Some of the best ways to market your photography business for zero dollars -Goals for 2022Dec 18, 2021
Set yourself up for a very successful 2022
by guest blogger J. Brown
Setting goals is something most photographers don’t really do, but how can you reach your business goals if you don't take time to set them? Just stating that you want your business to succeed isn't a clearly defined goal, you need to understand what it's going to take to achieve the success you desire.
Imagine you've started on a health kick, you don't merely set a goal of becoming slim or getting into shape. You select a goal weight, and you develop a training plan too. Your training plan might be something like working towards increasing your daily run to 5 miles by a specific date, building up gradually in quarter-mile increases. This gives you a distance to aim for and a weight goal to get down to, both these goals work hand in hand.
From doing your research, you now know that to achieve your goals, you're going to need a few resources to hand. You'll need a healthy meal plan, a fitness plan, new running shoes, a set time to train each day and maybe even a personal trainer or a friend you can set accountability goals with. Plus, it would help if you also had incentive rewards, say, for example, a generous splash out on a few new outfits once you hit your target weight. This method of in depth goal setting applied to your business in exactly the same way as if you were setting a goal to lose weight.
The key to big success in 2022 can be broken down into three simple and manageable steps, which can be easily implemented into the start of your working day. All you need is to devote at least 40 minutes to an hour each morning to working on your goals. When you set annual goals at the beginning of the year, the time frame is too long. In order to make your goals easier to monitor and execute on a daily basis, they must be broken down into smaller 90 day trackable targets.
I call these 90 day targets milestone goals, they are (IGT’s) Income Generating Tasks, because over time these essential little steps build up and become a valuable source of leads and income to your business. After you’ve worked on your milestone goals each morning you can get back to the daily running of your business. This is where photographers go wrong, they jump straight into running their business and don’t set time a side to grow it.
Let’s look at these three simple steps in more detail then I’ll give you a couple of examples.
Set Big Goals - Then break them down into manageable 90 day milestone goals.
Weekly Opportunity - Send just one email, message or make a call to collaborate each week.
Be Consistent - Do one job each day towards your goals, do one task each week towards your opportunity.
Surely it couldn’t be as simple as that, could it? Well, the answer is YES.
The problem is the majority of photographers don’t do it. Success and opportunity compound, the more you work on your goals and the more you reach out to collaborate the more success will naturally take shape. Before you know it you’re crossing off your goals quicker than ever and the inbox messages for amazing opportunities just keep rolling in.
Reaching out is one of the most powerful steps you can take to drive your business forward. But when you reach out it must be of mutual benefit to both parties. You are bringing value, content, inspiration, and collaboration towards a joint goal with the other person. This should be something exciting, something the other party will get excited about and want to be a part of. This is something I do myself every single week, the worst anyone can say is NO, but 90% of the time it’s a BIG YES.
At this moment in time there is endless opportunity out there waiting for you. Joint ventures, magazine articles, podcast interviews, exhibitions, speaking events, webinars, sponsorships, and lots more. It’s not just people wanting your images, its people and businesses needing your knowledge and experience, it’s this sort of collaboration that positions you as The Go-To Photographer in your niche.
In October of 2021 I made it my mission to write The Ambitious Photographer’s Journal, because I know what I teach produces unbelievable results, but unless photographers are working with me one-2-one they aren’t experiencing the amazing power of Goal Setting, Opportunity, and Consistency.
So, I designed and wrote a complete 52 week easy to follow inspirational and motivational journal to help photographers beat procrastination, stay on track, and reach their goals fast.
So How Does Goal Setting Work?
When it comes to goal setting most photographers don’t do it. Those who do tend to set either moderate financial targets or shoot related goals and that’s it. Nothing big and exciting and no road map of how to achieve their goals, no structure or direction of how to get there. It’s like saying I want to lose 20lbs, but then not creating a diet or exercise plan, the weight will only come off if you make changes for it to happen.
Firstly, I always insist my mentoring clients set really BIG GOALS. Why? Because the bigger the goals the more effort you have to put in, the harder you’ll work to achieve them. Now here’s the best bit, when you set BIG GOALS you’ll start seeing amazing results and benefits for your business long before the goals are even achieved. If your initial goal is to take £40k more in revenue, but then you set a more ambitious goal of £120k, when you’re just 35% into your new target you have already surpassed your original goal. Goal setting is not about being average, its about being awesome. If your goals aren’t big and scary then they probably aren’t goals anyway, they are just tasks.
Secondly you need to reverse engineer your goals, increasing your turnover by £120k is a fantastic goal but if you just set a figure without creating a roadmap to achieve it then you’ll never get there. My goal setting journal covers the eight important areas of your business and life style. These areas all feed into each other, so by working on one goal your indirectly achieving success in another. For example, if you improve your website SEO and ranking then you’ll receive more inquiries through your site. If you improve your photography branding with a more premium look and feel than you can easily increase your prices and hit your turnover goal faster. These are the eight interlinking areas:
1. Turnover & Photography Shoots
2. Brand & Pricing
3. Website, Blog & SEO
4. Social Media & Authority
5. Joint Ventures & Opportunity
6. Projects & Passive Income
7. Personal & Life Style Goals
To give you an example, for Goal Area Number 4 you may set a target to grow your LinkedIn and Facebook Profile by 2000 followers each, and commit to post 5 pieces of inspirational none sales type content weekly. Your 2000 follower goal then breaks down into a smaller milestone goal of 500 new connections every 90 days. So, each month you push yourself to reach out for those extra 166+ new followers to hit your target, while continuing to post Monday to Friday on both platforms.
As your following grows so does your engagement too. The more you are visible in the newsfeed the more credible you become and the more people like and trust you. By posting content that is enjoyable you aren’t just trying to sell, you are building relationships. The more you connect with your growing audience the more inquiries and leads will hit your inbox.
To take one of my many real life examples, US headshot photographer Karen L Richards set her Goal from Area No3 to achieve 100 Google My Business 5-star reviews. From this one simple goal amazing things started to happen in her business.
Firstly, she tweaked her package and offering to make it a more premium headshot experience, if you want to receive a lot of 5-star reviews you need to deliver a truly 5-star service. So, she included filter coffee on arrival, bought a steamer for her studio so clients clothing looked immaculate, no creases, less photoshopping too. She included a free pre-shoot consultation with outfit and styling advice to match their brand and brand message, and offered posing and expression coaching during the shoot, with no time limits on her sessions.
Over the year Karen raised her prices twice with zero objection from clients. Her average client spend increased because she attracted her premium ideal clients by offering a truly 5-star service. In addition, as her Google 5-star reviews continued to grow this cemented her position as the premium headshot photographer in her county.
Karen now has close to 150 amazing 5-star Google reviews, this has massively boosted her site SEO, she now ranks No1 in her city for headshot photography. Her online enquiries have increased through her website being at the top spot, and she is now the highest priced headshot photographer in her area, doing less shoots for more money with minimal price objections. It’s important to note Karen’s photography style has never changed throughout, she just created a 5-star experience and focused on the 5-star reviews.
Reach Out for Opportunity Each Week
The power of opportunity can be a game changer for your photography business, all you have to do is brainstorm areas for collaboration. This could be in the form of joint venture commission based partnerships, content creation or offering specialist services and packages to people, businesses, publications, events, influencers, professional bodies, and venues that already serve your ideal clients type. I’m not talking about just walking into a local business and asking if they’ll hand out a few of your leaflets, this approach rarely produces results. But what does produce results is creating inspirational content for their social media and followers, (a bit like what I’m doing right now) and creating VIP voucher offers that reward their clients with discounts or special packages for your photography services.
In my own photography business, we made hundreds of thousands of pounds in additional revenue running joint ventures with bridal shops for our wedding photography, with pet groomers for our pet portraits and even our local BMW dealership for family portraiture. We teamed up with a high end web designer to offer commercial photography services to their clients and created content for a local wedding magazine about how to have a stress free wedding morning.
At this moment there are hundreds of businesses and services in your area who serve your client type. Many of those businesses may have tens of thousands of followers on their social media pages, allowing you to use their fanbase to boost your authority.
If you don’t reach out you’ll never tap into this vast amount of opportunity just waiting for you. In The Ambitious Photographer’s Journal, I’ve made it part of a photographers weekly routine to create the habit of reaching out and called this action Opportunity Wednesdays.
You have the power to make 2022 your best year ever, but if you don’t have goals and you don’t have a plan to reach those goals, you could well go back to just having a very average 12 months. Remember, don’t set average goals set awesome ones, then take those small steps each day to make your dreams reality. Set Goals, Reach Out, Be Consistent in 2022.