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005. What Does A Photography Business Coach ACTUALLY Do?

005. What Does A Photography Business Coach ACTUALLY Do? // Sustainable Freedom with Photography Podcast hosted by Tracy Lynn of Tracy Lynn Coaching and Boudoir by Tracy Lynn

Until I hired my own photography buisness coach, I had no idea what a photography business coach was… 

… okay, let’s be honest, back in 2015, I’m not sure there was even business coaching for photographers yet. 

Anyway, up until that point, it was like I was just throwing spaghetti at the wall, hoping that, at some point, things would start working out. 

But the problem was, I didn’t have a strategy.  I was taking all kinds of courses and trying random marketing strategies for businesses outside the photography industry. 

I knew WHERE I wanted to go, but had no clue how to actually get there.

When I finally hired my personal photography business coach, she helped me understand business foundations – for photography specifically – and gave me strategies to build my business the way I wanted it to look.  

The best thing was that she met me where I was at that exact moment and allowed me to grow at my own speed.  Sometimes that was super fast and sometimes it was slower than a turtle.

She also gave me the support, motivation, and education to grow my business and meet my goals so much quicker than I would have without her.

And that’s what a great photography business coach does.  She meets you where you are and helps you build a strategy and foundation to build your business in the way YOU want it to look.

In this episode, I explain what photography business coaching looks like in action. 

Goal setting is very important.

Goals are extremely important in business.  For one thing, without goals, what are you working so hard to achieve?  It’s really hard to keep going without knowing WHERE you’re going.  

So the most important thing a goal does is to motivate you.

With TLC photography business coaching, we make both monetary goals AND lifestyle goals. Yes I want you to live a super comfortable life, but I also want you to get to live a life where you experience more than just working. 

If you’re on a beach vacation with your family and your kids are playing in the pool, I don’t want you to have your laptop out retouching photos, or to be on your phone trying to book a client “just really quick” because “it won’t take long.”

If you’re laying in a hospital bed, I don’t want you to feel like you have to be on your laptop.  You can take the time to heal when you need to. 

Most importantly, I want you to enjoy your life more and work less. 

A photography business coach focuses on your business foundation – based on these goals.

The goals you need to know in business are what salary YOU want to make and how much vacation time want.  Those two goals are the foundation of your business, and what you should use to make ALL decisions. 

So how do they work? This is something that my signature TLC Full Time Formula actually figures out for you.   I use this formula with all of my courses, coaching, and in my TLC Boudoir Photographers Mastermind(Join the waitlist)

So here are the 4 numbers you HAVE to know in order to plan the foundation of your business. 

  1. Yearly salary goal, which helps us figure out your yearly total revenue goal.
  2. Vacation time.
  3. How many hours you want to work per week.
  4. How many hours it takes from start to finish for a photography client.

These four numbers will give you the total number of clients you can see per year and what your sales average needs to be.

The TLC Full Time Formula allows you to plan your yearly schedule AND build a price list to reach that sales average, which means all  you need to do is create a marketing plan to book that number of clients.

A business coach gives you a strategic and customized roadmap.

With photography business coaching, you get a STRATEGIC roadmap. It’s going to be built on similar strategies, but it will be customized to YOUR business and your ultimate goals – with your input.

A photography business coach can make all the difference when it comes to strategizing for your business and marketing plan.  A one size fits all approach is not going to get you where you want to go.

Yes, you can have a blueprint or roadmap in the form of a course, but the customized feedback is the actual game changer.

Education is key with a photography business coach.

This may not be true with all coaching programs out there, but with TLC 1:1 Photography Business Coaching, I give you ALL the tools you need to succeed.  I really don’t hold anything back because I want my photographers to succeed.

With all of my courses and coaching, we go through the TLC Sustainable Freedom Formula, which you can hear all about in episode 4. 

The first part of the strategy is goal setting, pricing and budgeting foundations, and getting legal.

The marketing side of this formula is specific to photographers and guarantees that you have a well rounded marketing plan which includes both short and long term strategy and does NOT include Facebook Ads.

Bouncing ideas off a successful photographer is a perk.

A good photography business coach is there to support you, in life and business. 

Life can be so hard. Between personal health problems, family issues, keeping your friendships and relationships going, taking care of children, it’s easy to see how your focus isn’t always where you want it to be.

Sometimes you need an outside perspective to refocus on your personal and professional goals, or maybe someone to help you prioritize your tasks.

A business coach provides the space to help you reconnect with your business and what you actually love about it. 

Motivation DEFINITELY helps.

Sometimes you just aren’t motivated. When you talk things out with someone who knows the business and knows what works and what doesn’t, you can GET motivated because you have direction. 

When you’re in your business every day, it’s hard to see the bigger picture.  You might get stuck in the day to day not thinking about all the things you need to do to GROW your business. 

A business coach can help you get out of the weeds and motivate you to actually GROW your business.

A photography business coach helps a business grow FAST.

Back in 2013, I officially started my photography business. For 3 years, it was like I was just throwing spaghetti at the wall TRYING to make things happen. The problem was I had absolutely no direction. 

I hired my business coach in 2015, at the very end of the year. It took a bit longer for me to grow because in 2016, I decided to move to St. Louis, so I moved my entire business with me.  

By January of 2017, I had my first five figure month, and by the end of 2017, I had my first six figure year as a photographer. 

I struggled and struggled, but as soon as I hired my coach, I was able to actually say I was a professional photographer because that’s how fast I was growing.

And it’s all because we set goals that were not only reachable, but would also help my life and business grow in the way I dreamed.  She helped me set up my business foundation to make money without working too much.

My business coach brought a strategic roadmap to our calls, but helped me customize it to my business and my life, where I was in the moment. 

Although she didn’t have an education suite the way I’ve set up the TLC Course Suite, she did educate me on the things I needed in order to grow my business.  She supported me in the way I needed it at the time and motivated me and I credit her with a keeping me going through some very, very hard times. 

Is it time for you to hire a photography business coach? 

Obviously, not all photographers are in the same place, but I firmly believe that all photographers need a business coach at some point in their career.

That being said, everyone learns in different ways. 

Before you hire a business coach, really sit down and think about what is best for YOU. 

Do you like 1:1 support and feedback or do you prefer the DIY way so you can learn at your own pace?  Maybe group coaching is a better fit for you so you have colleagues in the same place as you are in business and you guys can grow together?

Even if 1:1 Coaching SOUNDS like the best fit because you’re excited at this moment, please make sure you step back and think about it before you jump in with both feet.

Take it from someone who knows – there’s nothing worse than hiring the exact WRONG fit! Make sure you feel truly aligned with the coach you are thinking about hiring.

I truly hope this episode helped you understand what a photography business coach actually does for a photographer. 

If you have any questions about anything, I want you to know my DM’s are ALWAYS open. In fact, I love hanging out in them, so please reach out! 

Relevant Links Mentioned in the episode:

Assembly(article about specific times of motivation)

Instagram: @itstracylynn

For the skippers: 

Not interested in hearing about coaching with Tracy Lynn Coaching? I talk about my strategy within this episode specifically from 24:10 to 30:43. I promise I won’t have my feelings hurt if you skip that section. 🙂 


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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