Starting A Photography Business: A Structured Approach For Success

Starting a photography business seems easy to begin with. All one needs is a good camera, an understanding of photography techniques, a love for photography itself, and the enthusiasm to turn a passionate hobby into a business.Unfortunately, it really isn’t as simple as that!The moment a talented amateur photographer makes the decision to become a professional, to earn money from their photographs, he or she ceases to be a photographer and instead becomes a marketer and seller of photography.The distinction between photographer and businessperson is crucial and understanding of this is essential if the would-be professional has a desire to be successful at selling their photographic work.Put simply, photographers do not make money taking photographs. They make money selling photographs.Sadly, the ease of entry into the photography business is so simple that many photographers find themselves asking the question, “how do I start a photography business” after they’ve already discovered that the reality is not as simple as they thought it would be after all!For those who are new to the photography business, or considering making the jump from being an amateur to professional photographer, there is a structured approach that could save some agony further down the line. This systematic methodology is called “The Six Pillars Of Success” and can apply to almost any small business.The six pillars are:
Mindset
Positioning
Marketing
SEO
Sales
Client relationships
MindsetBeing in business is not for the faint-hearted or thin-skinned. Because of this, it’s essential to maintain a positive mindset and keep your business goals firmly in sight. Commitment is a big factor here, too, and it’s important to be 100% committed to your success no matter the current circumstances. This also means investing in your continuing business education, and having a forward-thinking mentality that’s focused on your future growth.PositioningKnowing where to position oneself in the marketplace is something that will set the aspiring professional photographer apart from the competition. Identifying a photographic genre as a specialty, together with the demographic and personality of the ideal target client are a great start here. A pricing model also helps to determine which of those ideal clients will be willing to invest in the photography services and products on offer.MarketingIn its most simple form, marketing is the process of earning, and competing for, your ideal clients’ attention. Effective marketing helps to educate your photography prospects about who you are, your values and beliefs, how you conduct business, and how the client can most benefit from the experience of working with you.SEOSearch engine optimization (SEO) is critical to the success of any business in this day and age. A photographer might be the most personable and friendly person in the world and produce the most incredible photography their clients could possibly imagine, but that won’t matter one bit if no one can find them online. Even with the most amazing-looking photography website, it’s essential to ensure that the search engines have a good idea of what the website is actually about.SalesNo one wants to come across as the stereotypical used-car salesman, and if the client senses the photographer might be uncomfortable with his or her own prices or at all nervous about asking for the sale, they will instinctively become much more resistant to the sales process, making the sales job much harder. The answer is to learn how to sell from an ethical standpoint, and with the client’s needs firmly at heart.Client RelationshipsThis is where most professional photographers really trip up! They attract the right clients, create beautiful work for them, do a great job of selling it, and then never talk to the client again! This is a huge mistake, and can mean the photographer is stuck in a never-ending quest for new clients. The solution is to stay in touch with your family of valued clients. It’s easy to send them an occasional card in the mail, an email newsletter, or even call them on the telephone just to see how they’re doing.An Upward Spiral To SuccessAs you reach the last of the six pillars, you’ll see that a happy family of clients naturally causes you to be happier as a businessperson, which helps create an even stronger positive attitude.You also get to know your clients in a lot more depth, which then helps you when it comes to positioning yourself and your business in the marketplace.The process of marketing becomes much simpler and a lot less costly, since you’ll see a lot more benefit from word of mouth marketing.The SEO for your photography website is also made much simpler because your blog articles, for example, further help the search engines to see you as a local authority.The sales process becomes easier to manage because you’ve now created a good reputation within the community.Finally, your family of happy clients will love you more as your photography business becomes more established.

Importance of Branding for E-Commerce Businesses

E-commerce businesses are becoming a reliable way to buy products online. Branding plays a direct role in improving chances of e-commerce business success. An increasing number of global customers are switching to e-commerce sites to purchase everything from groceries to apparel, and electronics to lifestyle products. The e-commerce industry has completely transformed the way in which consumers around the world access products and services. It has suddenly brought a world of options to the fingertips of end users. The future seems bright for the e-commerce industry, with major players branching out into newer product categories frequently (thus setting the standards for smaller brands).

For e-commerce businesses, things are going well enough, but the competition is also fierce. New e-commerce brands are launching every day and persistently trying to get a foothold online. When it comes to branding, e-commerce companies are leaving no stone unturned. In this scenario, it is vital that you build and implement a high quality branding strategy for your e-commerce business.

Branding Strategies For E-Commerce Businesses

By having a result-oriented, effective branding plan for your e-commerce business, you can stand out amongst your competitors. To achieve that, you must determine what makes your e-commerce business a unique player in the industry. Are you offering high quality products at the best available rates? Do you organize regular discounts and offers for your customers? Are you adding new product categories to meet more customer demands? What are the factors that would convince customers to choose your brand against others? E-commerce business owners must strive to highlight the unique selling points of their brand. Only then can an e-commerce brand be boldly promoted to larger audiences.

As an e-commerce brand, you have to be at the forefront when it comes to attracting product vendors as well as consumers to your e-store. Vendors would be interested in using your marketplace, if it has a strong brand that keeps providing value to customers. The number of sellers and customers you bring in to your network depends on the strength of your e-commerce brand, and how well it delivers on its promises. If you are intelligent in your branding, and consistent in your service quality, your e-commerce brand can achieve considerable success.

E-commerce branding, like all branding, is influencing the perception of your brand and its services, in the eyes of the customer. Effective e-commerce branding will make marketing easier, retain more customers, drive up loyalty, and create better potential value for steady, long-term success.

The way you must approach an e-commerce branding strategy is by highlighting some key points. With branding, you must uphold your business’s core mission, the problems you aim to solve for your customers, standards that it adheres to, and proof of the quality of services you provide. What are the factors involved in business branding and their importance?

E-Commerce Branding – Methods and Importance

1. Your Brand Image - A stellar, uniquely identifiable brand image helps customers attach value to your e-commerce brand’s personality. This includes various things such as logos, banners, taglines, marketing captions, social content etc., which should always represent your brand the best. This is quite important if you want to create value for potential customers and convert them into loyal customers. A good brand image goes a long way in retaining customers, by continually generating interest for your e-commerce brand’s offerings.

2. Customer Satisfaction - Customers are everything, when it comes to e-commerce or any other type of business. You can actually enhance customer experiences and drive up satisfaction (and loyalties). This is a big part of establishing your e-commerce brand. Put your best foot forward while marketing, deliver on your promises you make, and provide unmatched service and support to enhance your brand’s potential value. Remember that satisfied existing customers can and will bring in newer customers to your e-commerce business. Maintain your integrity and keep reinventing to bolster your brand’s chances of business success.

3. Find Your Unique Selling Proposition - As an e-commerce business owner you must determine the USP of your brand. This will help you brand and promote it better to larger groups of potential customers. Think about what sets you apart from dozens of competitors vying for true e-commerce glory. Is it your service quality or support? Is it the trust of your customers and your track record? Do you provide innovative offers, discounts and promotions on special occasions? Do you house the widest variety of rare products? You must determine why customers would choose your e-commerce site. What extra value can you offer to your potential customers that convince them to use your platform again and again? Find your USP and use it to strengthen your brand.

4. Utilize All Channels - Technological advances in the past decade demand that your e-commerce business maximizes its presence on all social, web-based and mobile platforms. More and more potential customers buy and sell through handheld devices, and almost all of them are on social websites. All your competitors are doing it, and so should you. It will help you make your brand easily accessible to larger audiences, which in turn will bring more conversions and significantly better revenues. Social and mobile should be the front and center of your branding strategy.

E-commerce sites can benefit from the above mentioned branding strategies. By using the concepts provide here, you can establish your e-commerce brand and take your business to the next level.

Don’t Let Them Tell You Different: Your Inner Beauty Is Undefinable

Defining beauty isn’t easy. In fact, for every culture, it means something slightly different. A tribe in Africa treats female beauty to mean a curvy, voluptuous woman, while society in America wants their women to be thin as nails. As different as priorities and perspectives of outer beauty in each culture may be, one thing is the same – inner beauty stems from confidence, inner peace and a positive mindset.Inner beauty isn’t about the face you want to have or attaining the body you’ve always dreamed of having; it’s about being happy with what you already have. Don’t you love your petite nose, slanted eyes, or dimples? If not, you should because true outer beauty begins and ends with true inner beauty. Love yourself – and all of your many unique qualities – and as a result look beautiful to the rest of the world, too.Inner Beauty Stems From ConfidenceWhen you feel good inside, you look good on the outside. Has a co-worker on Monday morning every remarked on your “glow” after having a relaxing weekend away from work and your many work-related responsibilities? It wasn’t their imagination. Your “glow” arose from rosy skin, and a relaxed vibe from the stress-free couple of days away from the office. And when that happens, you radiate a new, happier self. Like magic, you’ve gotten more attractive to each and every person you meet, and all thanks to an inner beauty, due to acceptance and confidence that translates to your outer self.Inner Beauty Stems From Inner PeaceDespite what you may think, you’re not your most beautiful when you’ve just had your hair professional done, or when you’ve just treated yourself to buying a designer dress to wear out for the night. You don’t look your best when you spend hours putting on make-up or only after working off that recent weight you gained last month.Instead, you look your best when you’re at peace with who you are, and where you are in life. Western culture has told us many things about beauty, all of which suggests that in order to be our most beautiful self we must weight this amount (no more, no less!), buy this cream, inject this anti-aging laser treatment, or show up wearing these designer brand of shoes. However, we don’t need to fulfill society’s silly standards of beauty. Instead, we can create our own.Inner beauty isn’t so easy to attain, because one of the key aspects of achieving it is first achieving inner peace. Are you feeling at ease about yourself, or uncomfortable in your skin? True inner peace (not some flittering thought, but a constant state of calm and peace about yourself) can come in many forms such as accepting your “flaws” as part of what makes you, you. It can come in the form of liking who you see in the mirror (no matter how much you want to change). It can be knowing yourself inside and out; believing in yourself and your dreams, and never letting anyone else tell you who and what you’re capable of. Are you feeling at peace about who you are, and what you’re here to do? That inner peace will undoubtedly shine through in your skin, your smile, and even the way you walk.In addition, your inner beauty will send a vibe to all those you meet that you’re positive, happy and peaceful about yourself and the world. And who wouldn’t be attracted to that?Inner Beauty is Attainable With the Right MindsetAnything you want in life can be achieved with the right mindset, and when you have the right mindset, you’ll always exude beauty. If you’ve ever felt empowered after writing a short story, gave a speech to others who felt moved by what you had to say, or felt as though you are unstoppable after running a marathon, that’s the power of your mind at work.Inner beauty comes from many sources, but one of the quickest ways to feel good about yourself and everything you stand for is through a positive, clear way of thinking. Love who you are, and your beauty will always follow.