Today I want to talk to you about the best investment you can make in your business and no, it’s not getting the latest equipment or gadgets on the market. Though as photographers we always want to get the latest and newest camera. Right?
The best investment you can make in your business is hands down education! I’m a true believer in that. It’s something I preach all the time. You will always hear me say, “invest in education” but I hardly ever say “invest in a new camera”.
As photographers, we are part of an overly saturated industry. Every day there are new photographers showing up on the radar and that is just part of life and I don’t mind it one bit. After all, I was one of those photographers eight years ago! So how do we stand apart from everyone else? I truly believe one way to set yourself apart is by education. By continuing to grow and learning and not getting to a place where you become stagnant or complacent. Let’s face it, the industry is always changing so we need to be on top of it to stay up to date. I don’t only believe we should master the art of photography but I will argue that what’s most important is to master the art of running a business. I have always said that you can be the best photographer in the world but if you don’t know how to market yourself and the business side of photography, you’re only going to make it so far. Knowing how to market ourselves, how to price for profit, how to scale our businesses are key components to having a successful business.
There are so many resources out there that you can learn from. It all comes down to a personal decision but just in case you’re feeling lost or overwhelmed, here are some ways.
- Mentors – Mentors offer you the expertise and knowledge that they have accumulated over the years.
- Coaches – A coach is going to work more hands-on with you. They are going to focus more on the process of uncovering the knowledge, your goals, the vision for your business. And within coaching, you also have business coaches and strategists coaches. A strategist coach helps you understand the process of your business, the blueprint if you will. They help you with your business goals. A business coach helps you more with your personal goals. So when you’re searching for a coach, make sure you know what you’re looking for and what your needs are.
- Workshops or conferences – the differences between a workshop and conferences are that workshops are much smaller and they are more likely to have a high priced ticket. Conferences are going to be much bigger with different speakers. They have a keynote session as well as a break out session. Sometimes they offer hand-on sessions like style shoots, which are great for building your portfolio but they may offer this session for an additional fee.
- Online Courses – There are tons of online courses that you can choose from and purchase depending on your needs.
- Facebook Groups – Some Facebook groups are free, others require a membership. From my experience, I have gained more from the membership Facebook groups. Yes, you’re are going to pay a fee to be part of these groups, but like I mentioned earlier, education is an investment and it’s not only going to cost you time, it’s also going to cost you money.
- Mastermind Groups – I have been part of mastermind groups and they have been excellent and well worth it.
Now that I have given you a list of resources for education, you are probably asking where do I start? That is a good question. For me personally, before I make the decision on where to invest, I first look at where I’m at in my business, what my goals are, and what I need to achieve those goals. Then I decide what type of education I need to invest in. Once I have figured that out, I add that to my budget. For me, education is non-negotiable. I love learning and I have made it mandatory that I attend at least two conferences or workshops a year. One that focuses more on the business side of photography and one that focuses on the technical side of photography.
LYDIA GILLIS PHOTOGRAPHY is Denver based Seniors, and Personal Branding Photographer as well as educator. She helps photographers run a profitable and sustainable business.