Episode 218 – Business Not Growing? 5 Things You’re Overlooking

Episode 218 - Business Not Growing? 5 Things You’re Overlooking


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

After being in business 26 years and understanding the value of every single client, I am always shocked when creatives don’t do every single thing they can to serve every single client they have. The longer I’m in business, the more I realize that just doing that puts you ahead of most of your so-called competitors. When I teach business and marketing, I go under the assumption that you are just as grateful as I am for every single client who books you. And because of that, you’re making sure that you’re taking amazing care of them until they leave with their artwork on time. Then I’m reminded that there are a lot of photographers who are not doing this. Here are 5 things you have to do as a photographer. 

  1. Meet deadlines

At my studio, after people order their artwork, we tell them 3-4 weeks is how long it takes for them to get their artwork back. Then they come in and they pick out their frames and we tell them 4-6 weeks. This leaves plenty of time for us to over-deliver. Just do what you say you’re going to do and you’re going to be fine.

  1. Take responsibility and communicate ASAP

If you aren’t meeting a deadline or you can’t meet the deadline, take responsibility and communicate with your client ASAP. If you just take responsibility when you are not meeting a deadline, reach out and usually they’re very grateful. But that should be a very big exception. This should not be the rule.

  1. Don’t make excuses

Nothing to me is more frustrating than people making excuses when you’ve hired them. It’s going to make your clients question if they should even work with you because sometimes it’s more trouble rescheduling and rearranging everything than it’s even worth to hire and work with that you. When you run a business and people are counting on you to meet with them and they have a session, it is your responsibility to show up.

  1. Talk price upfront

In our model, it’s so important to talk price upfront because we don’t want anybody to be shocked or surprised. While we are more expensive than a lot of other photographers, there is a good reason. We don’t need to hide that because what we do is so different from what other photographers do. When there’s an increase in price, address it ASAP. There should never be a surprise cost.

  1. Do what it takes

What I’m talking about here is family first. I talk about how in this business model, you can make good money and you can have time freedom. However, this goes under the assumption that you are doing what you need to do to take care of your client. Family first doesn’t mean you don’t have to work. It means you get the flexibility. If you screw something up, take responsibility.

What we get to do as photographers in owning our own businesses is such a gift. Most of the time, it’s fantastic to be able to control our days and our schedules. While taking pictures for people and then producing them doesn’t seem that hard, sometimes I forget that not every photographer is actually doing these five things. And if you’re not, it’s likely why your business isn’t growing the way you want it to.

Download the Episode Transcript Here

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....