Grow Your Boudoir Photography Business With These 5 Investments
To grow your boudoir photography business can get expensive, fast! From investing in your equipment to educational resources to help you grow, and all the props, furniture, and outsourcing support you need. It’s a lot!
But what I’ve learned over the years is that just because something costs a lot, doesn’t make it a good investment. And the latest and greatest isn’t always the answer either.
When you want to grow your boudoir photography business, you have to know what’s worth investing your time and money in, and what isn’t. Plain and simple.
So how do you know what makes a good investment? That’s what I’m talking about in this episode. Let’s get to it!
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Book recommendation
- Jerry Ghionis: https://www.jerryghionisphotography.com/
- Six-Figures Simplified: https://tracylynncoaching.com/six-figures-simplified/
Why Educational Investments Are the Best Ones
I decided pretty early on in my business that I’d rather invest in learning than in having the newest or nicest equipment.
Now, of course when I started my business, I made sure I had the necessities — a decent camera, a lens that I liked, and the lighting equipment I’d need. But after that, my investments revolved around education.
And here’s something you may not know…I’ve invested $50K in education in my boudoir business since I started. Sounds insane right? But it’s because of those investments, that I’ve been able to bring in over six figures each year.
If you’d rather spend your resources on equipment, this is no shade to you. It’s just something that I did and it worked well for me. And I truly believe that it’s how my business grew as fast as it did. Take it all with a grain of salt.
Read more about why education beats skill when leveling up here!
#1: Invest in a Business Coach
Your business foundations — like pricing, software and systems, accounting, and, of course, marketing — should be your number one priority. This is how you make money. This is how you’re going to be able to leave your 9-5 FASTER and make photography your full-time career.
I say it often but I’ve seen a lot of talented photographers fail at business because they weren’t taking the business side seriously. They thought their work should speak for itself. Unfortunately, that’s not really how it works.
Which brings us to the whole business coach thing.
I’ve seen decent or mediocre photographers succeed because they took the business side seriously. They invested time and money into LEARNING how to run a business, how to market their services, and focused on staying booked out.
And who did they learn how to do that from? A business coach.
It’s so much easier to learn from other photographers’ mistakes and just take the blueprint of what’s already working to accelerate your growth. And a business coach can help you take all of that knowledge and learn how to put it to best use for YOUR business.
Learn more about what a business coach can do for you here!
#2: Invest in a Solid Posing Guide
The second investment a boudoir photographer should make is in a posing guide that helps you feel confident enough to shoot in manual mode. I know that this sounds pretty basic, but you’d be surprised at the amount of photographers who are still shooting in auto mode to be safe.
Having a solid sequence of poses in your back pocket is KEY to nailing every single session. And it’s what can get you to manual mode faster, making your sessions run much smoother.
And it’s always good to be inspired, whether that’s magazine photos, Instagram images from other photographers, or even models, or something else entirely. But sometimes, it’s better to invest in a posing guide or two so that you can also see exactly how another photographer poses clients.
It just makes things easier when you get into the studio.
Pssst…on the hunt for a good posing guide? Check out the TLC Posing Guide here!
#3: Invest in a Workshop
After you’ve got some basics down and are starting to bring in some money with your business, it’s time for the fun stuff!
You’re confident in the service you provide, even if you feel your work could be better. That’s when you know it’s time to invest in a photography workshop.
I worked really hard to build a solid business, a solid product, and a solid experience. And then I went to my first Jerry Ghionis five-day workshop and focused on the art I was creating.
And then another, and then another. I eventually did a private mentorship with Jerry, but what this all taught me was I had so much to learn! Things I wasn’t even aware of.
When you invest in a photography workshop, take it seriously, then go home and practice and implement what you’ve learned, a few things happen:
- You get even more confident in your pricing, because you’ve leveled up. You know your skills are on par with the pros, or that they’re at least getting there because you’re learning from them.
- Current and potential clients start taking note of this.
- Your schedule starts booking out even further in advance
WHY NOT WORKSHOP FIRST?
Now let’s back up a minute…if this is true, why wouldn’t you START with a workshop and then go with a business coach?
I think a business coach should come first because you need to understand the foundations of a business to sustain growth. Leveling up your skills can come as you continue working. But that business stuff doesn’t come as naturally to many of us creatives as the photography aspect of it does.
And it’s really easy to fall into burnout mode when you start booking a lot of clients but don’t know how to sustain that. You have to also know how to handle that growth, and it comes by knowing things like:
- How to price yourself
- How to automate things like invoicing, scheduling, etc.
- How to market your biz to your ideal clients
I know that’s not exactly a fun thing to hear, but think about it like this…
You could blow off the basics, grow really fast, have a good time, and then crash and burn. OR you could get the foundations in place now. Then, grow steadily and sustainably, and then foster the longevity of your business.
The second option is much better, I think.
Read more about pricing yourself to avoid that crash and burn here!
#4: Invest in Your Retouching Skills
The next great investment I’d recommend spending money on is learning how to hone in on your retouching style through a course or workshop. This will help you stand out from other photographers in your niche by establishing a style (which is important for branding).
BTW — it’s imperative that you stand out in your niche in order to book more clients!
And you may eventually decide to outsource this part of the process, but you have to first define it. Basically, know HOW to retouch, but you also know WHEN to outsource it.
Why is retouching so important for your brand? Read all about it here!
#5: Invest in Good Equipment
Now, let’s talk about investing in equipment. You didn’t think I was going to say this, were you? I did say earlier that investing in education was a priority, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good camera by your side.
It just means all the other stuff comes FIRST.
After you’ve built your business up with the other investments we’ve talked about — a business coach, posing guide, a workshop with your favorite photographer, and you know how to retouch and have nailed your style…
…then I’d say go for that nice camera you’ve been eyeing for a while!
Learn More Business Foundations With Six-Figures Simplified
The truth is, nailing your business foundation is far more important than your actual art. Remember, talent doesn’t always win, and that’s especially true with photography.
The better business owner will scale much faster than the more talented photographer. Because we’re not JUST here to take photos and have fun. We’re also in this for the long haul — to create a business and support ourselves or our families through it.
If you want to learn more about how to get those oh-so-important business foundations in place, consider checking out Six-Figures Simplified.
In this group program, I’ll help you get out of your ruts, sticking points, and holdups…and find your way to the photography business of your dreams. You’ll learn how to build a sustainable business that helps you work less and find more fulfillment in a balanced life!