How to Start a Photography BusinessEric Merlin
Starting a photography business is a practical solution to improve your photography skills, earn additional income, or provide financial security for unprecedented times like the current COVID-19 pandemic.
There are many factors to consider before you start, so read along as this article provides the steps to starting your photography business. After that, we’re listing a few business tips you can apply.
We’ll start by explaining the six steps that will help you create a photography business.
1. Start with a basic business plan and define your goals
Your business plans and goals help make better decisions—even the most challenging ones. That’s why it’s essential to settle them first before focusing on anything else. They also guide you through every phase of your business.
Take a second to understand why you’re starting the business. Do plenty of research, create short and long-term plans, and turn them into actionable goals. During the process, make sure to cover every aspect, from budgeting to potential expansion.
If you don’t know where to start or stuck with the planning, ask yourself questions like:
- Who is my target audience?
- What value does the business bring?
- What does the monetization process look like?
- How is my business different from other photographers?
- How will the business look like a year or two from now?
2. Decide what type of photography you’ll focus on
Having your photography niche sets a clear direction for your business and allows you to find clients easier. Choosing between many photography types can get confusing, but there are ways to make the decision process easier. Read these quick tips below:
- Try the niche you like. You might want a few niches at once, and the best way to pick one is by trying everything. This helps sort out the ones you love doing and profitable for the business.
- Find a reliable source of learning. Take a few online courses or find a helpful mentor to help choose the photography type you want.
- Do lots of practice. Practice by taking photos unrelated to your business. This will help build your sense and style in photography and make projects more manageable.
When you’ve found your niche, determine your client persona. Consider factors like location, demographic, client’s budget, and market price for the photography service. Understanding the ideal client allows you to build quality relationships and sustain your business.
3. Create your business/portfolio website
Every business benefits from a website, so this should be the next step. Giving the right first impression, building interests, and showing credibility are achievable through a well-made website. Fortunately, setting up a website is simple and hassle-free.
Opt for the platform that gets everything done within one platform and allows for a much quicker process. To create your business website, follow these steps below
- Select the hosting provider that offers other business tools
- Choose your hosting plans and domain name, which is usually provided in one plan
- Create your business name using a name generator
- Create your logo with a logo maker. Click here to start
- Start creating the website using a website builder, and design it according to your niche
- Publish your website once the process is done
4. Register your business entity
Settle on the legal paperwork and register your business. As a small business, you must prepare for the sales tax by going to the local tax offices. Start by researching how the tax system works in your country. Then fill out the required forms to get your business listed.
After that, create a business bank account. You must always separate personal and business accounts to help with the tax. In other words, keep your free tax filing software for submitting a personal tax return, but send all your important financial numbers and documents to a CPA to handle your business taxes. Furthermore, this also helps with the payment process from your clients. Aside from the sales tax and bank account, determine what business licenses or trademarks you need.
5. Invest in quality photography equipment
Your photography equipment should effectively accommodate business activities, so invest in high-quality ones. If you’re already familiar with the basic equipment, it would be easier for you. If you’re a beginner, there are some factors to consider.
Start by listing the equipment you need, like the camera, lens, and lighting tools. Visualize the business process and list the tools you need to help the project from start to finish.
Alternatively, you can start the business with only essential tools if you’re worried about budgeting, and then gradually add more devices as you go.
6. Market your photography business
Marketing your business can be tricky as your brand image depends on how you choose to market it. It’s important to be effective and follow your business plans. Choose the platform that aligns with your business values.
There are different online marketing strategies to choose from, which are:
- Create social media accounts and build your community
- Use Google Business page to help increase brand visibility on search engines
- Start a blog, and build interests through knowledge sharing
- Apply email marketing to keep in touch with your audience
- Create networking opportunities by offering photoshoot services
Choose the best marketing platform based on your business goals and budgeting. Keep in mind that starting and getting your brand the awareness it needs is the best way to do it.
Tips for photographers in 2020
Once you settle on the six steps of starting the business, next comes the tips for running it seamlessly. We’ll start by how you can adjust your business with the current pandemic, then continue to general information to help grow your business.
Businesses that operate during the pandemic must take extra precautions. If you’re planning to do on-site photography work, adjust it with the new normal health protocols. Maintain social distancing, personal hygiene, prioritize at-home projects, and always clean your gadgets.
In addition to the health protocols, these next tips can also help your business’s day-to-day activity—in the comfort of your home.
- Think like a business owner. Running the business means that you’re taking more roles beyond photography. As a business owner, focus on other areas like daily operations, financial management, and project planning. Be prepared for lots of business decisions.
- Create a quality client service. As a service-based business, client satisfaction is highly crucial to establishing reputation and trust. Creating a clear communication and catering to their needs are the ways to start.
- Keep a project archive. When a project is completed, avoid deleting the client pictures whenever possible. It’s suitable for both the client and for you to learn. The archive is also helpful for project portfolios and potential referrals.
- Focus on finding referrals. This tip is helpful for long-term plans for your business. Referrals from clients ensure your business’ growth. You can do it by providing quality service and results on every project.
- Make room for growth. Lastly, it’s always important to be open to growth and continuously learn. A profitable business understands the opportunity to grow. Learn more by checking different monthly investments tips from Bugis Credit. Having a curious mind, learning from your peers, or gradually increasing your skill can help your business grow.