As a new photographer starting a new photography business, I was overwhelmed with where to start, who to believe, and what really worked. Let’s face it, there is a whole new industry built around new photographers. (And yes, I still feel really new in this business compared to the amazing talent I see everywhere) I love information and could lose myself to reading books, magazines, and blogs for weeks on end – I think I actually do this a little more often than I should. Eeek!
Needless to say, I spent a lot of money and valuable time attempting to separate the wheat from the chaff. What follows are the five most valuable blogs and authors that have helped me build a profitable and balanced business. These guys are worth both the time it takes to follow their blogs and the money it costs for the tools they’ve created. You will be amazed at the value you’ll find. All of them have wonderful blogs with lots of great free content, several of them offer free ebooks when you subscribe to their newsletter, and a most of them offer products that are worth their weight in gold.
For the record : I use all of these products, follow their blogs, subscribe to their newsletters and I’m NOT getting paid to write this.
- Jamie Swanson author of The Modern Tog - Jamie has excellent information about all things business related. She’s funny and light and it’s always a breath of fresh air to read one of her posts. She has an excellent series of articles on how to take back control of your email. I don’t know about you, but this is one thing that quickly got out of control as my business started to grow, and thanks to Jamie’s great articles, I tamed the beast! You’ll also want to make sure you grab her free ebook, 5 Common Mistakes That Lose You Business, by subscribing to her newsletter.
- Zach Prez author of The Photography Spark - Zach was one of my first great finds and I’ve enjoyed his newsletters ever since. Zach’s newsletter is one I save, making sure I read it when I have a moment. It’s always full of great, timely information that keeps me up to date with products, services, and ideas that may effect my business. The Photography Spark is his latest spectacular endeavor, having just sold his last business, and Zach’s ebooks have been invaluable to me as I’ve tried to figure out the murky world of SEO. He is currently offering his latest publication for free with a subscription to his newsletter. Don’t miss out on 5 Traffic Sparks for the Online Photographer.
- Lawrence Chan author of Tofurious – Oh Man! This guy is the reason I figured out how to make my move from selling $50 CD’s to averaging $900 per session. He has two books that are a must buy. Social Media Marketing for Digital Photographers and Creative Pricing and Packages for Photographers. His information is straightforward, easy to understand and follow , his logic is brilliant, and he’s not overpriced for what you get like some other “well known” pricing guides.
- Jenika McDavitt author of Psychology for Photographers - Jenika offers an insight into your clients thoughts, helping you to see things from their perspective so you can tweak your business and your website to attract and keep potential clients. I purchased her workbook, From Portfolio to Profit Engine, How to Build an Absolutely Irresistible Photography Website, and I can honestly say it’s one of the best investments I’ve made. This book opened my eyes to what a website could be and then laid out a plan to help create that dream site. This is a project that is still a work in progress for me, one that is easier as I follow her plan. It takes you through your website step by step, helps you customize everything to you and your clients, and is packed with great examples, making it easy to understand.
- Andrea Vahl - Andrea is my social media guru. She keeps me up to date on the daily changes happening on Facebook and Twitter. She has an alter ego, Grandma Mary, who interviews people like Guy Kawasaki and Jon Morrow, and shares great tips for building a loyal following. Our world is changing so quickly, it’s really tough to keep up and Andrea will help you know what you must do and what is a waste of time when it comes to your social networks. Get her Quick Start Guide to Social Media for Business when you subscribe to her newsletter – don’t miss it!
- Seth Godin author of too many things to list - When you get to his page click on his head to visit his blog. I love this site because you literally get to hear what he’s thinking every day. This man is brilliant and we should listen when he thinks out loud. If you haven’t already read Tribes, or The Dip – I highly recommend you do! You will only succeed when you build a Tribe, and understanding The Dip, could be the difference between dismal failure and success beyond your wildest dreams!
I know that was actually six blogs – but the info is free so who’s complaining? I hope that you will find as much pleasure and success when utilizing the wonderful information these people have shared with us as I have. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude that they’ve taken the time to share so much, so freely. It really is a rare treat these days.
What Have I Missed?
The internet is a maze of information and I’m sure I’ve missed some gems. I’d love to hear who your favorites are and why you love them in the comments below. You can always send me an email with questions or suggestions too!
Have you joined Project.12′s photography project? Each month we invite photographers (pros & hobbyists) to plan, execute, edit, and share a session featuring your own family.
Five images will be featured on the blog each month with additional favorites shared on our FB page. See this page for monthly themes and due dates.