Look, I get it. Timing is everything. But what trumps that is planning and doing.
In 2001, I saw the editorial market fade. I started photographing weddings as only a real photojournalist would, which is to say I had no freakin' clue how much to charge clients, what to offer them, how to follow up with vendors and lastly how to grow my business. I got into this spin cycle that involved creating some amazing images but not sharing them with my clients in a timely manner and then signing on new clients and on and on. The excuses simply piled up and I found myself not really enjoying the process any more. All that to say a little bit of planning and strategizing back then would have helped me a great deal.
Now, I bet a lot of you are looking at the new year as a new point in life, perhaps your square one (which in itself is kind of refreshing if you think about it), to start your photography business. I know I am with my new venture, Amata Pictures.
So, I am starting with a business plan. While Todd & Jaime Reichman have helped me define my WHY, I'm working with Eric O'Connor of Agile Photog to come up with systems and processes. Having mentors like them goes a long way.
But if you are starting out or been a photographer for a couple of years, you need a road map or else you will do what I did initially and get totally lost. Just make sure the plan is flexible and scalable. That's important too, in my opinion. Don't believe for one second that a plan is etched in stone and that once you write it out, you have to stick to it. Quite contrary, you should be able to try things, test them out and spit them out if they don't work for you. There are ways of doing that without wasting time or your other resource, time. At the end of the day, your business plan should speak to you and whom you plan on serving, what Todd Reichman defines as your “rightest” clients.
I am an unabashed fan of the folks at PhotoShelter. They actively publish guides that help to elevate the photography industry. I was honored to attend their Luminance conference last year. For 2013, PhotoShelter has just published a new guide called The 2013 Photo Business Plan. It costs nothing and you do not have to sign up for their services. All they do require is your email information so that they can send you the guide.
Lots of good information in there including tips to:
– Market your photo business with Facebook
– Attract readers to your blog
– Improve SEO traffic
– Get more work from old clients
– Create a lasting photo brand
– Manage your finances and get smart with taxes
So, go here to get your 2013 Photo Business Plan workbook. It could just be your road map to success.