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Whether you’re already established photographer or just starting your career, you should be aware that knowing the craft isn’t the only requirement needed to become successful. There will be lots of ups and downs, but the important thing is to stick to a plan. If you don’t have a business plan that will help you secure your place among top photographers in the business, then you have a lot to do to catch up.

Developing a solid strategy that will help you grow your business is crucial, right? Therefore, you need to create one if you don’t have or upgrade it if the methods you are currently using aren’t that efficient. No matter if you’re new at this or just want to get some tips to upgrade your strategy, this is the right place to be.

LISTEN: How to succeed as a professional photographer


Before we begin, let’s set some ground rules that will allow you to develop a strong business plan as well as help you carry it through. A business plan such as it is will not work unless you stick with it, be consistent with your work, and have faith in it. You can’t reach your goals if you don’t have faith in your methods.

Define your product, and make sure that the concept of services you provide is easy to understand, different from that of your competition, and therefore unique. People these days need more than ever something that defines them because it’s different, unique and special. Which is great actually for you as a developing photographer, as you can provide that something that’s “tailored” to match their taste.

Create a concept, and keep in mind that the important thing is to create a list of actions and schedules that will serve you as a guideline to reach your goals. We’ll elaborate on the specific steps and ways of doing this, but the initial concept is simple – develop a plan to move from point A to point B. Where A is your starting point, and B is the goal that you want to reach, whether it’s a huge crowd, popularity, or actual paying customers that require your services on a regular basis.

Pinpointing the right tools and approach is crucial for success as well. Depending on style and type of photography that you’re focusing on you’ll have to adjust some of the tools and means of promoting your work. It’s crucial that you determine the most successful method before you do anything, as the more you invest your time, energy and money in it the more you gain from it. Find an ideal approach and stick to it. This includes monitoring the market, your potential audience, tools and means to promote, etc.

Monitor the results after each breakthrough and try to monitor the data. No matter how effective your strategy is, things tend to change, and you might experience ups and downs. However, this doesn’t mean that you should abandon the ship and swim for safety. Remember, sticking to your plan and believing in it is crucial. However, you will need to pay attention to the effectiveness and results of your plan. Be sure to keep track of these statistics otherwise you entire marketing campaign will go to waste.

Building the plan

Before you go from theory to actual practice you’ll have to know every future step and course of action if things don’t go the way you planned. Preparation is everything and keeping this in mind will allow you to carry it through. Now, it’s time to review actual examples and ways in general to promote and make your photography career successful.

Filter your photo material

Just like when creating a resume for a company you want to work at, selecting material that you will promote later on is important for your success. You can’t actually display all of your work, as the chances are that the viewers, and potential customers, won’t see it as a package of services that you offer, but as a hot mess. That’s why you need to filter your photo material, pick only the best ones, and make sure that they tell a story of who you are and what your style is. Let your work define you as an artist, and people will recognize it every time.

It’s probably also worth noting as a way to protect yourself and your photos from being misused–never upload the original copies of any photo. Always ensure you upload somewhat lower resolution photos (but obviously not too low that it really starts to degrade the quality of the photograph).

Choosing an audience

Whether you chose to focus on local audience or be more specific, you’ll will need to adapt and edit your photography. Don’t be afraid to make room for small adjustments as the goal here is to provide that which your audience seeks. And if you know what they want and focus only on providing services for them, chances of failing are close to zero. The catch is to pick the right one of course. Take a look at your work and try to find the perfect buyer. After that, simply focus on a group of people with the same mindset.

Using social media is a must

Ignoring the potential of social media, especially Instagram, to promote quality photo material would be devastating for your business plan. That’s why you shouldn’t do it. No matter how you look at the rising popularity of social media and their integration in everyday life, if you grow photography business on social media you’re bound to get exposure. Instagram, for example, focuses on promoting quality photo content, and therefore it should be a starting point for your advertising campaign. Go ahead, create a profile and find the most appealing style of presenting your photo content to your potential customers.

Setting a limit

You shouldn’t just blindly attempt to execute on your business plan forever. Believing in methods is one thing but ignoring the obvious facts that show something isn’t working as there aren’t any results for an extended period is entirely different. So set a deadline for your business plan and limit the photo material you’re using for your strategy. You don’t want to use everything you got on a single advertising campaign. This will help you in two things. First is that a deadline will help you evaluate the data more easily. You’ll be able to pinpoint errors in specific phases of your plan. Also, you’ll have photo material to use for another approach. People on social media are depending on quality content, and by their account if it’s really good – it’s worth the wait.

Using statistics to improve

As mentioned before, you’ll need to monitor the statistics. This way you’ll be able to adapt and change crucial things. More importantly, you’ll be able to prevent seeing the entire project go to waste if things start to go downhill. So, make sure that you have access to crucial information about your business plan and try to apply creative problem-solving skills if possible. Thinking out of the box and outmaneuvering your competition is what will make your strategya successful one.

Engage your audience

To really understand your audience, you need to engage and show your presence to them. Be sure to use social platforms to engage your audience by organizing a contest, replying or interacting on your posts. They need to know that you’re a real person instead of an image of a professional photographer. Being that your social media audience will indirectly promote your work, the least you can do is give them a couple of words of praise and give them a tap on the back.

Additionally, you will want to consider sharing tips, tricks, and even explaining how you took your photos in an effort to establish yourself as a leader in the photography community.


Being able to capture a perfect moment, immortalize the atmosphere by snapping a photo is definitely a type of service that will always be on high demand. But just because you can provide it, doesn’t mean that people will rush to you, as your competition also offers the same type of service. However, a solid business plan can make all the difference. And by following these simple steps you will definitely surpass your competition.

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