Tips for successful photography business
Business

Untold secrets of a successful photography business

Running a photography business is a dream come true for many creatives. After all, you’re following your passion and getting paid for it. But being your own boss doesn’t mean you can shirk the responsibilities of running a business — there’s still work to do.

A photography business is an excellent way to not only make a living but also share your passion with others. It doesn’t matter what you’re shooting — weddings, portraits, stock photos, food shots or landscapes — you can turn your eye for photography into a real income stream. If you aren’t sure how to make your photography business stand out from the crowd, here are some tips for getting started:

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Photography is not about photography

Really! It’s about business. You can have great gear and great skill and still fail at photography because you don’t know the business. How do you attract clients? How do you price your services? How do you make yourself visible? This is a business like any other, and it has to be run that way — or else it won’t work at all.

Use the right marketing techniques

Marketing should be taken seriously by all photographers, whether they are professional or not. It is one of the most important aspects of running a successful photography business, and it is something you should never take for granted.

Marketing a photography business isn’t rocket science. You just need to know where to start and how to go about it in the right way. Don’t worry if you are new to this. It’s not as hard as you think, and before long you will be a pro at it too.

If you have any doubts about your abilities, don’t be afraid to take some courses or get some training from someone who knows their stuff. Once you feel confident in your abilities and can produce quality images time after time, then it’s time to think about marketing. It’s pointless going ahead with promoting yourself if your work isn’t up to scratch yet!

Target market

It’s important to recognize that there are two very different types of photography businesses — the portrait studio that takes family portraits and the commercial photographer that takes pictures for ads and magazines. The latter generally has more earning potential because commercial clients typically have bigger budgets. However, the former can be satisfying for people who like working with people versus objects like cars or food.

Online Portfolio

One of the first things potential customers will do when checking out your business online is looking at your portfolio. It’s also one of the first things you should do when starting your website — people should be able to see what you offer right off the bat. If they like what they see, they’ll stick around and explore the rest of your site; if not, they’ll leave and find someone who’s offering something more interesting or exciting.

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Reward your frequent buyers

Frequent buyers and loyal customers are the lifeblood of any business. The more you can do to recognize their dedication to your brand, the better off you’ll be in the long run. Consider creating a loyalty program that offers discounts or free add-ons (like frames or prints) after a certain number of purchases or referrals. You could even give them an exclusive first look at new products or sales before they go live to the public! 

You need to stand out from other photographers and constantly come up with something new and interesting. If you are photographing weddings, you can offer the newlyweds a special wedding photo booth, accessories or a package of 10 art photos for free. You need to find something that will make you recognizable so that customers will remember and call you again.

Get yourself noticed

The only way you will get more customers is if you get your name out there and start making people aware of your business. The good news is that there are many ways you can do this, both online and offline. Here are some of the most effective:

1) Get a professional website: Your website should show off the best of your work and tell potential customers what services you offer and what your prices are. Get recommendations from friends or other photographers about web design companies, or use an online platform like Squarespace to create a site for yourself with minimal effort;

2) Get social media savvy: You don’t need to be on every platform, but you should at least be on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

3) Create a blog: If people like what they see on your website, direct them to your blog so they can learn more about you and share their thoughts.

You don’t need a huge following, but a few followers who are genuinely interested in your work will help spread the word about you and keep them coming back for more.

Host giveaways and contests

Giveaways and contests are a great way to engage with your current clients and potentially reach new ones. By simply announcing that you’ll be giving away a free photo session or products to one or two lucky winners, you can entice others to enter through social media share or tagging friends. This can help you gain exposure to your business by reaching new audiences as well as build up excitement for your services among previous customers. And offering discounts for referrals is another great way to promote your work through word-of-mouth marketing!