After over 29 years in business as a portrait photographer… I want to share some photography business help and some of the lessons I’ve learned.
Hi, I’m Katrina! I have built a 7-figure photography business, franchised, won awards internationally and photographed over 20,000 gorgeous families and still counting.
As business owners we know it doesn’t just take being an amazing Photographer to build a successful business. It takes guts, determination and commitment… a willingness to never give up.
Here are my 5 lessons every business owner should know!
2. Change is inevitable, learn to accept it
Change is here to stay, it’s one of life’s only certainties and it can be one of the things that scares us most. Photography is an art that experiences change from every direction. The methods we use to record an image, the fashions that influence what people want, right the way through to how people want to display their finished product have changed dramatically in the decades since I began. The fact we’re seeing a renewed fascination with film photography simply proves how fluid our art can be.
Knowing this doesn’t make change any less daunting which is where photography business help is invaluable. When you have spent time building your business and identity as a photographer it can be hard to rethink it all just to fit in with modern ideas.
To be seen as part of the modern cultural landscape, you need to use change to help your business. This means embracing the ever-changing social media era, keeping on top of the latest things that bring joy to your clients and understanding how to use change to support your business. When change becomes a way to stave off staleness and enhance your carefully crafted work, it can transform from enemy to ally and become your greatest companion as both an artist and businessperson.
I have been through the film to digital era, beginning of Mark Zuckerberg, the GFC, social media explosion etc. and as a business owner you need to learn to adapt pretty quickly or risk getting left behind. I know change is scary, I get it. Once you get your head around change and move from fear to possibilities, everything will become so much easier for you.
2. Keep up with the times
Moving with the times doesn’t mean abandoning skill, it simply means you keep a keen eye on what’s going on in your industry. You cherry-pick the elements that will enhance and inform your personal style and you showcase them to delight your clients.
As a storyteller, using social media to give a glimpse into your life is a superb way to embrace modern technology with tangible results. Our relationship with those we photograph is crucial to getting the very best image. Social media allows us to invite people into our lives, so all those normal social barriers are bridged. Our clients already feel they know a little about us and are much more confident to let us into their lives.
The flip side to this is what happens if you decide to stay away from these social shifts – the sad truth is you could get left behind. A reputation as a great photographer is a wonderful thing to have, but if you aren’t up to date or resistant to new ideas, then your appeal to a wide range of clients and tastes will diminish. The real key to moving with the times is to understand the ways that cultural change can be harnessed to enhance the essence of your art and maximise your connections with your customers.
3. Focus on your services and products
As a successful photographer, you’ll have carved out a niche – whether it’s family portraiture, pet photography or a fresh take on event images. Your niche is where you shine and where you get to rise to the top. Everything you offer your clients has to be exactly what they want. Talk to them, and understand the current trends and past influences. Make sure you review your range of products as well as your techniques and merge your unique style with your client’s desires.
Your services need to be tailored to your niche too. The time we spend getting to know our families, what they want and who they really are, affords us a unique level of insight. This means we can offer a suite of products that they will love and of course will buy. The whole experience feels like a collaboration, not an old-school sales pitch, and is an enriching, enjoyable experience. Whatever your niche, try to develop ways to enhance the experience for both you and your clients.
Genuinely focus on creating an amazing experience and providing beautiful artwork for your clients! When you give every customer a 5 STAR experience, treat them beautifully, stay connected… you will have them for life.
4. Be yourself and don’t look at others
As we know there are photographers on most corners these days and it’s easy to get caught in the negative spiral of looking at others. Yes, our Industry is oversaturated which means you need to create your unique point of difference! You are not going to benefit your business by trying to repeat what someone else has done.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed with what others are doing and to feel you have to fit in with every new offer or marketing idea that comes to town. Try to avoid this. Just because a photographer is offering a rock-bottom price, or a swathe of freebies, doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. For a start, those photographers may be a hobbyist, maybe don’t understand the market or may not really know how to price their images. They may have little else to offer other than low pricing and may not give the level of service and skill that you can. This can be seriously damaging to your business. If you are going to receive photography business help or advice from anyone, it needs to be an expert who can walk the walk and talk the talk.
Focus on the connection you have with your customers and the unique service you offer – no one else can capture an image in quite the way you can, and it’s up to you to let the world know how special that is. The real way to stand out is to be YOU,
5. Invest in yourself, invest in your business
It’s a rare person that would enter a sports contest without some sort of coaching. Being aware of what’s ahead, being fit enough for the long haul and having enough power for a sprint takes skill and energy, and this is where photography business help can transform your business. My business didn’t take off until I invested in myself, my business and a coach.
Every successful business owner has had a coach / expert and most likely more than one. Why prolong your future success trying to figure it out all alone? I have always invested in my business… hiring a coach in my early days, a professional retoucher, an accountant etc.
Find a coach that has done exactly what you want to do, who you connect with and learn from their proven roadmap.
Photography Business Help
After over 29 years these are some of the major lessons I have learned and want to share with you.
I can guarantee I have been exactly where you are and I want to share what I wish someone shared with me.
It’s one of the reasons I created our Photography shop… to help photographers run a beautiful successful business.
Visit the shop: IPS, pricing, posing & shooting, client experience and much more…