Growing a business, particularly a photography business, can feel overwhelming at times. Success and growth as a new business takes time… but you could be unintentionally stalling your growth through a few pretty common mistakes that new photographers make. If you’re a new photographer and not seeing the results you want, there’s a few things you should look at.
Let’s talk about the 5 most common mistakes photographers make – and how to overcome them so that your business can grow and thrive.
1. Not charging enough
Honestly, pricing issues are one of the most common mistakes for new photographers. And I get it: there’s a massive fear of charging too much and not getting clients because of that! It makes sense, right? When you first start out, you want to get as much work as possible so that you can grow your portfolio and client base. And during this portfolio building phase, it’s okay to charge a discounted rate. But this isn’t sustainable or a successful method for growth.
What makes more sense in this portfolio building phase, is to set your prices where you want to be and discount for your portfolio building. By doing that, your clients will understand your value and appreciate your discount. Don’t stay in that low spot forever. Instead, know when you can stop offering that discount. When you hit the sweet spot with interest and momentum, you need to charge your normal pricing – otherwise you’ll be on the fast track to burnout.
2. Not getting enough experience
While there are so many things that go into building a strong business, one of the things you can’t buy is your experience level. There is an invaluable aspect to getting the hands-on experience in your business. Make a point to get out and use your camera as much as you can. When you have experience with lots of different families, locations, light, and situations, you’re going to be a much better photographer.
It can be easy when you’re starting out to compare yourself to other photographers but do your best to stay in your lane and invest in your experience!
3. Not finding a community to challenge you
The third mistake photographers make is trying to do this without a community behind you. While it’s important to get as much experience as you can (and I truly feel that’s 100% not negotiable), I think it’s equally important to find a community to challenge you and help you grow your skills. Your job as an artist and entrepreneur have an unlimited potential in growth — there is always room to improve and grow, if you allow yourself to have those moments.
I absolutely recommend joining a community that encourages you in your journey and challenges you to continue growing. Take classes and participate in groups that inspire you to push your creativity. Find business mentors that encourage you to refine your systems and build a profitable and sustainable business. If you want more ideas about community over competition, read those here!
4. Not asking for help
As a creative business owner, you are often running your business solo. This means that all of the tasks and business decisions are entirely up to you. It can sometimes feel isolating when it comes to making big decisions. This is another reason that I’d recommend you surround yourself with a network of similar-minded people that you can go to when you need help. Just because you are running your business by yourself does not mean you need to do it alone.
There are wonderful mentors, coaches and even other photographers that can help where you need it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and lean on others to help your business succeed! Trying to go it alone is going to feel isolating and put you on the road to burnout.
5. Not giving their business time to grow
Wanting your business to succeed right off the bat is a hard mindset to overcome. Seriously, this is a big hurdle for many photographers. Mindset can play a pivotal role in the growth of your business. Do not allow yourself to be consumed by imposter syndrome by comparing yourself to everyone around you. Success does not come overnight – and if it does, it’s not going to last. Instead, focus on your small wins and what you accomplish each year (or whatever milestone you want to focus on). Remember that each business is different!
As you can see, there’s a few easy things you can work on to encourage your photography business to grow and thrive. The biggest part of a successful business is trusting yourself and your experience, staying in your lane and celebrating your own success! If you find yourself making one of these “mistakes”, just work to change the course you’re on. With the right mindset and execution, anything is possible!