Here we go, let’s do another Q & A!
1. What are some content pillars for photographers?
First of all, if you don’t know what this is, content pillars are rotating themes that you try and focus on every time you are on the internet. Whether it be a blog post, social media, your newsletter, anything like that.
Generally you want to stick to about five content pillars, any more than that and it starts to feel a bit all over the place. These content pillars can be literally anything. You want to be building relationships. This is how you get clients, building relationships.
What are the common threads you have with your ideal clients? There’s probably the obvious one. Maybe you’re a mom and you want to photograph moms. Cool. Motherhood could be a content pillar. But, think outside of the box.
Your content pillars need to be something that your ideal client can connect over. For me personally, travel is one of my content pillars. Motherhood stories are one of my content pillars, families are another. My experience with babies is a content pillar. Education is one as well. I talk about education a lot, and my connection with educating photographers.
side note, what you’ve talked about in the caption of a post or text of a blog, 100% does not need to match the image.
So if that’s what you were hung up on, it doesn’t matter. Share family pictures, share baby pictures, whatever it is that you photograph. And then in the caption you talk about your content pillars.
2. Tips and tools for tracking photography business expenses?
There are a million apps, websites and ways that you can track your business income and expenses. All that matters is that you find what works for you and you do it.
If you’ve been looking for a while and you haven’t found something that works for you, here’s what I would recommend, hire a CPA that does it for you.
Having a CPA is not expensive. I pay $90 a month and I literally do not touch any of my business expenses nor do we file our own taxes. He organizes everything into what type of expenses they are so we know what’s a write off and what’s not. He figures out my monthly tax payments and files my state sales taxes for me automatically from my accounts.
Literally, I don’t do anything. Every once in a while, he’ll have a question about some new expense or some new person I’ve hired or worked with. I spend 20 minutes a month on my business expense tracking, this is me running the reports and emailing them over, that’s it.
I want you to realize hiring a CPA to work for you full time is not expensive. So, if you’ve had that story in your head for a long time, that it’s expensive and you have to DIY it, stop, hire somebody and move on.
If you really want to be doing it yourself you could use QuickBooks. This is not just a jump in and do it program though. There is a process to using it and getting started. The key to success with QuickBooks is staying on top of it. So, if you’re the type of person that cannot do it on a weekly basis, it’s not gonna work for you.
If you’ve got a CRM, like Dubsado, you can do income and expenses inside of it. I am a Dubsado user and I do not use this feature but, I’m sure it’s similar to QuickBooks in that you have to stay on top of it or it’s a hard fail. That’s the key to success for any of these systems. If you don’t stay on top of it, you’re going to be drowning and scrambling figuring things out.
You can also just use a traditional Google sheet or Excel spreadsheet. Again, you have to get in there and touch it all the time so that it stays accurate.
I am a huge advocate for just hiring someone. I don’t care if you are brand new in business or you have been in business 10 years, if keeping track of your financials is a struggle for you, then offload it. It is not expensive. The peace of mind you get is freaking insane. Just hire someone, my friends.
3. How do I build my photography business email list with local potential clients?
Start by creating a freebie and make sure it is something people want.
What is a freebie? A freebie can be literally anything. Check out this list of ideas:
A freebie needs to be something of value, but it needs to not cost you anything or very, very little. Think about who your ideal client is and what they want.
It takes a lot for us to give up our email addresses because they are all completely slammed and overflowing with garbage. Why should I give you my email? What’s in it for me? You have to create something that is going to be buzzworthy that they actually want, and it needs to line up with your ideal client.
Once you’ve created your freebie you then you set up your email funnel. Flow Desk is my top recommendation as it is the simplest I’ve found. Your ideal client exchanges their email for your freebie and they get added to your list that you communicate with regularly.
You’re doing all the work upfront, and then you’re going to sit back and watch those emails come in.
So after you’ve created the freebie, you’ve set up the email funnel through an automated email provider so that it automatically collects the email and sends out the freebie. At that point, you just have to talk about it. Here are all the places I would recommend you talk about the freebie:
The more popular of an idea you have the better it’s going to go and the more emails you’re going to get. But if you don’t talk about the freebie you created, people aren’t going to sign up for it.
It might take you a few tries to land on something that actually brings in new clients and people are actually downloading, that’s okay. Don’t get stuck on the first thing being perfect.
4. I need help finding my ideal client and getting them to actually follow and connect with me.
This is something I go really deep into in my course, The Organized Photographer. You can get on the waitlist if you’re interested. However, here’s what I want you to know. When finding your ideal client you need to narrow in to a very small description.
What are they interested in? What zip code do they live in? What’s their income bracket. Based on your pricing, can they afford you or not? What kind of clothing do they show up to your session in? What are their personalities like? Are they super touchy, feely, or are they outdoorsy? What’s their jam? Where are they eating out? Where are they shopping? What coffee shops are they going to? You need to really get into their head so that you can find them.
So let’s say you have it narrowed down. You know where they spend their time, where they spend their money and who they socialize with and what’s important to them.
Two important things, in-person and on the internet.
In person, I want you to go to those places. I want you to go to that cute local coffee shop and work for a day and take a photo and tag it. Go to that boutique, talk to the store owner, and spend a little bit of money there. Take a photo and tag it. I want you to go to that same playground with your kids and take a photo and tag it. I want you to show up physically and then participate online with these locations and businesses because the algorithm will show you to people who are interacting at the same places. This is how your ideal client finds you and you find them.
On the internet, engage with all of the places your ideal client would be, online. Follow all of those local businesses and hashtags and engage with them. It’s not enough to just follow them.
If you’re interested in getting on my weekly subscriber’s list I would love to have you! I send out a Monday morning newsletter called Lifestyle Lessons and it has 3-4 tips, tricks or pieces of information. Easy Peasy.
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