After leaving a 15 year career as a business director in marketing, working for agencies like Geometry Global and Saatchi, I turned to my lifelong passion for photography and in the space of less than 3 years I’ve managed to build a successful and profitable business that can help support my family.
Having seen many talented photographers struggling to build a healthy business, I’ve realised how important it is to have a strong grounding in marketing.
After helping a few fellow photographers and seeing how much of an impact my knowledge has had on their businesses, I have put together an easy and effective growth plan and decided to share it with other photographers too. My biggest wish for this training programme is that it will enable you to build a stronger business, so you can keep on doing what you love.
I first picked up a camera in school, over 20 years ago, but I didn’t immediately step into the world of commercial photography. I spent almost 15 years in the ad agency world, working with global brands like Head and Shoulders, Olay, Wella, Febreze, Sensodyne and Britvic making sure that shoppers picked their products and not the competitors’ products. When I decided to set up Rocking Horse Photography, I quickly found that all of my ad agency experience was directly applicable to running my own business. I attribute the success of my business to three things:
- My eye for and technical ability to capture expressions and connections between people
My focus on providing an unexpectedly good service (think the John Lewis of the photography world)
My application of marketing strategy and tactics to running my business
As I approach the end of my third year in business I realise that I’ve learnt a lot along the way too. I watch other photographers in forums and social media groups message about the same problems over and over, and often step in to reply and share my experience and knowledge. But there is only so much I can offer through a comment on Facebook. For this reason, in Autumn 2018 I will start offering training and mentoring for newly established to mid sized photography businesses.
The training will be specifically targeted to people who are already competent photographers, but are struggling to get their business off the ground and have an annual turnover of up to about £40K. I'm looking to help you exceed this ceiling.
THE MENTORING PROGRAMME
There will be small group training sessions available (3 people max, so I can dedicate time to your specific business challenges as well as general theory). Group sessions should ideally be with other businesses in a similar stage to your own, so you get the most out of it. After each group session there will also be a 1 hour follow up 1:1 with each participant to discuss any challenges encountered after the training and to help you along the way. I will also be offering 1:1 in person and skype mentoring sessions. All in person sessions are held at my East London photography studio. Participants will be sent some pre-work to do, to make sure we are all ready to get the most out of our time together as well as some actionable homework topics.
- Your brand positioning & identity
- Identifying your ideal client (and what to do with this knowledge)
- Identifying what stops your ideal client from thinking about booking a photography session, and what stops them from booking with you
- Creating communications that overcome these client barriers
- Working out the right message and platform for YOU to reach your ideal clients. We’ll consider specifically the merits of Facebook, your website, SEO, PPC and blogging. We will also touch on Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn briefly
- Sharing some marketing tactics which you could use in your business immediately to generate footfall and sales, as well as longer term strategies to get your business where you want it to be in the months to come
- Your product offering (session types as well as physical & digital products)
- Pricing for profitability
- Online Galleries vs In-Person Sales (please note this is not a course on IPS, but we will discuss it)
- Quick audit of your work processes including your place of work, and approaches to working more effectively and profitably
- Managing your workload when there is only you to do it all
For those who would like to hear more about how my background in marketing has helped my business and learn some of my top marketing tips and approach, subscribe to the wonderful PhotoBiz X podcasts (free or premium version) – a mine of business and marketing knowledge, waiting to be discovered. I’m being interviewed in June for a podcast to be published later in the year).
Interested in joining my upcoming Mentoring Programme? Please register your interest below.