So, you’ve decided to take the plunge or are thinking of taking that big step and turning your hobby of photography into a thriving and profitable photography business! Ummm, congratulations friend! Starting a new business and transitioning from hobby to professional is a big step, and can feel confusing and overwhelming at times. I remember being in your shoes four years ago when I first opened Taylor White Photography, simultaneously scared and excited about the business I was desperate to build. There were so many great lessons I learned along the way or in hindsight which is why I am passionate about sharing this advice with new photography business owners – so you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did, and you can feel confident and trust the process.
In this post, I’m giving my best advice to those who are thinking about or have started their journeys to growing a profitable photography business. I encourage you to reflect on these statements as you face challenges and growth in your business.
If being a professional photographer is what you want to do, you need to believe in yourself and start treating yourself like a business owner! No matter what your family and friends think about being an artist, or a business owner, you need to be the one to fuel your dreams. Trust me, most photographers have endured the opinions of those around them, and the ones that make it through are the ones that truly wanted and believed they could do it!
Trust me on this one, it took me years of slow progress to learn this. If I were to do it all over again, the second thing I’d invest in (after my camera gear) would be a business coach or a course. At the time, I felt like I didn’t have a hundred dollars to invest into education, yet because I chose not to invest what I did have, it took me SO much longer to figure out how to make a hundred dollars, and to crack the code on how to grow. I get it, education requires true investment and sacrifice, and if you’ve got that belief in yourself as a business owner, it will be more that worth it. You’ll make your hundred dollars back tenfold (and so much faster) once you’ve got a proven roadmap!
It might be slow, it might be small, but it is worth acknowledging every win and step toward growth! It is too easy to look around and see all the photographers on Instagram killing it in their business and overlook your own progress and growth. If you’re taking steps forward, you’re winning!! Don’t let comparison take that gift and celebration from you.
One of the easiest things for new photographers to do is to sell themselves short by doing huge discounts and free sessions. Part of why we go into this industry is to create a profitable business, and that starts with knowing and charging your worth! Do a CODB analysis and determine what it will take to create this profitable business.
This is one I’m still learning! It is really easy to fall into a trap of high expenses, especially at the beginning, which means that for the first bit of time, you may not be profiting much. Get into the habit of managing your finances and learn to pay yourself first, and prioritize your expenses.
Slow times will come, and it’s really easy to fall into a discouraged state, but remember that this happens to us ALL (especially during the winter months), and this doesn’t mean you’re failing or need to close the doors. If your growth seems to be plateauing, find ways to gain momentum. Take a course, connect with people in your community, start a new marketing campaign, but don’t give up!
Just like we have growing pains when our body is growing rapidly, it’s the same case for our businesses! Change is scary, and sometimes uncomfortable, but without those growing paints and transition periods, we will never grow. Keep this in mind as you take the next leap(s) in your business.
Building a business is no easy feat, but it is more than possible if you are determined, passionate, and patient enough to see it through. So, what piece of advice did you resonate with most? I want to hear, so drop a comment below! If you’re ready to invest in your business in a big way, check out my education resources here and let’s chat about next steps in your journey!