Despite every professional photographer wanting to run their own successful photography business, there seems to be a general lack of understanding (especially amongst, but not limited to, those new to the business) about what it really takes.
For example, I came across this question in one of the professional photography LinkedIn groups to which I belong:
What do you think is the most important aspect of a photography business?
Questions such as this pop up with disturbing regularity, and I find it amazing that so many photographers (mostly those who don’t belong to these types of focused groups) fail to understand that there’s really no single element of a photographer’s specific business that can be considered more important than any other part.
The idea of one magical thing we can do to create a successful photography business is really nothing more than a myth, or wishful thinking.
Are you ready to learn the real secret behind creating a successful photography business? Off we go then…
Hi there, Nigel Merrick here from Zenologue, and one of the things that really gets me upset is watching talented professional photographers losing their business because they made some simple, but costly marketing and business mistakes...
For example, here's what one photographer said to me recently, during a coaching call:
"How could this happen to me? Why have I almost reached the point of actually hating photography? The one thing I truly loved to do has turned into a monster that’s killed my creativity and passion as a result of the stress it’s brought into my life!"
These were tough words for me to hear from someone just trying to make money with photography and earn a decent living.
The conversation certainly hadn’t gone the way I expected!
I asked her how she felt about trying to rekindle her passion for photography. How determined was she to overcome these challenges and break through to a place where she felt more creative again?
The pause on the other end was so long I thought we’d lost the connection…
And then she started crying.
Eventually, she simply said she’d had enough. The pressure from her spouse to quit was too much to cope with, and the only way to salvage anything from the business was to sell her cameras and lenses and go back to working for someone else.
Right in front of my eyes, someone’s dream had died.
What a shame!
Sadly, this is no isolated case – for every photographer I speak to who feels compelled to give up, I know there are many others facing the same agonizing decision.
You might be feeling this way yourself right now (although I really hope not!).
I mean, and be honest now, have you ever felt even the slightest lack of enthusiasm for being a photographer, or noticed you have a bit less passion for it now compared to when you first started out?
Are you becoming jaded or feeling burned out by the overwhelming stress of simply trying to make your business work?
Clearly, this is far more common than you might think!
But it’s also quite unnecessary.
More than that, it’s damaging the photography industry as a whole.
So Where Did It All Go Wrong?
How in the world did the photographer I quoted at the beginning manage to go from excited entrepreneur with passion and enthusiasm to a burned-out wreck who could barely stand the thought of taking another photograph?
As with many things in life, it revolves around money.
More precisely, the lack of it.
A photography business needs money to survive. Cutting off the money supply is like dropping you in the desert with no water.
When cash-flow slows down, and money gets tight, necessities like marketing, advertising and investment in education are usually the first casualties.
But, if advertising and marketing stop, it’s like turning off the lights – the business becomes invisible to its ideal clients who then naturally turn instead to your more active competitors.
No Marketing means No Clients which means No Money that creates A Business On Life-Support
The intervals between clients grow progressively longer and stress and worry build up to unbearable proportions as the bank account runs dry. Even the average sale per client declines, usually because of emergency marketing in the form of poorly thought-out sales and promotions that do more harm than good.
Eventually, the business will fall beyond the reach of anyone’s help, never to recover.
All because of the lack of money.
After much experience gained from talking with photographers from all corners of the world during website reviews and my weekly Prime Focus consulting meetings, I’ve identified 5 major areas where professional photographers can make the biggest impact in their pursuit of making more money with photography:
* Cultivate a business-first attitude and approach…
* Use smart and effective marketing strategies…
* Manage all client and prospect communication…
* Take back control of your photography pricing…
* Learn to make friends with sales…
Across these 5 broad topics, I’ve got 29 tips and ideas you can start using TODAY to set yourself up for future success.
You can find them in my latest article on the Zenologue photography marketing blog at the link below: