Photography can be a very lucrative and interesting job to do. Not only does it allow you to see beautiful sights, but you also help many of your customers capture the most pleasant of memories in high definition. Any professional photographer knows that it’s more than just about snapping some pictures. It’s about getting the angles, lighting, and all the other elements for a precision shot.
Thankfully, customers understand the value of photography, which is why they are willing to pay for the work that photographers put into helping them to capture memories and aesthetically pleasing sights. It’s often said that “a picture tells 1000 words,” and they are best told when clear and crisp.
Alterations in Cash Flow
Unfortunately, the current pandemic situation has thrown a wrench into the income-earning potential of many different industries. Photography was not spared, which has led to some tough times for people in the industry worldwide who now have trouble collecting their money. Certainly, having a consistent enough cash flow is important in taking care of your various expenses.
By far the first thing we would recommend for photographers is launching your own portfolio website if you haven’t already. What do portfolio sites have to do with making money? – Modern portfolio sites allow you to sell photos directly on the site itself. The most advanced website builders for photographers have built-in functional options that allow you to turn a regular portfolio site into an online store for selling virtual goods. Selling photos on your own website can be an effective way to generate passive income for you.
The pandemic has created a situation of uncertainty and of scarcity, which compounds the problem. People are now in a position where they need funds more than ever, but it is also one that restricts earning potential, especially where certain collection methods are employed. So, what can you do as someone who runs a photography business to keep yourself afloat?
Invoicing in Photography
In the world of photography, invoicing tends to work in one of two ways. The first is the monthly retainer model. In this instance, you either agree on a certain amount of work to be done monthly, or you may be called on as needed throughout the month. Regardless of how that part of it works, you are paid a monthly fee for your services.
There is also the one-off payment method that is more applicable to photographers who charge on a per appointment basis. In this case, customers usually pay a part of the total cost in advance, and the balance is paid when the product is delivered.
The first model works better for businesses and arrangements where the photographer does many jobs for the client monthly. It’s usually more efficient and affordable to establish a monthly fee and stick with it in those cases. In contrast, the one-off invoicing method is better for photographers who do one-off jobs for different clients.
While this invoicing process sounds simple enough, it’s not as effective as it should be for many photographers. No one can deny that there has been a loss in opportunities since the pandemic has started. Still, another big problem plaguing photographers is that their invoicing process is counterintuitive, which means collecting from clients is way harder than it should be.
Many photographers would collect cash or checks, for example. No one is saying it’s impossible to do so now, but when you have a situation where people are supposed to be trying their best to stay away from physical contact, things begin to go downhill.
Some Advice on Invoicing
The best thing you can do for yourself as a photographer who struggles to collect is to streamline your invoicing and collection process. For example, if you live in the United States, you are working in an industry that turns over an annual revenue of $10 billion. There is no reason why you should be struggling to collect.
Check out this Hiveage guide to photographers, which has a lot of useful information that you can use to fine-tune your workflow and invoicing process. A couple of the most important tidbits are as follows:
- Use an Online Invoicing Service – Online invoicing software helps you achieve a streamlined and efficient invoicing process. Depending on the provider you use, you can also efficiently keep track of financial information, as you reduce the administrative effort associated with the process. You can get access to invoice templates with all the relevant information to make your billing much smoother.
- Create an Agreement – Invoicing should always be based on an agreement. Never start working for any client under informal circumstances. While the business world should operate promptly and ethically, some customers are very laid back where payments are concerned. Agreements help to make things legally binding, and in the context of an online environment, you may even be able to have protection built-in.
How Hiveage and Paylinks Can Help You Get Paid Faster
Hiveage is an online invoicing software system that can make your life a whole lot easier by assisting you in streamlining your cash flow. Depending on how you use the platform, you can generate invoices, complete expense reports, quotations, payment receipts, account statements, etc.
If you’ve ever wanted a professional-looking invoice, this is the place to get it, and it doesn’t take much effort for you to get things set up. You can take advantage of built-in payments or common online payment gateways to collect your money from your clients.
Take advantage of Hiveage’s free invoice generator. The easy to use interface allows you to bill your clients in your choice of numerous currencies. There is a designated area for you to attach your logo, which associates the invoice with your brand image. Customize the editor with the information you want to include, such as client details, invoice number, payment terms, purchase order number, item descriptions, taxes, and notes.
When you’re finished with the editor, you can preview your creation and download it when you are satisfied.
Paylinks completes the cash flow puzzle by making it super convenient to bill and charge your customers. The Paylinks app is available on both the Android and iOS stores, and it makes the idea of a contactless payment alternative a breeze, which is a plus in a time like this.
The whole Paylinks workflow is very simple. Begin by connecting your accounts with popular gateways, such as PayPal or Stripe. Next, create payment requests by establishing the payment amounts and designating whatever number of recipients who can open it. Once you get your Paylink from the previous steps, share it via social media, text, or email. After clicking on the link, your client is taken directly to a secure payment page to complete the payment transaction.
When customers have an easier time paying, it makes them less likely to default on payment. Go into 2021 with a steady cash flow by taking advantage of Hiveage and Paylinks.