However, if photography is a bit more than just a hobby for you, you should know that it can be a serious and quite profitable business.
There’s so much more to modern photography than earning a few bucks on birthday party photoshoots, various celebrations, and occasional sporting events. The internet changed things a lot and what used to be a profitable hobby in the past is now a well-established industry.
A professional photography business requires the readiness to learn, innovate, provide competitive services that involve more than just photo editing, and doing everything you can to drive more revenue.
If you need to scale your photography business to expand to new markets and increase sales, here are the top five tips on how to do that.
1. Offer theme-based packages
Selectivity is a benefit that comes from being a skilled photographer with a steady and loyal client base. Selectivity allows you the freedom to select the exact theme-based service packages that you wish to offer to your clients.
If you decide to offer specific package options, start by sticking to what worked for you so far. If it’s photo editing, stick to it. It’s important to be consistent about it. If your clients demand wedding photos, so be it.
Stick to whatever drives the most money to your pocket. While this may sound like limiting yourself, it’s the other way around. Offering theme-based packages such as beach wedding or Halloween photography or special discounts for celebrations and parties provide quite a few benefits:
• Your top-selling packages get to drive more revenues – prioritizing your strengths is an excellent way to create more money-making channels.
• You get to specialize in a specific area of photography – if photo editing is your strength, make it your primary service to build authority around your business.
• You get to exceed your best hourly rate – instead of spending tremendous amounts of time on editing work that your clients won’t appreciate, you can save time and still earn more by prioritizing the service that drives the most profit. If taking photos at birthday parties is what exceeds your ideal hourly rate, so be it.
• It can do wonders for your branding – modern clients know exactly what they’re looking for, which is why you need a more strategic approach to creating your packages to make sure you target the right audience with each service you offer. If you’re a sports photographer, create packages specifically for team photos or game footage.
2. Build visibility on the web and social media
The internet and Google are your best friends and biggest allies. They allow you to establish a presence on the web and across numerous social media channels to build your brand visibility and increase awareness. However, it takes some effort to get there.
Start building your visibility by creating an online portfolio. By highlighting your finest works, you increase your chance of attracting more clients to see the samples of your best skills and expertise. Keep in mind that variety helps but tread carefully with it.
Choose a portion from the best shots from different niches. Publish package information, content, and blog posts on your website and portfolio to drive top-quality organic reach. Post your portfolio on the best job-finding and freelance platforms like YellowPages, Yelp, Google My Business, Angie’s List, Upwork, and Thumbtack.
When it comes to establishing a presence on social media, start by creating accounts on the best social media platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. It’s important to use location tags and try not to sound too salesy.
Use catchy captions and hashtags to bring your brand closer to your audience, and remember to post regularly.
3. Submit photos online
Building your presence and visibility on the web and social media isn’t enough to properly scale your business. You still need to get your work online. You can do that by submitting your digital photography and photo editing services to stock photography websites.
Submitting your works on sites like iStockPhoto, Shutterstock, or Getty Images is an excellent way to ensure some extra cash on the side. These sites allow you to upload your photos and get paid royalty fees for each download.
4. Offer smaller mini-sessions
Smaller mini-sessions help photographers grab some cash on the side quickly and easily. These are 20-30 minute photoshoots that are quite suitable for anyone’s pocket and can be set in any venue with a particular theme, even a park or farm.
The best time of the year for mini-sessions is during the holiday seasons, the biggest sporting events, etc. Follow-up with email campaigns to increase your conversion rate.
5. Use tools and outsource some tasks to save time
Aside from your photography skills and marketing tricks, growing your photography business also requires proper software tools to manage your supply and demand in a client-friendly, personalized way.
To do that, you need tools that are easy and simple to use. Even more so if it’s client scheduling, invoicing, and payments that we’re talking about. With that in mind, PicSpotr provides great tools for:
• Digital contracts and online signatures
• Task and workflow automation
Designed as a simple CRM, PicSpotr provides an array of comprehensive tools for photography businesses that allow them to properly simplify and automate the back-end of their operations to grow their business and save time and resources in the process.
Once your business grows you won’t get enough time for every task that a business involved in. You can outsource some tasks such as photo editing, album making, blogging, Email Newsletters, etc, which can make your work more efficient.
Becoming a photographer is the easier part – scaling your photography business is the harder one. Assuming the role of a business owner means pushing your limits way outside of your comfort zone. However, anything is possible if you know what comes next.
Keep in mind that scaling any business can happen overnight. It takes time, effort, and resources to try something, measures the performance, and come back with a better strategy – patience is a virtue in such situations.
These tips should help you drive more clients to your website and see a more lucrative side of your business.
About the Author:
Isabella Foreman has been an avid blogger for 5 years, with particular interests in photography and related technologies. She has consistently contributed articles to top photography blogs and lifestyle publications. Beyond writing and blogging, her hobbies include reading, movies, and photography. She is now associated with SmartPHOTOeditors, a photo editing company.