How to always know what to buy for your photography business (and what can wait)

Video about what to buy for your photography business

Do you find yourself struggling to decide what to buy for your photography business next? You can’t buy everything at once so when you do have some money to invest it can be hard to prioritise your purchases, can’t it?

Well I’m going to tell you the only two questions you need to ask yourself when it comes to making a purchase. When you answer them honestly it’ll be hard to make the wrong decision!

I asked a question in our facebook community recently which triggered a lot of engagement. The question was:

‘What is your next purchase going to be for your photography business?’

As you can imagine there were a lot of lenses mentioned. And some camera bodies too. Along with computers, lighting, backdrops, props.

Makes sense. I mean, these are all things that most professional photographers need. Of course you need a decent camera and a couple of decent lenses at least. And obviously you need a reasonable computer when you’re working with huge image files and software like Photoshop.

But if your photography business is already up and running then I’m going to assume you have all that. You have a decent camera, some decent lenses, a computer and some editing software.

Of course you do. You can’t start your business without them.

Believe me, I know that the temptation to spend any money you make on better gear is huge. I suffer from that curse too. But something I’ve learned the hard way is that all the gear in the world won’t make you more profitable or more successful or more attractive to potential clients.

A camera upgrade might be pretty exciting to buy, yes. But it won’t bring you more clients. Not if you don’t know how to reach those clients in the first place.

A sleek new MacBook Pro is awesome but it won’t encourage your clients to buy several pieces of wall art from you.

That dreamy new lens is indeed dreamy but it certainly won’t help you grow your business faster.

So how can you be more savvy about making purchases for your photography business? Well all you need to do is ask yourself this first question;

Am I able to run a good photography business without buying this right now?

If the answer is no - genuinely no - then buy it!

So, for example, if you’re currently editing on a computer that runs slower than treacle and keeps shutting down on you every 30 minutes then, yes, you need a new computer. You’re not able to run your photography business well without one. Not to mention you’ll quickly go insane.

Or if you only have one camera body but you shoot weddings then, yes, you need another one! You can’t turn up to the most important day of your client’s life with only one camera. What if it stops working in the middle of the ceremony?

So yes, of course there are some purchases that won’t necessarily make you more successful and profitable but they’re essential. So you buy them.

But if the answer is yes. Yes, you are able to run a good photography business without buying this right now. Then you should quickly ask yourself this next question;

What could I spend the money on instead that will have the biggest impact on the success and profitability of my business?

Because here’s the thing. When you spend your money wisely, on a purchase that can actually pay for itself over and over and over, you’ll then earn the money you need to buy the new lens and the camera upgrade and the zillions of props you’ve got your eye on.

Yes, there are purchases that make you money. Buying them is a no-brainer because you make your money back almost straight away.

If you’re wondering what these magical purchases might be, let me list five of them for you.

1. Stunning wall art samples

We buy what we can see and touch. When your client sees just how beautiful these products are she’ll want one. A great sample is hands down one of the best investments you can make in your business. You only need to buy one at a time and most suppliers will give you a good sample discount.

2. A customer relationship management system (CRM)

If you missed my video on this then you can give it a watch right here. Honestly, there is nothing that will buy you back more time than subscribing to a great studio management software. An automated client workflow is a profitable client workflow and it will leave you with lots and lots of time to do the stuff that actually grows your business.

Check out Studio Ninja if you want something simple but powerful. There’s a link below the video.

3. A great website

Hopefully, I’ve already convinced you that you must have a website. If you haven’t watched my video on that - you can find it right here. The next step after that is having a great website. It’s amazing how much this can differentiate you from your competition. It will attract more and more great clients who are willing to pay more to work with the right photographer.

So you can pay to have a talented professional build you a beautiful website or, if the funds don’t stretch that far, you could invest in an online course that teaches you how to do it all by yourself. Such as Melissa Love’s amazing course over at The Design Space Co.

4. In-person photography sales software

You probably already know that selling your photography in-person instead of using online galleries will at least double and maybe even quadruple your average spend. If you’re not sure whether it’s right for you or not you should check out this post.

Firstly it’s important to mention that you can totally do in-person sales without dedicated software. So whatever you do, don’t use that as an excuse not to sell your photography in person. However, investing in the software definitely takes things to a whole new level.

You’ll be able to show them exactly what your wall art will look like in their home using their images. They’ll be blown away and won’t be able to resist. Check out Swift Galleries

5. Business & marketing training

I’ve saved this until last because this is really the one that will make you the most money. When you invest money in learning how to be better at running a business and marketing creatively to your ideal clients - it never stops paying for itself.

You might not notice too much of a difference at first because becoming better at this stuff takes time. But when it kicks in your success goes from strength to strength and your profits go with it.

So buy those amazing, recommended marketing books and invest in training - either in person or online. My Togs in Business membership might not be right for you but it’s not the only training available for professional photographers out there. Check out Psychology for Photographers, Jenna Kutcher, Creative Live, Ground Glass, Joy of Marketing. There is something out there for you that will change your business for the better, forever.

You know where to find us though if you decide to spend some of your hard earned cash with us and join us inside the Togs in Business Membership.

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