Besides all the client work you have to do, there’s all the business stuff as well. From essentials like paying taxes and updating your finances to brand development, planning, and visioneering, it’s hard to know what has to be done now and what can wait.
Too often, we waste our money and time in areas that aren’t actually helping to grow our businesses simply because we want to or because we think it’s what we need to do.
So today I want to share with you a few common places that you may be wasting your money and time so that you can focus on what’s really going to help you grow instead.
1. Photography Business Branding
While I believe it’s very important to have a brand that speaks to your ideal client, if you haven’t identified who your ideal client is and what appeals to them, you’re basically wasting your time here and will want to re-do it all sooner than later.
While you’re still growing your business and still seeking a larger client base, keep things simple. Don’t stress about what colors are best, if it’s the best font, etc, because you’re likely going to change it once you get more established and have a better idea of who you want to appeal to and what you really want.
Start with a basic photography website and a customizable template that will get you looking professional.
Save your money and time for that custom website design and branding package until you know exactly what is going to help you get more clients. Because until you know who your ideal client is and exactly what you want to accomplish with your website, having a custom website design isn’t going to help you get more clients than a customizable template will and it’ll just be a waste of your time and money.
2. Fancy DIY Packaging
Photographers LOVE creating beautiful packaging to deliver their images and products in.
While this isn’t wrong, because we’re so visual and often love the little crafty touches that are easy to add to packaging, it’s easy to spend too much time and money in this area.
While I’ve seen lots of beautiful DIY packaging options, they often take lots of time to put together that could be better spent on marketing and getting more clients.
Your packaging is not going to get you any new clients. It’s not going to make you more money.
So don’t waste your time creating lots of hand-crafted packaging.
Find something that looks awesome but that you don’t have to create yourself. Even if it costs a bit more, remember that your time is more valuable than you think.
If you waste an hour creating packaging, you need to be pricing extra to make up for that hour of work when you simply could have paid a few extra dollars and just purchased something pre-made that is professional and matches your brand instead.
3. Social Media Marketing
Besides the obvious time we spend browsing Facebook or Pinterest, people tend to put a lot of effort into managing and promoting social media pages without seeing much actual return.
Instead of doing so much on Facebook or Pinterest, focus your time on growing an email list of current and prospective clients. When you post something on Facebook, you never know if your fan is going to see it or not (and they may want to), while you know that every person who signs up for your email list will receive the email from you and get a chance to hear what is happening with your business.
Blogging is one of the other good places to spend your time instead. By using Facebook and Google+ to drive traffic to your blog posts, you’ll maximize the chances of converting these people into clients.
You can read my favorite and most effective way of using Facebook to actually get clients here. Beyond that, know that your efforts aren’t nearly as effective as they used to be and you’re likely wasting most of your time trying to grow social media profiles.
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