A few weeks ago I had the honour of giving a lecture on the business of photography to the BA of Photography class at my old university, RMIT. A few of the students asked if I would mind compiling a list of recommended blogs that focus on the business of photography. In no specific order, here are my top 10 favourite websites that all photographers running their own small business should read! 1. The Modern Tog
Jamie Swanson runs the Modern Tog, a friendly yet insightful blog about the business of photography. She focuses on real-world, easily actionable tips on business and marketing. But your number one reason to visit The Modern Tog should be to purchase her Easy Client & Money Manager excel spreadsheet. It's US$129 and so worth the investment. Prior to purchasing the Modern Tog Manager I was
using attempting to use a combination of MYOB and Lightblue, but this excel workbook is easy to customise, quick to use, and collects all the info that you need in one place. Highly recommended!
2. Brand Camp
Kristen Kalp on Brand Camp specialises in (you guessed it) branding. Her blog is less focused on actionable tips and more focused on your business identity. She wrote a brilliant ebook called Sales without Shame, but unfortunately she retired it. That being said, her blog is still full of great advice with an emphasis on doing business in a way that is good for your soul, not just for your bank account.
Lara White's specialty is Wedding Photography, but you will still learn plenty from the Photomint even if you don't shoot weddings. Her shooting and production tips are particularly helpful.
Oh my goodness I love this blog! Psychology for Photographers is the one blog whose newsletters I do not archive to read when I have the time - I have to read them that same day (geekiest guilty pleasure ever!) Jenika is a beautiful story teller and her insights into the psychology behind business (and life) will both inspire your mind and transform your approach to your business.
Photography Awesomesauce is chock full of tools and tips that you can implement immediately to change your business. Carrie Swails is less focused on the thoughts/philosophies/psychology behind business and more focused on sharing advice that will change your day-to-day life (one of my favourite recent posts is How to Create Your Own Work Schedule).
Well, where do I start with Served Up Fresh. In a nutshell, I wouldn't have the business I do today if it wasn't for Alicia Caine and her blog, Served Up Fresh. If you are intending to start a portrait business, then you need to make one of your top priority purchases the Easy As Pie pricing guide. At $349 it's on the pricey side, but it's soooo worth it. Alicia explains how to create sustainable, profitable pricing with a simple approach that won't have you tearing your hair out in frustration. Her actual blog posts are relatively infrequent, but sign up because when she does publish something it is always insightful.
Sarah Petty from the Joy of Marketing is my business role model. I highly recommend checking out her podcasts and education prodcuts - fair warning: they aren't cheap, but they are worth every penny (haha bad joke, but you'll gettid if you visit). She frequently puts on online "events" which are always overflowing with great advice from impressive speakers, so it's worth signing up just to stay in the loop for her next event.
Lawrence Chan mixes SEO advice with creative insights and a generous topping of psychology to form Tofurious, a funny, lighthearted blog that is packed with business-healthy content. His Creative Pricing and Packaging e-Book ($65) is also an interesting read (especially for his explanation of the thought processes behind packages).
Zach Prez is another SEO god. He used to write Photography Web Marketing (also worth checking out) and is now the brains behind Photography Spark. It's hard to believe that Zach isn't a photographer, because he has a brilliant understanding of internet marketing for photographers. Photography Spark addresses more than just SEO, but I also highly recommend purchasing Zach's SEO Cookbook for Photographers (US$99) and implementing his tips as you set up your blog and website.
Photography Concentrate does have a strong emphasis on technical photography tips versus business tips, but it's still worth joining their Explorers Club (especially for Lauren Lim's free PDF with tips about being a shy photographer - thank you Lauren!) Their Backup or Die ebook (US$20) is also a fantastic kick in the bum for any of your lazy backuppers!
I hope you find this list helpful - there are plenty more out there so if there are any favourites that I've left off the list be sure to note them in the comment section below. Stuff your mind with knowledge and education ~ the moment you stop learning is the moment your business will start to die. Overdramatic but true :)