There are millions of photographers in the world. A good number of those are hobbyist or amateur photographers trying to break into the business. Others are full-time photographers. In an oversaturated market, how are you different? Why should you get hired?
Its not about the gear, or the settings, but your creative vision. After all, youre the artist. . .
Here are some ways that you can be different:
Establish a Brand
The first step to a successful photography business is establishing a brand. Your brand is made up of your personality, your style, and your vision. Everything your client sees should be branded. Local ads, business cards, flyers, price sheets, email signatures, any and every sheet of paper.
How is the quality of your images? Are they well-edited? Printed to perfection? If a client is purchasing prints, make sure youre delivering prints worthy of your photos. I use professional labs like Millers, Mpix, BayPhoto, or White House Color.
Customer service is crucial to the success of your business. Have a professional voicemail and respond to voice messages in a timely manner. Respond to business emails within a few hours. Sometimes life gets in the way of providing great service to your clients, but its easier now than ever with smartphones; everythings with you all the time. But also know your boundaries. . . You don’t need to respond to that late-night email right away, but it should be one of the first ones you respond to in the morning.
Turn Around Time
Clients don’t like to wait to see their final images, so review the edits with them. When the prints come in, bring your clients back into the studio and present them with their prints. Making it an event gets the clients excited and can be great for repeat business.
You’ll want to offer a selection of products, from albums to prints, letter cards, invitations, and more. Only sell digital negatives as an up-charge; shooting and burning is bad for our industry.
Keeping your Style Fresh
You don’t want people to see you as dated, boring, or repetitive. Its important to update style as you become a better photographer. Keep pushing your creative limits and trying new things.
One thing to keep in mind: you cannot compete on price alone. Please don’t try to be the Walmart of photography. Its not good for our industry.
Make your business stand out from the crowd. What are some ways you think youre different? Respond in the comments below.