Angela Pointon is the founder of Angela Pointon Photography and Steel Toe Images, which offers advice and inspiring motivation for photography business owners. Angela's weekly email newsletter is packed with advice for photographers, which can be subscribed to for free here. In addition, she has authored multiple books for photographers, is a monthly columnist for Professional Photographer Magazine, blogs at Steel Toe Images and posts to Facebook, G+, Pinterest and Twitter.
You don’t need a plan or a path. I mean, really. You don’t. But, if you're in the photography business and you want to successfully compete, earn healthy revenue and achieve goals, then you actually should have an idea of where you're going. Here's what I mean…
Anyone (and I mean anyone) can start a photography business today. You've probably read about the insane low barrier to entry for the photography industry. And while this low barrier to entry creates a photographer, not a creative ass-kicker, it also creates a business owner.
Assuming we eliminate the hobbyists out there, those photographers using a camera to earn money encompass a definitive universe of people. And within that universe of people, there are a small number that you actually compete with. If you serve a certain geographic area or a certain genre, then the others that also try to do that same thing are your competition. (By the way, your competition is also your clients that choose to “shoot it themselves” or not hire you at all.) But for now, let's focus on the small part of the universe that you actually compete with every day for dollars.
What Sets You Apart From Them?
My images are different.
My clients love me.
You're getting warmer.
I've won awards.
You're getting colder.
I'm a better business owner.
You're red hot.
Running a successful photography business involves being a better business owner, marketer and also a better person. If you put yourself in your potential client's shoes, it's really hard to hire a photographer if they're a poor business owner and a really shitty marketer, isn't it? Even if their images are breath-taking.
But you can gain competitive advantage for out-marketing and out-pathing and out-businessing (new words) the next guy or gal.
A Photography Business Plan Can Set You Apart
So many photographers launch businesses (daily) with absolutely no clear plan. They're not specific on what they're shooting. They're not certain of where they're going. They only know they're on a new road called photography.
This presents an opportunity for you to one-up this trend.
By creating a photography business plan, you're not merely laying out your plans for growth, revenue and success. You're planning your opportunity to more successfully compete as a business owner. And perhaps most importantly, you're positioning yourself and your business to be better, whatever that might mean to you.
Download A Photography Business Plan Sample
I wanted to create a photography business plan that made sense for my own photography business. If you've searched around for one, like I did, you found lengthy documents that are more appropriate for photographers looking to get bank loans. In other words, they looked like documents a banker would enjoy reading. They didn't, however, look like plans that would actually help a photographer compete and move forward.
So I decided to just create my own photography business plan based on what I learned from being a customer of Gazelles at a past marketing agency. It includes the few things that photographers will find useful and it fits to just one page of paper.
I wanted to make it accessible to other photographers, too. So I am offering it for download here. The best part about it is you get to name the price you want to pay for it. It has a suggested price of $27, but when you place it in your cart you can edit the price.
Think you'll get tons more value out of it? Go ahead and make it more. Is your photography business budget just too tight? I totally respect that. Go ahead and make it less. No, seriously.