Outsourcing your Photography Business
This is a guest post by Jaimie Burke, the Content Coordinator and writer at ShootDotEdit, a photo editing company. She reveals her tips to help make outsourcing decisions that empower your photography business.
As a wedding photographer, running your photography business takes a lot of work and strategic planning. Even though there are countless tasks and projects that seem like the most important and need your immediate attention, you cannot do everything yourself.
These days, starting a photography business that values speed and efficiency is the rule, not the exception.
Running an effective wedding photography business is a central theme of successful photographers who are passionate about their artistry. Running an efficient, streamlined business doesn’t mean sacrificing your art or producing a poor product. In fact, it’s quite the opposite…
Do you need to outsource your photography business?
When you create an efficient business, you ensure you will be financially stable and have the time to create high-quality work for your wedding clients. It’s your art that inspired you to go into business in the first place, right?
To achieve a fast and efficient photography business, you must manage your time properly.
Your time is extremely valuable but is also at times very limited. It can be challenging to be a part of every process necessary to run and sustain your wedding photography business. If you make the attempt to do everything yourself, you risk burning out and becoming overwhelmed with tasks and responsibilities.
Many of those tasks and responsibilities take time away from what you love to do as a photographer: taking pictures.
When you try to do everything in your photography business yourself, you risk jeopardizing your relationships with your wedding clients, especially when you set realistic turnaround times for them you cannot meet based on everything on your plate. With all your responsibilities, your stress levels can also rise (which could cause your creativity to lessen).
So, what can you do in this situation? Partner with specialists who can take care of pieces of your workflow that do not require your immediate or ongoing attention.
“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.”
– Steve Jobs
Whether you are a new business owner, or have been in business for a while, trusting a specialist can help you focus on your goals and continue to grow. A specialist can help you deliver the best results to your wedding clients, while also enabling you to stay creative.
How to decide what to outsource
As a photographer and business owner, you have several tasks and responsibilities on your plate. It might seem like every task is important and needs your attention, but that is not necessarily the case.
To decide what you should outsource for your photography business, create a detailed list. This list should include tasks and projects you work on daily, weekly, and monthly.
Be sure to add the smallest tasks you do to the largest, most time-consuming tasks to your list. The more detailed you are, the easier it will be to see everything that goes into running your photography business.
Once you write down your tasks, the next step is to determine which need your attention and which can be delegated to others.
A quick way to find this out is to first split your list into tasks you enjoy or are good at, such as shooting, meeting clients, or building relationships with vendors.
Then, jot down the tasks you do not enjoy or are not good at, such as editing wedding photos, album design, blogging, or accounting.
With your updated list, you can now decide what is best to outsource for your photography business.
What can you outsource for your photography business?
After you write down the things you do not enjoy or things you are not good at, bring outside specialists in to help you execute your growing list of tasks. This can save you time, headaches and stress, and even improve the areas where your output is not as good as it could be.
So now, you have to ask yourself what you should outsource.
“Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.”
With the list of tasks you created earlier, you can now make decisions that will lighten your workload and allow you to focus on the things you do enjoy and are good at.
As a wedding photographer, you specialize in making memories through your images for wedding clients. There are things you may not be able to do yourself or just simply do not like to do (and that’s okay!).
Some of the tasks you may not be able to do yourself might include bookkeeping or accounting. Those are parts of your business that are important, but someone else’s time might be better spent handling those for you.
When it comes to the financial and legal aspects of your photography business, it can be valuable for a specialist to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Tasks you may not enjoy might include wedding photography editing, blogging, selling prints, or album and website design.
Many of these tasks are time-consuming and can be taken care of by a specialist, while you focus on the most important tasks for your photography business.
In your business, there are also tasks which specialists can do for less than it costs you to do. For example, instead of spending your time on editing wedding photos or designing and trying to sell albums, you can outsource those to specialists.
While the specialists work on completing those for you, you can focus on things you are good at and do enjoy to help bring in additional profit. Think about it like this – instead of sitting in front of the computer for hours on end, you could meet with a new vendor for coffee or start working on a strategic marketing plan to reach ideal clients.
Things you can outsource for your photography business:
- Album Design
- Accounting / Bookkeeping
- Social Media
- Legal Items
- Print Sales
- Contract Creation
- Print Fulfillment
- Project Management
Permission to partner with an outsourcing specialist
Often times, it can be difficult to ask or accept help with your wedding photography business. You might feel like you are betraying your clients when you are not hands-on with every part of your workflow.
The first step to take is to give yourself permission to trust partners with your photography business.
There are others who will give you permission to partner with a specialist, and benefit directly from it, including:
Your Wedding Clients
As a wedding photographer, your clients are one of the first who will give you permission to partner with a specialist for a few reasons.
The first has to do with your post-wedding workflow, specifically the editing process. When you send your images to a wedding photo editing company, your turnaround time is faster and your images are consistent.
Your clients remain happy because they receive the images quickly after the wedding, meaning the excitement from the special day will still be present.
The happier they are the more inclined they will be to share the images through social media and refer you to their family and friends. It’s a win for everyone.
Time is only one of the benefits your clients see first-hand when you partner with a specialist. There are other tasks you do not enjoy and may be reflected in your business. Some of these items can be blogging, album design, or scheduling social media. When you bring partners into your business to help you with these tasks, your clients enjoy the benefits.
Your Loved Ones
Every hour you spend on your photography business is time spent away from the things you love to do and from the ones you love.
No matter how much you love what you do, your health and well-being require you to take time away from your wedding photography business and the responsibilities that go along with it.
If you are stuck behind your computer for countless hours, you risk missing out on events in your life. Your loved ones will give you permission to outsource your various tasks to specialists, so you can enjoy yourself and spend more time with them.
Benefits of outsourcing tasks in your photography business
Saving time via outsourcing parts of your photography business obviously has numerous benefits, including having more time to be able to devote to:
- Going on vacation
- Elevating your brand
- Starting new business ventures
- Taking personal time
- Creating marketing campaigns
- Sharing relevant resources
- Enjoying hobbies
- Increasing income
- Exceeding client expectations
Outsourcing your Photography Business | Final Words
Every wedding photographer differs, as does their photography business plan. Make the decisions on which tasks to outsource based on what is best for your business and the goals you achieve.
At the end of the day, outsourcing can help you focus on what is most important for your business. And what is most important for your business is to work on the tasks only you can do and the ones that will help you increase profit and grow your business.