Four ways to kickstart your photography business for the new year

Four ways to kickstart your photography business for the new year


Blink, and January is almost over already. Set yourself up for success in the new year with these four ways to kickstart your photography business and get ready for the year ahead.

There’s something about refreshing your goals and intentions for the year ahead. Even if last year didn’t go to plan, there’s always time to change things up and set a new plan in motion.

Plan a content calendar for your photo business

You can use an online tool like Trello to organize your content calendar, or a social media scheduler, or just pen and paper. It doesn’t have to be fancy to get the job done. Photo of me by EKP Studios.

Depending on your photo industry it’s likely you need to spend some (or a lot!) of time attracting new clients. Planning a content calendar for your social media, paid ads, email marketing and blogging is a time-saver. Doing the thinking in advance lets you be strategic, establish a regular pattern of useful information your clients can rely on, and makes it easier for your ideal client to find you.

Here’s a deep dive into planning a content calendar for your personal brand. All you have to do is think about where you post, what you want to talk about, and how often you can keep it up.

Swap photoshoots with another photographer to organise your own personal brand assets for the year

Part of planning out your content is getting the images you need for your promotions and social media. Find a photographer friend and get together with your content calendar in hand to plan out the photos you need. Make sure everyone’s on the same page, and return the favor promptly.

If you don’t have any photographer friends (you’re missing out: photographers really are awesome people to be friends with!) then approach someone with a style that works for your brand, and do what your clients do: Book yourself in.

Review your prices and prepare your clients for increases

Your accountant might be able to help you crunch the numbers when reviewing your cost of doing business. Photo of me and my assistant by EKP Studios.

Assess your cost of doing business and check for shortfalls. Are you covering costs – including the cost of paying yourself a salary? Some things you need to consider are costs of:

  • Your time: Promotion, client meetings, preparing for photoshoots, doing the photoshoot, editing photos, photo delivery, album or sales meetings, album design, client follow-up
  • Second photographers, assistants, external photo editors or designers
  • Album and print production costs, including delivery to you and to clients
  • Software subscriptions
  • Gear rental, replacements and upgrades
  • Website hosting and URL registration, design and maintenance
  • Paid ads: Print, online, directories
  • Professional development costs: Conferences, learning new skills, competition entry costs
  • Business insurance, registration, costs of managing tax obligations and any other legal requirements in your location

If you decide you need to increase costs, email your clients (because you have all your clients in an email list now, right?) to let them know with plenty of warning (e.g. a month or two in advance). You might want to offer the option to book now before prices increase, presell album add-ons in advance, and so on.

Kickstart your photography business by updating your photography website

Updating your website should be at least an annual job – make sure you’re still on the same page as your site! Photo of me by EKP Studios.

It’s a good idea to review your brand script annually and make adjustments to your website accordingly. Freshen up your text and images while keeping your ideal client front-of-mind.

Here’s some questions to ask yourself when updating your website for the year ahead:

  • Is it 100% obvious what you want clients to do when they visit your website: i.e. Book Now? Are there Book Now buttons above the fold? Regularly throughout every page? In the footer?
  • Are you still talking to the right kind of client on your website? Has your ideal client changed since you last updated your site?
  • Is your site reflective of your ever-increasing expertise and experience?
  • Are your prices accurate? Check social media too, or automated welcome emails. If there’s no end date listed, you might have to honor old prices if clients find them. Remember, you don’t have to list your prices on your website – not everyone does.
  • Are you giving too much information: Is your site confusing?
  • Are you giving too little information: Do clients ask you the same basic questions over and over? Can you create an FAQ on your site to send to new clients?
  • Do you use everything on your site? If there’s an empty blog page with tumbleweeds blowing across it that you never got around to starting, then maybe it’s time to delete it.
  • Are your very best photos being showcased? Have you added glorious new hero shots from the past year–and removed the ones they are better than? Keeping your portfolio fresh, and the best-of-the-best, is important.
  • Have you been published, awarded or featured anywhere in the last year? Add badges and logos to your site to show clients your authority.
  • Are internal and external links all still live and working? Have you changed social media handles but forgotten to update website links? Has any of your “recommended providers” gone out of business or changed their URL?
  • How are clients getting from your website to you? Can you make it more efficient? Is it time to start using a CRM (such as Dubsado)? Is your CRM lead capture form accurate?

Don’t have a website yet? Maybe it’s time: Check out SlickPic Portfolio Websites for the quickest and easiest way to integrate your photography portfolio and client delivery with a sleek, modern website to kickstart your photography business.