For anyone who has met us or heard Meredith (our CEO & Founder) speak, you know that we are passionate about helping photographers succeed. And a HUGE piece of a photographer’s success is based how they run their business.
Many times photographers are creatives who love the artistic side of being a photographer so they focus on growing their skills and produce better images. But the business side of photography? Not a lot of love happening there. What many photographers don’t realize is that no matter how great of images you produce, if you aren’t running your business well you aren’t going to be successful or grow. Did you know that in the 1st year, 60% of photographers give up their business. Sixty percent! Of those remaining, another 25% will fail within the 2nd year. Setting a solid foundation for your business is crucial to its success and growth.
So where should you focus in order to grow your business? Here are three areas that you can work on:
1. Educate your clients – The number one reason for unhappy clients is by not being educated. Take time to create pdfs that you can send to your clients to help prepare, educate, and set expectations for the process. Whether that’s a pricing sheet, welcome packet with tips, what to wear guide, etc. These things are going to help your client have a more successful experience with you.
2. Streamline and organize – Create a workflow by writing down the steps each client goes through with you from start to finish. Having due dates for tasks and emails they need to receive will help keep you organized. Then use a system like Iris Works to help you manage the steps and get automated so you never miss a step with a client. This will position you to provide your clients with the best overall customer experience. AND you’ll be running your business efficiently as well meaning you’ll have more time to focus on other aspects of your business – or even more time for you and/or your family!
3. Have a referral program and ask for them – Happy clients are the best way to grow your business. Have a referral program in place that gives them an incentive to pass along your name and for the new clients to book. And make sure you ASK for those referrals! It can be a simple statement at the end of a session, “It was so much fun working with your family, and I would love to photography your friends.” Or when they get their gallery and they tell you they love them, “I’m so pleased you’re happy with my work. Do you know anyone else who needs (family/newborn/senior/etc) photos?” You’ll never get them unless you ask, so why not give them an opportunity to talk about how great their experience with you was?
By working on these three main areas, you will be setting up your business for success and growth!
BONUS: check out Sparkle Society Workshops. We hear nothing but amazing feedback about these workshops, and they have one on starting a photography business!
What are some business lessons you learned as you were just beginning?
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Thank you for sharing this! I definitely agree!
As someone who is just starting out, I found that having confidence and knowing what you can create for your clients is vital. Also understanding my WHY helped me clarify so much about my direction and gave me the confidence in my self to put myself out there. Another massive lesson I’m learning at the moment is managing my time better. Have set times allocated to tasks and try to stick to them.