Tips for Creating Business Goals for Photographers

Jan 10, 2024

As we talk about goal setting in our businesses, it is important to know why we create goals. We all have dreams for ourselves and an idea of where we want to see our business go. The problem is, these dreams are big picture and it can be hard to know how to get there. We need to set yearly goals that are more short term that act as stepping stones to our larger big picture goals. You need to plan for success, it doesn't *just happen* for most people. 


As you are creating your goals, there are three different types; personal goals, monetary goals, and non-monetary goals.

1) Personal goals

Technically personal goals aren't "business" goals, but it is because we have our business to support our personal so they are intertwined. What do you want to do with the extra money you take home?

Examples: remodel your kitchen, go on a vacation, invest or save, pay of debt, get a new couch


2) Monetary goals

Monetary goals are goals related to money, pretty simple. How much money do you want to make?

I like to add in rewards and incentivize myself. Often times we work really hard to reach our goals, then move right on to the next goal. We aren't taking time to celebrate our wins. With every goal you give yourself, have a pre-determined reward that goes with it. Once you reach that goal, you give yourself the reward. You can also do this in a more tiered system with levels of goals, the higher the goal you reach, the bigger the reward. 


3) Non-monetary goals

Non-monetary goals are goals that aren't about money. These are important because even though they don't include money, they support your business in ways that make you money. I always try to set 10-15 non-monetary goals every single year. here are some examples

  • Participate in a retreat or styled shoot
  • Networking with a certain number of other vendors: photographers, planners, etc
  • Get a certain number of followers on a social media platform
  • Go to X amount of networking events
  • Have X amount of weddings booked by December for the next year


Now that we have our goals created, we need to keep track of them. It isn't enough to just create the goals and not look at them again until the end of the year hoping we met them. We need to be tracking and working torards them for them to be really effective. I love spreadsheets and keep track of mine in a spreadsheet format. 


Having and tracking goals can help you avoid burnout. One of the biggest complaints among photographers is the feeling of being burned out. We struggle to say no and we overbook and overwork ourselves. Goals can help you avoid this feeling. How? 

Example: My goal for October is $10,000 in income for the month. I have a spreadsheet and can see that my projected income for October income is currently $9,000. I can make a decision to take another wedding or not. But, I know I don't need more than one. I can start saying I am fully booked for that month and STOP taking bookings. Too often we just look at our calendar and see open days and book. We aren't taking into account our goals and projected income. This will allow you to say no and stop feeling so overworked and burned out by the end of the season.


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