Is There Really Too Much Competition To Start Up Another Photography Studio?

5 02 2011

Take a look through a bridal magazine, or visit a high blog post 061709 school senior fair. There are dozens of photographers vying for the attention of just a few new clients.

Photographers seem to exist everywhere these days. Because digital cameras seem to make shooting easier, more people are trying to turn it into a career. Or at least a second or third source of income.

So the question comes down to: Can you really make a good living at photography, or is there just not enough business to go around?

Let’s look at a few other industries for a moment.

Have you ever looked for a web designer? In addition to full time companies, you also compete with freelancers, part time designers, and all of the moms/dads/sisters/brothers/sons/daughters that have ever taken a web design class and think they have the ability to create a dynamic website.

Lets move to the law industry. There is one lawyer for every 264 people in the U.S. Add to it the number of do-it-yourself law kits through office supply stores, and websites like nololaw.com that offer contracts, wills, and other legal documentation for reduced fees. Can you really earn a great living as a lawyer?

What about Realtor? You can’t hit a networking group without running into a handful of them. Watch your mailbox, and you’re sure to get advertisements from a half dozen every week. And for the do-it-yourself crowd, you can sell easily on Craigslist, or with places like HelpUSell, do more of the work yourself and cut the sales commission down to next to nothing.

Yet in all these industries, I’ll bet you can quickly think of several examples in your area where people are making good money in the industry. I know a realtor that has been in business for over 30 years, and has dozens of listings today in the marketplace. I also know a lawyer that is one of the best in his areas of specialties, flies all over the country to meet with new clients, and can afford to be very selective about the cases he chooses to handle.

Starting up a business isn’t about how much competition you’re facing. It’s about how much passion you have. In every economy, in every neighborhood, there is always a way to make a new business work.

You have to be different. You have to provide something no one else can. You have to look at things just a little bit different.

Don’t copy. Pave your own path. And you’ll soon be at the top of your field, making what you deserve.

image source MeaganJean





Photographers Are You Blocking The Print Feature On Facebook?

17 11 2010

Do you know how easy it is for your friends in Facebook to print out your photographs at a local big box store such as Walmart or Target?

I just read an interesting blog post over at A Photo Editor on printing your Facebook photos, and wanted to bring the conversation over here as well.

I love social sites and think they are a great way of marketing your business. But you do have to think twice before heading down that path with your images, and the way you post them for your friends to see.

In Facebook, one of the best ways to grow is to take your photos, put them into a new album on your page, then tag them with your clients name. They will now feed into their news streams as well, and can potentially bring you in business down the road. Friends flock together and have similar tastes and requirements, so it’s a perfect way of marketing. But you have to keep three things in mind.

1. Be properly compensated BEFORE you release them on Facebook

2. Keep your image size small – a 300 pixel, 72 DPI print isn’t going to print well no matter where your client takes it.

3. Understand your rights to your images greatly diminish when you release them to any online social site.

And now once again, Facebook is making things a little easier for the average member, and a little more difficult for the photographer.

If you’ve tagged a client in a photograph, your client now has access to printing that photo at any of the big box locations – Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Shutterfly. With just a couple of clicks, they can see their albums and any of their friends albums in the application, select an image and hit print. It will be ready and delivered to them in no time. Unless you opt out of this feature.

Tagging is good for showcasing, but gives them access to your photos through the Facebook print feature at many labs, including Walmart, Walgreens, etc.

Visit these pages, and under the application click the Block Application button. You will then opt out of this application, which means your clients will not see your name if they try to use this application.

Did we miss any? Any other photo apps out there that we need to block as photographers?

Helping photographers with their photography business.





Photography Studio Layout

13 05 2010

Thinking of starting a studio? How do you know what type of studio is best for you?

Take this simple quiz to determine if you are better suited for a commercial studio, in-home studio, or on location studio.

Then get studio layout plans suited perfectly for you.

studio-display1

Part I

1. I have capital set aside to invest in starting up and growing my business.

2. I prefer to separate my home life from my work life.

3. I want a variety of workspaces available for shooting and production.

4. I like having control over Read the rest of this entry »





Photography Business – 5 Things To Make You Quit

24 11 2008

handshakeThe headlines everywhere read doom and gloom. It’s the toughest time of all to make profits with a business, not to mention the possibility of starting one up. Should you take all of this to heart? If you’ve always dreamt of starting and growing a photography business, and turning it into your career, is now the time?

Yes!

I’ve started up 3 separate businesses over the past 20 years, and I’ve seen good times and bad. While good times are great and people definitely spend a ton of money Read the rest of this entry »





Is A Studio Necessary To Start A Photo Business?

18 06 2008

So you’re ready to start a photo business. Does that mean you have to open up your home to your clients every day?

When we first started our studio, I had only one requirement – not to open up a home studio. Very few houses are set up in a way meant for client traffic.

They have to shuffle through your living room and kitchen to get to your back office.

They have to walk through your main living areas to 50290get to your basement stairway.

You simply use your entire entry level as a studio, limiting your actual living space all together.

So what do you do instead? Can you have a successful studio without brining people into your home, or opening up a commercial location that will cost a significant amount of money each month?

Yes.

It’s called running a virtual studio. A virtual studio is one that is run with technology; one you can take with you wherever you go. You run it with a website, a blog, email, and a voice message that directs them to your online portfolio.

If you need to meet people, you do as much as you can from the phone or from a coffee shop. You choose locations for portrait sessions that are convenient for you, and offer a world of possibilities.

And if you are looking for corporate, events or wedding work, destination is the only way to go. Where else can you get paid to travel anywhere in the world?

It is possible – you just have to create a business that sells the benefits of not having a central shooting and meeting location.

Helping your photography business, how to start a digital wedding photography business and wedding photography business visit virtualphotographystudio.com and keep up-to-date with all of the photography happenings via our free newsletter.





Photography and Facebook – A Great Combination

11 03 2008

Has your photography business hit a slump? Are your sales down from last year? Or, are you ready to move to the next level. Enter the Facebook social arena. Facebook and photography can exist with great complimentary connections. Here is a fan page that we put together on Facebook to introduce one of our services. – Facebook sample page – take a look and if you are not a member, register at no cost and explore this next generation of marketing.





Photography Business – Where Are The Leads?

7 03 2008

Well that all depends on how much business you need in your studio.

Let’s say that you want to photograph 30 weddings per year. How many leads you need to generate those 30 weddings would depend on a number of factors:

  • How much you charge for your weddings?
  • Do you leads know and understand your pricing before they contact you?
  • How good you are at turning leads into sales?

If your leads are pre-qualified, have a lot of information on you and your services before they contact you, know and understand your pricing, and have a strong referral, you might only need 30 leads to book your 30 weddings.

But if your leads come in with little knowledge of you or your services, they call in ‘blind’ from a vague advertisement with little information, and don’t match your criteria for your ideal client; you may end up having to meet 10 to 15 prospects before turning one of them into a client.

Which would you rather have for your business: 30 prospects turning into 30 clients, or 450 prospects turning into 30 clients? Obviously, your ultimate goal should be the first option. The better you define your perfect client, and the better your marketing strategy to reach your perfect customer, the easier your business will be.

Lead generation is all about understanding your customers, and reaching out to them in a way that makes them need what you have to offer. Refine what you have until you’ve developed your “perfect” message. Not only will you become better at business, but you’ll also have more time to concentrate on other things.





Is Your Small Business A 24-Hour Monster?

7 03 2008

I was out to dinner with a good friend last week. We met at 7 pm, sat and talked awhile, then ordered dinner and talked awhile longer. Then her phone rang and she answered it, spending over 5 minutes talking with a client.

I had a 7:30 breakfast meeting with another business owner and a client we are both mutually working for, discussing all aspects of the product. Twice during the meeting this business owner and client both answered business related phone calls as they came in.

In both of these cases, our meetings were before and after normal business hours. Yet as a business owner, they all have been sucked into the belief they must be available at all times for their clients.

Your clients do what you teach them is acceptable – read more>>





7 Ways For Photographers To Increase Sales

21 02 2008

What is your average sale when a client comes into buy?

Are you still handing over the digital files (or worse, negatives) when a client comes in for a photo session?

photography-hug As a photographer, you make your money from your finished product. If you’re providing your client with the raw files, and not a finished product, you are actually doing your client a disservice. Your job as a professional photographer isn’t just taking the picture and letting your client have the image. It’s also about seeing what others don’t see. A professional photographer has the ability to see things in unique ways, and give their client above and beyond what they could get anywhere else.

Become a Picasso
One of my favorite stories is about Pablo Picasso. Picasso was sitting in a restaurant having lunch with a friend when a woman came over and asked Picasso to create something for her on her napkin, and she would happily pay him for what it was worth. After a few minutes, he gave her back her napkin, and a bill for several thousand dollars. After the initial shock, she questioned why he could charge so much for a few minutes of work. Picasso responded the price wasn’t based on the few minutes it took him to create her artwork; it was based on the years of studying, education, training, and mastering his talents. She happily paid the price.

As a photographer, your prices should reflect your talents, not the final output. Anyone can snap a photo and print it out on their home computer. Where the real talent comes from is within the photographer herself.

And by the way you present what you do to your customers.

It’s easy to increase your sales potential on every client. Start with thee 7 ways to put more pizzazz into the way you market your photography.

1. Create better packages.
People like deals. And they like to get what everyone else is getting. Packages actually make the buying/selling process a whole lot easier. Your customer can bypass the ala carte section, and trying to decide exactly what they need. Instead, they’ll simply buy what looks like a good deal. And if it’s your best seller, why not choose what everyone else is buying?

Continue Reading >>





Don’t Answer the Telephone at Your Photography Business

7 02 2008

Sounds very strange to hear someone telling you not to answer the photography business telephone. During off business hours like evenings and on the weekends when your studio might be closed, let the messaging service capture the call. If you allow your clients a way to contact the business in the evening when you should be closed, they will see that you are available anytime. The last thing a photography studio owner should do is to always be available. Your clients will call you at 10pm at night and 5am. I found, listed on a recent web site, a photography studio had published that she was available “anytime” and always answers her phone, so call anytime. Are you crazy? She also had very inexpensive pricing for her work and gave away most of the available profit. Sure, you are busy but, at what cost. So the tip here is to “don’t answer your telephone”.

Earn money today with your photography – Photography Money Club. Providing new ideas to your photography business and information on how to start a photography business. Stay up to date with our photography newsletter which provides tips on your photography studio.