Tuesday, March 18, 2008

7 Steps to Building A Successful Photography Business: How to Finance Your Habit – Part 1

Looking for new customers? Start With You Already Know

Have you been pondering the idea of making some real money from your photography habit? I call it a habit because it can seem easier to get through the eye of a needle than… Well.. you know how the proverb goes. Anyway let's face it photography is not an easy business to get off the ground, but it sure can be a lot of fun.

Trust me I know, I have worked as freelance photography for three plus years now and I know the pitfalls and potholes that you will surely encounter in trying to get someone to pay you money for what you love to do.

Many of us who truly love the craft of photography we will and often have done so for free. Nothing wrong with that mind you, but wouldn’t it be nice to make a little extra cash from time to time?

Wouldn’t you enjoy earning a few hundred extra bucks on the weekends or a month to buy that new lens you’ve been eyeing?

Allow me to share something very important here. First and foremost you won’t make a plug nickel if no one knows what you have to offer. It’s great that your family, friends and coworkers are all supportive of your photography passion, but unless you can convince them to buy all of your photos or hire you every weekend your chances of making money will be probably slim to none.

Allow me to share something else with you, It doesn't have to be.

Often when we photographers make the decision to go pro, even it’s part time, we must understand that it's still a business.

So where do we to find paying clients when we've exhausted our list of family and friends? Well first off if you immediately think that have to go outside your circle of immediate contacts, Think Again!

So with that said this leads me to the first in 7 steps to building a successful photography business.

Step 1. Start with people who already know you. Now I know what your probably thinking, Rodney didn't you just tell us that family and friends may no longer be interested (or never were) interested in buying from us?

So what do you do?

You ask for referrals. So even if you discover that your siblings, parents, coworkers and friends don’t need you photographically they all know people, don’t they?

Bottom line, photography is a people business and people like to work with others that they know like and trust. So it never hurts to ask.

And if you want to sweeten the pot offer a referral fee. Money can be a tremendous motivator.

So your asssignment this week: Get out there and ask for referrals, make it a point to ask until you get a paying contact. Once you accomplish that, ask them for a referral. Basically rinse and repeat. Good Luck!

This concludes Part 1 of this lesson of 7 Steps to Building a Successful Photography Business, Part 2 will be coming soon. Be sure to sign up for my FREE newsletter to be alerted when I post part 2.

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