A Realistic Guide to Managing Your Photography Business

There's a better way to run your photography business. Read on for a practical perspective on improving your workflow!

Professional photographer sitting in front of his computer

Starting a photography business goes beyond just having creativity and technical skills. As a photographer, you need to wear many hats. You're a business person, a marketing guru, and a IT person all in one. Understanding this complex role is the first step towards your business to survive and thrive!

In our previous blog, we covered significant topics for photographers. These included social media usage, finding your niche, and creating an impressive portfolio. Give it a read if you haven't already!

Today's article covers answers to common challenges photographers face and the importance of trusting experts to help with running a photography business.

Running a photography business is 80% business and 20% photography.

Admit it, you likely didn't choose professional photography for the admin work. However, staying organised with admin tasks is crucial for your business.

As a professional photographer crafting your own business plan, you may encounter a few typical challenges. Client acquisition and retention, time management, client relations, financial management, legal and contractual issues... Notice how many of these challenges don't exactly scream "photography"?

However, a brighter future for your photography business might be simpler than you think! By doing minor tweaks into your workflow, you can witness immediate improvements. We're talking about making more money using upselling tools, showcasing your 5-star reviews to attract new clients, and even expanding your network through referrals. Let's dive in!

How to work efficiently with tools and techniques

Telling your clients that their photo shoot won't be happening due to a mishap in scheduling or technical issues is not a pleasant conversation to have. Being organised is the backbone of any successful business, and your business is no exception.

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Dedicate specific days for photo sessions and administrative tasks. This approach can improve your overall efficiency, reduces stress, and ensure that you thrive in both your creative pursuits and business management.

The path to a seamless workflow begins with recognising the roadblocks. Are you grappling with keeping track of your bookings, managing non-automated client communications, or organising files? Identify your bottlenecks! Numerous photographer tools and software are available to quickly eliminate those obstacles with just a click!

Automation is your friend! Look into how utilising CRM tools, online galleries for clients, and calendar management software can transform your workflow. This can help reduce the time you spend on routine tasks and can make running your business less of a chore.

Analysing your business well can shape the trajectory of your business. Take note of the common questions you frequently receive, track the conversion rate of inquiries to actual clients, and keep an eye on the financial returns coming from various types of photoshoots. These practices provide a comprehensive insight into the dynamics of your business.

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If you consistently see a particular question popping up, provide a more detailed and proactive answer on your social media platforms, website, or FAQs section. This not only addresses the concerns of hesitant clients but also increases the likelihood of them finding the information they need and ultimately booking a session.

How to keep things simple for your clients

Your interaction with clients can make or break your business. Simplifying your processes brings mutual benefits for both you and your clients.

Now, consider stepping into their shoes. Have you ensured clear communication from the beginning? Is the booking process straightforward, and how transparent is your pricing structure? When it comes to delivering your high quality photos, did you opt for a user-friendly online gallery, or did you use a multi-part WeTransfer link that expires after a few days?

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When you provide a 5-star experience for your clients, they will be willing to assist you. Don’t be afraid to ask them to refer you to their friends and family or followers!

Potential clients are likely to look around, compare and explore multiple options before making a decision. Your goal is to stand out by providing a seamless experience. Simplify the process for clients to get in touch with you and book your services.

The quality of your after-sales services should match the high standard set during the booking process! Have prompt and clear communication regarding any follow-up steps, delivery timelines, and additional services that might be relevant. Encourage feedback and collect reviews. Simple follow-up texts or emails show clients that you value their opinions and provide you with insights to improve your services.

Automating the review collection process enables you to handle a larger volume of requests compared to manual methods. Plus, you can showcase your positive reviews automatically, boosting your brand for potential clients.

The Smiler Photographer Suite
Designed for photographers who manage clients from Instagram, Airbnb and more. Streamline your bookings, payments, photo delivery and review collection in one easy-to-use platform.

Automatically request and collect client reviews and curate a stunning digital portfolio. Try it for free!

How to approach financial aspects of your business

Bank details and spreadsheets might not be as exciting as perfect exposure, but hey - they're part of the gig. It's very rare for creatives to be equally interested in the numbers. If you're wary of how to approach the financial side of the business, you are not alone.

Let's begin by taking a critical look at your financial plan. When was the last time you reviewed your price point? Are you charging above or below the market? Remember, you need to sell your photography, not your prices.

So, do a review of your income both in terms of services and pricing. Can you diversify your offerings? You can offer prints, packages, and run partnerships with other businesses. Maybe you're not getting paid on time. Time to adjust contracts and payment terms! Reviewing your numbers regularly with a critical eye can help you get on the right track.

When it comes to receiving payments, everyone has their favourite way of doing financial transactions. Some clients use credit cards while others only trust PayPal.

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During peak tourism seasons, attracting international clients can be highly desirable. Customise payment plans to suit your business needs and accept multiple currencies to make transactions hassle-free for both you and your international clients. That way you won't miss out on any international bookings!

If a client visits your socials, loves your portfolio, and then sees a questionable payment system, they're not likely to book your services. By offering various payment methods you're basically saying your service is as professional as it gets.

Wrapping up

Starting and running a photography business can be difficult, but it can be a rewarding career path for those willing to put in the time and effort. Understand that being a photographer comes with both exciting and challenging moments. Set achievable goals for yourself, considering your skills and resources.

By setting realistic expectations, utilising helpful tools and software, and being financially savvy – you can create a solid foundation for a successful and enjoyable journey in your photography business.

What do you want to achieve today?

  • Are you analysing the points that are holding your business back from its full potential?

If so, take the time to thoroughly examine your workflow, and identify your strengths and weaknesses. When you're ready, make sure to check out Smiler Photographer Suite, which can be the answer to running your photography business smoothly.

  • Would you like to learn more about the best practices for your photography business and discover helpful tips and tools?

Browse our growing collection of articles containing useful tools, techniques, and best practices. Many of these insights come straight from the mouths of successful professional photographers!