Running a small business is no easy task. It's messy and thrilling, and terrifying all at the same time. But no matter what, it's definitely a journey worth taking. As a mom of two littles, I know the daily struggles, and I'm here to walk this journey with you. If you're ready to feel empowered, encouraged and on fire for the things you truly love, then you're in the right place. I'm Rebecca Rice, a pizza loving hot chocolate drinking family photographer and educator. And this is the business Journey podcast.
Hey, friends, welcome back to another episode of the business Journey podcast. I'm your host, Rebecca rice. And today we are talking about a really interesting topic of what I would do today, if I was starting my business in 2022. So super excited, we have a lot to cover. Before we jump into all of that I did want to let you know about a free guide that I have for you guys that it's the nine steps to make your photo business official. So if you are, you know, towards the beginning of your photography journey, or even if you're like a year or so into it, and you're just not sure that you have all of like the ducks in the row to make sure that like you're official, and you've got your business finances set for like tax season and things like that you've got your entity set up correctly. And if you're like, I don't know what that means, then you need to download this guide for sure. But these are just nine steps that every business owner wants to make sure that you have in place so that your business is rock solid and official and legal and things like that. So we will link that below so that you can download that if you want to type it in. You can it's Rebecca rice Okay, nine dash steps. So definitely go check that out. But let's go ahead and dive in to today's topic, what I would do if I was starting my business in 2022, the first thing that I would do if I was starting a photography business today in 2022, is to start email marketing early, okay, email marketing is not dead. In fact, it's the easiest way to book photo sessions from your warmest clients. Those are people that know who you are, they like you. And they trust the product that you put out. And so we want to start an email list of those clients, I like to call mine a VIP email list. These are my VIPs, the people that I you know, invest the most time and energy in. And the goal is for you to grow this email list so that you can mark it to them first and fill, you know, however many photo sessions or mini sessions spots early without even having to go to the public. Now it will take a while to get to that point. But my whole point is, you're going to want to start that email list early. This is something that I waited a little longer than I wish I had and photographers that I talk to all the time, there are some there years into their business, and they've never started an email list. And you know, they're hitting themselves in the head thinking, why haven't I done that. So I'm telling you, if you're just starting out in 2022, the very first thing I would do is start that email list. Because this is again, the easiest way to reach people because you're guaranteed to land in their inbox. Whereas something like social media, although there is merit to marketing on social media, you don't own those platforms, okay, whereas in email marketing, you own your email list, and you are guaranteed to drop into their inbox every single time you send an email without having to fight algorithms. So if you're looking for an awesome email provider, my personal favorite is flow desk. That's what I currently use. And it's just been so great for our business, I like to call it the Canva of email systems because it's so easy to use drag and drop templates. And it's really, really beautiful. So you can check out flow desk, I've got a link in the description here for 50% off for life for your flow desk subscription. So if you want to check that out, do that I also have a free guide for you to get from zero to 100 subscribers. So if you're wanting to really jumpstart that email list, we're going to link that as well next to that flow desk discount code for you to check out because I'm, I'm a huge believer that email marketing is the way to go when you're first getting started so you can get your first 100 subscribers grab that free guide to know what steps to take to do it. But that's the very first thing I would do in 2022. The next thing I would do to kickstart a business in 2022 is to get legit, register your business as a sole proprietor or an LLC and I'll probably do a video later on talking about the difference between a sole proprietor and an LLC and which you should go with but either way, register
that business. Now this should be done before you take paying clients. If you're like Rebecca, I'm already taking paying clients, I'm not making that much, but I'm still taking paying clients, guys, you need to register now, okay, get that registration done, it's not hard to do. But it really sets yourself up to be in a place that you are legit going forward, there's a few other things that I would do to get legit, aside from registering that business and one of those is to get a contract in place. If you don't have a contract that has been looked over by a lawyer, then now's the time to do that a contract is there to keep you safe, and to protect your clients as well. It protects both parties. And you don't want to have something that you just DIY and say, oh, you know, these clauses sound good. You want something that a lawyer has looked at, and has said, Yes, this, you know, this wording will protect you, you have the clauses that you need. Now, you should be sending a contract for every single session, you do mini sessions, full sessions, sessions with friends, sessions with family, it does not matter, you should have a contract in place. And if you don't have a contract that's lawyer approved, I actually have one in my shop, and we'll link it below for you that it's less expensive than most other contract templates, you'll find because I wanted to make it super available for you. And so it is lawyer approved, I partnered with an amazing attorney who specializes in creative entrepreneurs, like photographers, and so we have designed this, this contract templates be exactly what you need. It's something that I use in my own business for every single session. And so you're gonna want to grab that if you don't have a contract in place already. And then the third thing that you're going to want to do to get legit, is to have a system to send contracts and invoices electronically. Now, it's one thing to, you know, have your clients write checks and to print out contracts and mail them to your clients and have them sign it. But that's really ancient nowadays, there are so many platforms that you can get that allow you to do these things online. And it's so much easier to collect payments, you know, electronically, and to do contracts electronically with an electronic signature. So some of my favorite CRM platforms are dubsado, which is what we use in our business HoneyBook is also great. Or if you're looking for something a little bit more cost effective, shoot proof is a good option to get you started. It's not something that I'll be able to sustain you years down the road. But for that first year, it'll get the job done. And the good part is it sends contracts, invoices, and it's a gallery delivery system. So it's all in one super easy to get. So I'll link that down below too, if you want to check out shoot proof. Okay, the third thing I would do if I were starting a business in 2022, is to start charging profitably from the start. Okay, this is one of those things that there's a misconception that if you're newer, that you should be charging a lot less than more established photographers. Now there's some truth in that if your skill set doesn't match up, then yeah, you probably can't be charging $1,000 for a photo session. But you still need to be charging whatever it takes to keep the doors open in your business and to pay yourself accordingly. So this is if you've never done it, it's called running your cost of doing business, I'm not gonna get too deep into it, because I'll do another video later on about running your cost of doing business. But the basics is you want to add up all of your expenses, however much it costs to keep the doors open. You know, think all of your software expenses and rentals and whatever it may be your gear to run your photography, business, so out of all your expenses. And then you want to add up all the hours that it's taking you to run your business. So not only just time that you're out shooting, but time that you're editing time that your marketing time that you're doing all the things that come with running a business, and then you know, pay yourself accordingly. a livable wage, you don't want to pay yourself $10 an hour because you can make that working at Costco. So you want to pay yourself more than a teenager can make at Costco. But pay yourself accordingly to cover your expenses to cover your taxes and to pay yourself. So price yourself well. And I'll go ahead and add that $50 sessions are not profitable. So I'm not going to you know everybody's cost of doing business is different. So in this video, I'm not going to dive into specifics of what you should be charging, but I will say if you're charging $50 or under 100 it's not profitable, and it's time to run your numbers. If you need help with that. Comment below and I'd love to dive in with you or message me on Instagram at Rebecca rice photography, and I'll help out when I can. The fourth thing that I would do if I were starting my business in 2022 is I would invest in education before investing in more gear. And this is something I did backwards when I started I invested in gear first and then education and I
feel like it really did set me back at least a year where I could have launched faster and gone farther in my business early on had I invested in education first. Now with gear, really, I would say, if you can get together a full frame body and one solid lens, you're good to go. And I would also add, maybe add a flash as well, it can be a cheap flash doesn't have to be a super expensive flash. But those are the things that you should have in your bag. And before you start upgrading those things, invest in education first, because it's one thing if you can produce beautiful photos, but if you don't have the education needed to run your business, things like marketing and client experience, and so on, then you're going to struggle because you can have the most beautiful photos. But photography and running a business is a lot more than having beautiful photos. So invest in yourself invest in education first, and then you can look at upgrading your camera and your lenses. Now when you're ready to upgrade gear, I will say go lenses first. For me, I started out on a 50 millimeter 1.8. And that did well for a year, a year and a half, that was the only lens that I had. And then now I currently shoot primarily on an 85 millimeter 1.4. I'm a Canon shooter and I love my 85. But it took me time to upgrade to that point. And so start with where you are, learn on the gear that you have and invest in that education before you start spending more money on gear. The last thing that I would say if I were starting a business this year in 2022, I would say find community. I'm a huge believer in community over competition in the photography industry. And honestly, that's kind of hard to find where there's a lot of spaces and pockets in the industry where people don't have that mindset. And they're very much ruthless and full of competition and don't want to share their spots. And they're just hard to deal with. So I would say find yourself a good community, we were not built to do this business thing alone, we are built into this together alongside other people. And I want you to find that tribe that you can walk alongside and cheer each other on as you're growing this business together. If you're looking for a solid community, I know I'm a little biased. But I'm you know, I always say that my communities are the best of the best. They're just full of amazing humans that, you know, they're able to provide constructive criticism and corrections, but they do so in a way that's with kindness. They don't have to braid you or smash you over the head and telling you that your pictures look awful. Like that's not it, there's a way to provide constructive criticism in a way that's kind and that's uplifting and not so my communities offer. And so if you want to join us, you're more than welcome to We have a free Facebook group. It's called mom photography 101. If you search it, you'll find it we have almost 10,000 members in there. And you don't have to be a mom to join. But we would love to have you and you know, walk this journey with you and help you find that community of people that you're looking for. We've got people from all over the nation and all over the world that join us in that group. And it's super active. People are asking questions and getting feedback and everything. So you want to join in, find us on that Facebook group, we'll link it below or you can just type it into the Facebook search box mom photography, one on one and I promise you'll find it. All right, friends. There you have it. Again, I hope this was helpful. And if you have any questions about any of that at all, feel free to find me on Instagram at Rebecca rice photography, and I would love to help answer any questions. And also be sure to download that guide that I talked about at the beginning. It's linked in the show notes. Rebecca rice And that should help as well getting some of these pieces set up. So yeah, I can't wait to hear about how you implement them and hope this is helpful. And we'll see you back next week for another episode. Bye guys.

79. What I'd do if I was starting my business in 2022