CHECKLIST FOR STARTING A PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS
When I first started my photography business I was overwhelmed and lost on the correct way to build.
Many mistakes were made as I went through the process. I wasn't sure what needed to be done first and with all the information out there I was overwhelmed with no insight how to actually start.
Just remember, you are not alone.
Below is a list of things that will help you if you are just starting out OR to ensure you have these important things checked off your already growing business.
Feel free to print this out and check off as you work down through it.
Free Photography Business Checklist
☐ Choose your business name - Remember this is your brand, choose it with great thought.
☐ Have a logo designed -Spend time on this as it is the face of your company and brand recognition.
☐ Choose company color/theme/brand, your identity. Write down who you are on paper, what makes you unique, get ideas about the real you. Down the road if this doesn't match your inner self, you might very well want to change it and once you pick a name/brand for your company there really isn't going back.
☐ Purchase a hosting package for your website - such as wix.com
☐ Set up a professional email address (this can usually be accomplished with your website hosting company)
☐ Purchase a URL/Domain name. (this can usually be accomplished with your website hosting. Otherwise godaddy.com has it for $0.99 for the first year)
☐ Develop a list of session types & packages you will be offering. Important: Do not over promise delivery times. You can always change this down the road when your workflow improves.
☐ Develop your pricing list. Do some research on other photographers in your area to get a rough estimate as to what you should be charging now and what you will be able to charge down the road when you are more experienced.
☐ Purchase a photographers planner to help you organize your shoots & goals.
☐ Develop business policies & processes (digital image policy, ordering, cancellation, scheduling, product delivery, retainer, etc.) -This is so important. Take your time developing this list and make sure it covers everything.
☐ Have photography contracts typed up (Include model release, copyright, retainer policy and more) You can google some examples to make sure you cover everything needed.
☐ Purchase a external hard drive to store all of your photo shoots on. This is extremely important to ensure no accidents happen and you lose someone's wedding photos.
☐ Learn how to shoot in manual if you are not already. This is so helpful for learning how to showcase your "style" of shooting.
☐ Plan your timeline from session date to finished product. Remember not to over promise.
☐ Do some marketing research for your local area. What are people searching for such as: Wedding photographer in Oconomowoc, WI. Use this info as keywords, text and phrases on your website/blog.
☐ Develop a short term marketing plan. How much are you willing to invest for the year? What do you want to make each month?
☐ Purchase editing software (Photoshop & Lightroom. Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC, etc.)
☐ Set up online gallery - to share final digital edits to your clients (such as pixieset)
☐ Develop your editing style so that you are recognized and each photo is consistent.
☐ Decide how you are going to have your clients pay. (Paypal, Venmo, Check, Cash, etc.)
☐ Plan a workflow process for editing. This will become easier, more natural and quicker with practice and time.
☐ Set up social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
☐ Research & get educated on SEO. This is absolutely necessary if you plan to be found on the internet. (Wix hosting website helps you through this)
☐ Order Business cards - always have these on hand!!
☐ Set up a blog (Usually available on your hosting website)
☐ Develop a blogging schedule, consistency is key.
Tip: Make each post title unique and intriguing to get readers interested.
☐ Get a business/sales license & EIN
☐ Set up business bank account, you will need your EIN for this
☐ Get legal with LLC or other.
☐ Know your states Sales Tax & other applicable taxes so you can figure that into your pricing.
☐ Set up business insurance
☐ Develop email marketing - Automatically send out emails to subscribers each time you make a new blog post or send mass emails to your subscriber list with deals, upcoming deals, specials, etc.
☐ Write "About Me" for your website.
☐ Follow steps to completely set up your website and promote!!!
This is a long list and may have you feeling overwhelmed with so many questions. My e-course will cover all of the above and soooo much more. With tips and tricks to maximize and grow in no time.
Stay connected with me to be notified when the E-Course is available!!