Reality Check: A Few Business Tips

by | Sep 4, 2021

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

Over the years I’ve seen a great many photographer’s businesses fail, not because will they weren’t skilled image makers but because they didn’t have any business sense. Similarly, I’ve seen more than a few mildly talented photographers become huge successes because they know how to sell themselves and their work. Of course there are some great photographers who are also great at business and you probably already know their names but the truth is that they are the exception to the rule.

There are lots of  so-called rules that can affect a photographer’s profitability but here are a few of my favorites. If you don’t believe these rules apply to your operation, then you’re an exception to them and I congratulate you on having such good luck. But over the years, when speaking with owners of both large and small studios, all of them agreed that these rules were true for them:

  1. A prospective client must encounter at least 28 impressions of a photographer before they actually become a billable client.
  2. 80% of a studio’s gross income comes from just 20% of its customers.
  3. But don’t ignore those smaller customers. Dave Lavinsky, writing in Forbes said that “How you treat your smallest customer is the true measure of your success and your values. Focusing your attention on your smallest customer reveals that you care for all the people aligned to your business. This speaks to your integrity and it creates a foundation for very strong customer loyalty.”
  4. When a client has a good experience with your studio they tell two people about it. When they have a bad experience with you they tell ten people. So the odds are not in your favor, which is why it pays to do a good job the first time, even when you may not feel like it.

That last one is especially important. How you handle client complaints is sometimes more important that the quality of your photography services you deliver. That’s a topic I’ve covered before and here is a post called Happy Clients Equals More Income that expands on that subject. Give it a read when you have time.