Creating Your Ideal Photography Business

 

Lesson Info

Clients: Business Plan Part Five

So, the last part is your clients. We talked a lot about who those clients are, now it's time to finalize it a little bit. Who is your target client? Describe them. If you're not certain, think about your favorite client, or the person you think that person, who think your ideal client is. Write down some adjectives that describe them. What are they like? What do they do for fun? Where do they spend their time? Where do they spend their money? Who are they? What do they drive? My ideal client drives a four-wheel drive vehicle, right? Of course. So, after you identify some characteristics of that target client, then you need to clearly define what types of products and services that they want. What would they appreciate? What would be really amazing to that kind of person? And then you look back at the products that you wrote down earlier, and you compare em. Is there harmony there, or is there dissonance? If there's harmony there, you're on the right track. If there's a discrepancy, yo...

u need to go back to the drawing board. You guys will laugh, whenever I fill this out, there are erase-- Do it in pencil! I'm sorry if I didn't tell you that earlier. There are eraser marks everywhere. Crosses out. It's okay, this is a working document. You can print more. If you need to start over, that's fine. This is your first time. Give yourself permission to fail. You can always do it again. There's more plans that you can write out. Okay, number three on clients. How much do they currently invest with you? Where are you right now, in your business? Where do you think you are? And then how far do you have to go to get where you want to be? Okay, and now it's time to start writing down how your clients feel about their investment. That's question number four on the last page. I want to caution you not to put your own values on this. What have you actually heard your clients say? They'll tell you, generally. If every person that comes to you says, "Oh, I wish I could spend that, "but unfortunately, I'm gonna have to go somewhere else." If that's what's happening, you have the wrong client or there's something wrong with your price list. Or there's something wrong with your confidence. Any of those three could be it. Okay? But, maybe what they're saying, if they're saying "Wow, that's really expensive," is "Gosh, I never thought that I would be spending that." But if they're spending it anyway, then they're saying, "Wow, that's outside of my "normal spending habits, but I think it's still valuable, "and I'm willing to do that." So even if you hear your client saying, "Wow, that's really expensive," that's not necessarily that it's too expensive, it's just outside of their normal spending habits. Okay? And then, what do you think is unique about your business? You have to be able to articulate it. For our business, it's that we go out into the wild and we create dramatic images in the wilderness. It's very clear. What's unique about your business? What do you do that only you can do? There's something out there that you're extraordinary at. If you don't know what it is, ask your clients. They'll tell you. They know exactly what it is. Okay, this one you might be able to write a book on. Number six is what obstacles are you facing this year? Identify em, write em down. What are they? I promise there is no obstacle that you can't overcome. You just have to be smart enough, or talented enough, or just stubborn enough to get over it. And so if you know what those obstacles are, you can brace against em, and you can prepare for them, and eventually you can overcome em. So write down all those things that are making your heart heavy, and saying in your head, that horrible little voice that says, "Oh, there's no way I can do this." Push that voice out of your head. Write down what it actually is and find a way around it. There's always a way around something. Okay? And then the last one is just a space to write down your thoughts. What other things are you thinking about for your business? Do you have some big goals coming up, some big changes, some things you want to accomplish, some dreams that you haven't written down yet? When we were talking about vision earlier, what are those things that you really want to accomplish in your business? This is what that other category is for, for all those wonderful things that you're thinking about, write em down, give em purpose. Write. That's it. That's the business plan.

"If you're struggling to figure out the business process of photography, this class is one of the clearest and most concise I've ever seen. If you're experienced but the business side and pricing are eluding you, you will find clarity here. I own at least twenty CreativeLive courses and hands down, this one explains pricing and strategy better than any others I've purchased or watched live." - Julie, CreativeLive Student 
 
Join Kathy Holcombe as she shares techniques and strategies to develop the photography business you desire. Whether you’re making the leap from part-time to full-time or starting your very first business, the amount of work can be overwhelming. From what products to offer, how much to charge, how to pay yourself or the legal considerations - start ups often sink before clients are even booked. Kathy will show you the ways to grow your business from the start. This class will cover: 

  • Defining what product you are selling and how much you should charge to make a living 
  • Photography business basics and how to track your income compared to other businesses 
  • How to write and create your business plan 
Kathy Holcombe and her husband Peter built one of the top wedding portrait studios in Colorado, then jumped in an RV with the entire family and began traveling the country full-time, and added a successful commercial division. Together they have built multiple successful businesses and have honed in on the important factors that every photographer should consider when building a business. 

 
 
 
 

Reviews

  • I started my business a year ago with little formal technical photography education. It's hard to admit but I've been winging it, figuring out each small task that goes with photographing a session, editing one, and working with clients as I go. I may be doing things backwards, but now that I feel like I'm more comfortable in those small, specific parts of business, I need to figure out how to make this business sustainable and profitable. Kathy's class felt perfect for this time in my business to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of what I want to focus on and where I want to go (and how much I want to pay myself!). She uses realistic, specific numbers: something that's SO helpful and I feel like I rarely see in the photography community. And she breaks everything down in an organized and easy to understand way. The classes were easy to follow along with and Kathy's positivity and patient manner is inspiring and motivating. The fact that she used to be a school teacher is clear. Thank you so much Kathy (and the rest of the Holcombes)!
  • I am so glad I was able to attend this course in person and receive all the wonderful and practical information Kathy shared with us. I also really enjoyed the connections with other audience members and side conversations with Creative Live peeps as well as the Holcombe family. What an inspiration this family is--lots of practical info, but also a great pep talk to not sell yourself short and get out there and do what you love, but use sound business practice while doing it. Thanks so much for these incredible two days.
  • Fantastic course! Very helpful instruction and how-to guide for anyone considering starting up a photography business. Kathy was an excellent instructor, with a wealth of knowledge and experience. I gained a good understanding of the practical everyday aspects of running this kind of business, and how to create my own vision.