Professional Photographer asked photographers on PPA's online forum, theLoop, to share their best insights on running a successful business.
“No matter how good your marketing and branding are, make sure your craft—the actual photography—is perfect. It’s a waste of time to build the best website, have the most amazing marketing campaign, spend the most money on great ad buys if what you’re selling is crap.”—Pascal Depuhl
“Marketing, marketing, marketing. The best sales is still in-person, word-of-mouth. You can be an adequate photographer and very good at sales and succeed. If you’re the best photographer in the world but have poor sales or marketing skills, you will fall flat on your face.—Kenneth Johansen
“Learn to say no sooner and say yes to the things you really want to do. Your time is valuable so don’t waste it. Also, manage your weaknesses and operate in your strengths and passion. If you don’t like culling, doing taxes, responding to emails, et cetera, outsource it. Free yourself up to do the things you’re passionate about.—Keoni Esteban
“Be honest with yourself when it comes to purchasing equipment. Do I really need to purchase this and how will it make me money? Will it pay for itself? Look at each opportunity from a business standpoint. Is this opportunity profitable or will it waste my time? Will this lead to other business? Are there potential legal issues I need to consider, and so on? Sometimes you have to be prepared to turn down opportunities. Always be professional and courteous, but stand your ground when you need to.”—Larry McNiff, CPP
“Learn to do in-person sales.”—Tara Patty, CPP