How to Be Successful in Landscape Photography Business
I recently pressed pause on my landscape photography career.
Then I moved to Haiti.
I didn't pick up a camera for six months.
I didn't feel confident in where landscape photography was and I wanted to realize where it was going so I could run a more enjoyable and more successful photography business.
During those six months, I realized that landscape photography business didn't make any sense at all. Take workshops for example; you schedule a week long event, get customers to give you money before-hand, and they aren't guaranteed anything in return. There are so many factors that could ruin a workshop for the people who signed up; weather being the most obvious.
I can't think of any other business model that is more unfair for the customer.
Landscape photography business is backwards.
So, here are four things that I truly believe will help you be successful in the future of landscape photography business.
First, give everything away for free.
It's totally counter-intuitive to give something away for free in business. Trust me, it will work.
Landscape photographers need to start taking care of the customers first. And not just potential customers, but make an effort to take care of your current customers just as much as you put into gaining new customers.
If you're asking how you would make money by giving everything away for free, you've already lost.
You will undoubtedly lose if you if your overall goal is to get your hand into someone's pocket because they will sniff you out.
I truly believe that the photographers who will win are the ones who will open up a fire hydrant of free content on their followers without expecting anything in return.
If they see that you're truly trying to help them, they will reward you in sales.
The best part about giving stuff away? It feels so good.
Second, stop pouring time and effort into workshops.
Workshops are a saturated market. The people who have been doing workshops for years own the workshop market.
Hear me: this is a good thing for you.
Because I truly believe that workshops will be predominately dead in a few years. Data shows (and my own experience shows) that people who sign up for workshops are 50-65 years of age.
That's because the younger photographers realize that they can get the exact same education you're going to share on your $2,000 workshop for free on YouTube. And quite frankly they don't care about going to take photos with you. That's just a fact that all photographers need to realize.
If you're a new photographer and you're trying to figure out how to make money, look at what other landscape photographers are doing and figure out what they are doing wrong and where potential customers are are spending their time and serve them. That goes back to giving away content and education for free.
Third, voice is the future.
There's a reason that when you log onto Facebook and scroll through your news feed that you see more videos than anything else. There's a reason podcasts are growing, that YouTube has a live feed option, that you can go live on Instagram, and that video and audio are dominating media right now.
It's because voice is the future.
Text and still images won't cut it anymore.
Landscape photographers must figure out ways to create a voice and create a story with their photography rather than just sharing an image and the settings it took to capture it.
Think harder about how you share your content so that you can respect your audiences time and what they enjoy.
Because the people consuming simple pdf documents will fade away.
That leads me to...
Fourth, landscape photographers must learn to do video.
If I wanted to pick the most important thing photographers can do to grow their business, it would be to study successful video content creators and do what they are doing.
Learn to shoot video.
Learn the ins and outs of audio.
Learn how to edit video and include cool transitions.
Being able to create compelling video and voice content with cool and fun features will give you an upper hand on everyone else. Guaranteed.
There's a reason that when I started doing these four things after six months of not touching my camera that I saw a drastic increase in subscriber rates, social media interaction, and a drastic growth in sales.
So, in conclusion, to be successful in the current state of landscape photography and the future of landscape photography, all you have to do is serve your audience while expecting nothing in return.
If you disagree, you will lose.
It seems brash to say that, but I'm trusting the stats. It's the reason that Ellen is the most popular talk show. She has figured out how to serve her audience first and give stuff away.
Yes, I just finished this by relating landscape photography business to Ellen.
If you want a very in-depth article on how to start a photography business, no matter what you like to shoot, READ THIS ARTICLE from ShootDotEdit.
THE GEAR I USE:
THE ONLY DRONE YOU'LL EVER NEED
MY DO-IT-ALL CAMERA
THE LENS I USE FOR ALL THE ZOOMS
MY FAVORITE LENS EVER
MY TRUSTY TRIPOD SIDEKICK
MY OVERNIGHT CAMERA BAG
THE DAY PACK I USE
THE MIC I USE FOR CRISPY AUDIO
MY COMPUTER (NOT A MAC)
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