You have the intuition and creativity to take small moments and crystallize them into lasting memories. You have the equipment and software needed to produce perfect pictures. Now you just need clients.
As easy as it would be for your talent to speak for itself, you’re in a crowded industry. It seems like every Cyber Monday a new batch of DSLRs are sold and with them comes a wave of semi-professional photographers (emphasis on the semi).
With that said, you’ve already taken the first step in distinguishing yourself among the competition by incorporating your photography business into a full-fledged LLC.
Leverage the Legitimacy of Being an LLC
Your keen eye, attention to detail and editing skills drove you to take your photography talents and incorporate your own business. This not only shows your belief in your abilities, but it demonstrates that you’re serious about photography.
For you, photography isn’t just a fun hobby that you do for online acclaim. It’s your livelihood. Take advantage of that brave step into entrepreneurship by leveraging not only the legitimacy of being an LLC, but the perks that come with incorporating a business, which include:
Tax benefits: As a business owner, you have more flexibility with how you distribute your earnings and what deductibles are available to limit your tax obligations.
Legal and financial protection: An LLC quite literally limits the amount of liability that you have to take on as an individual person. Incorporating your business means that your personal assets are that much more protected from any legal or financial hardship your business may face.
Seamless scalability: From bringing on new team members to acquiring funding, having an LLC allows you to scale your business as needed to support your growth.
Tap into what drove you to start your photography LLC in the first place and leverage that passion as you develop your personalized marketing strategies or meet with prospective clients.
Optimize Your Image
Not optimizing an image in photo editing software, but optimizing your brand’s image. As you look inward to explore what brought you to start a photography business, consider these critical elements that comprise your brand image:
Your personality: As a business owner in a creative field, it’s unlikely that you came upon photography by chance. Something inside you was drawn to the life behind the lens. Let that show to your clients by making an authentic connection that differentiates you from the competition.
Your style: While addressing the desires of your clients may require you to deviate from your preferred style from time to time, there’s something unique about the way you approach photography and the types of settings and subjects you gravitate towards. Embrace your style fully to help your business standout.
Your USPs (unique selling propositions): In addition to your personality and style, research what else you offer to clients that’s unique for your industry or region. Do you work particularly well with pets and animals? Do you have a team of photographers that allows you handle large events with ease? Maybe your video or sound services are more in demand than you realize? Or, perhaps you know where all the best shooting locations are for every occasion?
As you’re developing this image, think big picture. Implement your newly optimized image in the messaging you put on your website, in paid ads or on social media to ensure all of your marketing efforts properly represent your signature style.
Bolster Your Portfolio
You know more than anybody that pictures are worth a thousand words. As you’re cultivating your overall brand image, be cognizant of what your portfolio is saying to leads.
If you feel as though your portfolio is a little thin, doesn’t represent the full breadth of your abilities or doesn’t fit your newly optimized brand, consider these tactics for quickly adding valuable portfolio pieces:
Swap services: Leads are far more inclined to work with you when money isn’t a barrier. Whether it’s a lead you found on Shapr or LinkedIn, or a friend or colleague, swapping services can be a great way to acquire valuable testimonials and portfolio items.
Perform (select) pro bono work. Adding in too many unpaid projects can be difficult, but consider certain volunteer work that allows you to explore new services, add to thinner areas of your portfolio or positively positions your business to attract (and convert) your ideal leads.
Take up a personal project: This could be the perfect excuse to take that vacation you’ve been dreaming about, or try a new software or service that you’ve had your eye on. Exploring with personal projects behind the scenes allows you to work freely and creatively to produce some of your best work and most valuable portfolio pieces.
Embrace the Journey of Business Ownership
As a photographer, it can feel like you’re constantly in search of your next project. If you continue to refine your own image, clients will be that much more confident choosing you to capture theirs.
If you haven’t yet taken the leap to form a photography LLC, you’re running the risk of not being taken seriously and allowing clients to slip through the cracks. With Incfile, we make it easy to start your business with confidence with our streamlined, online process and lifetime customer support.