Building Your Photography Business for under $3,000


Building Your Photography Business for under $3,000


Lesson Info

Create Your Business Plan

Let's talk about the plan. I really think about this part as a job interview. This is where you find out what you're going to invest and what you get in return. You would never take a job without knowing a few important answers to questions that you may have like how much should you expect to work, what are your hours gonna be and what are you gonna be paid for that in return, right? You would never take a job without knowing those two things. So, we need to look at this business in the same light and say okay, realistically, how much am I gonna be working, how much am I gonna be making in return for that, and is that a good investment? When we think about that, we need to talk specifically about where you invest your dollars. Where are those dollars gonna go to give you the most return because you could spend $100,000 on your business and never make a penny back if you're not careful. This same thing is true with your time. Your time slips away so easily. I think that's the most elusi...

ve thing as a business owner. We went into this business thinking, okay, we're gonna sacrifice three years where we are going to work ourselves to death, and then we're gonna have a successful business. Then we're gonna make a lot of money, and we're going to be on the top of our game. So, what happens after three years? We worked so hard, we sacrificed time with our kid, we sacrificed time outside doing the things that we love. You know what happened on the fourth year? We were in the habit of doing that exact same thing, so we just kept charging, and then the fifth year, we were like is this business really worth having? We are working all the time, and we thought, ya know, this isn't why we started our own photography business. We did this so we would have freedom, so that we could control our own destiny and look where we are. We're working until 2:00 o'clock in the morning. What's the point? This magical thing happened. We said we're not gonna do that anymore, and we quit doing that and ya know what? We still made the same amount of money. (laughs) It was amazing. You have to put parameters on everything. Time and money both slip away if you're not paying attention. That's what this part is about. Then, what do you expect as payment? Let's get down to the real numbers because this is what we all came for. How on Earth do you start a business for $3000, that's crazy, right? Okay, so, here, this is the painful part. You guys brace for it. You get $1300 for equipment. If you have nothing, you don't have a camera, you don't have a computer, those are the things you buy first, and you have to buy them used because this is all you get. (sigh) It's a bummer, isn't it? (laughing) But this is true, it doesn't matter what cameras, what lighting, what equipment you have, you can make an amazing image that you can sell with an iPhone. We do it with a Go Pro camera all the time. It's a $400 camera, we make money off of that. It's not about the camera, it's about your skills as a photographer. This is the budget that you get. It's okay to shed a little tear right now, hang in there, you're gonna like it in the end, I promise. Marketing tools, you get $200 to spend on marketing tools. That's not gonna go very far. Whenever you have your business phone number, I guarantee in the first month, somebody's gonna call and say for only $500, I can send you an amazing amount of clients. Has that ever happened to anybody? I get those calls every day. Oh, lemme help boost your SEO. Oh, why don't you place an ad in this high school whatever? All of these things happen all the time, and the answer to those questions is no, right? Clean ... You have $200, and you're gonna have to stretch it really far. I'm gonna show you exactly where to spend it. What sales tools do you need? This is the most important thing starting out behind a camera. It's how to sell your product to your clients, and so this $500 is worth every penny. It's a lot of your total budget, but I'll show you exactly how to do that. Then we have $1000 for other expenses, miscellaneous things that are also really important.

Class Description

"If you are serious about starting and running a successful photography business... this IS the road map to follow!"
-JB Photo Design, CreativeLive Student

When starting a new business, you will make hundreds of decisions, and many of those can be costly and affect the future of your business. Most photographers have little direction available on how to take these critical first steps to set themselves up for success.

Kathy Holcombe and her husband Peter have built multiple photography businesses over the last 15 years. Kathy will share what they have learned so that you won’t waste time, money and resources trying to find the perfect formula.

You will learn how to:

  • Define your brand
  • Set up social media channels and a business website to support the vision of your brand
  • Develop an effective strategy for marketing to your ideal client
  • Develop a product line and profitable pricing structure
  • Develop a sales strategy to maximize your time and sales average

This class is for anyone who is standing at a crossroads, wanting to start a photography business, but not sure exactly how to go about it. You’ll not only learn how to get you started, but also how to turn a profit through your photography in your very first year of business. Skip years of trial and error and invest your precious startup dollars in strategies, tools and equipment that will immediately start making you money.

"You don't need to be a beginner to get great info from this class, it's packed with ideas and tips that even an experienced pro can put to work and take to the bank literally the next day. I highly recommend this class."
-Jeph DeLorme, CreativeLive Student