By Guest Contributor Alex Beadon
So you run a photography business. But let’s be honest here – it’s not really much of a business, is it? You only have a handful of clients, and you’re definitely not making enough money to support yourself full time. You feel disappointed in yourself, and constantly find yourself wondering what you’re doing wrong. You’re following all the “rules”, yet the same things that are working for other successful photographers simply AREN’T working for you. Ahhhh!
Not to worry – we have all been there, and I’m going to explain exactly what you need to do.
Have you ever seen a hair tutorial online, copied it step by step, but your final hair style looked nothing like what it looked like online? And then you realize that your short, frizzy hair simply can’t do the things that her long, thick hair can do? It doesn’t come out the same. The things that work for her hair, simply aren’t working for your hair. Because your hair is different.
Here’s the thing – business is a lot like hair. In the same way that different people’s hair will react differently to the same products and styles, your business will react differently to the same business formulas that may be working for other business owners.
Do you really want 21 surefire ways to make more money?
The only way you can do that is to figure it out for yourself. It sounds simple, doesn’t it?
Here’s what you forget – YOU ARE INCREDIBLY INTELLIGENT. Yes, you. All on your own. You have a brain. Use it.
Not only are you incredibly intelligent – but YOU are the only one who knows the DNA of your business!
Therefore YOU are the best person to go to for advice when it comes to your own business. Because you know your business.
Honestly – when was the last time you sat down by yourself and brainstormed ideas that will pro-actively make your business more money?
You are a creative. Why can’t you use that creative power for the benefit of your business?
Sue Bryce, one of my favourite photographers, once mentioned the fact that we could all easily find ten creative ways to move across a room. 1) hop across the room. 2) slither across the room. 3) cartwheel across the room. 4) hopscotch across the room. 5) do the macarena across the room. 6) crawl across the room. 7) zigzag across the room. 8) walk like an egyptian across the room. 9) dance across the room. 10) walk backwards across the room.
So why do we make it so hard to come up with ten creative ways to get more clients? Why do we make it so hard to come up with ten creative and surefire ways to make more money?
Right here, right now – stop whatever it is that you are doing. Grab a pen or paper and write down 21 creative and surefire ways your business could make more money. Take FURTHER action by sharing your ten favorite ideas in the comment section below! Not only will this help inspire you, but you will help inspire others! And inspiration makes the world go round!
Rock on, my friends!
About the Author: Alex Beadon is a creative portrait photographer, blogger, and creator of The Inspired Store. Her number one mission is to inspire those around her to creatively live an inspired and passionate life. That means doing what you love and loving what you do every step of the way.
Visit Alex at her WEBSITE |FACEBOOK pages today!
Rochelle Shucart says
In the fall, many local High Schools have Football pamphlets. See how much a page or 1/2 page is 🙂
Amy Bollman says
If you live in a large neighborhood, you could pass out flyers introducing yourself, your business, and offering a discount for those that book with you in the next couple of months.
Also, I’m thinking about setting up a mini session set up in my front yard for Halloween. When parents bring the kiddos trick or treating, I will offer to take a couple of shots of them in their costumes and post all images to a gallery. I will hand them a price list and my card at the time I take the pictures. 🙂
This is absolutely the dumbest article I’ve ever read. It’s like the blind leading the blind.
If you don’t know anything about business, no matter how smart you are, unless you seek out business knowledge, from a book, or stressful business person or other credible source, you will have a higher failure rate than someone who does.
If you just “brainstorm” by yourself, you will, more than likely, either spin your wheels and go no where or try to reinvent the wheel. Seriously…how do people get off on writing this non sense and think they are inspiring without a coherent thought.
oh, dear, proof your words! Stressful should be successful in the comment above!
I completely agree with you, Sally. Seriously.
Barbara aka Susie Centeno says
I had hoped to read tips in the article, but I believe brainstorming by yourself and sharing here is a great idea! That makes it a collective brainstorming! Amy’s Halloween shoot is a PERFECT idea. I hope I have the gumption to try it myself! I hope to contribute something here myself, if I can get my brain working!
yes, Sally. Absolutely stupidest article ever. You know… I never would have thought to actually think on my own… Was this article not screened before being posted?
amanda heath photography says
LOVE the Halloween idea! But, because I have 4 kiddos who will all be in costume and trick or treating and all that halloween craziness, I doubt I will have time to conduct sessions in my yard. BUT…I plan on making up some little business size cards with a coupon for $blank amount off on a photo session with me with all of my contact info and attach it to a small bottle of bubbles to hand out in trick or treat bags! AWESOME way to advertise and since I will be brand new to the neighborhood, a great way to introduce myself as well!
Liz Ishoo says
why the haters???
Jessica Landrum says
What a great idea about passing out business cards for Halloween. Although it does seem like common sense to brainstorm on your own, sometimes you just need to be reminded and encouraged that you can come up with great things all by yourself. There are so many books and online info out there that we feel we should be reading ideas from everyone else instead of thinking about what can benefit our business in our own way. Thank you Alex Beadon for the inspiration and encouragement.
I am loving the ideas generated in the comment section already! Here are mine:
1) Hold a free workshop for your target market where you teach them how to get the best use out of their digital cameras (even if they just have an iPhone). Not only will this allow them to get to kno you and trust you, but this will help them see that there is A LOT more to photography than they expected and will highlight the importance of hiring a professional.
2) Do a focus group with your target market so that you can better understand their needs and wants when hiring a photographer, but also their fears. A lot of times we just need to be able to communicate better with potential clients, tell them that we can give them what they want and that they have nothing to fear when hiring us. I feel like a focus group would REALLY help you to better understand your potential customers.
3) Do some sort of amazing, creative, personal project in your area that gets the attention of people and gets people talking! Could it be featured in your local newspaper? Local TV station? etc… I’m all about how can you get people talking about you.
4) Think ahead: Thanksgiving is coming up! Create some sort of special, Thanksgiving package.
5) Focus on the clients you have already had! Many times we ignore the clients from our past because we forget all about repeat business! Example: Every few weeks my hairdresser calls me and says, “hey, it’s about time we do your hair again! when’s good for you?” Maybe a few weeks is too short for photographers, but depending on what kind of photographer you are – every few months could be perfect, or maybe once a year.
6) Instead of buying birthday cards for our friends, always send them a photo that you have taken. Most people like to display their birthday cards, it’s a great way for people to be like, “Woah! That card is amazing!” – “Oh, my friend took it, she’s a photographer! blah blah!” Instand word of mouth!
7) Use each conversation with a new person as a way to introduce not only yourself, but your business! ALWAYS carry business cards, or some sort of pamphlet to really show off your work. Don’t be shy about it either, let your passion SHINE THROUGH, and they will immediately be drawn to you and your business!
8) Be a prominent part of your community. Become known as the go-to photographer. How can you do this? It will vary from person to person, business to business, community to community. But any way that you can be featured in front of the eyes of your target market is going to be a VERY good thing!
9) Teach a photography class at a high school. Obviously during the class it would be amazing for you to show off some of your work, and hopefully while you are teaching these photography-lovers, a few of them will love your work to go home and ask their parents to hire you!
10) GIFT CARDS! I always find myself totally stuck on what to give my friends for their birthdays or on other gift-giving occasions. But if my photographer advertises gift cards, the seed is immediately planted in my brain – “Hey! I could give her a photo shoot, she would love that!”
To those of you who didn’t quite understand the point of this article:
I totally understand that this way of thinking is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I have worked with many photographers whose main issues revolve around a false belief that they don’t have the answers, and that the answers need to be found elsewhere. I, myself, used to be this way. This one issue has been a huge stumbling block for countless business owners, and I have found it has held many photographers back.
In my humble opinion it does not take a genius to come up with new ideas to get your name out there, or new ideas to generate your business more money. It may take some time and a bit of creativity, but we can all come up with at least a few. Plus, I honestly believe that each business owner knows their situation best and will be able to come up with the best ideas for themselves.
As soon as business owners realise this, it is much easier for them to come up with the ideas because they have identified their false belief and deleted it from their system.
LOVE TO YOU ALL 🙂
Natasha Nicole Phillips says
Love it Alex thank you!