Quick Tips for a More Profitable Photo Business

There’s such a push for more – more money, more clients, that we overlook the other (arguably more important) side of profitability...

It seems like everywhere you turn in the photography industry someone’s trying to sell you something that will increase your profits (guilty as charged) or help you book more clients.

There’s such a push for more – more money, more clients, that we overlook the other (arguably more important) side of profitability, spending less money.

In fact, PPA’s benchmark survey says…

It’s more important to control your general expenses and your cost of sale than it is to bring in more money.

That’s huge. So let’s talk about it.

Simple ways to spend less:

Don’t Buy Every New Toy

Run every new purchase past the “will this help me make more money” test.

Will your clients see the difference in images taken on your current camera versus the fancy new one that goes up to ISO 1.2Bajillion? Probably not.

So there’s a good chance it won’t make you any extra money.

Buying it is still fine, just know that you’re not making a business decision, you’re buying a new toy.

Streamline Your Workflow

Time is money, right? Finding ways to make your workflow more efficient will save you time and, ultimately, make you more profitable.

Here are just a few ideas

  • If you use Gmail, enable “Canned Responses” in the Labs section. This allows you to create a template email that you can use for commonly sent emails (think initial client inquiries, referral emails, scheduling emails, wedding day timelines, etc). This will save you ridiculous amounts of time.
  • Have a set folder structure so you’re not always searching for files 
  • Use a template Lightroom Catalog that has all of your categories, folders and smart folders already set up
  • Use plugins, presets and actions to quickly edit your photos
  • Have a set workflow (and stick to it)
  • Consider not fully editing every image. Get everything to a good baseline, then only fully edit the images that are ordered.

Outsource Your Editing

You’ve heard this one a thousand times, spend less time editing your photos and more time doing the things that make you money.

Not sure if outsourcing is right for you? Try it with one session or wedding and see if you were able to justify the expense. We certainly can.

Take Action

  • Write down your entire workflow, from initial inquiry to product delivery.
  • Look for steps that can be streamlined, automated or removed.
  • Implement one optimization this week. Don’t try to change it all at once, it won’t “stick”.
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