Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Scaling Up Your Photography Business To The Next Level

If you’re anything like me, you got into photography because you loved taking photos; not because you wanted to be the next Richard Branson. Being a photographer and running a business require completely different skill-sets, and being good at one does not necessarily mean the other will come naturally.

Presuming that photography is your forte, as the word about your good work spreads and requests for bookings grow, your ability to fulfil all the requests as a one-man or woman band is limited. And unfulfilled requests mean missed revenue opportunities and further recommendations.

If you want to start generating more from your business, then the ability to scale-up and meet growing demand is key. But it can also be daunting, particularly if you’ve never run your own business before.

Here are five things to consider to help you do so successfully...

1. Hire a part-time assistant – Much of the time spent being a professional photographer can be taken up with the labour intensive tasks away from the camera. Editing photos, calculating expenses, processing invoices and responding to emails can take an age and take you away from the bit you add the real value to. Consider which tasks only you can do and where bringing in ad-hoc or part-time support might allow you to get through the other tasks faster, whilst you focus on the core of the business.

2. Join forces with other photographers – Often big events require more than one camera to cover them adequately. This is where partnering up with another photographer you respect, admire and trust can be helpful. You’ll not only be able to take on bigger, more profitable events but with any luck, they’ll return the favour to you and invite you to support some of their projects.

3. Invest in marketing – Word of mouth is a great way to kick-start a photography business but if you’re serious about growing then you have to get serious about marketing. Advertising in wedding magazines, on websites and through social marketing channels like Instagram can be a fantastic way to get your work seen by the people who really matter.

4. Use software to speed up certain processes – Walking customers through hundreds of shots at an event until you find theirs in an attempt to generate sales is a notoriously slow process. It also means you can only serve one customer at a time. New software is now available to help automate much of this using facial recognition and tablet computers. This way customers can self-serve to purchase photos while you continue snapping shots.

5. Make time to build your customer database in quiet periods – Photography is a notoriously seasonal business, particularly in Northern Europe and Northern America where the sun is only out for a few months. Make sure you’re using your quiet periods wisely. When you’re not out and about photographing events every week, put that time to good use building your customer database and proactively marketing your business to fill up the books for the following summer.