4 Photography Business Keys for Scalability and Sustainability

 

To build a scalable and sustainable photography business, you must first acknowledge that there’s a difference between “being a photographer” and “running a photography business.”

Not only is there a difference, you can actually do either – without doing the other! You can be a photographer without running your own business, if you work for someone else. Or, you can run a photography business without ever clicking a shutter. For many of us, however, we find ourselves standing squarely in between both worlds. We are photographers who are balancing being creatives and learning to be business professionals who happen to be creative.

The tension of being “both” is what causes us to struggle when it comes to growing our business. In fact, our roles as photographer and business owner sometimes find themselves with conflicting interests as we examine what it means to expand and grow our business. Often we are …

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Five Facebook Features Every Photographer Should Use!

Facebook Timeline rocked our world, now what?!

You’ve had the chance to update your cover and get used to this two column thing, so now we’re going to delve into the less visible ways you can keep your Facebook page rockin’!

First, make sure you’ve read and implemented ‘How Photographers Can Use Facebook Timeline,’ which covers a ton of basics, including how to utilize tabs, highlighting and pinning. Now that you’ve got the basics, here’s five Facebook Features every photographer should be using.

1) Reposition Photo: As photographers, we’re just plain picky when it comes to showcasing our images. Now that Facebook has a two-column layout, the left and right sides of images get chopped on preview. Did you know that you can actually adjust the preview to the left or right and then reposition the photo? It’s quick and easy; roll over the top right area of the post square and click …

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How to be Irresistible to Ideal Clients

Photo by Gary and Courtney

One of the biggest buzz phrases in photographers’ conversations about “branding” is the concept of your “Ideal Client.”

We are repeatedly told to identify our ideal client. As a concept, this seems to makes sense. And it’s an easy thing to say!

But how exactly do you do it?

So let’s cut the crap and figure out why exactly your ideal client matters and how exactly to identify them.

Identifying your ideal client matters for two reasons:

1) Your ideal client will help you reach your goals. Without the right client, you’ll never reach your goal of making X amount of money a year, or doing more destination weddings, being published on _______ blog or in ______ magazine, or even going full-time as a photographer. If a client isn’t going to help you get closer to your goals (whatever they may be), then they are not your ideal client.

2) Your ideal client will help you …

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Unsatisfied with Your Size? Your Business Size, that is!

**Great news! We’re hard at work updating this guide and will be re-releasing it shortly. In the meantime, check out The Photo Life Social Media Guide!**

Today thousands of smart photographers got the latest Dispatch from The Photo Life. Inside is a guide for expanding your photography business. In addition, the Dispatch is sporting a sleek new design. What you’ll get: 

1) Strategies for Expansion

2) Case Studies from Two Top Photographers who Successfully Added Associates to their Businesses

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Lessons Learned from a Photographer Planning his own Wedding

New Orleans by Paul Morse

Planning our wedding has been intense, fun, and quite a learning lesson. The experience gave me a much different perspective on what new clients see while searching for photographers and other professionals who make their wedding day special.

The First Impression

At the beginning of our planning process we met with the general manager of the venue where we wanted to host our wedding. We looked through their display albums out of curiosity and for decor ideas. There was strong work by local photographers, but surprisingly none of the albums had contact information for the photographers printed inside! The albums had the photographer’s name, but no phone number, email address or website.

The ‘A List’ and the ‘Black List’

After settling on the venue, we asked the general manager for recommendations for bands and florists. She presented us with an extensive list of people she had a positive experience working with. It was golden! …

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Pinterest for Wedding Photographers

Continuing the social media theme this month, The Photo Life team is sharing another helpful article about how photographers can use Pinterest to market their business and engage with their clients. Many photographers have asked us to keep sharing info about this new social network that’s spreading like wildfire! Special thanks to Wendy Roe and Matt Herron for their contributions to social media mega month!

The social media to-do list gets longer every day. Between Facebook, Twitter, and Blogging it seems like there are a lot of platforms on the modern wedding photographer’s daily list. Well, get ready, because there is one more to add – Pinterest.

Since Pinterest hit the social media scene it has become hugely popular with home decorators, exercise and beauty buffs, and above all, brides. It’s the new “place to go” for wedding inspiration, so wedding photographers in a moving marketplace should get familiar with the platform quickly …

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How Social Sharing Can Improve Your Photography Business

You say your work speaks for itself.

But does it?

In an age where every website that matters is connected in some way to social media, is your work strong enough to speak for itself? On an internet saturated with photographs, how do your photos get attention?

Do you want the truth? Even if you win the National Geographic Photo Contest, there’s a good chance that announcement will be drowned out by social media noise. People would rather look at ‘LOLCats’ or tweet about Justin Bieber. Guess what was trending on Twitter when I wrote this? #OnlyGhettoPeople and “Happy Chocolate Day!”

Your work can’t speak for itself anymore. Not on the Internet, anyway. Too many people are talking, and you can only “Like” yourself on Facebook once.

So how can you make social media as useful for your photography business as it is for asinine trends? Get your fans to speak for your work, too!

1. Connect Your …

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The Mashable Movement Part 2

**Great news! We’re hard at work updating this guide and will be re-releasing it shortly. In the meantime, check out The Photo Life Social Media Guide!**

What if Photographers Stopped Trying to Combat Change and Embraced it Instead?

It’s a question worth asking again and again. And again! That’s why this Dispatch seems familiar to you. It is. Re-releasing “The Mashable Movement” is a challenge to you to consider this inescapable question and find your unique answer.

What if YOU stopped combatting change and embraced it instead? What would that look like in your unique business?

Let’s take a look together.

What’s Inside:

A challenge to look at your photography business in a different way, to see your clients as collaborators rather than consumers. Inside you’ll also find practical tools for identifying the collaboration methods that work for your business.

Take a Look:

Collaboration can’t be formulaic, which is a good thing because neither can your business! In …

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What’s Pinterest and How Can I Use it for My Marketing?

If you haven’t been introduced to Pinterest, you’re in for a treat!

It’s the newest, hip social network that cracked the top 10 of popularity…while still being INVITE only!  Inspiration boards of styles you like, goals for your future, books you want to read, cute DIY wedding ideas have always been around but up until Pinterest, they were created with paper, scissors, tape and poster board – I know, we’ve all been there!

Pinterest is a gold mine for photographers, especially wedding photographers, because brides-to-be are there, pinning images from their favorite websites to showcase ideas while categorizing their favorite wedding cakes, details, dress and even their ‘something blue’ for crying out loud!  As photographers, we supply images that they pin (you can pin ANY web image and brides are scouring wedding websites and blogs for new images). Then, their followers and friends see our work...and boom…in comes a job lead!

Things to …

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A Case for True Authenticity in Photography

As we crawl down the rabbit hole and the pursuit of the authentic reaches fever pitch, at some point you’ve gotta wonder how it is that so many authentic selves can look and sound so damned similar. This light, that composition. This kiss, that stare, and oh, those shoes. Do we all love photographing shoes that much? As we see more, do more, and push further, is there room to stand out in the increasingly hot and crowded space we call the wedding industry? Or is authenticity nothing more than a new twist on an old theme? A quick shot of empowerment to be followed by a Tequila chaser to keep us going on the treadmill.

At the heart of it all are two simple words. Trendy and timeless – bookends in the never-ending debate on substance, society, and self. Trendy, the pejorative cousin of stylish and fashionable, is change for …

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