Written by William Manning (www.williammanning.com)
Photographers who find success in their profession aren’t always the most talented behind the camera. In many cases its the photographer who mastered the art of business management who find success in the industry. All to often, photographers think with their heart and not their head. It’s not hard to find talent but looking for talent with a good business sense becomes a little more difficult. Marketing savvy and business management is a process that takes time and could never be covered in a short blog post, but I’ll share a few ideas and key elements that have proven to be beneficial for me in my business.
Develop a Marketing Plan
Photography is a tough profession, I believe the key to finding success in the photography business is to be business tough (I don’t mean being tough to work with), develop a business plan and stick to it. A business plan is something that needs to be in writing. Your first business plan will be the toughest to write, after the initial one is written then once a year sit down and revise it as needed. A business plan is simply a plan or strategy of how you’re going to run your day to day, week to week operations. The most important things that need to be covered is a description of your business, budgets, management and strategy. There are many great websites throughout the internet to help you with your business plan. One of the most helpful I have found is Entrepreneur, it is well laid out and easy to follow.
Develop a Website
A website is a no-brainer, most photographers have some kind of representation on the internet today. I believe it is best to have an independent website, in other words you don’t want your only representation of your work to be placed solely on a community or directory website. It’s fine to market yourself on these sites but you want to have a independent site that is professionally created. Your website represents you. A photographer’s website doesn’t have to be filled with a bunch of text, after all, people who seek out your site are looking to see your style, what you have done and see if your work fits their needs. I don’t suggest putting hundreds of photos on your site, carefully select the best work you have done over the last couple of years that illustrate your talents. You want the potential client looking at your site to say themselves, “I want to see more from this photographer”. This gives them good reason to contact you and your opportunity to put your business/sales skills to work. You may want to have another gallery or web page available that is closed off to public view just in case that potential customer asks to see more of your work.
Part 2 of Take Control of your business I’ll discuss pricing and networking.
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