How to Turn Your Hobby Into
a Photography Business?
Photography is a popular hobby in many countries across the world. The rise of the digital camera, as well as the smartphone camera, gave millions of people access to reliable equipment that can take great pictures. But the equipment is only as good as the person using it.
If you have a real talent in photography, then you may have considered turning that talent into a thriving business. After all, wouldn't it be amazing if you could earn money while doing what you love - taking pictures?
Unfortunately, many people jump into the business of photography without doing their background research. Such businesses don't last for the long term and are prone to closing down within a few years. If you want to start a photography business, you probably want it to last for a long time. If you can create a long term plan that keeps your photography business open for at least ten years, you're well on your way to establishing a prosperous career in photography for yourself. But can it be done? And how?
1. Craft a Business Plan
No business can ever take off without a well-written business plan.
A business plan is a corporate file that contains every detail about your prospective business. You begin the business plan with an executive summary. This section states your overall mission and vision, your products and services summary, and what you hope to achieve with your business.
Other sections will include your financial plans, marketing plans, product details, milestones and achievements, and more. As part of the business plan you need to get the insurance package that is right for you, a balance of cost and cover. Compare insurance policies online for photographers.
A business plan is an evolving plan. You should write your business plan before you start your photography business. As you discover more about your industry and grow as a company, you should keep adding newer details to your business plan. This helps you set up your business plan as a handy business guide for the future.
2. Equipment, Funds and Finances
Once you have your business plan ready, it's time to start approaching investors. The key difference between a professional and an amateur photographer is that while the former has amazing equipment, the latter usually does not. This means that you need professional equipment to succeed as a photographer. And indeed, your clients will require that you use decent equipment.
If you can't afford to buy expensive photography equipment while setting up your business, an investor can be your answer. Keep in mind that an investor will always ask to pore through your business plan before they agree to sit down and talk with you. If your business plan is ready, carry it with you to your investor meetings.
Other than a good camera, a camera bag and a tripod, you'll also need good lenses, backdrops, and maybe even a rental studio.
3. Find Your Niche
There are thousands of photographers out there. But the best of the best tend to specialize in a particular area. Wildlife photography, wedding photography, photography for journalism etc. are all different niches within the photography industry.
Having a niche enables you to become a subject matter expert (SME) in the area. This can both increase your influence, as well as get you more clients and referrals as people come to your for your expertise.
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To find your niche, first, consider what you like to shoot. Then analyze your strengths. Are you a better wildlife photographer? If you can't sit still and be patient for hours at an end, then maybe another kind of photography will suit you.
Some kinds of photography also pay more than others. Family portraits or corporate photography are both very lucrative niches. In comparison, taking photos of inventory for e-commerce websites can pay comparatively less. Certain kinds of photography, such as family or pet photography, may require you to rent a studio. Others may require you to travel to various places.
4. Portfolio and Website
As a photographer, your portfolio is the most necessary piece of branding for your business. Having a physical as well as a digital copy of your photos will enable you to reach clients both online and offline.
A website is important for every business, including your photography business. You can find more clients online today than offline. Develop a website that highlights your portfolio. Mention all the services your photography business covers in the website, and leave room for testimonials from your clients.
5. Clients and Referrals
Earlier on, you'll be getting most of the clients for your photography business from referrals. Ask your friends, your family, as well as your clients to recommend your services to people who may need it.
You should also ask clients who enjoyed working with you to leave behind a positive review or a testimonial. A testimonial has the ability to convince new clients to choose your photography business. Add testimonials to your website and social media profiles, so that people know about your work.
Before you can open your photography business, however, you'll need to find a business name and register with the relevant authorities. Make sure you get your business license before you start your photography business. Also read more news and stories to improve your business productivity.
Once you've set your business up, you need to utilise digital marketing as well as networking to increase your incfluence and get more clients.
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