If you have been a photographer for any length of time, you will know that you can never get enough tips on making money as a photographer. This week, I have looked back at my career in photography and pulled out my top 10 tips on making a consistent income as a professional photographer.
Do an Excellent Job EVERY Time!
As a photographer, I have always made it my aim to let my work speak for itself. Photography is a visual medium and it can not be faked very easily. If you take stunning, dynamic photographs, it will be evident in your work and it will serve as its own advertisement. Aim to leave your customers satisfied every time.
Offer Great Customer Service
Adopt excellent customer service policies. Dealing with customers is always a challenge. It is important though that you develop a relationship of trust with customers, and that people know that you will take care of any conflicts that arise. Be willing at least to address any complaints made by your customers, even when you truly believe the customer is being unreasonable.
Get Referrals from Customers
Asking your customers for referrals is something that you should adopt as standard practice. Word of mouth is of such high value to the photographer. Every person that you photograph or that you do work for has friends and family that would also hire you if they knew about you. In fact, your photos will speak for themselves in many ways, however the boost of being able to contact someone that knows someone you have worked with will help you to no end.
Promote your Business Any Way You Can
Of course, every photographer should have a business card and they should give them out as often and as freely as possible. However don’t stop with that. Find more creative ways to promote your business such as with bumper stickers, fun promotion items like magnets, videos for your photography site, stress balls and greeting cards.
Advertise in Local Telephone Directories
Although we are moving towards a more web-dependent business world, local directories still have strong relevance when it comes to services that you are marketing to the local community. There is still a significant enough number of people that still pick up the Yellow Pages or the White Pages when they need a local service provider. Be sure that you are listed each year in your area telephone directories.
In the 21st century having your own web site is a must not an option. Yes, your friend’s son can probably build you a web site on the cheap, but that is not what you want to present to potential customers. Invest in a professionally developed web site that presents your work in the best way possible. Here’s a good alternative.
Sell Your Work
It takes time to establish your reputation as a photographer and artist. Begin to get your name out there by making your photos available for sale on stock photo web sites and on photo repository sites. If you are like most, your popularity as a stock photographer will increase gradually. Stick with it and only post your very best photos.
Advertise in Local Newspapers
As a photographer, most of your work will come from those in your local community. It makes sense to target them in as many ways as you can. The local newspaper is still very popular in most regions and it is usually very inexpensive to advertise in it. Place an attractive ad in your location newspaper in a section that is relevant to the photography you do.
Use every opportunity possible as a stepping stone to where you want to go as a photographer. Be willing to do wedding gigs for a while even if they are not exactly your ‘thing’. The key to using stepping stones is focus; it is in remembering to keep moving forward and not to become complacent or satisfied staying on top of a stepping stone. By the way, wedding photography can be lucrative.
Advertise on Popular Local Web Sites
Many communities have one or two web sites that cater specifically to their community and serve as a portal for local businesses and a resource for local residents. If your area has a popular site such as this, be sure to take your place on that web site. In situations like this, it is important to be listed in relevant sections of the web site, such as wedding announcements, births and other sections of the site that celebrate life and its milestones.
However, if you are uncertain about attracting paying customers (the keyword here is paying) then I recommend you get stuck into this tutorial on getting paying customers fast!