In today’s photography market, too many new photographers charge based on what they think they are worth, combined with what they see other photographers charging in a rudimentary competitive analysis. This is no way to run a business. I didn’t realize what it cost to be in business until I got my hands on the PPA Benchmark Survey, and when I realized that professional photographers keep only a third of their revenue as profit, it forced me to look at what it was costing to be in business.
While February is right in the middle of what many of us refer to as the slow season, that doesn’t mean it should be a quiet stretch for you. Now is the time to do some serious house cleaning and stop procrastinating about the key elements on your website. You know the areas that need attention, but you’ve been hoping to skate by month after month. Well, there’s no reason to let that dripping faucet continue.
It’s the slow season for many of you, so it’s a good time to build a stronger business and work hard to make 2019 your best year yet. Every year, business gets a little harder. It’s the natural progression of consumer trends, technology, marketing and business. While it’s getting tougher, there are also more tools to help you build your business and your brand.
It’s important to set and stick to personal goals before even thinking about your business goals. If you can’t commit to getting to the gym or eating healthier, you will undoubtedly lack the discipline to stick to your much harder business goals. This month, I explore the importance of personal discipline and give you tips to help you hack your 2019. Personal discipline is the foundation for success.
I’m still amazed that so many photographers are clueless about the two most important ingredients to their success: building relationships and fine-tuning their skill set. Great photographers need both. Neither of them ever stops being important. Year after year, I hear photographers say, “If only I had the money for better gear.”
The customer experience is made up of many different parts. The most basic thing to understand is that it is the totality of all of your client’s interactions with your brand, starting from the moment they find you and visit your website, to the final delivery of their album. If you are a portrait photographer, those processes can be fairly quick, but wedding photographers will likely be with their clients for a year or more. Throughout that entire process, there are many different interactions that clients will have with your brand. One hiccup in any of those processes can affect the overall client experience and cost you future revenue.
Bringing in strategic partners for any project helps expand your reach, creativity and brand awareness. It’s time to expand the concept and go beyond just sharing the cost of production and mailing for a brochure or postcard. Here are a few ideas to start thinking about.
In addition to being a professional in your field—competent, experienced, skillful—you can leverage your personality simply by being human and allowing those you work with to show their personality as well. This creates much stronger relationships, and people and companies will want to hire you again and again because of how enjoyable it was to work with you.
While it seems that good photography is the biggest factor behind any successful studio, nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, you have to produce consistently good imagery and offer a great customer experience, but that is just part of the equation. This month, I provide you with five truths to help you build a brand that outperforms your competitors.
No matter how many people tell you they love your site, if it isn’t bringing in sales, it needs some work. Making changes to it isn’t going to hurt you. Photographers from the commercial and business worlds often understand something that portrait and wedding photographers don’t: Your website needs to be more than a portfolio. Here are five things your website needs to be relevant.