I’ve been in business for roughly 7-8 years now, and for a large portion of the time, it was something that I did on the side without a whole lot of thought. I would shoot weddings and other things when people asked me to, but most of how I did things wasn’t really thought out. My prices and packages were just something I kind of came up with, I had no marketing plan, and there was no real strategy about anything. Now that I’m going full time, I’ve got the time to really plan and implement some sound business ideas. Lucky for me, the Professional Photographers of America is here to help. They’ve come out with the PPA Business Challenge, which is a year long program to help photographers create a successful business.
PPA Business Challenge
I honestly don’t remember how I learned about the business challenge. My guess is I saw it in an email from PPA. For all I know they’ve been doing this program for a long time and I just ignored it up until now. Before I wouldn’t have had the time or energy to focus on it, but now I can.
Each month they start a new group, so you have people going through it with you at the same time and pace. I believe there are roughly 100 people or so in my group. I haven’t read all the posts, but it seem like there is a wide variety of people in our group as far as age, experience, and area of focus. I love this because then we get a broad range of ideas.
The challenge is somewhat like school. They give us assignments and we work on them and write posts for everyone to see. There aren’t really grades or anything like that, but they did say they would remove people that weren’t being active. So far we’ve had some reflections, worksheets, a video, and a webinar, and it has all been very helpful.
I’m only about one month into the PPA Business Challenge, but so far I’ve already had some amazing insights. There are a lot of photography businesses out there that aren’t successful and that end of going out of business. I plan on doing this for a long time, so I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen. As I progress through this year, I’ll be writing more about the assignments and my changes. If you’re a photographer, I suggest you look into it as well.