6 things a photography business needs to be successful
There are a number of key areas that any photography business needs to focus on to increase its chances of continuing to grow and to increase revenue.
1. A clear proposition
A proposition is essentially how you describe your business, in terms of being able to communicate your offer clearly to your potential clients. Many photography websites contain no copy at all, which is a big missed opportunity for making your website work harder to attract buyers to it.
Many photographers tell us they get lots of hits to their sites but very few genuine enquiries for commissions, and this can be one of the reasons – because their sites simply aren’t selling their photography offer clearly or effectively enough.
2. A target audience
Any business has to know who it wants to sell its services to, and photography businesses are no exception. Many photographers sell photography across a range of genres, which is fine – as long as you have a specific target audience for each of the photography products that you want to sell.
The more specific the target audience is, the easier and more effective a marketing strategy is. If you aren’t clear about who you are trying to target with your photography product, then the whole task of marketing becomes a nightmare, simply due to the fact that the way you are contacting and communicating to potential clients becomes too generalized and general marketing is weak marketing.
When your proposition and target audience are clear, then you are able to create a much stronger site experience that is designed to give the people you want to sell photography to, some brilliant reasons to use you.
This approach requires words to be added onto the site, and this includes the text on your home page, your about page and also your blog. By using words on your website, you acquire much greater control over what people’s impressions and understanding of your approach are. If you just rely on your images as a means for selling you, then you loose that control. The majority of buyers aren’t as visually literate as you are, and this is precisely why photographers who are great at marketing are busier than those who are very talented but struggle with their marketing.
4. Marketing strategy
A marketing strategy needs a few elements to make it work;
A target audience (or as many as you like), as we’ve already mentioned, a series of well put together messages with clear objectives in mind, a few channels to send out those messages and a long-term and consistent approach.
It’s a simple enough formula, but you need to remember the basics to make sure that it works. The areas that people most often fall down in are these;
- Lack of time spent creating an interesting and compelling message, that is relevant to the target audience
- A long term and regular approach – the effectiveness of marketing builds over time
- The right focus on social media – social media can soak up hours of your time, but you need to remember that your social media activity has to be clearly directed at businesses if you want it to generate enquiries from businesses.
5. Pricing strategy
The bain of most photographers live’s. Pricing is a really tricky issue, thanks to bad, or non-specific briefs and being compared to unknown competition, as well as a general expectation of ever-reducing prices.
To counteract this, you need to have a strong pricing strategy and policy. You need to concentrate on making buyers understand your costs clearly, by adopting a transparent and open approach, which both fosters trust and promote understanding of the photographic process.
The other area that you need to pay attention to, is the perceived value of the services that you are offering through the way that you put together your quotes. Everyone wants good value for money, so make sure that prospects feel that they are getting that if they use you. Value does not mean cheap at all. Instead it means giving buyers confidence in what they are buying, how much they are buying and how useful and effective it will be for them.
6. Content creation
Modern marketing strategies rely on great content, and as photographers you are in the fantastic position of being able to create your own high-quality content that you can use to promote your business. This includes images for your blogs, images for you to use in your social media campaigns, and images to promote your product and help potential clients understand how you can help them with their business issues.
The trick with content, is to remember that you need to create images and words, so that prospects have a rounder and more specific understanding of what you are offering and are better able to judge if you are the best photographer for them based on what they will get for their money and not just how much it will cost.
Follow these steps and you will have a stronger and more attractive business, and you will stand out well from the ever-present and ever-increasing competition.