This was the best year I’ve ever had in my photography business! I set a wild-crazy goal at the beginning of the year to not just increase my sales but double them and get my company running like a well-oiled machine. It meant making A LOT of changes and trying new things….so I thought I would take a moment to share with you five things I did this year that contributed to my success in a major way!
1. Monday morning meetings. Every Monday morning my studio manager and I would have a 25 minute check in. We had a list of 10 questions we would go through and answer. I kept the list in a google doc and every week we would just add another line. By the end of the year we could really see the progress we had made and it kept us accountable to our goals. Now I know not everyone has staff or a business partner to do this with – but you could totally do this exercise with yourself or another photographer friend who’s as determined as you to make things happen! Want our list of ten steps? Grab them here!
2. Purchased Pro-Select – This would be one of the “not-so-crazy” things I did. I’ve been avoiding pro-select for years. I didn’t really want to make the investment, the software, the projector. Even finding the time to learn another piece of software seemed a bit overwhelming. Anyway, this year, I finally did it. I tell you, I am KICKING myself for not having done it years ago. Lightroom on a 44″ television screen is no substitute! I’m happy to report, my first sale more than paid for the system and I haven’t had a portrait sale less than $2000 since the investment!
3. Only offered only a “candid digital collection”. This one would be on the wild side. I offered only the “candid” photos as digital files to my wedding clients. I explained that I reserved the right to the formal digitals as this was my artwork and I wanted to make sure those photographed were optimized and retouched to perfection. Then I introduced an “artist choice” wedding album during the sales session (completely designed) and the incentive to buy was the ENTIRE digital wedding collection. 100% of our wedding clients took the upsell and bought an “artist choice” album…resulting in a year of $6000 to $10,000 weddings.
4. Raised some prices 20%. Took my bread and butter product (Business Portraits) which I had inherited from the previous owner of the studio and raised the price 20%. They went from $250 to $299. In the entire year, I only had two past clients mention the price change. Any leads that didn’t want to pay $299 probably weren’t going to pay $250 either!
5. Re-worked my numbers. This past year I ran my numbers so they were based on my personal budget and my desired lifestyle. My goal was to work smarter, not harder. I had a 9 month old baby and a 4 year old at home. I had big goals for my company, but didn’t want to sacrifice my lifestyle (aka in my case: family time). I worked my numbers in more detail then ever before and specifically based them on the exact number of hours I wanted to contribute to my business. Knowing my numbers enabled me to hire my first two employees: a part-time studio manager (28 hours a week) and a part-time retouch artist (3 hours a week). I created the most boundaries I ever had around my business and personal life and at the end of the year, I worked less and increased sales by 107%. Crazy eh? If you’re interested in knowing more about the numbers bit – I’ve developed software to help other photographers get these same numbers figured out…easily! If you want to feel confident about your prices, you can join here for only $25/month!
So all in all I met that wild-crazy goal and totally have my company running like a machine. I hope this has inspired you to make some changes too! Thinking of trying something wild or not-so-crazy? Let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear about it!