Starting a photography business isn’t easy and you will make a few mistakes along the way but at least you can earn from others to make your startup journey a little easier.
Below are a few things that I did right as well as a few lessons that I learned along the way. I hope you can learn from my success and my mistakes.
Anytime a new wedding venue opened its doors in or around my area, I would always make sure I was there to introduce myself. I didn’t walk in there trying to sell my services though, I would simply introduce myself and offer to shoot some photos of their venue for free. In some cases, the venues loved my photos so much that they used them in their marketing materials and on their websites, crediting me for the shots. I also made a point of networking with other vendors on a regular basis too. These valuable industry connections still help bring in new business today.
2. I advertised.
The saying that you need to spend money to make money is definitely true. My decision to advertise in local wedding magazines really paid off and is one of the best investments I made during the beginning stages of starting my photography business. There are also lots of local magazines out there that might be willing to feature your photos, which will give you further exposure. Being in several magazines also gives brides more confidence in your abilities.
3. I took advantage of email marketing.
I still believe that email marketing really made a huge difference to my business in the beginning and it still continues to help me grow today. There are so many ways that you can collect emails and grow your list such as social media and adding an opt-in form to your website. Offer something in return for email addresses to make signing up more appealing though. Coupon codes work really well.
Like most photographers, I can be quite picky when it comes to selecting and editing photos so I ended up spending a lot of time and money on this process, time I could’ve spent growing my photography business instead. You can still be involved in the photo selection process but if you can find someone with top-notch editing skills to assist you, rather do that so that you can devote more of your time to growing your business. Plus, the right exposure and camera settings means there will be very little editing to do in the first place so master that to begin with.
2. I wish I kept in touch with clients more.
The little things make such a huge difference. I wish that I had made more of an effort to keep in touch with clients over the years, even if it was something as simple as sending them a card for their anniversaries or birthdays. Treating your customers like friends can make a world of difference, so make a point of staying in touch by keeping them updated on what you’re doing and sending them emails for their anniversaries and birthdays, or even following them on their social media profiles. You never know when they might recommend you to their family and friends or use you again themselves.
3. I wish I blogged more.
Even though I was always pressed for time when I was just starting out, I wish I took the time to add more value by blogging and creating good content. I now realize what a difference blogging would’ve made to my photography business, especially in terms of ranking in Google and having extra content to post on social media.
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Fall is right around the corner, and that means it's time for mini sessions. Mini sessions are a great way to get your business in front of new clients, and they're also a lot of fun. Here are some tips for planning and marketing your fall mini sessions: