Episode 215 – 6 Myths about Starting or Growing a Photography Business

Episode 215 - 6 Myths about Starting or Growing a Photography Business


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

The sad reality is that most photographers believe a few common myths and make business decisions based upon them. Then they wonder why they aren’t making the income they want or they’re too scared to even start. I know this because I believed them, too and today, I’m here to unpack those myths.

Myth #1: I need a studio

I thought the same thing. If I get a studio, people will think I’m worth more and all these people will come to me. But the reality is having a studio is an expense. It is not a marketing activity. That bill is expected to be paid each month whether or not you have any clients. So before jumping in and getting that retail space where you have a monthly payment, you’ve got to have confidence that you know how to bring in clients.

The rule of thumb is that you can allocate 10% of your gross sales to a studio. If you want to rent a studio that’s $500 a month, that means your business should be bringing in $60,000 a year. You want to do 10 times what it costs you to get that studio. You’ve got to get the sales coming in before you commit to a studio.

Myth #2: I need more equipment

I can’t start my business, go all in on my business or grow my business because I don’t have a bunch of fancy equipment. What you actually need is a camera that can make large prints and a reflector. Would it be nice to have every single lens and tool that’s made? Of course. But then you have another problem of where to store all the stuff and to learn how to use it and remember how to use it. The reality is get a good camera, a nice lens, and a reflector.

Myth #3: I have to have a massive portfolio before I can start

Five great images on a website will get you business and then you grow from there. I think fewer is actually better. That’s really the boutique model. You’re not trying to be everything to everybody.

Myth #4: I need a logo and a website to start

I am a branding girl and love to build a brand. But, it isn’t necessarily the first thing you need. Don’t let that slow you down because just like a studio isn’t magic, neither is your brand or website. They are just a marketing tool. And if you don’t know how to speak to clients then you won’t be able to utilize it anyways.

Myth #5: I have to show pricing on my website

I’ve been doing this for years, and I prefer that you don’t put your pricing on your website because your website’s job is to generate leads. It’s a marketing tool. And in the absence of value, price is an issue. People are comparing prices. You create value by talking to people on the phone and explaining that you’re different and what you do differently so that they’re seeing why you’re worth more

Myth #6: I need an online gallery

If you want to create value for your business and you want to charge what you’re worth, you’re not going to be doing online ordering for your clients. When you do that, it’s like you’re a fast food restaurant with the drive up window. You want to hold your client’s hands and help them order like a super knowledgeable waiter. You’re not serving people through online ordering.

It doesn’t have to be hard to make money. If someone else can do it, you can do it too.

Download the Episode Transcript Here

Instagram sarah.petty
Episode 221 – What #FamilyFirst Really Means

Family first is our credo, our motto, one of the three pieces of our framework at the Photography Business Institute, and the reason I have taken so many risks in my career when I could have had a nice well-paying, safe job that came with golden handcuffs to my desk....