Photography Business Coaching: Going From Hobby to Pro.

In todays video, we went live to answer some of your questions! I dive into some questions on marketing, going pro, attracting clients, LLCs, and all the things that take you from doing this on the side to making it a professional stream of income!

Photography Business Coaching: Going From Hobby to Pro.

How do you deal with people looking for the lowest cost and booking only 2 weeks out?

We all at some point with have those price shopper people. My first reaction is to ask, what are you doing with the follow up process to see if they are good quality leads. Note of caution, just because someone’s first question is based on price or timeline doesn’t mean they aren’t flexible with their price. Our job as the photographer in this process, before we book the client, is to lead with value, what sets you apart form the rest. Across our social media channels, everything that we do in terms of content is suppose to be conveying what we do is more than pressing a button. First thing we have to do is establish your brand and brand message so, you know what differentiates you in the marketplace. When I feel like there is a disconnect and I seem to be attracting the wrong person (budget too low), I open a few windows and do a search of myself. I want to see all the visuals and see if all the images look like the same photographer and look to see that your brand messaging is consistent. As photographers throw content out there, inconsistencies can begin to build up and they lower your brand credibility. We need to look for those gaps and we actually touch on this in Hook & Book Bride. I also have a free guide about attracting and booking your dream bride! It is the main free guide on the home page of my website and you can go in and answer those questions to help you on the track to getting those higher end brides. 

I am a pro full time but do not have the back end process such as client payments, email list, etc. I want to hire someone for this, help?

I have two answer for this. The first thing is that you can outsource this and have someone build your systems for you. People specialize in whatever CRM you are on for example, there are Honeybook professionals that people offer as a service but this can be expensive. Start first with the CRM, I use Honeybook and have a code for you to receive 50% your first year. In terms of email list, my advice is not to think about an email list until the back end is dialed in. It does not matter if you have great email templates but then are not able to follow up with them or have them write reviews, etc it is a waste of time. Get your systems squared aware and then focus on your email subscribers. I just put out two vides on building your email subscribers.

I want to know about Marketing that works. I am tired of spending money on ads and of posting in Facebook groups that have so many photographers in them. How do I get my images seen by more people on Instagram?

The first thing to know is who is your ideal client and I know it can be frustrating when you need to grow your portfolio. Building a brand may be the last thing on your mind but it very truly is going to be a waste of your money to advertise and throw your name in a sea of photographers. It is going to be very difficult to stand out until you dial in on who you serve and your marketing messaging. Your audiences will then become more specific so you are not marketing to people who just do not care what you have to offer. Start with your brand and I have a few videos on this page on branding. 

Tips on how to go Full Time?

The number one thing that has to happen first is decide that this is a business and treat it as such. It can seem like a cop out answer but I will tell you that the success you will have as an enterperneur, begins in your mind. It is going to be hard to convince anyone to pay for anything if you do not believe in the your value itself. When you start thinking that this is a business, you start business person decisions, and see where you can make investments (software, gear, etc). The decision to go full time is the first thing as you are the one who has to that this is what you want to do full time. You have to get a website and have a place for your images to live. A website is also a great place for people to contact you and start to follow up with those individuals. It is so easy to create a website and post your work on the internet. The options now for photographers is mind blowing. I would start with making your decision and then begin to create that roadmap for your business. For example, you want to become a bridal photographer so you have to sit down and run through finances and then say our goal is to make ends meat so you have to create a profitability road map. Then do a cost of doing business analysis and then factor in taxes and you have a point on the map in terms of where you want to be. Being vague with your business, will lead you in directions you did not want to go. Be specific on where you want to go, is going to change the decisions you are making today. May not know every step ahead, taking the first step is the most important. 

I started my business in April and have only had 5-6 shoots. I had to go on an unexpected maternity leave and was told it was going to hurt my business. I am scared to come back.

Congratulations on starting your business! Every one of those shoots is teaching you something. I do not love what people tell women about growing their family with a business. I just got back from a maternity leave and yes, it affects your whole life but you can absolutely be successful and have a personal life. You have made some progress and as soon as you can come back in and ready, get back in and just start shooting! The longer we are in our own heads, we start telling our brain that we have been gone too long. Take some quick actions to override what your brain is saying. I love the mom life and I would say do not accept anything more then your business is going to grow along with your family. 

I would like to know the secret of the Instagram algorithm.

I would like to know the secret too and what I will tell you is that I am doing a 30 day challenge with a friend right now. We have been doing post, stories, reels, etc so if you aren’t, I am @joymichelle on Instagram and I would love to have you come join me! After the 30 days, I am going to be sharing all my data. You would think it is just more video content but I never really got into the reels thing. I created them when they first came out and then I started working on other things, expecting my second baby, and then focusing on this Youtube channel, as this is my main content source right now. I can’t do everything well so I focus on a few things. My friend and I said we do need to start showing up more on Instagram and see what the algorithm likes. Come hang out and I’ll be the guinea pig! I am going to post a bunch of content in all of the content categories Instagram has. We have the feed, which is not as important anymore as it is not longer just a photo sharing app. We have stories, IGTV, reels, Lives and I am going to take a 5 prong approach to it. It will all be on a rotation as I cannot do it all every day but I am going to be creating content for my people in those categories. On the back end of things, everything is in the green which is more exposure! I have also been working on my hashtag strategy so I will be sharing a summary after these 30 days! If you are interested, come hang out on Instagram!

Below you will find some of the other topics that I touched on in the rest of the LIVE!
Be sure to check it out!

  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Creating Content
  • Knowing when to invest in a photography business coach
  • Instagram Reels
  • LLCs
  • Fear of Feeling not good enough

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