The first and most important thing a photographer needs to do is master his craft. The general public can easily differentiate between an armature, average or accomplished photographer.
Pictures say a thousand words and accomplished photographers earn more pay. A photographer has lots of business opportunities both offline and online.
By using technology and other resources available today they will earn decent income.
Things you need to do before starting a photography business
There are some resources a photographers needs to become a successful entrepreneur. As a photographer you need to first define your target audience.
The next step is to join a professional organization in your country. Then consider pre-image pricing for your work this gives you a general idea of the type of image you want to produce.
It is important to join your local chambers of commerce and develop your professional story. You should improve your knowledge of your craft by reading important books on photography.
Mentoring is another way to improve your skill. Find a local mentor or a photographer that inspires you online.
As you gain and gather photography knowledge attend seminars and workshops on photography. There are many business opportunities online so you need to learn search engine optimization techniques.
As you grow in the business exchange links with other professionals in your field.
Things to do before starting your photography business
1 Join your local chambers of commerce and industry
2 Join other professional photography bodies like PPA,APA, ASMP
3 Read more photography books
4 Define your target market and audience
5 Follow accomplished photographers and learn from them
6 Consider using pre image pricing
7 Develop your professional story
8 Learn search engine optimization techniques
9 Attend lots of seminars on photography business
10 Define your photographic style
Here is a starting list of business ideas for photographers.
Build a Blog
If you are serious about having an online presence then you need to start a blog. Blogging is more personal than having a website and it showcases your talent.
A successful blog equates to money in the bank. Your blog displays lots of your photographs for the general public.
Photographic images are in high demand online and you hardly find any blog or website without loads of images. You can sell your images straight from your blog as wall- wrappers, wallpapers and stock images.
You are at liberty to add a print on demand format to your images. To avoid undue or unauthorized downloading add a watermark to the images.
There are many applications and websites to create watermarks. Another great aspect of having a photographic blog is that you can monetize the content through advertisements and affiliate links.
You can attract visitors to your blog and use search engine optimization techniques. Another way is to comment on other blogs and append your signature with a link to your blog.
Enter Photography Contests
A good way to build your business and earn money is by entering photography contests. The contest would have lots of photography enthusiast and buyers. Network with the organizers and audience by giving them call cards and picture snippets.
Create a Facebook Fan page
Facebook is the number one social media website where lot of networking and commerce takes place. Creating a Facebook page for your images attracts photography lovers.
The traffic to your Facebook page is easily harnessed or diverted to your blog or direct sales of photographs.
Seminars are cash cows and you can make lots of money. The seminar should have an important photographic theme and purpose.
You can invite notable guest speakers, provide manuals and charge for the seminar. People interested in photography business will flock to your seminar.
You might even sell a picture or two at the venue.
Open a Linkedin Account
A photographer without a Linkedin account s like a boat without paddles. Linkedin allows you write a professional profile and contact address. Many commissioned projects started on the pages of Linkedin.
Open a Pinterest Account
Pinterest is all about photographs and images. Where else can you wow millions of views than the social media giant? Any photographer worth his salt has an account on Pinterest.
Open a Flickr Account
Flickr works the same way other image based social experiments function. Place lots of your images there with links to your website or blog.
Open a StumbleUpon Account
StumbleUpon is a social media website with millions of devoted users. You can place your websites link on StumbleUpon to attract interested visitors.
As you build your photography empire don’t forget to exchange links with people in your profession. Exchange links with other photographers and watch your client list improve
Marketers and web master have a saying that there is money in the list. Web masters go extra length to get email addresses from visitors to their websites.
They offer free books, tutorials and advice while cleverly obtain email addresses of visitors. The email list becomes a targeted marketing tool for products or services.
Keep an updated email list of visitors and clients and open an email marketing account to reach potential clients.
Have a Business Plan
Having a business plan is important because it shows you each step of your business process. The plan covers finance, location, business template and other resources.
Send a Press Release
You can send a press release to local media or online websites that feature press releases. How are your customers going to know you are open for business without a press release?
Publish a Small Magazine
If you have a little cash you can publish a small photo magazine. If the magazine becomes successful you earn from sales and advertisement.
You also have the added advantage of showcasing your work to a wider audience. The publication might attract commissioned jobs from notable organizations in your locality.
Start a Newsletter
A newsletter does not involve lots of money because they are generally one or two page documents. The newsletter can double as an advertisement handbill complete with contact address and phone numbers.
The efficacy of newsletter are hard to determine but easy to execute.
Become a Mentor
You learn some of your skills by following a mentor why not become one. If you have gathered lots of experience in photography you can mentor new comers to the profession.
Mentors get paid for their services so cash in on this business idea.
Focus on New Target Market
Don’t remain static trying the same marketing techniques over again. Develop unusual and interesting ways to gain targeted customers.
Why not volunteer your services to a worthy charity or speak to local groups and organizations about photography.
Talk to local schools about photography classes and workshops.
Guest blogging is about writing an article on some one else blog. Guest bloggers select the topic they like and add content to host blogs.
Find a blog focused on photography and write an article about your photographic style. Don’t forget to include a link to your blog in your signature.
A very popular blog will send thousands of visitors to your blog from a single well written article.
Invite Guest Bloggers
You can invite guest blogger to your blog. You don’t only get top quality articles but they will reciprocate by inviting you to theirs.
You don’t only get quality content but the fans of the guest bloggers will probably follow them to your blog.
Create an e-commerce Photography Gallery
The photography gallery on your e-commerce website is purely commercial. Get people to pay to down loading your photographs. There are different user agreements that attract different prices.
Join a Stock Photography Website
There are large stock photography websites online. They allow members upload images for others to buy and download. If you have amazing photographs that comply with certain provisions and standards you will earn regular payouts.
You can concentrate on a certain sector and earn good money. You can get photography opportunities as a wedding photographer, real estate photographer and fashion photographer. Other sectors are pet photography, studio photography,, magazine or even a photo journalist.
More in his group are sports photographers, underwater photography and astronomy photography.
Market your Business
You need to consistently market your photography business. A long spell marketing plan will yield greater results.
A marketing strategy is re branding your business and using Adwords to reach target customers. Another powerful tool in online marketing is writing a powerful sales letter.
The sales letter should be truthful, compelling and well structured to elicit an action. Another good marketing strategy is to submit your website to directories and search engines.
Video is a popular medium many browsers subscribe too. Why not upload a video about your photography and gain new audience.
The more creative and interesting your video the more people will watch it.
Make your website or blog Smartphone compliant
Smartphone’s make up 75% of visitors to websites and blogs. You need to make your blog easily accessible by creating an electronic portfolio compatible with Smartphone’s.
Digital Network Partnership
Network partnership provides a wider reach than you can imagine. For a commission in your sales they will highlight-market and review your products.
Join a major partnership network and see your profit sky rocket.
Try Different Niches
Unless you want to specialize in one niche it is better to try different niches. There are many amazing niches like animal photography, landscape and urban dwelling.
Others are still-life images, electronic gadgets, livestock, fruits and vegetables the list endless.
Sell Exclusive Copyright
The more exclusive the copyright the more money it attracts. If you have some images you don’t mind selling an outright purchase of the copyright then sell. The downside is you lose the attribution to the work.
Create a Contest
People love contests especially if there is an award or price attached to it. Create a photography contest and find clever ways to make money.
Specialize on Family Portraits
Family portrait photography is good business because you get to enlarge the image and frame it. The bigger the size of the image and more elaborate the frame the more money it costs.
At a discrete corner leave your calling card or phone number. Visitors to your client’s house who are impressed by your work will become clients as well.
Publish a Book
Book publishing is much easier than in the eighties when the few publishing houses were king. Today you can self publish a book and it will be live with 24 hrs.
A book allows self expression and getting new followers and friends. The advantages of publishing a book include making money from your publication, lots of new followers and a strong marketing tool.
If your book is an eBook you can even add a hot link to your e-commerce website or blog.
Teach a Photography Class
Teaching attracts pupils and pupils attract more customers to your work. You will get paid to teach and impact knowledge while getting a new customer base.
Make a Slide Show
There are many people that prefer visiting websites that have slide shows. Slide shows attract lots of visitors which in turn attracted people to your work.
More traffic to your blog equals more sales and fans. A good website for your slide show is slideshare.
Create Unique Promotional Items
Create unique promotional items and sell on websites that offer this service. They handle the shipping and you make money via commissions. You can sell them yourself directly to customers but you have to handle the shipment and payment processing.
Join Freelance Websites
Freelance websites are job market places to place your profile and highlight your skill. Customers request certain service and the website is the intermediary between paying customer and service provider.
Offer a Referral Fee
Web masters are always on the lookout for money making opportunities. You can offer a referral fee and watch your profit go through the roof.
You need to have referral tracking software and proper accountability. Pay your affiliate promptly so you don’t get negative feed back or bad reviews.
Get Sales Representatives
Sales representatives work on commission bases and only earn when they make a sale. It seems like a bad deal but many people need some form of employment or the other. Some smart sales representatives actually bag high commissions doing this kind of work.
The major advantage is door to door marketing and improved sales.
Create an Adwords Account
Adwords will reach converting clients faster than any marketing strategy you know. It is very effective however photographers should learn proper usage of this advertisement platform.
Do you have any more Business ideas for Photographers? Kindly leave a comment
Here are a list of business ideas and resources for photographers
· Start a YouTube channel
· Build your Business with Adsense
· Hire sales representatives
· Offer referral fees
· Use freelance websites
· Use Slideshare to boost your business
· Publish a picture book
· Specialize on family portrait
· Create fun contests
· Sell copyright
· Get affiliates to sell your photographs
· Make your blog Smartphone enabled
· Have a good business plan
· Use press release
· Start a small magazine
· Start a newsletter
· Become a mentor
· Reach for new target audience
· Use guest blogging
· Invite guest bloggers
· Start a photo gallery
· Upload your pictures to stock photography websites
· Makes specialty photographs
· Build a photography blog
· Enter photography contests
· Use Pinterest
· Use flicker
· Use StumbleUpon
· Organize a photography seminar
· Use email listing
· Link building
· Create unique items
· Teach photography
· Offer different niches
There are many business opportunities for Photographers all that matters is great pictures, creativity and networking. Develop your own technique and style and let the world celebrate your uniqueness.