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The 5 Simple Steps to Becoming a Full Time Photographer.
Are you tired of jacking around as a parttime photographer? Take it from the fulltime photographers: yes, you’re tired of it, and you’re missing out on the fun. Pay close attention to what’s found below, as these are some of the BEST steps you can implement to accomplishing your dream as a fulltime photog.
Step 1: Identify Your Target Market
You need to know who wants your services. As a skilled photographer, you may be thinking “Anyone who wants pictures” sounds like the right client, right? This idea is true, but by not taking it a few levels deeper, you’re limiting your income tremendously and making your job a lot harder. This is where business skills come in. Identifying your target market means you know exactly who you’re speaking, and marketing to. Your target market is who specifically wants exactly what you have to offer. When you don’t know who your target market is, marketing can be frustrating, as nothing will be effective. You begin leaking marketing dollars, and the gap between costeffective and and NOT costeffective starts closing fast. Don’t you love that little stomach ache that says “ “man I’m spending a lot of money on marketing”? I didn’t either when I was in your shoes.
People don’t want to be treated like everyone else, they want to be treated like royalty. So the more you can call out the details of who you can help the most the more they will say “Thats me!” and want to buy from you. When you try to be something to everyone, everyone thinks you’re nothing for them.
Once you understand this concept, your business will change dramatically, you’ll begin to see serious ROI on your marketing dollars. You’ll spend less time and money to acquire more clients, which means you can work less and make more. You’ll stop begging the wrong customers to book with you, and enjoy finding your niche in the photography industry. This will help position you as an expert to your audience, and will result in long term stability in your business. Business will become fun, and you’ll spend more time with the people you love then digging through the trenches of business warfare.
Step 1 recap:
- Targeting “anyone who wants pictures” is not deep enough the pros go deeper.
- Identifying your target market saves you time and money.
- Identifying your target market positions you as the expert, and creates stability.
Step 2: Develop a Marketable Skill (a skill someone is willing to pay for):
As you may have realized, there are a ton of photographers out there. What is the most obvious difference between the entire bunch and the top 5%? Besides speaking directly to the SPECIFIC needs of their target market, they have a highend skill someone is actually willing to pay for. Sure, with an unmarketable skill, you can always get someone to pay you next to nothing, but if you’re going to ask someone to pay quality prices, you have to have a marketable, quality skill. If you’re reading this, you may already realize your skill isn’t quite marketable yet. It’s okay, we all had to start somewhere; the difference between those with a marketable skill, and those without, is the ones with the skill intentionally made it a point to develop their skill over time. Don’t be in that place in 2 years where friends and family are happy with their cameraphone pictures, or hiring their “Aunt who has a nice camera” because you haven’t proven your skill is way better than those options.
A marketable skill means you have a desired skill. It means that a consumer will see your work, and DEMAND, they have it. Once this happens, you can literally charge what you want, and your target market will gladly pay for it. A marketable skill in photography means you know what you’re doing because you’ve sought out the skills and information that set you apart.
Once you develop a marketable skill, everything in your business changes. You begin to easily get the clients you WANT, instead of working hard for the difficult (and cheap) clients. You become respected, celebrated, and a leader in the photog community. Shoots become easier and less stressful because you’ve mastered the skill; you’re comfortable and confident.
Step 2 recap:
- A primary difference between someone fighting to make good money and the pros who make bank, is the pros have a skill someone will trade their hardearned cash for. In short, the pro’s never stop learning, practicing and developing their knowledge.
- This skill is not just limited to knowing your gear, but also how to run a viable business. Being marketable also means a demand exists for what you have to offer, and that you meet a need of your target market.
- A marketable skill is a vital step to charging the prices you want to charge and working with the clients that are FUN and EASY to work with, instead of ones that make you work for less than you’re worth. When you refuse to keep growing and learning you cap your income potential. If you don’t like what you are earning, ask yourself what you are learning? Do you need more skills with the camera? Do you need more skills with the business? The pros develop the skills in BOTH areas. (And most photographers ignore business skills…and go broke).
Step 3: Lead Generating
Once you understand who your target market is, it’s time to talk (market) to them, right? The meaning of lead generating is found in the name: it means to generate leads. You have to generate leads so you can book shoots and generate revenue. You may be doing some lead generating now, but if you aren’t a full time photographer making good money, I’m going to propose you need more leads. A facebook page,
website, business cards, and the occasional mailer is pretty surface level, and won’t get you where you want to be. It’s no fun running a business with a lead pipeline that’s empty. Waking up each day wondering when you’re next check is coming in isn’t a life of freedom and joy, and it’s not sustainable.
Having a sufficient understanding of lead generation means you know how to develop and implement multiple strategies to get your phone ringing, and inbox full of leads. If you have no leads, you have no chance of booking your services. There are many ways to leverage time, money, and energy so your leads don’t stop, and when you know this skill, booking shoots will never be a problem again. Once you implement a solid lead generation and marketing plan, you will no longer struggle to get clients, and grow your business. Having a solid lead generation plans means you don’t have to reinvent your “howtogetmoreshootsbooked” wheel several times a year. This results in less stress, more fun, andmore automation. Running your photography business becomes much more fun when you can calculate and predict your current and future revenue stream.
Step 3 recap:
- If you’re not fulltime, you’re more than likely not lead generating enough.
- You need leads to generate sales, which generates cash.
- Lead generation leads to less stress, more automation, and more time freedom. It also “steadies” your income so you don’t have times of “feast” or “famine”.
Step 4: Intentional Packaging
Intentional packing is something most parttime photographers know nothing about. If you’re still a part time photographer, my guess is that you, for some crazy reason, enjoy guessing about what you think your potential clients may want. It’s really hard to run a business when you have no idea what your clients actually want. International packaging attracts clients because you’re offering exactly what they want.
Once you’ve determined what your target market actually wants to purchase, it will remove a huge chunk of guessing from your business model. When you no longer guess, you no longer give up hard earned money, and you stop giving up your precious time. Full time photographers pair a strong target market with intentional packaging to save time and heartache…and easily make MORE money with less work.
Step 4 recap:
- Don’t guess about what your clients want each time you meet them. This wastes time, makes you look inexperienced, and gets to be stressful.
- Build packages that deliver massive value and sell them to your target market. This leads to more income, leadership status and confidence and less work.
Step 5: Congruent Pricing
I imagine you’re afraid to raise your prices because you don’t think you’re worth it yet. Congruent pricing means that your pricing reflects the amount of value you bring to the table. More than likely, you’re charging minimum prices for your service. Why? Most likely, you’re undervaluing your services, and that’s a problem. We’ve found that most photographers are charging less than they’re worth, no matter what level they’re at. This means that you’re working your butt off for minimum pay, and in a matter of time, that will burn you out. Charging less than you’re worth cheapens your business. This leaves you feeling like you’re not really valued, especially when your friends and family ask you to “bring your camera” along to every event
because they don’t take you seriously as a photographer, and think it’s just your “sidegig” that only brings in “sidemoney” so they expect you to work for free, or godforbid, for any form of pay.
Having congruent pricing means no longer screwing around with people who waste your time by undervaluing you. Professional photographers know their value, charge accordingly, and make the money they deserve to make. Their price defines their quality and attracts people who value quality. Professional photographer don’t deal with people who waste time because they don’t NEED to. Once you’ve priced yourself according to what value you bring to the table, not only will you see a massive shift in your income, but also in your confidence and selfrespect. Working for less than you’re worth simply isn’t what you deserve, and it isn’t sustainable. Professional, full time photographers know what they’re worth, and their income level reflects that.
Step 5 recap:
- Charging less than you’re worth cheapens what you do.
- If you’ve completed steps 14, it’s time to charge more money.
- Congruent pricing means a higher income, and higher level of selfrespect.
So, what’s next?
You have to apply it. Who’s going to keep you accountable?
You’ve read it, understand it, but want to go deeper. Who’s going to help you put together the rest of the puzzle?
For a limited time, Next Level Photographer and their team of coaches are offering a FREE, one on one consultation for anyone who received, read, and wants to dive DEEPER into their copy of “The 5 Simple Steps to Becoming a Full Time Photographer.”
If you’re wanting to make full time money doing photography, Contact Next Level Photographer to book your free consultation ($500 value).