Are you an avid and creative photographer and have finally decided to ditch your regular 9-to-5 job to pursue a professional career as a photographer? Do you plan to launch and establish a successful photography business?
Just like any other venture, starting your own business can be overwhelming. And considering that you plan to enter an industry that has fierce competition, you need to take all the necessary steps to make your photography business stand out in the crowd.
In this article, we highlight the top tips for starting your photography business and setting it up for long-term success.
1. Find Your Niche
When thinking about how to start a photography business, the first thing you want to do is find a particular photography niche and narrow down your specialty. This is entirely dependent on your personal preferences, interest, experience, and skill set.
Some potential areas of specialties that you can explore include:
- Portrait photography
- Wedding photography
- Event photography
- Still life photography
- Pet photography
- Food photography
- Wildlife photography
- Commercial photography
- Fashion photography
- Sports photography
- Landscape photography
2. Choose a Business Model
Once you have narrowed down one or more types of photography services that you want to offer, proceed with choosing a suitable business model. For example, you may wish to partner with printing services to provide physical prints, or scrap that from your business model altogether and only deal with digital photos. You will also have to define your price thresholds and devise photography packages for customers.
Before you do this, it is a good idea to do competitive market research to ascertain the rates being charged by photographers in your specific niche. This can give you a good idea of how to structure your photography business and give you insights regarding the prices you should charge. Finally, devise a well-written business plan outlining the short- and long-term goals of your business, your financial and marketing plan, organizational structure, and everyday operations and activities.
3. Figure Out the Legal Matters
Starting your photography business means that you will have to incorporate it either as a limited liability company, C Corporation, or an S Corporation. Alternatively, you can also run the business as a sole proprietorship. Whatever entity you choose will have implications for the taxes you pay on the revenue generated by the business.
Furthermore, you will also have to register your business in the state you are operating as well as with the federal government and obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) so that you can legally pay the requisite taxes. In some cases, you may also need to get additional permits if, for instance, you decide to start your own studio.
4. Get the Necessary Equipment
You will have to invest in getting the best cameras and supporting equipment for your business, such as tripods, lenses, and lighting. This will be complemented by getting the right technology to help you process the photos you take. For example, photo editing software, cloud storage solutions, and task management applications can be immensely helpful for running a successful photography business.
Also, consider investing in customer relationship management software to help you build and retain clients for your photography business and improve your customer service.
5. Create a Website
For most customers, the first point of contact with your photography business is most likely going to be via your website. For this reason, we highly recommend creating a user-friendly and creative website that truly captures the essence of your photography style and clearly demonstrates your call to action.
Make sure to have it SEO optimized and create a tab with your portfolio so that potential customers have easy access to review your work.
6. Market Your Photography Business
It is best to have an integrated marketing plan across multiple platforms and channels. For instance, you should consider a social media marketing strategy by focusing on promoting your photography business on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
We also recommend taking advantage of more traditional methods, such as email marketing, to reach out to new customers. You can also explore search engine marketing by investing in paid ads to feature on search engines. This can help increase your website’s traffic and improve your conversion rates.
Starting a photography business is a brilliant venture since you can be fairly sure that the market demand is not going anywhere. The real challenge is to differentiate yourself from the competition in terms of what kind of services you offer. So get your creative juices flowing and brainstorm for innovative ways to attract customers and build your clientele. We wish you all the best in your new photography venture.