I regularly review my business plans to make sure I am on the right track. And do you know what – I need to make some changes. Things are not going quite as I had intended.
This review has given me 9 photography business ideas that you can steal right now. The first is to focus very specifically on your target market. Once you have got that focus the rest of the ideas naturally follow. I will tell you where I have been going wrong and what I am going to do in this post.
- Niche down
- Price, quality, and my target market
- Start a blog
- Get into video
- Structure the sharing of your content
- Earn Affiliate income
- Consistency and quality
OK the last one is not necessarily an idea, but is a very important point that applies to the other 8 ideas.
If you want to know more about these 9 ideas then please read on.
Who am I?
I am Rick McEvoy MCIOB, ABIPP. I am professionally qualified in both construction and photography. I photograph buildings. I specialise in architectural photography and construction photography.
And I have just reminded myself of that fact.
Read on and you will see what I mean!
1 – Niche down
This is by far the most important thing, and everything else falls out of this.
Don’t try to be all things to all people, be the go to guy or gal for X, whatever your X is. My X is photographing buildings and construction sites. So that is what I want to be known as – the go to guy for all things architectural and construction photography related.
This is my core work, photographing buildings for clients, and also helping other photographers to do the same.
This is what I love to do. This is my thing.
Just a quick point here – architectural and construction photography are similar but not quite the same. As well as photographing buildings I also photograph construction sites and products.
I am going to focus on my core business and the new content being created on my website and other channels.
Sure things will change over time, but at the time of writing this update this is where I am targeting my attention.
What about my travel and landscape photography?
Well these are going to be put to one side for now.
This is the thing I love doing more than anything other than photographing buildings. Travel photography is a joy to me, and makes all my foreign trips into so much more than just a holiday.
What is the commercial value of my travel photography? Apart from my other websites, which I will come onto later, that is a very good question.
This is my fun work, photographing nice places. And that is how I am going to treat it for now. As my own side thing.
I am still going to do it, and share stuff on relevant social media platforms, but there will be much less on my website for the foreseeable future.
This has now morphed into travel photography. Where does one start and the other end?
Who knows, and who cares? So this again becomes more personal to me than commercial work – for now.
And this is niching down in action.
2 – Branding.
I need to refine this. I need a heading.
I was thinking something like this.
Photographing Buildings and the Built Environment.
The other one was
Architectural, landscape and travel photography.
No. I need to focus on my niche even more clearly than before.
So I photograph buildings, nice places, and buildings in nice places.
That was going to be my tagline, but this is not clear enough. I just want to be known as the chap who photographs buildings and nice places.
But as I am sticking to my niche I am left with
Architectural Photography and Construction Photography
I Photograph Buildings
Hmmm. I think I will use both, I have an idea how that will work.
And this is broad enough to appeal to both photographers and clients.
Ok – branding done.
Rick McEvoy – Architectural and Construction Photography
And as a footer and sign off to things
Rick McEvoy MCIOB, ABIPP – I Photograph Buildings
3 – Price, quality, and my target market
I want to tell you how I started making money in photography and where I am now. Bear with me – this is relevant!
My first commercial gigs were photographing damaged cars for insurance companies. I was amazed how many local jobs I got. The problem was that I was only getting paid £15 per job. This was commercial photography at the bottom end of the market.
I progressed from that onto photographing houses and creating floor plans. My fee escalated to £50 per property. But both were good learning for me so no regrets. And between then and now I have worked for a range of prices doing a huge variety of jobs.
Thankfully, those days are behind me.
Who do I work for now?
These days I work mainly for architects and building product manufacturers and suppliers.
This is my target market.
And this is where I need to target my marketing.
I get enquiries from contractors all the time, but rarely win any work as these enquiries are price driven, such is the nature of contracting. I should know that – I have been working in that environment for years now.
As I said at the beginning of this section I should be targeting people who value architecture and design, and for whom excellent photography of their buildings is an essential marketing tool.
I have also declined lower value jobs, and none construction related photography work. This is the natural extension of my niching down even further. And this feeds nicely into the next point.
To sum up – I want to take photographs of buildings for people who value them. People who have a genuine love of architecture and a buildings place in the grand scheme of things.
Who is my ideal client?
My ideal client is an architect. Architects dedicate their working life to buildings, their design, their architecture.
And I enjoy working with architects and feed off their enthusiasm for their work.
4 – Website/ websites
In 2020 the need for a website is pretty much a given. I think we all know that. A website is your online shop and source of information for anyone on this planet. And a website can provide you with an income if done correctly.
I have three websites at the moment.
Rick McEvoy Photography
This is my original and main website. This is where my blog lives. This is my online shop window.
And this website has been completely overhauled in 2020.
Firstly, I have moved to WordPress from Squarespace. I have just finished doing this.
I wanted to get onto a platform where I am responsible for and own my own content. And I also want a faster website – my Squarespace was too slow, and this is a problem to me, especially on mobile platforms.
At the same time I changed the format of the website to tie in with my niches. This restructuring has pulled everything together, so it makes sense.
My photography blog
This is where you will find my photography blog, which is the cornerstone of my website and how I hope to get traffic to my website with targeted blog posts about very specific questions that people ask in Google. More below on this.
Paxos Travel Guide
The first phase of work on this website is done, and I look forward to getting back to creating new content to hopefully give the website some momentum for the busy summer period.
This website is already on WordPress using a super-quick theme called Acabado.
Photos of Santorini.
This is a travel website, not a photography website.
Created in 2018 as the place to put my photos of Santorini this website needs some more work.
This is a travel photography website, created whilst I was still finding my feet in the website creation world.
This website might prove to be a mistake – I will learn from this mistake though and maybe it will make money in the future.
Why three websites?
Well the Paxos website has been created solely to generate passive income. I have used a structure which I have learned through Income School. If this works I will create more websites.
Photos of Santorini was intended for the same use but needs more work.
Passive income generation
The plan is to earn money from advertising and affiliate marketing on all my websites. A passive income in the background.
Having a passive, regular income in the background is very appealing to me – the internet is definitely the future!
And also of course to attract lots of new clients for my architectural and construction photography work.
5 – Start a blog
Why start a blog? Blogs are still relevant in 2020. The beauty of a blog is that it is an ongoing content creating platform. Google loves regular, new, high quality content.
I have a photography blog. As I said earlier this is the cornerstone of my website.
I used to publish daily blog posts. Low quality, low interest blog posts.
Rubbish. I produced daily rubbish.
I am over that (well not quite as I still have to get rid of loads of old rubbish).
In October 2018 I stopped producing daily rubbish and started producing longer, higher quality weekly blog posts like this. I have managed to continue this content creation consistently since then, producing higher quality weekly blog posts for well over a year now.
But this needs some thinking about, bearing in mind what I wrote above. I need to focus on my niche. Architectural and construction photography is my niche. Not travel photography.
Can I write weekly blog posts about this?
Yes – as the saying goes, I am going to go an inch wide and a mile deep!
This is where I have been going wrong. My website is not only about architectural photography, and this was the problem. I wanted to appeal to more than that single audience.
I wanted my photography blog to also have general appeal within the photography sphere, but within very specific areas.
- Micro four thirds photography
- Image processing
- Photography business
- Photography gear
- Photography websites
How did I put this together? This is the thing that I have been struggling with.
So this is what I came up with.
Four subject areas to write about every month, 1 post pre subject area
- Architectural photography
- Travel and landscape photography
- Photography business
- Image processing
That was my plan. And it did not work. Well to be fair I did not follow it.
So for now the posts are all going to be related to architectural and construction photography. I am not getting rid of everything else (apart from the rubbish I mentioned earlier).
Sure I can broaden things out to include
- Sky replacement
- Photo taking tips
But all related to architectural and construction photography.
Get the point?
I am finally!
These things that I came up with before still apply.
1 – Architectural and construction photography
- Behind the scenes
- Gear used
- Commercial matters
- Photos taken
- Tips and techniques
2 – Photography business
- Commercial partners/ affiliates
- Business news
- Websites and internet marketing
3 – Image processing
- Luminar 4 AI Sky Replacement
- Before and after
OK that is good.
6 – Get into video
Video is the future. Really it is.
I am talking here about online content as well as commercial work for clients. I am getting more and more requests for additional video, so much so that I have invested in some kit that will help me to produce decent quality videos using my iPhone.
That kit is the DJI Osmo Mobile 3 and a Rode Video Mic Me. Small, lightweight, and agile gear that turns my iPhone XS into a mobile recording studio. Sweet.
Things that I will be trialling include video walkthroughs of buildings and construction sites and behind the scenes videos on shoots.
These are different things that not many others are doing.
This I am working on right now.
You Tube is the second biggest search engine. And as much as I hate filming myself talking to my iPhone I am embracing You tube.
I tried creating a weekly video which is basically me talking about the blog post for that week.
My blog posts are published on a Monday, and my videos should have been published on a Tuesday. But I never hit the consistency.
So I need to get back to this weekly commitment, starting today. After I have written this post I will record a video for publishing tomorrow.
7 – Structure the sharing of your content
I have created a weekly spread sheet which I am going to use in 2020 to ensure that each and every piece of content I create is published consistently to all channels, starting with my blog.
Once a post has been published, it will also be published wither in whole or as an extract pointing back to my website on
- Google Business
And that will be pretty much my social media output.
Sorry, videos will get the same treatment, being published first on You Tube before being reposted as above.
I need to make the best out of each and every piece of content that I create.
8 –Affiliate income
I have affiliate arrangements with a number of companies. And yes these links are affiliate links.
If you click on one of my affiliate links and buy a product I get a commission. That is how affiliate marketing works pretty much.
Skylum make Luminar 4. I have written lots of posts about Luminar 4 and in particular Luminar 4 AI Sky Replacement. And I get most of my affiliate income from Skylum.
Not fortunes, but a few other affiliate programmes created the same income things would get interesting.
I am also an affiliate for the following, which I need to put much more work into.
Excire Search Pro
A Lightroom plug-in that has super-fast and super clever AI search capabilities.
I use the DJI Osmo Mobile 3 for video creation. I love this bit of kit which I am getting used to using.
I have signed up to be an Adobe affiliate, as a lifelong Lightroom user. Here is the brand new affiliate link.
I signed up to the Canon UK affiliate programme. Again I need to do more work on this.
I use the Peak Design Everyday Backpack every day, literally. And when I travel abroad I use this as my camera bag and hand luggage.
I have just signed up to the TUI affiliate programme. Again I need to do more work on this. But until I do I use them for foreign trips all the time!
I am an Amazon Associate.
I have earned £8.35 from this to date. I am clearly doing something wrong, and need to have a log hard look at this.
9 – Consistency and quality
This is very important.
I feel like I have been jumping around all over the place. I get focussed and then go off-piste. I need to get back on track and stay there, concentrating on the things I have written about here.
My photography blog
I have produced a weekly blog post now every week for 18 months, and will continue with this.
I need to add that consistency to my social media output, and stay within my niches.
Every week I will create a YouTube video about the blog post. And a shorter video which is published on Pinterest and LinkedIn.
Keeping this consistency going is the key.
I was alarmed by the number of typos in old posts. Bad grammar. Basic errors.
This was not good to see but made me think more about quality, and this is something that I have actioned straight away.
Quality over quantity – it sounds obvious, but it is easily missed. I should know I am guilty of this.
OK – they are the 9 ideas that I wanted to share with you.
Is this stuff working?
No. This is why I am making these further changes, getting much more specific.
I am seeing significant web traffic growth to my main website. More than I have ever seen before, so things are looking up. And this is all happening organically. And this work is all there for the future to be built upon, which is the exciting thing.
This is me building a strong internet base for the future in my very specific areas of work.
Where is all my stuff online?
Here are links to all the stuff I have written about in this blog post
And the video of this post
You can also watch the video on my You Tube Channel where I talk about this blog post.
Consistency and focus are the key here, doing the things that I need do and none of the stuff that does not contribute to moving forwards.
Consistency, simplicity, and focus – these are the key words for me for 2020.
Everything is geared to attracting work in my niche market, building web traffic and passive income.
That was my 9 photography business ideas you can steal right now. 8 ideas plus a point about quality and consistency.
What is my end game?
Time freedom and financial freedom.
That is what this is all about.
Don’t forget to check out the video that accompanies this blog post which you can get to on my YouTube channel.
Rick McEvoy ABIPP, MCIOB – I Photograph Buildings
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