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Building a business is exciting, especially when you are doing it with something you love. When you are ready to turn your passion into profits, we're here for you with  support, a roadmap, and some great resources to get you there. Knowing the best way to price your services, market your business, manage client relationships, navigate your finances, and all of the other things it takes to run a successful photography business will help you create a sustainable business doing something you love.

In this post, we’ll share some helpful suggestions to get you started!

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How to  Turn Your Photography Into a Business

Business courses are an excellent way for small business owners to develop essential skills. Luckily, we have more resources at our fingertips than ever before, including countless online business courses. With the abundance of resources - comes choice overload. It’s hard to determine where to begin and which courses you need to take. 

Resources Photographers Need to Get Started

The best starting point for any small business owner is an introductory business course.  Before you spend more time and money on editing courses or take a deep dive into marketing, you need a broad understanding of what it takes to run a business. 

Here are a few places to start to learn more about what it takes to run a successful small business. 

These courses will help you understand your finances. Of course, you’ll need to budget, track expenses, pay taxes, and more. For this purpose, we highly recommend hiring an accountant. Although it’s still helpful to have some degree of business finance knowledge. 

Photography Business Courses

The following resources will help you understand the photography business, including finances, marketing, and operations and all without scaring you off! 

Marketing Courses for Photographers

Once you have the business foundations, you can narrow in on learning more about the marketing of your business. Marketing is often simplified in the photography business, but it’s essential for your long-term success. New photographers sometimes think they can simply pick up their camera, fire off a few social media posts, and attract a large customer base. Sadly, however, that’s not how it works, especially in such a competitive field such as photography.

There are many areas of marketing that are constantly changing, so you’ll need to determine what makes the most sense for your business. Below, we have listed the areas of marketing that you need to learn first as well as point you to a few helpful courses in each area.

Website Marketing for Photographers

Starting your website is an effective way to market your photography business. But with thousands of photography websites competing for attention, how do you make sure yours stands out? It’s helpful to learn about website best practices, SEO (search engine optimization),  Google My Business, and blogging. If you need help building your website, most site builders offer a wealth of resources and tutorials. 

You can also consider trading services. Do you have a friend who builds websites? Maybe they can help you in exchange for photos for their website or online store.  If you do a service trade, just make sure you have your services priced correctly and you end up getting a value that makes sense in return. 

Here are some courses we recommend for Website Marketing and SEO.

Email Marketing for Photographers

Marketing your services through email is an affordable, measurable way to build your clientele. To learn more about email marketing check out:

Social Media Marketing for Photographers

Social media gives you a window to millions of potential customers. In addition, it’s an excellent marketing tool for photographers because it allows you to show off the beautiful images you’ve captured.

Social media marketing can include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Snapchat. You don’t have to be on every platform, so consider your needs and your audience. For example, what social media platforms do they frequent? Where are they most likely to get their information about local services?  In addition to organic marketing through social channels, you can also consider paid marketing, such as Facebook and Instagram ads.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to social media marketing! Here are some resources to get you started:

A little thing to note as you get started with social media, it can be very disheartening to see your following take a long time to build while watching other photographers’ follower count grow. Try not to focus on that; just remember Rome wasn’t built in a day, it was built brick by brick!

A photo that says "The only photographer you need to be better than is the photographer you were yesterday"

When it comes to marketing, there is so much to learn and it can be overwhelming.

We recommend focusing on your website SEO first. It takes time to build a domain reputation, so it’s best to start as soon as possible. You can incorporate the basics of SEO into the copywriting on your website and in your blog posts and this will start to drive traffic to your website. Remember that SEO and growing the number of visits to your website, is a long game, so steadily build and work on this and you will see results.

 Social media is very important but not as critical for your long-term business health. Social media accounts can get hacked or go down, so you don’t want to rely solely on social media to promote your business.

After you launch your website, create your social media accounts, and start posting, you can begin building an email list and learning how to nurture your clients via email.

You don’t have to do everything at once, especially when you’re just starting. Everyone is different, so the marketing techniques that work for one photographer may not work for you and your style. The key to marketing is understanding your target audience and appealing to their needs, wants, and interests. Find out what you’re good at, what your audience enjoys, what you like to do, and what works best for YOU and your business!

Associations for Photographers

Associations are a great way to learn the tools of the trade as well as the business side. Associations offer many benefits, including education, community, insurance, and copyright protection.

Picsello’s Business Mastermind

Picsello’s Business Mastermind is one part easy-to-follow classes and one-part engaged community of photographers that will help you build a successful photography business. Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Learn how to plan your year so it is the most successful one yet  
  • Develop the right mindset to price your business for profit 
  • Build the confidence to set boundaries, deal with difficult clients and end up with a raving client base 
  • Organize your business so it doesn’t run your life 
  • Find your marketing superpower and master the marketing channel(s) that works for you and your business
  • Connect with a community that supports your dream no matter what stage you are at. 

The slow season is the perfect time to learn, grow, and connect with your industry. You can learn more about the Mastermind here.

Remember that understanding the business side of the photography business will ensure your long-term success. 

We hope these resources will help you on your journey to building a successful photography business! These are just a few of our favorites. If you have a resource you love and would like to see it added to this list, drop it in the comments!

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