How to start an online landscape photography business
If you want to start an online landscape photography business understanding how to make money is essential.
When you have a validated product people want to buy, you basically have two ways to make MORE money. You can either increase the price or sell more products to new and existing customers.
But many landscape photographers starting online businesses seem to do the opposite. When the sale is low, it is tempting to reduce the prices and offer huge discounts, hoping to attract customers this way.
if the existing product doesn’t sell, another mistake is to create more of the "same" product or start creating a totally different product.
If you start an online landscape photography business based on these misconceptions, your photography business will not be profitable.
This post discuss five better alternatives to grow a profitable landscape photography business.
1. Increase your profit
If you use discounts in the attempt to sell more, your profit will suffer.
And here is the big mistake. If you believe in selling more products with a low profit, you will not make enough money to pay your bills.
There is a big difference between revenue and profit, and you must consider this when you price your products and services.
If you jump on the price war wagon, you’re off to a race to the bottom. In the end, this is a lose-lose situation - both for you and the customers.
There is no strategic advantage of being the second lowest-priced offer. If you can’t be the cheapest, try to be among the more expensive.
It takes the same efforts to sell an expensive product as selling cheaper products. You just attract a different audience.
2. Solve bigger problems
There is a direct correlation between making more money and the problems you are solving for your customers.
When you solve bigger problems, you can charge higher prices.
Getting the pricing right is very important when you start an online landscape photography business.
A simple example is a photographer that buys your Lightroom course because it is on sale at an 80% discount. He buys because it’s a steal. But how committed is this customer to start and finish your course and get results?
Compare this to another photographer who wants to learn Lightroom. This photographer buys the course because post-processing is an essential part of her day job, but she finds Photoshop to be too time-consuming when working with many images every day.
Whereas the first customer got a great deal, the latter customer got a bigger problem solved, saving her hours going forward.
For these two customers, the perceived value of the course is different. You could possibly have charged a higher price, and the last customer would still have bought your course.
Remember, you are not your customers. The price you are willing to pay doesn’t mean someone else is unwilling to pay more for the same offer.
3. Sell to the right audience
This is another big mistake many online landscape photography business owners make. You must sell to the right audience.
If you’re targeting the wrong person, he will not buy, no matter how cheap you sell your products. Of course, you will get occasional sales because it’s cheap. But are these sales even making you any profit.
Every product solves a specific problem
Every product solves a problem. If it doesn’t, it’s impossible to have someone pay you money for it.
If your business model is to sell prints, your main target customers are unlikely to be other photographers. Despite this, many landscape photographers try to sell their images by hanging out in forums and groups with basically only other photographers.
The only way to succeed with a landscape photography business online is to research and find out where to connect with your ideal audience.
4. Sell fewer products
Earlier in this blog post, I mentioned that selling more products is one way to make more money. So this headline might sound counterintuitive.
Let me explain.
The more products you sell, the more you make, no doubt.
But the key is to sell products that are a fit for the same type of customers.
If you create products that are not aimed at the same audience, you constantly have to hunt the next lead and the next customer. This is a costly and time-consuming way to do business.
Watch the full video at the top of this post to learn about the "Value Ladder" and how you can build a product portfolio that serves both you and your customers.
The other disadvantage of having too many different products is, you complicate your marketing. Your marketing must be targeted to the specific audience you try to reach with a particular product.
With many products or types of customers, you have to tailor the marketing to each of them: more work and more hustle.
If you are in this situation, it might be time to reconsider and find out which of your offers are the most profitable and put your focus and efforts there.
Ideally, you should offer products that follow the natural path or progress of your ideal customer.
5. Sell digital products
There are basically two types of products, physical and digital.
Physical products are generally more expensive to create, and there are costs involved when shipping them to your customers.
Landscape photographers tend to start their online photography business to sell prints. You can sell photos in both physical and digital versions.
The physical version, often framed, have a higher perceived value, and you can charge more. But you must count in the expenses to create and ship them.
You can sell the same print as a digital file. The advantage is you create it once, and you can sell it over and over many times. Shipping costs are zero as you send them over the Internet. The drawback with digital print is they are priced lower, and the competition is high.
Advantages of selling digital products when you start an online landscape photography business.
- 1easier to create
- 2less expensive to make
- 3more profitable
- 5many types of products
- 6less competition (except for digital prints)
- 7startup costs are small
- 8easier to market effectively
Running a landscape photography business is different from a typical service-based photography business like wedding or portrait photography.
Wedding and portrait photographers book their clients first and sell the photos to the same client. These images have no value to other people than the client. Selling the prints is a much easier task.
Landscape photographers take the photos first and then try to find customers later. This is a much more challenging task. It’s tough because potential customers for a landscape print are not a homogenous group, and they can be difficult to identify properly.
Since the introduction of digital cameras, the number of photographers that offer print for sale has increased. This has driven the prices down over the last decade.
This is why most successful landscape photography businesses offer other products (workshops and digital products) in addition to print sales.