Starting a Brand Photography Business? Here’s What You Need. |

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Starting a Brand Photography Business? Here’s What You Need.

Photo Credit: Kassady Gibson, Focus Creative Group LLC

Wouldn’t it be nice to work for yourself? Choose your hours and the brands/people you want to do business with? 

Oh, and have a consistent income month-to-month that you can depend on?

It might seem like you’re asking for a lot, but this is possible when you work as a brand photographer and build your business on a recurring client model.

The only thing standing between you and this dream job is the act of building a business. There’s a lot to it and you might already feel so overwhelmed that you don’t know where to start. 

So, let’s break it down. Let’s look at everything you need to set up to start your brand photography business. And, if you stick with us to the end, we’ll show you the simplest way to start your business!

How to Start a Small Business

Anyone can start a small business but it is a lot of work. Unfortunately, it is a lot of work that you won’t be getting paid for — until later of course.

To legally run a business, you need to have the proper licenses and register with the IRS. You also need to register with federal, state, and local governments. The rules vary depending on where you live so be sure to find out what’s needed in your area by checking with the Small Business Administration.

Decide on the legal business structure you want to use. There are four options:

  • Sole proprietorship: you alone run and are financially responsible for your business
  • Partnership: used when you have a business partner
  • Corporation: used to separate business liability from personal liability.
  • Limited liability corporation: commonly used by small business owners as it offers many of the tax benefits of a partnership while taking advantage of the legal protections offered by a corporation

Once you choose your structure, you’ll need to fill out the appropriate tax forms for state and federal income taxes. 

You may also want to register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). You don’t have to have one if you have no employees, but it can make tax time simpler by separating business and personal taxes.

Brainstorm Your Business Name

graphic of the focus creative and brand photographers blueprint logos

Before you get too deep into all the tax and government paperwork, we recommend taking some time to think about your business name. 

Before you pick your name, it’s important to have a clear business idea. If possible, you want your business name to reflect what you do. For a photography business, it’s good to have words like “imagery” “photographs” “click” “capture” etc. 

Be creative with your name. Try to think outside of the box and pick something that is unique and original. You also need to check to make sure someone else isn’t already using the name you’re considering. 

You’ll need to have your business name ready when you go to register your business with the government. You might even trademark your name if you want to protect it on a national level.

Clarify Your Target Customers

You probably already have an idea of who your target customers are — small business owners. To work as a brand photographer, you want to partner with small business owners who need a steady supply of fresh content for their website, social media accounts, etc. 

Now it’s time to narrow that down. Do you want to target a specific industry such as restaurants? You’ll also probably want to define the size of the business. Brand new small businesses run solely by their owners might not yet have the marketing budget for your services. But more established businesses that are steadily growing are probably right in the sweet spot. 

Regardless, clarify your ideal customers now. This will help you immensely as you start to promote yourself. It is so much easier to write social media content when you know who you’re talking to!

Write a Business Plan

This step is often overlooked by new business owners. However, taking the time to sit down and carefully plan out the moving parts of your business is immensely helpful.

But, you might say, I have no idea what I’m doing! I don’t know how to write a business plan!

It’s okay. Take it step-by-step. Figure out the purpose of your business and decide your target audience. Conduct some market research to better understand your target market and how to meet their needs.

Think about your finances. How much money do you need to earn to support your lifestyle and meet your goals? How much work will you have to do to make that amount of money? Is it feasible? 

Discover your break-even point by using this formula:

Fixed Costs ÷ (Average Price – Variable Costs) = Break-Even Point

This helps you figure out profitability, how to set your prices, and how many clients you need to reach your goals. 

Think about where you want your business to be in a year, then in 5 years. Think about what needs to happen to reach those goals.

All of this can be adjusted as you move along and see what areas of your business will require more work. However, having a plan to get you started (and keep you on track) is an invaluable tool that too many people skip over when starting their brand photography business.

Watch Your Expenses

As you get started, be careful with your expenses. As photographers, we get excited about buying new toys. Investing in a new business can seem like a great excuse to splurge on that new lens you’ve been eyeing. 

And yes, you may need to buy a different lens or a new light to move into this type of photography. To offer this kind of service there are certain tools that you need to produce quality images.  

But don’t get too carried away. You don’t want to sabotage your efforts by burning through too much money before your business starts being profitable. And there are a ton of tricks and ideas on the Internet for producing amazing images with everyday items.

Be judicious about your purchases. Some expenses are necessary so you can offer your customers a superior product. Others are just things that would be really “nice to have” and might make your workflow easier but should wait until your business has extra money to invest.

Brand Yourself and Advertise

Okay, here’s where the fun begins. You’ve got your business name and all the legal stuff is out of the way. You have your plan in place and an idea of how you will make your business successful.

All you need now is…customers!

Brand Yourself

But before you start advertising your services, you need to figure out your business’ identity. You need to create a brand that will help customers know what services you’re offering as well as relate to you as a person. People love hiring people they can relate to. 

Make yourself relatable.

Pick your brand colors and design an eye-catching logo. Get creative and find something that conveys the spirit of your business. Better yet, make a few to give yourself something to choose from. Ask your friends and family which logo makes sense to them for what you’re trying to achieve.

Using your brand color, design brochures and business cards that will grab people’s attention and clearly show what your business is offering. 

Set Up Your Contracts

Every client should sign a contract with you. It offers protection for both you and your client by clearly explaining the nuts and bolts of the process. With everything spelled out in the contract, all parties know what to expect from your interaction and what will happen if something goes wrong. 

Buy Insurance

Your equipment will become indispensable once you start working as a photographer. Don’t take the chance of breaking a key piece of equipment without the money to replace it. Equipment insurance is an excellent way to make sure this doesn’t happen to you. 

Build a Website

An online presence is essential for small businesses these days and social media alone isn’t sufficient. You need a website where potential clients can get more information about your business, view your portfolio, etc. 

Set Up Invoicing and Payments

Keeping track of invoices and setting up easy ways for your customers to pay you is another critical step. This is what it all boils down to — you want to get paid for your work!

It’s also good to put a system in place to keep track of your business expenses and income throughout the year. This will make it infinitely easier to do your taxes when tax time rolls around. 

Get on Social Media

You’re going to be creating content in part for your customer’s social media accounts. It only makes sense to have your own stunning social media accounts to help showcase your services. 

Plus, it’s a great way to find new clients. Interact with small business owners in your area, run a few eye-catching ads offering your services, and post a steady stream of fresh content to show off your work. 

Though you can pay for ads, most social media is essentially free advertising. Plus, as you start gaining clients, you’ll sometimes gain exposure to their audiences on social media as well. This networking is an excellent way to get your name out there and continue to gain more clients. 

How Can I Start My Own Business With No Money?

Starting a business with no money can be daunting but it’s not impossible. In fact, with no inventory to buy, starting a photography business is relatively inexpensive. Of course, you’ll have to buy your gear but if you’re already a photographer, you at least have the basics to get started.

You won’t start making loads of money right out of the gate so before you quit your day job, you should have your ducks in a row. Save up at least 6 months’ work of living expenses. 

Small business loans or lines of credit are an option for when you need extra cash. Be very careful, though, as debt can easily sabotage your efforts. 

Ready To Get Started?

What do you think? There are a lot of steps to think about and it will take work but starting your own business is doable. 

Plus, with the right support, it becomes so much easier. 

Become a Focus Licensed photographer and gain access to the support and business resources that can help you grow your business. We’ll hand you a website, give you exclusive rights to your area, and offer plenty of training and ongoing support

You’ll stand out from the crowd with Focus Creative licensure. Suddenly, you’ll find yourself working with your ideal clients who are willing to pay for good photography because they truly understand its value. 

This all starts with the Brand Photographer’s Blueprint course. 

What if you didn’t have to write your own business plan from scratch? What if you could look at a working plan specifically designed for brand photographers?

What if somebody told you the perfect software to use for invoicing, sending contracts, scheduling, and so much more? You wouldn’t have to dig through all the options, try different free trials, or set up multiple programs trying to find what works best.

What if there were a proven plan you could follow to gain recurring clients that create a dependable income?

You know what? There is!

That’s what the Brand Photographer’s Blueprint is all about! You don’t have to figure out everything from scratch all by yourself. Instead, at the end of the course, you will have all the tools you need to build the business of your dreams. 

Stop struggling to get your business off the ground. Dive into what you love to do, create beautiful images, and make a living doing it — without stressing about the business side of things! 

Building a highly profitable brand photography business is absolutely possible. Other photographers have done it and you can too with the right resources. Sign up to become a Focus Creative photographer and get the Brand Photographer’s Blueprint course for free!

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