As photographers sometimes we get caught up in all of the business side of things. It’s no secret that artists are not very good at business, nor are they good at marketing. This is one of the main reasons photographers fail to successfully build a long standing business. I believe the percentage of photographers who go out of business in a matter of 3 years is over 90%. That isn’t counting those who go out of business within the first year.
Many blame their lack of success on not having a business plan, not having the investment up front or just bad luck. The fact is, none of those things really matter. I venture to say that photographers go out of business because their heart wasn’t in it in the first place. Also, they didn’t have the drive or the marketing knowledge to grow their business.
Marketing has become a necessity for any business and to ignore online marketing is to ignore success. Here are some tips to help you photographers boost your business so don’t ignore them.
First thing is first, you need to have a professional looking website. If you are strapped for cash then buy a cheap template and build it out as best you can. If you have it professionally done you can expect to spend a thousand or more.
The 2nd thing you need to do is optimize your site for SEO. There are a lot of helpful websites that will give you the basics on SEO. You should plan on spending around 5 hours to learn the fundamentals of SEO.
The 3rd thing you will need to do is build your portfolio and display it nicely on your site, preferably on the home page.
Now comes trying to generate traffic to your photography page. Start sharing your new site on Facebook and include discounts for people who sign up within a date range. Make the discount pretty significant so people will be willing to take a chance with you, especially if your new to photography. Lastly, and this is the most important. Make sure you can take quality portraits. I cannot tell you how many people claim to be photographers but after seeing their photos realize I could take a better picture on my cell phone.
If you can’t take great looking portraits you should spend a long time practicing and watching tutorials. Kelbyone.com is an excellent choice for this. I learned a great deal about photography from that website. They have some of the best photographers in the world on there and essentially take you by the hand and walk you through everything step by step. You will not find another source where you can learn as much about photography for the cost.
If you have plenty of money and want to make a career change I encourage you to take seminars with your favorite photographer. Attending just one seminar can be enough to motivate you to go on to do great things. They are inspiring, they are excellent learning opportunities and it’s an even better way to make photography friends.