Flying Solo Photographer
Social Media Showcasing is not enough for any photographer to start selling its services online, what you need to have as your main business asset is a photography oriented website (besides a consistent portfolio of course). There are basically two ways of generating income as a photographer in these days, through image selling or through photography services.
Within those two heavily broad paths there are almost infinite ways of making your way through and finding the right one for you is just part of the adventure of doing what you love. There are no secret sauces here for success, but we can tell you about some slight things that will make your ecommerce offering a little bit simpler for you, after all, you need to focus on the things that truly matter, doing what you love, ergo, taking photographs.
- Build a Photography Oriented Website
Depending on your photography offering, you will have to think about what things you should include in your website. For example, if you are planning on selling prints of your landscapes, then a traditional ecommerce solution like Shopify could be the right thing for you, and even Squarespace could work for you if you build your website with an ecommerce logic. If you are offering photography services a portfolio oriented website could be just right for you.
No matter what your needs are, in photography there is only one thing that truly matters, the photographs. That's why we are saying that your website should be Photography Oriented, because after all, people are going to enter to your website expecting to see stunning photographs made by you. The trick is to make your photographs the ultimate protagonist of your website and avoid going crazy with templates and stuff.
Depending on what you are going to offer you'll need to make it easy for your clients to pay you. Some photographers have figured out their services as packages with fixed prices, and that is a great solution indeed because it allows them to offer their services in sort of a massive way. If you are planning on setting up packages you need to consider at least these things:
- Cost structure
- Clear scopes
Personally speaking I think that Photography Services gigs should be considered as projects, and they require meetings, and some clear scope for each project. That's when the "request a quote" or "contact" buttons come very handy for any photographer selling their services online.
- Invoicing and More
Accounting? Seriously? Well yeah, if you want to be a successful freelance photographer (and we know you do) you need to keep things in order, but don't worry, there are some awesome solutions for this. I've tried a couple of them and I feel comfortable recommending you to give these two a try:
- Free Invoice Builder: Well, the name pretty much explains it for us. It is indeed a free invoice builder, period. Oh, and it has great looks.
- co: This is a cloud based accounting software for small businesses, that allow you to keep track of stuff, create invoices and even basic accounting for you to contrast incomes versus expenses, and is great in terms of UX/UI (and it's free).
Also important for you, you should consider keep things organized with a Calendar and a Cloud Storage service. If you are starting to work on several projects at once, a board software like Trello could become very handy for you.
If things get extremely complex for your photography business (which will be a good thing for sure) you could start considering a CRM like the one Hubspot offers. The correct mix will be up to you, but you definitely need to figure out a system if you want to enjoy being a freelance photographer in the digital era.
Some well-established photographers may be able to generate more jobs for other people (assistants, community managers, stylists, digital retouchers, etc) but here we are one-person armies and we need to figure out solutions to make our passion an actually enjoyable business. We don't need to burn our energies in other stuff where we might not be as good at as we are as photographers.
Feel free to share with us your adventures as a freelance photographer in the digital age of ecommerce and gigs. We are all here together pursuing a single purpose, making a living out of what we love the most, photography, and there is plenty of room for every one of us, because we all are offering passionate images and awesome experiences.
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