When setting up a photography business, there’s plenty to think about.You have to come up with a name, find a location for your office or studio, and file all the necessary business paperwork to form a legitimate business.There’s also designing a logo, having a website created, getting outfitted with the necessary photography gear, and starting advertising.Yeah…it’s a lot!Given how much is on your plate as you start your photography business, it should come as no surprise that many budding photographers make a lot of mistakes.Eliminating those mistakes is likely impossible. However, by educating yourself about some of the pitfalls you face, you can at least minimize your mistakes along the way.Here are three common mistakes photographers make when setting up their business. Watch and learn, so you avoid these same problems.
Mistake #1: Not Networking Enough
Even though you own your own business, you certainly aren’t an island.Operating in a vacuum isn’t going to do you any favors when it comes to setting up your photography business and building it into something successful.That means you need to network with other professionals in your area to build up your connections in the industry.For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, make it a point to introduce yourself to other professionals that serve the wedding photography industry.That means going to the local bakery and flower shop, stopping by the printers, visiting with dressmakers, and so on.Simply introducing yourself to these people so they can put a face to the name can help you generate business.
In fact, if you can come to mutually agreeable terms, perhaps you can leave some business cards at their place of business in exchange for having some of their business cards in your studio.What’s more, as you develop these relationships, you will find that people are willing to share their secrets for success.Even better, there might come a point in which you can team up with another service provider to offer special packages for mutual customers.For example, you might work out a deal with the florist such that you both offer a small discount if the client books you both for their wedding.The point here is that there are plenty of reasons why you should put networking as one of your top priorities when you’re setting up your business.Not only can it help you get advice from established professionals, but it can also lead to more business for you!
Mistake #2: Not Having a Studio Assistant
Like I said earlier, even if you’re the sole proprietor of your photography business, you aren’t an island.Having help running your business will prove invaluable to you as you build it into something that’s successful and long-lasting.For some photographers, that means having a second shooter to help them at large events like weddings or corporate gigs.For other photographers, that means farming out editing duties to a third-party to free up time to tackle other business activities.But what all photographers can benefit from is having a virtual studio assistant that keeps you organized and on track.
Mistake #3: Not Asking For Referrals
f you aren’t asking your clients for referrals, you’re not doing yourself or your business any favors.
Though networking is essential, when it comes down to it, a potential client is going to value the input of a friend or family member (or even a consumer they don’t know) over the word of a florist, baker, or another business person regarding your worth as a photographer.
That means that you need to work out a solid plan for asking for and obtaining referrals from your satisfied clients.
Obviously, the key to getting a referral is to delivering an excellent product, having outstanding customer service, and going above and beyond to ensure your clients are completely satisfied with their experience working with you.
hat means you need to be remarkable in every way. Your images need to be breathtaking, your communications with your clients need to be timely, helpful, and friendly, and you need to put the needs of your clients first.Easy right?By focusing on delivering the best images and the best customer service experience, you put yourself in prime position to have a customer that’s blown away by your efforts and is more willing to spread the word about you to the people they know.When asking for a referral, it’s important to do so at points in your business relationship that are most likely to prove fruitful.