April 5, 2017
We are very excited to announce that Lisa’s, long awaited, new book is finally available!
“Running A Successful Photography Business is the definitive business bible for every professional photographer. A one-stop resource covering everything you need to know to make your business a success” as the introduction succinctly states.
Following on from last weeks post on Ask an Agent we are going to bring you some weekly excerpts to whet your taste buds.
This week a little snippet from Chapter 1: How’s Business? – A Business Health Check.
As a photographer I bet you probably get asked this question a lot.
And I’m sure a lot of the time the answer is along the lines of …
“Not bad, ticking along’’
‘’All good, pretty busy’’
But how often do you ask yourself, really, honestly, how is your business doing? The yardstick of the success of a business isn’t necessarily just being busy, as we’ve touched on in the preface. You might feel busy, but in reality, you might not feel creatively fulfilled as you don’ t find your work stimulating anymore. You might love taking the pictures but feel you are running around like a headless chicken dealing with the peripheral red tape and administration that goes along with earning a living from your photography. Maybe you are even feeling stressed and that you aren’t managing things properly. So just because you feel ‘busy’, that doesn’t necessarily mean you feel, or even are, successful.
In this business it’s all too easy to become reactive rather than proactive. You often find yourself dealing with the day today without planning for the future. Maybe you have even lost sight of why you became a photographer in the first place. To the majority of photographers I’ve met, making money isn’t the number one priority, although it’s obviously a bonus. It could be worth having a look at how you might be able to improve things, give yourself a bit of a business health check.
As well as adding to your enjoyment and fulfillment, it might even lead to a more profitable business.
I’ve prepared 20 questions which hopefully will help you get you focused, spot any weak areas and enable you to capitalise on your strengths.
1) What is my business?
Seems like a fairly straightforward question but it’s amazing how many photographers aren’t quite sure. Be clear about what you are offering and who wants to buy it, as if you’re not, neither will your customers be. Family portrait photographer Helen Bartlett has certainly nailed this one.
‘’My style of photography has always been clearly defined – I only shoot on location in black and white; I’m not a studio photographer. This began with my father, who took a lot of black and white photographs of my brothers and I growing up: pictures with real memories attached, of the parks we played at, my home and garden, and all of us having fun. I really value the joy they give me as an adult, and I noticed that they didn’t seem to date. The fads and fashions which can be common in family photography didn’t show up in these images; they stood out as real moments in my childhood. In my own work, I try to give my clients the same thing – natural images that capture their families’ different personalities, as well as their homes and the places they enjoy visiting together. It’s all about recording children and families as they are’’
2) What are my strengths?
This could be related to the type of photography you do or some other skill. If you are good at public speaking maybe you are missing a trick and should do a bit more of this. Many photographers guest lecture at Universities for example as a sideline. Any public speaking at an events, paid or non paid, can be great publicity. Or it could be something as simple as recognising you are great with gathering the right crew of people and always create a great atmosphere on set, why not spread the word with some behind the scenes shots on social media… continued.
To read all 20 business health check questions and the rest of ’’Running a Successful Photography Business’’ order your copy here.
Another excerpt coming up next week!