Chris Denner is a Birmingham wedding photographer and creative with over 20 years of experience. In his own words, he’s “known for being irrelevant, brash, and creative. Wishes he could travel back in time to the eighties, and terrible at writing bio’s in the third person.”
That’s what he says about himself, but in our words, he’s a testament to longevity in a tough industry. All the while, he’s undeniably doing things his own way – which likely is a reason for that ability to succeed as a self-employed artist.
Chris covered the gambit in this webinar, and opened up completely about what to think about with your wedding photography business right now. It’s an hour of ideas, all stemming from someone who is making it work.
For a brief overview, this is how Chris described the webinar:
The reality is that we do have a shelf life, we won’t be shooting weddings when we`re 60. And really neither should we be. So broadly let’s try to see this as an opportunity to diversify our business, and look at other ways to either save money, or make more money. Preferably BOTH!!!!
1. Understand your business. Grab control now!
2. Get to grips with YOUR PROFIT AND LOSS STATEMENT. Understand your costs, both personal and business. Don’t be scared. Find the time, and go through your bank statements. Work out what your FIXED costs are, and what your VARIABLE costs are. That should establish a baseline for you to work out your breakeven.
If you’re not a note-taker, below the webinar Chris has shared a stream of ideas which were all plucked from the talk.
Enjoy listening to this talk, and afterwards be sure to give him a follow on Instagram. Enjoy!
DON’T GET SCARED!
Personal costs are things like mortgage / rent / insurance / government tax / any credit payments like cars etc. Memberships to gyms, clubs, etc. These should be pretty easy to identify on your statement as there usually a fixed amount ad are standing order or direct debit.
Business. Trickier, but factor in wages, rent if you have it, subscriptions to things like shootproof, pixellu etc, tax.
The other part about reviewing your finances is you can start looking at what you don’t need, waste cash on and can generally save on! If your able to save £50 a month, that’s £600 a year!
Think longterm, think smart!
Ways to make money in lockdown – things you can put into motion TODAY!
Side Jobs – Do it. Get out there. Earn some side cash. Farmers need workers. Pizza needs delivering. Its not embarrassing, it’s you being a Rockstar and hustling.
Wedding Album Design. Offer it – reach out to existing clients.
Offer Printed Images for Weddings and Engagements. Contact previous clints
Ask Postponing Clients to Pay on Their Original Payment Schedule – keep cash coming in
Branch Out Into Elopements – Micro weddings are definitely going to be a thing.
Pre-sell holiday sessions at a special rate, holidays, celebrations, xmas sessions. Sell them now!!!!
Try Out Different Photography Niches You Can Shoot From Home – food photography for local bars.
Tiered payments / bigger deposits – spread your monthly income so it stabilises and gets away from boom and bust.
Website audits – The element of personal connection will be key / What`s your USP?
Moz – test your own website
Portfolio – Only as strong as the weakest image
Submit work to blogs – the best way to get in touch with a publisher is simply to email them. There’s often no secret society. Just be good and authentic.
Enter competitions – easy enough. Seems a no brainer.
Back links to build strength for website
Break even for your business. Fixed costs, variable costs, etc
Personal finances. Plum / Monza for savings
New printers / research new affiliates delivery to clients
Sort out your pensions
Quick ideas – Declutter your home! Sell things that you don’t use/wear/or enjoy anymore and bank that cash! Not only will you have a less cluttered house, but money in the bank! Be ruthless! Old camera kit, music equipment etc can really bring in some coin.
Let`s talk Social Media
Top of Mind Awareness. For those who’ve never encountered the term, top of mind awareness is a form of brand awareness that involves putting the brand name in front of an audience consistently enough that, when the audience thinks of a service, the brand’s name comes to mind first.
Know your brand – what an amazing time to remerge with a fresh-looking website, copy, and SM presence.
Setting aside time to schedule posts that align with the brand message in advance. Then after the post is live, the photographer only needs to respond to comments, as necessary. This is especially effective right now, because so many people are spending their time home online, and that means more eyes on the content. Sites such as Tailwind or later are really good for this.
Here are five ways to achieve “top of mind” awareness in your product marketplace:
Find your unique selling proposition.
1. Consider what makes your company special. …
2. Be proactive. …
3. Use consistent branding. …
4. Use multiple touches and multiple channels ie Instagram / FB / Insta stories
5. Be useful.
IMPORTANT> Understand the difference between a network and an audience. Both are super useful, but ones supportive and one will pay your bills.
Instagram – Using Location Tags / Tagging Collaborators / Stories – This is prime real estate for your business. Your Story highlights receive a lot of attention on your profile as well.