When you take a passion, like photography, and turn it into a business, there are so many things to keep in mind. When we were first starting out, we wish there was more information out there or that we had someone to talk to! It can feel really lonely. Let’s break down the 5 things I wish I knew before starting our photography business:
1. Pick a strategic name
Your name truly does matter. Picking a name that has a bit of strategy behind it is important. When we were starting out we chose a name that didn’t have the most strategy. It was cute, but it was a little fluffy. Eventually, it became too common and got confused with multiple other brands. Since then we chose to rebrand and switch to using our personal names.
It may feel boring to just use your name, but when it comes to photography, you are the person that is providing all the services, so it is nice for the client to be familiar with you!
2. Establish your ideal client early
Figuring out who you want to work with is key. This is a big task, being able to narrow down what type of photography you love. However, the more you can practice shooting and figure out what you like and don’t like, the easier it will be to grow your client base.
This is important to do before you spend hours of your time (or invest for someone else) to create your brand / website.
Say you spend a whole bunch of time creating a site that talks all about the importance of family, yet once you start shooting regularly you realize you only like shooting couples. The more clear you can get on this, the better it will be for you!
3. Communication is Key
This is going to sound like an ad but I promise it’s not. Your communication is everything. When we were first starting each customer got a bit of a different experience because our communication was not organized. Sometimes we would meet up with our clients so they could sign a paper contract and fill out a questionnaire, but if we were too busy that didn’t happen. We didn’t know how to stay on top of all the communication.
We started using Honeybook in 2019 to track all of our client experience. Honeybook is a Customer Management Program that helps you control your inbox, send out questionnaires & contracts, collect payments, schedule sessions & so much more. It really changed the game for us and we wish that we had used it right from the start.
We aren’t saying that you need to invest in a program. The program isn’t going to make your communication instantly better, it is just a tool. The important thing is that you are taking the time to evaluate your communication process & how to make it seamless for the customer.
And guess what? That is okay. When you look at the people you follow online, it is very easy to idolize them and want their lifestyle now. Especially if they are offering educational content, you can put yourself in the mindset that if you just do x,yz, you will be exactly like them. What you need to remember is that growth is slow, and that no one is an overnight success.
5. Keep putting yourself out there
Remember when putting yourself out there, that you are not speaking to your peers, you are speaking to your ideal client. It is great if your mom follows you or your acquaintances from high school, but don’t get caught up in what they think & if they are judging you because they aren’t paying your bills. Keep showing up for the one client that is looking for a photographer just like you.
When a post flops on instagram, post another one and see how it does. When someone teases you for trying too hard on instagram stories, remind yourself that those stories weren’t for them.
If you want to WATCH this instead of read, go ahead and watch on youtube:
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We are Levi and Victoria. Husband and wife creative team based in Kelowna, British Columbia. We are photographers and entrepreneurs who specialize in wedding photography & helping others build profitable brands in line with their passions.
Levi and Victoria Creative is a husband & wife team based out of Kelowna, British Columbia. They provide both photography & videography for llifestyle brands. They also have full service packages for weddings & elopements.