Something that frustrated me when I was starting my photography business was that all the online mentors seemed to live in affluent areas (usually in the US).
I was jealously seething. Here I was in the photography trenches, living in a low income city (Peterborough in the UK) while my mentors were basking in the photographic delights of New York and LA etc.
They’d talk about using fancy charity balls to book $3000 family portrait sessions.
I was thinking…
“Fancy balls… …in Peterborough!”
They’d talk about networking with wedding planners, but a quick Google check showed a grand total of 2 wedding planners in Peterborough.
I was starting to think…
Can you even be a full-time photographer in a poor area? Is it possible?
Well, I’m a positive and stubborn little Herbert, so let me share the thought process that helped me go full time in a poor area:
- I can become a big fish in a small pond. I may not earn the same as a top photographer in LA, but my costs are WAY lower too.
- My competition is less intense and they’re all targeting the low end. I thought “great – that will save me more room at the higher end!”
- I looked at the flashy cars driving around and thought “Clearly SOME people have some money around here – I’ll find out how to reach them.” My quality clients ended up coming from the nice villages around Peterborough.
- There may only be two wedding planners in town, but having just one of them referring me their clients would be fantastic.
- I discovered that Peterborough does have 3 or 4 big charity balls each year, plus a number of smaller ones. I also discovered I didn’t have to just offer one family portrait session per auction – how about 5, or even 10!?
Later on I realised that it’s not always the people with lots of money who value photography. It’s simply people who dearly value their family and aren’t afraid to openly show it. I found teachers often make good clients. They may not get huge salaries, but they tend to have an inherent appreciation of the importance of family.
The celebrated marketing genius ‘Drayton Bird’ taught me that if you want to find good quality clients you have to work with the people who already do business with those people.
So, that’s what I did. I teamed up with a jeweller, an estate agent, a language teacher, a hair salon… etc. etc. …. and a bunch of wedding businesses to promote my family portrait and wedding photography.
There are a whole bunch of ways to team up with businesses. For example:
- Give their clients a voucher that entitles them to a free session and a free print. Write the voucher as if it’s a gift from the business. It makes the business look generous and it brings you quality people who nearly always invest in more than the free print.
- I interviewed 6 different wedding suppliers (via email) and designed a digital book from their answers. We then all sent it out to our enquiries to help promote each other. Check out the idea here.
- Create photography for the business in exchange for a display of your work in their establishment.
- Have a photography open day at their establishment. You can do mini family sessions and give their clients a great deal, or do a profit share etc.
- Work with a local charity where you offer a percentage of your profits to the charity if they promote to their donors.
When you have a driving determination and a positive mind you can see the opportunities all around you.When you have a driving determination and a positive mind you can see the opportunities all around you. Click To Tweet
Of course it’s a lot quicker and easier to just get someone else to tell you exactly what to do, step-by-step. That’s what we’re here for.
The first step is to check out our free email course ‘How to go from part-time to full-time in no time’.
- How I tripled my family portrait income without raising my prices
- How to get a constant stream of good quality enquiries and turn them into bookings
- How to overcome the 12 mental blocks that are stopping you becoming a photographer
- How to differentiate your photography business so people are prepared to pay you more
- How I got wedding venues and wedding planners to recommend me even though I was a new photographer and they’d never met me!
- I’ll even share an amazing pricing spreadsheet I created. It shows the income and costs for an entire year and tells you how much money you need to make from each client
It’s much better to have a great photography business in a poor area than a poor business in a great area.It's much better to have a great photography business in a poor area than a poor business in a great area. Click To Tweet