If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to adopt a more methodical approach to running your photography business, check out the free “2012 Photo Business Plan Workbook” from PhotoShelter. The 24-page e-book provides dozens of excellent suggestions, as well as links to PhotoShelter-approved resources. For example:
Update your marketing plan. To get people’s attention and convert them into customers, you may need to conduct multiple campaigns through multiple channels. Plus, your marketing plan should be designed so it doesn’t treat each potential customer as if they were in the same state of readiness to hire you. Plan more nuanced marketing activities that treat those who are closer to making a hiring decision differently from those who may be just beginning to explore their options for buying photography or photo-related services.
Get your finances in order so you maintain a level of professionalism and accountability. Do you have separate bank accounts and credit cards to keep your business expenses separate from your personal expenses? Do you have an accurate bookkeeping system and a cash flow plan that ensures that your spending doesn’t outpace your income? And, do you have the right type of business insurance?
Give your website a tune-up. If you regard your website primarily as a digital version of a printed portfolio, it’s probably time for an upgrade. To compete with other photographers who use their websites as sales and marketing tools, your website should have the following capabilities: image search, e-commerce, file delivery, newsletter signup, a blog, and contact information.
The 2012 Photo Business Plan Workbook also explains how to:
- Clearly define your products and services
- Determine your audience and addressable market
- Use SEO (search-engine optimization) techniques to attract traffic to your website
- Optimize your use of social-media tools
- Create an advisory group
- Generate new business by following up with old clients
“You can’t expect to succeed in the coming year if you don’t have a plan to make it happen,” said PhotoShelter CEO Allen Murabayashi. “We see photographers all the time who have lofty goals but don’t afford themselves the time to make a plan.”
The workbook is divided into easy-to-digest sections, with action-item checklists that indicate how long it should take to complete the items on the list.
“The 2012 Photo Business Plan Workbook” joins PhotoShelter’s expanding library of free business guides for photographers and creative professionals. PhotoShelter’s e-book library includes guides on email marketing, search engine optimization, starting a photography business, and social media marketing.