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.
In last month’s Business Corner, we discussed controlling one of the two types of expenses in your business: general expenses, also known as overhead. This month, we examine the other form of spending, cost of sale. Cost of sale includes all money you spend serving a client.
A common mistake that many new photographers make is assuming they keep every dollar they make. Businesses cost money. Whether you only offer digital files or you are a full-service studio, there are still costs involved. Cameras, lenses, memory cards, computers, hard drives, ink, paper, pens, internet, electricity, gas in your car—it adds up. If you’re serious about making money in this business, it’s important to treat it as a business. That means recognizing your expenses and learning to budget for them.
Are you sitting there wondering why your business is struggling? Why your phone is not ringing? Why your email leads are nonexistent? Are you convinced that it’s not your fault? That it’s somehow the Russians? Or even worse, all those dastardly shoot-and-burners? In this article, I show you some ways to change your “luck” and take control of your destiny. The sooner you realize there is plenty of business out there for all of us, the sooner you will start taking a healthy and realistic look at your business—because then and only then will you accept that you control your business.
Since the first issue of Shutter Magazine, I’ve shared one article after another with ideas to help you build a stronger business. I’ve shared ideas about virtually every aspect of your business today—from your website to your blog, marketing, direct mail, education and partnerships. This month I wanted to have some fun with a series of my pet peeves and easy ways to fix them. This list is not all-inclusive. I’m doing a brain dump, and this month’s article is meant to be a free-form collection of ideas all of you can start working on immediately.
So you think you want to become a wedding photographer? Be careful what you wish for. Yes, it’s true what they say: A career in wedding photography can be quite lucrative. For my wife Eileen and I (The Blumes), our decade-long career has allowed us to create a life of travel and comfort we never imagined. On the other hand, the vast majority of photographers who approach weddings as a golden goose get bitten, and there’s good reason for the burnout and high failure rates. This job isn’t for the faint of heart.
Burnout comes not just from how hard you have to work, but because you’re always trying to find a way not to be bored of what you’re doing every single day. It’s not easy to be a self-starter and conjure up a work ethic that could rival anyone’s. To add creativity on top of it and have to be creative on demand requires a magic formula that very few people figure out. I want you to be successful not just in photography, but in life as well. Here’s what helps me in photography and owning my own business.
In last month’s Business Corner, we asked you to daydream about your ideal studio and lifestyle. This month, we’re going to take these dreams and turn them into an actionable plan. In order to do so, your vision for your dream studio must be clear. We’re going to start with your end goal, and then build a plan to get you there.
At some point in your career, you’re going to be thinking about sponsorship, especially if a sponsor actually contacts you. Here are several things to consider. Being a great photographer is only a qualifier. Being a requested speaker, being active in social media, having a blog, writing for a magazine or having a story about your work in a magazine are all key things a company looks at when considering sponsorship. If you’re not a household word, then the issue becomes your potential. You might be a young gun and have the potential for influence with newer photographers, or you might have developed a unique application for the company’s products.
What goes around comes around: it’s an expression we’ve all heard numerous times, but this month it’s so appropriate for eight great promotional products/concepts everyone seems to have forgotten about. Over the last five years, I’ve written about half of them, but it’s time to create a little more awareness to help you make 2018 the biggest and best year you’ve ever had. None of the ideas are new, but most of you will find them unique and loaded with potential for growing your business.