123 Ideas to Jump Start Your Business

With more and more people entering the photography industry, distinguishing yourself as a professional photographer is essential to the survival of your business. We have compiled a list of 123 ideas to jump start your business. Thank you to the many wonderful photographers who helped us with this list.  We really appreciate you!

Whether you are just starting out or if you have been in the business for years, these ideas can bring life to your business. Read them, think about them, and develop a plan to implement at least one idea in your business!

1). Read your camera manual.

2). Send a Thank You card after every session.

3). Become involved with a charity in your area.

4). Know and understand your lenses and equipment.

5). Develop a business plan.

6). Produce ‘web cards’ (cards with the viewing instructions & your info) to have at wedding receptions and other events.

7). Join professional organizations: PPA, WPPI, APA, ASMP.

8). Define or redefine your target market.

9). Write your professional story.

10). Join local organizations: Chamber of Commerce, Junior League, Rotary, etc.

11). Start a blog.

12). Attend educational events: classes, conventions, seminars, webinars, etc.

13). Have your phone number on your website.

14). Have a professional outgoing voicemail message.

15). Host an open house at your studio for your clients and their friends.

16). Find new inspirations.

17). Utilize social media to its fullest.

18). Create a Facebook fan page for your business.

19). Create a 12-month marketing plan.

20). Implement a marketing plan.

21). Start a newsletter for your clients.

22). Define what success means to you.

23). Find a good accountant.

24). Determine the Cost of Goods (COGS) for every product you sell.

25). Call all people you have business cards for and give them a free session.

26). Use your local junk mail as business leads.

27). Partner with a real estate agent for networking opportunities.

28). Ask for referrals.

30). Enjoy what you are doing. It will show if you don’t.

31). Begin a personal photography project.

32). Shoot at least 30 minutes a week for yourself. Share your images with the world!

33). Create a name for your style of photography.

34). Have friends and family look at your website. Ask them to report the good, the bad, and the ugly.

35). Get a twitter account (follow us @bripro).

36). Learn to say NO.

37). Sponsor a local sports team.

38). Follow up with past clients with a handwritten note.

39). Network with a high end salon.

40). Network with a high end tanning salon.

41). Trade services with a prospective client.

42). Offer a free family session to each high school senior session you do.

43). Leave your business card on the table at restaurants with your tip.

44). Offer a free 1-year anniversary session to all your brides and grooms.

45). Create a referral network with other photographers in your area.

46). Dress appropriately

47). Join an online photography forum. Check out blackriverlanding.com.

48). Create a contest on your blog. Give away something your target market would enjoy.

49). Give more than expected.

50). Go above and beyond on every session or wedding.

51). Be an expert in your area of speciality.

52). Set your email up as you@yourstudioname.com not yahoo.com or aol.com or hotmail.com.

53). Get legal. Have all licenses and a sales tax id number.

54). Read Read Read: information is power.

55). Learn to shoot on ‘M’anual.

56). Learn to see light and manipulate it.

57). Calibrate your monitor.

58). Photograph something you haven’t before.

59). Produce quality images over quantity (do it right in the camera).

60). Never give up.

61). Produce same-day slideshows at weddings.

62). Invest in a mall display if your advertising/marketing budget allows.

63). Project your sales sessions.

64). Keep a back up camera with you at all times.

65). Have an electronic portfolio to show when you have a chance meeting with a potential client.

66). Learn SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

67). Know and understand your target market.

68). Meet at least 3 new people per week.

69). Give yourself deadlines.

70). Look outside the photo industry for business ideas: luxury travel industry is a good one.

71). Find a mentor.

72). Take your specialty products (collages, photo books, etc) out of your packages and have them as add-on products.

73). Raise your prices. Start with small increments but do it regularly.

74). Create a marketing campaign for your target market.

75). Be a mentor.

76). Under promise and over deliver.

77). Call all email inquiries first before emailing back.

78). Write down a script to use when on a phone call with a potential client.

80). Sign up for all social media sites.

81). Be trustworthy.

82). Face your biggest fear, accept it, conquer it, and move forward.

83). Be passionate about your business.

84). Partner with a local business that has the same target market as you.

85). Be consistent with the messages your business is sending.

86). Be genuine.

87). Answer your phone when it rings, otherwise an opportunity may pass you by.

88). Build relationships with your vendors. They will be more willing to help you in a pinch if you have cultivated a relationship.

89). Create a tag line for your brand.

90). Define your photographic style.

91). Send press releases announcing your accomplishments, awards, community involvement, etc. to your local newspapers and other media outlets.

91). Enter professional print competitions.

92). Sit in on a professional print competition.

93). Send a welcome packet to all new clients.

94). Include a $10 iTunes gift card in your welcome packet to high school seniors.

95). Have your clients bring in their iPod and play their playlist during their session.

96). Offer one product that no one else in your area is offering.

97). Define your brand. Your brand goes beyond your logo.

98). Be your brand.

99). Donate silent auction items to charity events.

100). Attend the charity events you have donated silent auctions to.

101). Update your samples.

102). Follow blogs that interest you.

103). Comment on blog posts.

104). Be genuinely interested in your clients, their needs, wants, desires and lives.

105). Find a common connection with everyone you meet.

106). Make the conversation about the person whom you are speaking with.

107). Introduce yourself using your first and last name.

108). When meeting someone new, repeat their name back to them, to help you remember their name.

109). Set your pricing and packages to be the most profitable you can be.

110). Make sure your website can be viewed on mobile devices.

111). Update your website regularly.

112). Teach a photography class to your local high school photography students.

113). Run a promotion/special during your slow season, never during your busy season.

114). Every year, at the end of the year, offer digital files to all your clients from their sessions. Present them in a photo dvd case.

115). Approach your favorite coffee shop/diner and ask if you can have a gallery showing of your best fine art images. Don’t forget to have business cards displayed!

116). Have a section of your fine art or ‘for me’ images on your website.

117). Network with a locally-owned boutique.

118). Make a list of the top 10 most influential persons in your area. Contact them. Photograph them.

119). Find one client that is the ‘talker’ of her social group. Give her a free session. Under promise. Over deliver. Let her ‘chat’ about you to all her friends!

120). When your lab runs a special on products, pass the savings on to your clients and run a special on that same product.

121). Give a gift to your clients that refer you to others.

122). If you have a physical studio location or if you meet clients in your home, make sure your space touches all five of the senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound.

123). Manage your time wisely.

Stay tuned! We will be blogging more in depth about these ideas and how they can be implemented in your business!