charge. Remember to include all your start-up costs, taxes, insurance, etc., but don't forget to pay yourself! A great piece of advice is to set your pricing at the number that is worth getting up and out of bed for. Don't price yourself too low; remember your time is valuable! Yes, this is your passion, but this is also your job. Whether you are full time or part time, you are still away from your family, your friends and reality TV! So, make it worth it.
4. Treat your clients right! You know all that portfolio building you did? Remember that your most important clients are your past clients. Treat them right and they’ll be your best PR people. Get written referrals from customers, add a ‘testimonials’ page to your website. Word of mouth is the best advertising!
5. Create a system! Organization is key to staying sane. Put together your plan from the moment you book a session all the way until you deliver your products and/or images. Systematizing will save time and your life!
We hope these five simple tips can help get you on the right track to starting your business! Remember to check back next week for more!
If you have a business related topic that you would like us to discuss, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!