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Where to Invest In Your Photo Business

November 18, 2013 - Business, Photography

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BUSINESS

PHOTOGRAPHY

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Dear Jasmine,
My question is this: I feel totally overwhelmed with everything that I, as a photographer, want to invest in right now. Whether it's investing in a blog design that allows me to feel confident posting my work, upgrading my website, purchasing lenses/equipment, attending conferences, or updating my business cards, I'm finding it so overwhelming to know where on earth to begin. Do you have any advice on prioritizing investments as a photographer? I feel like my head is just spinning these days!
Sincerely,
Inquiring Investor

Dear Inquiring Investor,
I just want to take a moment and let you know you are not alone. There are thousands of budding photographers who feel the same way…and there are thousands of established photographers who grapple with the same questions. As a business owner, investing money can feel overwhelming because you don't want to make the wrong decision
.
While I can't help with what is right or wrong for your business, I can confidently encourage you to prioritize your needs. During my first year of business, I made a list of everything I needed, then placed them in order of their importance. Now here's where things get personal: someone told me that as an entrepreneur, your natural inclination is to focus on the weakest part of your business, but the real benefit would come from focusing on your strengths. It takes two to three times more effort to improve weaknesses than it does to showcase strengths. In light of this, I decided to prioritize my investments on aspects of the business I wanted to highlight.

I needed a lot of basic things when I started my business (a computer, lenses, a camera bag, flash, etc.), but I also wanted to invest in creating an online presence and attend workshops. It was then that I made the decision to invest in things that couldn't be rented. I could rent a lens, I couldn't rent a computer. I could rent a flash, but I couldn't rent a blog. What I discovered was that I couldn't rent my brand, so I focused heavily on building that before anything else. (If you'd like to read how I rented and later invested in gear, THIS post will be helpful.)

One of the first things I invested in (outside my initial, simple camera/lenses purchase) was customizing my blog. I wanted to personalize my web presence in a way that was unique to me. This has stayed true since the beginning and I find myself investing in things I can make wholly my own. In a sea of talented photographers, I think it's important to not just stand on the strength of a portfolio, but also showcase the artist behind the lens.

If you're in a place where you can make your business work with the gear you have, I suggest investing in ways to highlight you. If that means upgrading your website or investing in a class/conference/workshop, do it. Photographers may use the same cameras, the same Photoshop actions, and/or the same lenses you do, but they can never be you. You have the corner of the market on that, Inquiring Investor…own it.

Stay Fabulous,
j*

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FREE PRODUCTIVITY PLANNER

Life is about to get a whole lot easier.  

Desperate for change, I created a Productivity Planner to help streamline my workflow and I kissed stress goodbye. 

[With cherry flavored chapstick.]  

FREE INSTAGRAM GUIDE

Oh, friend, it's time to start growing your business on Instagram.
  
Sign up to receive a free Instagram marketing guide, helpful tips, and free stock photos you can use for your business.  

It’s basically an Instanote sent to your inbox to help push you toward your social goals and help grow your following.

FREE STOCK PHOTOS

You're busy, pulled in lots of directions, and trying to run a business. 

In addition to all this, you know you should be posting on social media, so how do you balance it all? 

I'm dedicated to your success, so download five free stock photos to use online...I hope this empowers you to attract dream customers along the way!

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