Running your own business can be terrifying at times. You want to make money doing what you love and you want to be able to do that for a long time. I want that for my business too. I don’t want to see it fail after 5 or 10 years. I think that there are 4 sure ways to tank your business. I’m sharing them with you with the hope that you will implement systems to avoid these easy mistakes.
There are two ways to price yourself out of the market: charge too much or charge too little. If you charge too little then you will naturally run yourself out of business because you will never be profitable. Booking shoots isn’t a sign that your business is healthy.
If you charge too much then you will have little to no bookings. A lot of photographers are under the impression that you should start at a high price point so you can shoot high end weddings. While this might work for some people, this isn’t a good model for business when you’re just beginning. Your ideal price point is decided by your potential client. If they don’t value your work at the price that you set then you aren’t going to book that wedding. If they do value your work at the price that you set then you will most likely book that wedding!
We all have points in our career, wedding season, or even a wedding where we don’t feel like we are growing as artists. These stagnant points are normal for us creatives, but we have to push through those (hopefully short lived) seasons.
Imagine those stagnant seasons as gearing up for a lot of creative momentum. Let it fuel you to dream bigger and push harder. If you give up on pushing through and choose to remain stagnant then you will be burned out and your clients will be burned out. Burned out creatives are like an unlit lighthouse at night.
Related: The Creative Spill
Poor customer service
There is always something that doesn’t go as planned on the wedding day. It’s our responsibility to encourage discouraged brides and strive for that “WOW” experience even when the circumstances weren’t our fault.
Maybe you didn’t get the shot of the flower girl with her stunning smile because she cried the whole day and the bride is upset. Maybe the sun didn’t make an appearance and the bride is disappointed that she doesn’t have light-drenched images. Whatever the case may be, offer great customer service to your client. Gift her a print. Do whatever it takes to put the focus back on what matters about her wedding and it will pay off.
I love it when brides ask to see a full gallery because I am most likely going to book that wedding. I say that because oftentimes she has seen work that she doesn’t like and wants to make sure that the whole gallery is something that she wants. Because my galleries are consistent with everything you see on my website, she is going to get what she sees!
When you’re editing, don’t just invest your time on your favorite images. Invest your time on every image that will be given to the client and it will pay off with future bookings. It’s also wise to avoid settling for cheap products (Walgreens, WalMart, etc). Value your service and your product.