Running a profitable photography business from home takes more than artistic flair. There are many aspects of running a business that might seem menial or cumbersome for a photographer, but you have to be committed to your craft. You have to be organized and on task. If you can match your passion for photography with a will to succeed, you’ll be able to successfully launch your business.
Develop your Craft
Your business will only get as far as your abilities. You need to fully develop your skills and a good way to do that is to join a local workshop or club.Anything that gives you an avenue to practice and converse with other photographers is key. Keep practicing and try to develop a niche or style that you can excel in (wedding photography—for example). Buy all the books you come across, from the history of photography to today’s trends. Be sure to invest in good equipment and get to know all your camera’s abilities. Also, make sure you invest in good photo editing software.
Having a strong online presence is essential. Your website needs a clean, professional portfolio, so prospective clients can easily see what you do. Be specific. Try and join an online community like Photosource International or Photoshelter where clients can be directed to your work. Make sure you’re active across several social media platforms (especially Pinterest), and have a robust blog (if you’re unsure what your blog should look like, check out this business blogging guide).
Find Your Clients
You can’t rely just on your website to bring you business. You need to actively search for clients. Of course, advertising is a great way to go, and so is offering new clients a 10% discounts—but to be the most successful, you need to actively seek out your target niche. If you’re specializing in wedding photography, for example, make sure you go to your local bridal expos and build a rapport with brides and other wedding vendors who can refer their brides and grooms to you.
Sell Your Photos to Stock Companies
When you’re just getting starting with your business, finding steady clients can be difficult to do. If you find yourself in a client-loll, consider selling you photos to a larger stock photography company.The biggest agencies purchase your photos and own the copyright. Other smaller, more specialized agencies negotiate licensing fees based on their contract with the photographer and pay on a commission basis according to where the photo is used and how often.
The Nuts and Bolts
This section could easily have been the first section in terms of importance. In order for your photography business to become profitable, you need to treat it as a business and not a hobby. You need a defined business plan that outlines all the aspects of your company, from the day-to-day expenses and plans for growth. You need to write down every aspect of your business in order to see the whole picture and get an understanding of what you’re doing right and wrong.