Yes! This is YOUR year! You decided to start your photography biz. So exciting! But now, the hard part….figuring out all the things you need to get up and running successfully. When you really start thinking about it all, it can get MAJORLY overwhelming. I totally get it.
Don’t let that overwhelm creep over you though. Start one step at a time and you’ll get there. On today’s Friday Five , here are 5 things you should be focusing on first when starting your new photography business.
The Friday Five is a short sweet blog post that comes out each Friday with 5 quick tips to help portrait photographers. To see previous week’s Friday Fives click here.
You probably know this already, but are just a little to scared or lost at where to even start to cover your basics in the legal department. I can remember the feeling, but you know what, looking back, it really wasn’t that hard, just a lot of unknown in the beginning. So I bet you’re probably feeling that too.
Let me try to break it down for you simple. It will vary state to state but as a starting point, get a license for your business (LLC or sole proprietor -completely up to you) and know that you will have to collect and pay taxes. Contact your state’s department of revenue to help you with the correct paperwork and next steps.
Create A Website
If you’re serious about being a business, having a website is a must. And I’ve gotta break it to you, but it shouldn’t be a free one either. This is an investment in your business. Get up and running and looking professional from the beginning with your own host and site. You will look so much more professional with yourname.com vs. yourname/freesitebuidler.com (<—see the difference there?) One site builder that I think is great for new photographers is wix.com They make is pretty darn easy for those of us who aren’t really techy. Can you relate?? Lots of free template and designs. You can even get a free trial right here . (But like I said, you’ll want to upgrade pretty quick to look as professional as possible.)
You are going to need a place to show people the beautiful photos you took! Online galleries make it super simple and seamless to do this. If you’re planning to go the digital route or even if you are planning on selling prints only, an online gallery is the way to go for showcasing proofs. There are a few options out there, but the one I use for my own clients (and have happily used) for quite some time is ShootProof. You can try them out here for free too! OR did you know that ShootProof is one of the sponsors in the January Cozy Clicks photo challenge? Give the challenge a try and you just might win a full year subscription to Shootproof! (Yay!)
Create A Marketing Plan
Whoa there. This is where it can get even more all kinds over overwhelming. Figuring out how to find clients is one of the hardest aspects for many new photographers. You are not alone. The trick is to think long term and come up with a plan. Don’t automatically think that just because you are now an official LLC with a website and an online gallery system that the emails will start rolling in. Sorry to break the news to you. Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? Same lesson applies here too. Slow and steady wins the race. Figure out what you will do to find clients and work on it. Not sure even where to start your marketing plan? I’ve got 21 ideas for you right here.
Make sure to get insurance for your gear and liability. This will give you peace of mind just in case. It’s not to hard to get either. If you already have insurance for your house or car. Start with that company. Chances are they might even offer another discount for having another policy with them. Most of the time you’ll pay yearly and the cost will be based on the amount of gear you want to cover and the amount of liability you need.
So there you have it! Good luck! You are going to do fantastic things this year!
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