This is a question that all of those who love photography ask at some time or other. Even those of us who are professional photographers sometimes need to sit down and evaluate where we are with our photography businesses. So how can you make more money from your photo business or hobby?
A professional photographer is someone who earns their living from photography, but, it doesn’t mean that a pro is better than an amateur. Of course, doing it full-time ensures that you spend more time doing what you love and becoming really good at it. So here I sit evaluating my business and asking the above question. Let’s take a look at what I found that will help me make more money from my photography.
1. Do more marketing
All of us fail here at some stage. Many pro photographers are not pro marketers and numerous businesses in general fail because of their marketing strategies, or, lack of strategy. I have sat down and looked at where I am at and what I am doing to market more effectively. I took a white board and began to mind map by writing down what I WAS doing, what I SHOULD be doing and what I COULD be doing with my marketing. If you can answer these three questions effectively and so something about each one, I can guarantee that you will make more money than you are at the moment. By taking your core business elements and letting people know about them will make you more money. So, bite the bullet and examine your marketing efforts and do something about it. If you need help, find it and implement it. A simple strategy can not only make you more money but save your business during difficult times.
2. Evaluate your style and quality
Complacency in any business is a killer to the entrepreneur. It creeps up on you and before you know it you are no longer growing but in the process of stagnating or even terminal. You stick to the same old portrait or wedding styles while the industry moves on. Your quality starts to be affected and before you know it what once was great is now average. I am not saying copy the market trends but keep up with them and adapt. If your clients want the happy family actions shots with a white background then give it to them, but, put your own unique style stamp on the final product. By keeping up with what people want you will make more money. You are in it for the money if it is a business so don’t be idealistic and refuse to watch the market trends.
3. Write a book
You’re a great photographer and have come through the ranks and now have a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and practical experience. So, share it by writing an e-book. Don’t share your trade secrets or unique techniques but show others how to do what you do well as a photo entrepreneur. Those of us who have followed this route have made thousands of dollars supplementing our businesses. There are so many people who want to become better photographers and will never make use of the services of a photo business and in this way you can reach their wallets. The process is simple with a little research on the internet. I am on my third e-book and reached the point where it is a great passive income every month. Wisdom cannot be owned so benefit financially by sharing it.
4. Run a course
All photo businesses have down time so run a course or offer personal photo coaching. When the studio has no bookings or the photo shoots have slowed, offer your services to people who want to learn the basics of the business. Show them how to do the things they think only pros can do. You aren’t going to show them everything and create competitors to your own business but rather help someone get better at what they can do.
5. Make a gift
Giving your time to people, organisations or charities who cannot afford a photographer will always help the growth of your business. As the old adage goes, ‘your gift will make room for you’. A photographer who gives often wins the trust of those she serves and others who observe her generosity. Trust is a huge factor in any business and someone who serves others will get noticed by those who can afford the services. So get involved in a local charity and showcase your business.
The proactive photographer who works at their business or hobby will make more money as they carefully apply these five points. Don’t work harder but rather smarter and you will make more money. Happy shooting!