How To Start A Photography Business That Succeeds

Start a photography business One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when trying to start a photography business is choosing the wrong market.

In this post I’ll share with you a market that can grow very fast and you’ll never run out of clients. You will also create raving fans that will promote your business without even asking them to.

I’ll also share one of the 8 marketing strategies I share in my book “How To Start Your Own Photography Business For Newbies” and you can land your first client in the next 30 days or less.

Let’s Start With The Best Market

The advice I always give to any new photographer that wants to charge money for their services and start a business is to choose the Family and Children’s market.

Here’s why!

When you are trying to start a business you need to look at the life of a client and the frequency they will be coming to you. Basically you want to find people that want and need their pictures taken on a regular basis.

Here’s an example that I share inside my new book and shows how a typical new mother could turn into a life long client.

photography_client_frequency

Now, this is just showing you an example of the child up to the age of 4 years old. We both know that this can continue until they are a senior in High School and who knows…you may even shoot their children’s pictures when they have a family.

Now, I hope this has opened your eyes to the possibilities and why it’s important to choose a market like this that has a long life expectancy for your  business.

Best Photography Marketing Strategy To Get Clients FAST!
As I promised I want to share a marketing technique that I share in my new book “How To Start Your Own Photography Business For Newbies”.

It’s called the Family and Friends Method and is simple to implement and very POWERFUL!

The Family And Friends Marketing Method Explained
This is the one method I suggest you start with right away for a couple of different reasons. In the very beginning, you’re most likely going to be nervous and want to practice before you officially get started.

This is completely normal and is just part of the process. You might want to start but you’re afraid, so you don’t want to really charge people yet.  

You really don’t know if your photography is going to be good enough.  You don’t know if you have what it takes.  

Well, with family and friends, it’s a great way to get your feet wet and it’s actually fun. I’m sure you have some friends or family who would be thrilled if you photographed their children for FREE.   

I  don’t think there’s anyone who is going to turn you down and not want you taking a picture of their kid and creating a beautiful portrait.

If you say, “I want practice my portrait photography…would you mind if I practiced on your child?”. They will usually say, “Sure”. It’s a great way to practice and get into the groove before photographing strangers.  It’s a great way to start getting your name out there. 

This whole concept that I’m going to go over is actually how it happened for us.  I’ve actually added a few additional elements I’ve learned from other studios and students over the years.  You always want to try and learn new techniques.
 
So let me get started with “The Family and Friends Method”

Have a party and practice.  You do exactly what that says.  Have a party.  Tell everybody to come over with their kids and you’re going to set up a little portable studio at your house or someone else’s house.  

It doesn’t have to be your house, because you can bring your equipment with you. The one thing I stress in my book is that you need to start out with a portable studio, so you can get started fast. You don’t want to wait until you have a full studio, which could take years. You want to get started as soon as possible and start building a client base.

In my book “How To Start Your Own photography Business For Newbies”, I share a technique that uses Digital Props and Backgrounds. This will allow you to create unique portraits without a studio.

Create Unique Portraits That Get People Talking

Digital Props and Backgrounds

You can watch the entire process of me creating one of these portraits by clicking here.

Once you are set up, you will have the children or babies brought to you one at a time and photograph them on your backdrop.  Now I would suggest picking one theme. Let’s say, for example, you were going to do a birds nest theme. The reason I chose this is because the example above shows you how I created this theme and you can download the prop for FREE.

This way you have no excuses to not try this technique :-)

Setting Up The Shot

Ok…so next you want to make sure you have everything in place for this theme.  That way you know when you get ready to superimpose your subjects into your prop and background, you have them in a position to fit into that particular object that you’re working with.

For example, if we’re going to do a bird nest, you’re going to want them sitting on the floor or sitting on your backdrop.  It’s probably the easiest one to do because all you’re going to use is a three-quarter shot.  You’re only going to use from the waist up, so it’s really simple to do. 

And you can put something down if it’s a little baby.  Maybe the baby is only 9 months old and just sitting up.  Or maybe the baby is sitting with the legs together and you put a little toy in there and the baby is actually holding the toys in its legs and then looking down.

It’s a beautiful shot and it’s easy to do.  So again, have the kids come in one at a time and take a few shots. Have the next subject come over and take a few shots.  You keep going until all the kids have had their picture taken.  

Create Excitement And Curiosity

What will usually happen next, is your friends and family will be curious to see what the finished product is going to look like, and you’re going to tell them all about it. You might want to show them a sample and get them excited at what you will be creating.  

Don’t Miss This Next Step

Next, have everyone write down their mailing address and email, if you don’t already have it…because this is how it all starts.  You’re going to mail everyone a 4×6 or give it to them in person and include your business cards.  
 
Make sure everyone gets a 4×6 with your business card. I stress this in my book and explain how your business card is your biggest tool in the beginning that will let people know you’re in business. So get that business card created and hand them out as much as you can. 

Let people know to pass the word around about this party, but also about your new business.  Usually your friends and family want to see you succeed, so they do it on their own.

Once people start talking about the pictures you just created for them…the word just starts spreading.  Pretty soon, you will get some phone calls saying “Hey, I saw what you did for Maria, could you do it for me?” or “What do you charge?”  You’ll start seeing that phone calls, emails, and Facebook messages will start coming in.  

Get Your Pictures Circulating

First, you just want to get those pictures to those friends and family members and then obviously, they are going to show them off because it’s of their kids. We like to show off our children to others…Right?

This is a great way to get your business going really quick, and it’s fun. You don’t feel as much pressure when you’re first starting out.  Let’s say you just had a party with your family and friends. You could have them ask their friends if they want to host a party.

You could say “Hey, find a friend who would like to have their own portrait party and they can invite over a bunch of their friends or family members with their kids.”  And then you come in and you do exactly what you just did for your friends and family.

Let Others Know They Can Have Parties TOO!

This allows you to repeat the process.  You mail all of those people a 4×6 with your business cards.  That’s how this will spread really fast.  You should always include some information with the 4×6 you mail to these people. You will include your price list and also a form that might say, “Hey, do you want to host your own party?  Here’s my information.” 

This is VERY powerful and it can spread very quickly.  

Don’t Forget To Use The Power Of FACEBOOK!

Don’t forget about Facebook either. You can start posting on your Facebook page about upcoming parties or portrait sessions to help spread the word.The other important tool I always recommend having is a blog or website were people can see your work. I created an entire blog post about why you need a website/blog and how you will use it to share your work with others.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a website yet…I created a FREE video series that shows you how to set a blog/website up in under 10 minutes.

Click here to watch if you need help with setting yours up.

You will also want to give people a web image they can use on their Facebook page. You should include your website and logo to help get people over to see what you do.

I can hear some of you reading this now.

“But, I don’t want these people to rip me off and not buy anything. If I give them a digital file, they will never buy anything”

You have to remember, in the beginning, we are trying to build a client base and get the word out.

As you grow, you will change this technique and only offer web images as a bonus for buying a large package for an additional fee. For now…you want as many people to see and hear about you and your photography business.

So,  that’s “The Family and Friends Method” is what you should do right out of the gate.  It’s  very easy to get going and you don’t feel as much pressure.  And, if you screw up, you screw up! 

The sooner you make mistakes, the quicker you will learn from them and SUCCEED!

I hope you can see how this all ties together. If you choose the right market where you have clients that need and want your services, it’s almost impossible to fail. You just have to make the decision to get out there and Do It!

You could take what I just explained in this post and book your first client. But, if you’re still unsure and want an entire plan outlined for you, you can read my book “How To Start Your Own Photography Business For Newbies”.

You will learn how to create a photography business from scratch and how to scale it for years of success.

Here’s some reviews from people who read the book on Amazon.

how_to_start_photography_business_reviews

If you have any questions or comments…leave them in the form below.

Here’s to your success!

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