Let's Talk About Money
Why did you become a photographer/florist/graphic designer/writer/etc? Anyone else get that question all the time? Was I some child prodigy who was born taking pictures and had an art exhibit by the time I was 3? Hellz to the no!
I started my photography business because we were broke.
I mean, we were SO broke that we ate cheese quesadillas for every meal, water came in through the walls of our apartment when it rained, and I volunteered to be a participant in medical studies to make an extra $40 here or there. Being 21, newly married, and trying to get out from a heap of student loans was no easy task. My camera all of a sudden became another way to make a little extra money for groceries that month. I had no idea at that time that my little business would grow from just a way to put food on the table, to one of the biggest financial and life blessings to my family and our future.
Here’s the thing- no one really talks about money or the fact that many photographers are not making much of a profit at the end of the day. You NEED your business to be profitable. Otherwise it’s just a very expensive and time consuming hobby.
Here are THREE FIRST STEPS to financial zen in your creative business:
Define success for yourself and your business. For me, it’s working 3 days a week, paying all of our bills + investing, being debt free, having lots of time with my son, doing work that is inspiring to me, and having the financial freedom to travel and invest in experiences. Write out what is important to you and what you want from your business. Don’t let someone else’s version of success make you feel bad about your own. Don’t let the curated lives of others kill some of the joy of what you are working towards! You were never meant to be a carbon copy of someone else. You have a voice. You have a superpower. You can make shiz happen.
Increase your profit margin. This is the amount of money that’s left over after your expenses of running a business. Pricing is a big part of this equation, but also evaluating your costs and if there is anyway you can cut back or save some money.
Build a personal AND business budget. If you aren’t telling your money where to go, it will grow it’s own legs and walk off. We recommend setting your personal budget first and then using that as a guide to decide how much profit you need your business to bring in. P.S. a budget doesn’t have to mean you don’t spend money on anything. I have LOTS of fun spending money, but it’s after I’ve put that money in a budget line and decided where everything goes.
To truly find freedom in your finances as a freelancer, your personal and business budgets will have to find a way to live in harmony. I can tell you all day long that you should raise your rates, but honestly, you might have a million other problems that are preventing you from making enough money.
What is your biggest struggle with the financial side of your business? Write me back and let me know!