Perhaps it’s my entrepreneurial spirit they made me think of this marketing campaign, or perhaps it’s just another good way to create some interest in your business.
The products or services you sell don’t have to cost tens of thousands of pounds (or dollars), they can be simple, affordable and convenient.
The nature of running a photography business is that at least in the beginning, you have to pretty much do everything yourself from bookkeeping to website design. After a while you might even consider yourself an expert in some of these areas. As I write this I am on my way to do a bit of website consulting work. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no expert but there’s certainly things I can show people that they don’t have time to teach themselves.
In terms of physical products you don’t even have to create the product yourself. As photographers we often have a steady client base which other businesses would be certainly interested in taking advantage of.
Ideas for services
If you are a wedding photographer then it makes sense to partner with other businesses that are dealing with the visual aspect of the wedding. I am of course referring to make-up artists and hair stylists.
Offering a complete package of photography, hair and makeup will not only make your life easier because you will undoubtably only work with hair and MUA’s that aren’t a pain in backside but it will also tick two more boxes on the bride and groom’s to do list.
When a potential wedding client gets to the point where they are thinking about wedding photography normally the furthest thing from their mind is hair and make-up. Of course it’s on the list somewhere, so offering an all-in-one service like this can be somewhat of a unexpected surprise and relief for the client. It’s little things like this that can give you the edge over your competition.
Many wedding photographers offer thank you cards but offering invitations created from a pre-wedding photo-shoot is also a nice little touch.
It’s offering these sort of ‘complete services’ that can help you get a name for yourself and build your reputation. Careful selection of your partners is incredibly important as a flakey hair stylist or inexperienced MUA can undo all of your hard work.
Personally I’d steer clear of the temptation to offer wedding planning. It’s a job which every new bride seems convinced they can do after their big day but trust me it’s more hassle than its worth.
As a baby photographer I’m always on the look out for cute props that I can use in a shoot. Handmade knitted scarfs and hats are always a favourite and we actually got my business partner’s mother to start a production line in her living room. It’s never going to get me to hang up my camera but it creates a talking point and often people who want the hats will also want a photo-shoot.
Investing in other businesses
Investment can be a risky business but if you have a steady flow of clients, a healthy database and some good industry specific contacts then you are already in a good position to become an investor.
A good example is the mummy friendly cafe. I see lots of these opening and closing 6 months later in my home town but how good would it be to have a baby photography studio in a back room? Ideally the cafe side of the business would cover the rent and staff wages and the studio would generate the profit. It’s a big undertaking so you certainly wouldn’t want to do it alone which is why partnering with someone will be win win.
As with all investments it’s not something to rush into and really you need to have a few years experience, some good contacts and a strong client database to help you along the way.
In the meantime keep networking and hold onto those business cards as you might need them in the future.
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Michael has been working as a photographer for the last ten years. In that time he has shot over 100,000 peoples’ portraits and worked in four different continents. In 2001 Michael graduated with a degree in photography from Manchester Metropolitan University.