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Make 6 Figures as a Boudoir Photographer in 2024 (And Finally Leave Your 9-5!)

When I was starting my boudoir photography business back in 2013, all I wanted to do was create something that could replace my 9-5 job as a dental hygienist. 

I hated that no matter how hard I worked, it seemed like I didn’t make any progress. Or really, that the hard work I was putting in wasn’t reflected in my salary — and didn’t afford me the freedom I craved. 

It took me four years to build a business that could support me enough to go full-time, and although I have no regrets, I don’t want this to happen to you. 

I want you to make the switch so much faster than I did. Because it is possible. 

So in this episode, I’m going to break down how you can build a path toward making 6 figures as a boudoir photographer (and create a business that supports the life you want to live!).

Let’s get to it!

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Tip #1: Figure Out What You Want

So the first thing you need to do is figure out what you want. Obviously, you know you want to quit your day job or find something that you’re passionate about, but more specifically, what do you want to accomplish? 

Is it to actually hit 6 figures as a boudoir photographer? Is there a different number that will help you feel comfortable enough to leave your job? 

Is it more vacation? Less working hours during the week?

Think about where you want to go. But also, be realistic about it. If right now all you can put towards your business is ten hours a week, be honest about that. If that’s what you can give right now, that’s what you can give. And there is NOTHING wrong with that. 

(BTW — you don’t have to be making 6 figures to have a successful business. Success looks different for everyone, but you do need to define what it will mean for YOU.)

Tip #2: Be Realistic About What Your Schedule Can Handle

Another thing you need to do is figure out how long it takes you to work with each client, from initial contact to photo delivery. And of course, be realistic about this too. 

Because knowing this will help you figure out how many you can take on at a time. 

And when you pair that with a monetary goal — like how much you feel comfortable enough making to quit your 9-5 — you can figure out how much you need to make per session. 

So let’s say you only have 10 hours per week to dedicate to your business. And you know that each client takes about 8 hours from start to finish (you’ll need the leftover hours to work on backend tasks like marketing or accounting). 

That means you can take on one client per week, or four per month. 

But let’s say you need to bring in about $5,000 per month in total revenue to feel comfortable leaving your job, so you can cover your salary, expenses, etc. 

That would mean you need to charge about $1,250 per client. 

These numbers are just an example, but now you can get a feel for what you need to charge. 

(Psssst…need help figuring out your prices? I’ve got an easy-to-use calculator for you here!)

Tip #3: Don’t Forget About Client Experience

From start to finish, the client experience needs to be seamless, so don’t forget about it!

Think about any bad experience you’ve had with a service in the past. It probably left a bad taste in your mouth, and you haven’t gone back, right? 

Now, think about a GOOD experience you’ve had. A business you love, a restaurant you frequent, something like that. You probably rave about it to anyone who will listen, right? (For me, that’s my FAVORITE East Tennessee restaurant, Aubrey’s, but I digress). 

It’s the same thing with your boudoir photography biz. Create a good experience and the raving reviews are sure to follow!

Because remember, clients are going to tell their friends about their experience with you, whether it’s good or bad. So make sure they have the best experience possible — from initial contact all the way to the final product. 

Tip #4: Know How to Pose Your Clients

The next thing you need to know is how to pose your clients effectively. This not only helps you deliver great photos but also helps use your time wisely. 

I literally run every session exactly the same, doing all the same poses every single session. Why? Because it ensures I deliver a great photo the client is happy with and that I don’t spend all my time trying to come up with new ways to do it. 

And when we warm up with what I like to call icebreaker poses, I make sure to show them after I photograph each one. By the time we’ve made it through these four poses, they’re more comfortable and confident.

Which means the rest of the session, and the poses we do, go a lot smoother…and thus, more efficient!

Sure, I do customize some parts of these posing sequences to customize to the client, but for the most part, I have a posing sequence that looks good on everyone!

Tip #5: Build a Portfolio That Attracts Your Ideal Client

Another thing you need to do is create a portfolio that will attract your ideal clients. 

But it’s not just about having your best photos in your portfolio. It’s also about showcasing the photos that will help your ideal clients visualize themselves there. If you don’t have something they can visualize themselves in, it’s going to be hard to get them to book!

You want them to see those images in your portfolio — whether that’s on your website, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or wherever — and want to BE that model. 

So if you’re still not 100% sure who your ideal client is, I’d recommend taking some time to work through that so you can nail this down. 

Learn a Few Tricks of the Trade to Help You Get There Faster!

Ultimately, running a successful boudoir photography business isn’t really about talent or skill. Don’t get me wrong, those are very important, but knowing how to do business well, and keep your clients happy is just as, if not more, important!

And ironing out what we talked about today can really help you create a profitable and sustainable business that supports you as you transition out of your 9-5.

If this is something you’re ready to do for 2024, then you need to join my FREE Secrets of the Boudoir Industry Training!

I’ll be digging into a few of the most common pieces of advice for the industry, and debunking which ones are fact, and which ones are fiction, so you can put a profitable plan together.

It’s January 24, and you’re not gonna want to miss it, so make sure you register here!

tracy

Tracy Lynn is a boudoir photogapher for brides-to-be in the St. Louis area, and a mentor + coach for photographers looking to level up their businesses with better systems and processes.

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