Are you one of the thousands of photographers out there who’s talented enough to go pro, but still need a few more clients or pieces of equipment to make the leap? It might sound counterintuitive, but I believe teaching photography ticks both boxes brilliantly.
Here are 7 reasons why teaching photography will boost your business, and help you go pro!
1. Your students can become your brides and grooms.
If you’re teaching photography, sharing your knowledge openly, your students might actually become your best clients. For example, what if one of your students is a twenty-something in your city, who gets engaged six months after taking one of your classes or workshops? Who do you think she’ll call when she starts thinking about a wedding photographer? And the same principle applies to parents who might want family portraits or baby photos.
Photography lessons are like a sales session. The student gets to witness firsthand how much knowledge, time, expertise and creativity goes into your photographic process. They get to see you in action and appreciate your professionalism. In time, they also acknowledge that it’s not just about having an expensive camera – not by a long shot!
2. Photography students already love photography.
Photographers all over the world are concerned that they can’t find clients who deeply appreciate photography. Their clients complain about price, because they don’t understand professional value, or care enough about photography. However, the students you teach already value photography. In fact, they LOVE it. So, they’re primed to invest in it.
3. They have disposable income.
If someone is able to invest in photography classes or workshops, then they must have some disposable income. If they’re investing in photography classes, then they’re likely to invest a decent amount in their wedding and portrait photography too.
4. You get to build rapport.
Several hours of photography training gives you a wonderful opportunity to show someone how approachable, professional (and fun) you are. When people develop a strong relationship with you, they’ll continue using you and they’ll recommend you to their friends and family. You’ll be top-of-mind when they need a photographer, or when someone asks them for a referral.
5. You can do it when it suits you.
You don’t need to dedicate large chunks of time to teaching photography. You don’t even need daylight! You can book a teaching session for an hour or two, whenever it suits you. Most of the people who contact me for training are beginners and they’re happy huddled around a camera on a dark winter night when weddings and family portraits are harder to schedule.
6. Teaching helps pay for your gear.
A few hundred dollars here and there starts to add up and pretty soon, you’ll be able to get the equipment and software you need to create the best possible photos.
7. There’s rarely much competition.
Admittedly, the internet is awash with information about photography techniques, and most towns and cities have photography courses. However, there aren’t as many photographers offering truly personalized training. This makes it easier to rank high in Google for terms like ‘photography lessons insert town.’ You could even team up with a local camera store to offer their customers one hour of free training. If you create a promotion with their branding, it looks like a nice gift from them to their clients, so they’re bound to say yes! It also looks like they’ve hired you and that they’re recommending you, which enhances your credibility. This has worked for me on many occasions.
The biggest fear I hear from photographers when it comes to teaching is, “What happens if my students start competing with me? I can understand why many photographers may be scared of teaching beginners, because they’re worried about training the competition. This is short-sighted. First of all, it takes a hell of a lot more than photography talent to become a professional photographer. If someone truly has the drive and commitment to set up shop as a professional photographer, then they were always going to do it, with or without your help! Plus, if you help someone reach their goal of becoming a photographer, then where do you think they’ll send all the clients they can’t service? I always say that Google has nine other photographers on the first page anyway, so you may as well be friends and help each other out!
About the Author:
Dan Waters helps photographers build a profitable photography business. He works with and studies many of the most renowned sales and marketing professionals like Drayton Bird, Jay Abrahams, Ari Galper, Clayton Makepeace and many others. He then translates their ideas into practical advice for photographers.