6 Common Business Mistakes That Professional Photographers Make
Posted by APA Insurance Services on
The difference between a great photographer and a good photographer is all about the craft. But the difference between a successful photographer and a…. well, not so successful photographer, is all about business and logistics.
Professional Photographers face many challenges that are just “part of the business,” but by being aware of the most common mistakes that many photographic artists make, you are more likely to avoid them and turn your passion into profit!
SIX COMMON BUSINESS MISTAKES THAT PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS MAKE:
1. White, White, White, White, Black: You Have to Differentiate
Too many photographers offer the same service, same product and same experience. If you aren’t standing outside of the crowd, you’re standing in it and you’ll end up waiting for someone to choose you at random.
So, if you’re a wildlife photographer, for example, you must take the time to research your competition and the market—what is everyone else doing. Write down the common similarities and themes. Write down what some photographers do better/different than others.
Then, create your different. Consider filling out this Value Proposition worksheet, courtesy of APA Insurance Services.
*It’s this “out of the box” thinking that makes you different and therefore, irreplaceable.
2. Getting the Shot
Every professional photographer knows (despite pubic impression) that most of the work is aside from the actual shoot—whether it’s editing, processing, marketing, admin or any other time-eating task. Wouldn’t it be nice to send an email blast to every future client in America, explaining why prices are justified when considering total time and effort?
That said, your time behind the camera is the most important. And if you fail to get that perfect angel, or didn’t quite focus enough… it can be costly. To improve your chances of meeting the needs of the client, always consider how their needs/requests could change.
For example, if you’re taking pictures for a magazine cover, consider variations of dead space that will give the potential client options in case design proportions change, etc.
*It’s all about maximizing every experience to in turn maximize the opportunities that result.
3. Business Basics
Have you taken the time to write our a full-on business plan?
It’s important to be realistic and include details of your goals, the marketplace, etc. Consider your costs of operations and pricing structure.
*If you have a business plan laid out in front of you, just like the law of attraction suggests, you’re more likely to achieve your “vision.”
Money isn’t usually the driving motivator for photographers. Let’s face it, it’s an industry where passion overrides fortune.
However, pricing your service right is the key to finding a happy medium, or ultimately, great success! After factoring your costs—time, travel, equipment, rental equipment, hardware and software, it’s easy to fall into a trap where you are actually paying your clients to take their pictures. Which is terrifying.
It’s important to price yourself in the market in order to stay competitive, but understand that pricing isn’t about “it costs x, so I’ll charge x+y.”
*Customers are willing to pay for something when they perceive value.
In order to get the most out of your pricing model, ask yourself: What is my perceived value? What do I offer (or what more do I offer) compared to the rest of the market?
5. Finding the Social Balance
Photographers have incredible potential when it comes to utilizing social media for marketing purposes. Let’s face it—most social media interaction is image-based.
By not maintaining your social media feeds regularly, you run the risk of appearing less desirable to a prospect.
The flip side, of course, is spending too much time on social media channels—which can quickly because a full-time job on its own.
*The best rule of thumb is to set a time for 30 minutes each day, and dedicate it to updating your social media feeds.
6. Protecting Your Livelihood
*By not properly protecting your equipment and liability exposures, you leave yourself at risk for a lawsuit. And in today’s litigious society, that’s not a risk you should be willing to take.
Unfortunately, even the most careful professionals can face unwarranted and baseless claims—and extraordinary legal expenses to go with!
APA Insurance Services is an independent photography insurance agency, representing multiple leading carriers. Thus, we have the ability to compare multiple companies in order to find the best price and coverage options for you.
Visit us online at www.apainsuranceservices.com for a free indication of cost and coverage today! We make it easier to secure reliable photography insurance for less!