Today we’re chatting about 7 ways to next-level your photography business. But before I jump in, I wanna let you know why this is today’s topic.
This week, one of the members in my free facebook group for photographers posted this:
“I don’t get it. I get little to no business, but constantly put out offers for photoshoots and deliver images so fast. (Because I get so excited for people to see their pictures.) I’m offering deals and constantly practicing; trying to learn new stuff. But I feel like I’m not getting any clients. What am I doing wrong?
It makes me want to just stop all together cause I feel like I’m not good enough. Does anyone have any tips or tricks or business advice into bringing more people in? I’m at a loss. I just want to create, and I’m not getting anything. Granted I live in a smaller town, but wouldn’t that mean you get your name thrown out there more? Idk. I’m at a loss, and any advice would help.”
Have you felt this way before, too? I know I have.
Because I wanted to give her a high-value, info-packed, in-depth response, I actually recorded a video and walked her through a process of how I would revamp her business, if it were mine! You can totally watch this 20-minute video here!
If you’d rather read, (cause you’re trying to be quiet and don’t have headphones LOL,) I’ve compiled our chat into this post, and turned it into 7 ways to next-level your photography business. Here we go!
When reviewing Hailey’s social media profiles, I noticed a few things she could implement that would definitely improve her brand’s online presence, (and therefore fix her lack of bookings.) There are a few things I recommend to anyone who has an online presence for their brand:
7 Ways to Next-Level Your Photography Business:
1. Know why you’re doing what you’re doing. (a.k.a. your mission.)
- Think of this as your guiding compass for your photography business. Anytime you feel off-beat, or like you’re just not really loving your work or the season you’re in, remind yourself WHY you do this.
- If you’ve never found or written a mission statement for yourself or your brand before, I HIGHLY recommend it. I have mine on a sticky note on my computer, as well as posted on my vision board above my computer. Anytime I’m feeling “ehh,” I look at it and it immediately re-inspires me.
- If your work isn’t coming from a place of purpose, it’s probably not going to feel purposeful when you do it. Spend some time digging into the heart of who you are, what you love, and why you love it. Chances are the reason you feel you were placed here, and the reason for you having a photography business aren’t as far apart as you think…
2. Know what makes you different. (a.k.a. Your USP.)
- Before you can truly sell and market your service or product, you have to know why it’s different from everyone else’s. Think about the instant pot. It’s different from a crock-pot, and it knows why. It doesn’t market itself to you based off of the fact that it cooks food, because a lot of devices do that. The instant pot can do it faster, and better, (and it does more.) It capitalizes off of it’s features and experience!
- You may be offering the same service as another photographer, but the way in which you offer it and the experience that you bring to the table is unique to YOU, friend. (However, there’s even more that’s unique to you than just that, and you need to dig down and figure out what that is to truly sets you apart.)
- Finding out what makes you unique and different is what sets you apart from the other photographers around you. (Which therefore eradicates the competition around you. So yes, this step is vital.)
3. Know what you’re passionate about shooting.
- People can usually sense when someone is genuinely super passionate about their work. I am a completely different photographer when I’m shooting a couple in love than when I’m shooting a kids first birthday party. COMPLETELY. I’m in my element and I’m doing what I do best when I’m photographing couples/seniors/etc.
- Maybe the reason you’re not bringing in the clients you want, is because you’re posting sub-par work. (Because you’re not shooting what truly fires you up.) Spend some time shooting sessions for free that you arrange and execute the creative direction for; shoots where you’re completely in charge and that are just for you. This is the greatest way to get reinspired and to figure out what you LOVE shooting.
4. Once you’ve found what you’re passionate about shooting, shoot TONS of it.
- Whether you’re shooting paid work that came in, free shoots, styled shoots, etc. Just build your portfolio up for these kinds of shoots, and they’ll start coming in.
- Share your new work across all of your platforms. What you put out, you will bring in. You have to be showing “x” type of work in order to be bringing in “x” type of inquiries! People won’t know you’re booking destination weddings if you’re not showing them. What you put out, you bring in. Law of attraction, friends! 😉
- People need a portfolio to view, a few shoots posted sporadically on Facebook and Instagram isn’t enough. When you’re asking someone to hand over their hard-earned cash, you need to have a portfolio that makes them say “YES PLEASE let’s do it.”
5. Be Consistent.
- If you’re only posting on social media with a “rapid-fire random posting” approach, then it’s not going to help you much. You have to be consistent with your content.
- Consistency on social media often translates to dependability in the mind of your potential clients. When people see you constantly working, and always showing up, not only does it make you seem as if you’re in high demand, but it helps you to stay top-of-mind for your potential clients. You may be thinking, “Well what am I going to say? What am I going to post if I’m not shooting paid sessions often enough?”
- If you need more content, schedule a batch day or two each month to get social media content for your business. It can be of you, or of a friend, or of different pretty areas around your town. It doesn’t matter, just get out and shoot. Not only will you get better, but you’ll constantly have fresh content to share! It’s a win-win!
- As far as your captions and copy go, here are a few things that work well for engagement:
- Ask your audience a question.
- (Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get responses immediately, this is new for you so you may get crickets in the beginning, but stick it out! I promise they’ll start talking!)
- Provide value:
- Talk about things to know when booking a photographer
- Provide outfit tips/inspo
- Talk about what a shoot experience with you is like
- Talk about yourself
- I know you’re thinking, “What? I’m not interesting!?” I promise people want to know more about you; and if you’re not yet ready to talk about yourself talk about your dog, cat, a friend, your significant other, your family, etc.! I swear it works.
6. Be mindful of how you’re presenting your brand and/or services.
- When you’re running a service-based business, constantly offering deals devalues the quality of your work. It becomes too sales-y and people cringe at the way it’s presented! I’m not saying you can’t ever offer a deal, but try to instead add value instead of discounting, that way your service/offer/product becomes a “no-brainer!”
- It’s often said that the best way to sell is at an 80/20 ratio. Serve 80% of the time, and sell 20% of the time. I’m sure you’re wondering how you can serve as a photographer, and I don’t just mean shoot for free 80% of the time and sell 20% of the time; that’s DEFINITELY not a sustainable business model! However, I’m primarily referring to your copy. Make sure you’re only hard-selling in about 20% of your posts, and that the rest are serving and storytelling. You can serve people by sharing thoughts that inspire, motivate, etc.
- That being said, don’t feel guilty or bad about selling, it’s a necessary part of running a photography business! However, when you spend more time serving, it helps you sell from a confident mindset, versus one of desperation.
7. Get out of your house and network.
- Many times we expect our clients to come find us. But that’s not always how it works.
- How do you think service-based businesses were successful before social media? Social media may make us more accessible, but I think we may have lost some of the social skills necessary to actually network.
- There are pro’s and con’s to social networking and physical networking, don’t get me wrong. But you can’t just do ONE kind of networking and expect your business to thrive. Yes, it’s totally easier to just hide behind a computer and only network from our phones/computers on social media, BUT, keep in mind it’s never going to be as powerful as actually seeing a human behind in FRONT of you, talking to JUST you.
- Networking in person is more powerful than networking on social media. You don’t have to “beat the aglorithm” in public guys! You’re not battling for someone else’s attention in person, you’re not sitting here at war for their ideal time to listen to you. 😂
- For example, just today I went to work from a different work setting, a cafe called “Tacos & Coffee.” I casually brought up the fact that I worked from home and needed a day out of the office to the cashier, and she asked what I did; so I told her I was a photographer and an educator for photographers. Then, she asked how much I charged and if I took personal pictures for brands. She is moving to Austin, TX and is an intuitive life coach in need of branding and social media consulting! Guys. ALL I DID WAS LEAVE THE HOUSE.
Truth is, there are so many things you can do right now, right where you’re at to next-level your photography business.
Some people think they can’t grow their business because they’re not making money, but that’s a big, bald-faced LIE.
I will say, your business will grow the FASTEST and go the FARTHEST when you invest in it. It’s just the truth. But if you’re short on finances, then implement these changes first. And if you’re still not booking, you definitely need to book a free strategy call with me so I can take a more personalized approach, to really dig in and see what’s working and what’s not in your business!
If you already know that’s what you need, you can totally snag a free strategy call with me right here! During this 30-minute strategy session, I’ll pinpoint what it is that’s holding you back, and how I can help you fix it. Then, you have the option to proceed with a mentorship if we’re a good fit, and we’ll start getting the needle movin’ in your photography business! Sound good? Let’s do it, friend! (Also, no makeup or real clothes required. It’s chill.) 😉
Wanna stick around and stay learnin’? I knew I liked ya. 😉
Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼
If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.
Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂