More and more people like Gary Gough are getting into photography not just as a hobby or interest but also as a business as people are getting attracted with the prospect of earning while having fun doing something as fun, passionate, and artistic as photography.
But business is a different matter altogether, as many who have entered into the photography business have discovered. Sadly, some of them have not succeeded in their photography businesses because of mistakes made along the way that cost their business as a result.
So if you’re looking into entering the photography business, be on the lookout and avoid the following mistakes you might commit along the way.
Mistake #1: Not Knowing How Much You Need to Charge to be Profitable
First thing to remember: you cannot skip on calculating how much you would charge for your service. Doing otherwise will seriously hurt the future of your business. Thus, you would have to take the pains of factoring the expenses on your end and the taxes so you will not end up being on the losing end.
If you don’t do so you’ll end up having to raise your prices significantly your first few years and will lose clients in the process.
Mistake #2: Failing to Set Expectations
Now that you know what you’ll need to charge to sustain your business, create a pricing list services you offer with these rates so that the clients will know what to expect in the future.
This would also help set an appropriate anchor point in their mind which would serve as a basis they will compare all your prices in the future, giving an impression as to how much your service is worth.
Mistake #3: Shooting for Free
A common mistake made by those starting out in the business is that they first offer their services for free. What they don’t realize is that with this gesture, people would not value your time or your work nearly as much as if they are spending money, regardless of the amount. As an alternative, why not give a free portrait session with the option to buy prints or the digital images at a discount from your normal prices?
Determine how long you are going to offer this. For example, you may offer your deal to anyone who books a session with you within the next month but allow them to schedule over the next 6 months. This is a great way to get your business off the ground and have several months of sessions on the calendar from the start.
Just make sure they know what your prices are up-front so there are no surprises. Show them both your full prices as well as the discounted prices you are offering to set expectations. Eventually, people will value your work more if they have to pay for it. They’ll take your business more seriously since it won’t just be viewed as a hobby that you do for free.
Mistake #4: Not Embracing Online Marketing
A number of photographers either overlook or ignore online marketing campaign for their business, not knowing that it is actually the number one secret weapon that will help you to grow your photography business faster.
This is not just about a list that you keep in your email account, nor is it about buying emails from some service and emailing people who know nothing about your business.
Instead, you let people know about your business by having them voluntarily sign up on your website for newsletters, a form of soft selling if you will. In fact, you don’t have to blatantly sell your business outright. But rather, you let customers be drawn to your service by providing helpful information with the emails you send out. It could be about how to dress for their session, things to avoid doing before a session, what products are best for showing off their images, really anything that they’ll want to know that will make them feel empowered and informed.
So when you send out an email announcing a special promotion, you are more likely to have customers because there is a bond and trust already in place between you and the customer.