Have you ever dreamed of starting a photography business? Well, if you’re waiting for the “perfect” time, understand that there’s no time better to start than today. You can earn part-time or even full-time income if you’re a skilled professional. However, no matter how talented you are at your craft, you’ll need to take the following steps to be successful.

Draft a Business Plan

Dedicate time to writing a plan for your business. There are plenty of business templates available online that you can use as a guide, some simple and some complex. At a minimum, yours should include what your niche is, what your sales and marketing strategies are, who your target consumers are, and how you’ll set yourself apart from competitors. You’ll also want to determine both startup and ongoing costs, outline how you intend to finance your startup costs and decide how you’ll price and package your photos to make a profit.

Secure Startup Funding

The good news is that you can start your photography business for relatively low startup costs. But you’ll need some funding for initial expenses, which will likely include, at minimum, professional photography equipment, website design and hosting costs, and computer and printing supplies.

You can use personal savings or ask friends and family to invest in your fledgling enterprise. Avoid taking out personal loans so that your debts don’t erode your profits. And if you’re working full-time, consider uploading your work to stock photography sites like Shutterstock for purchase to both generate some income for startup expenses and prospect for sales leads.

Once you’ve pulled together some cash, buy your equipment, set up your website, and start implementing the rest of your business plan.

Build Your Brand

Use every opportunity to promote your business. Try:

  • Reaching out to advertising agencies and other businesses whose efforts depend on visual communication to pitch your work;
  • Secure placements of your work on influential photography blogs to increase your exposure;
  • Use an inexpensive customer relationship management (CRM) system to track and communicate with past customers;
  • Develop a referral program for new clients, and
  • Actively post content on your branded social media channels.

Use these tactics and more to get the word out about and grow your new photography business!