Jeff Brown Goal Setting 1

8 Highly Effective Ways to Set Goals to Success – For Your Photography Business

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During this post, I am going to introduce you to 8 highly effective ways to set goals to success for your photography business. 

Most photographers don’t set goals, but if you don’t have a clear and defined direction for where you want your business to go, how will you ever achieve success or know when you are there?

You are going to learn about the goal-setting techniques that I have taught to thousands of photographers around the world through my highly respected photography mentoring programme, online webinars, podcasts and my best-selling book, The Ambitious Photographer’s Journal.

With over 15 years of running my own successful photography businesses, my hugely popular 6 Steps to Success programme, and through offering free photography mentoring calls, I have identified 8 key areas that your goals should fall into.

What are the 8 Highly Effective ways to set goals to success – for your photography business? 

Read on to find out more about setting goals for Income & Shoots, Brand & Pricing, Website, Blogging, & SEO, Social Media & Authority, Joint Ventures & Collaboration, Projects & Passive Income, Personal & Lifestyle Goals, and last but not least, Rewards.

As you can see the 8 highly effective ways to set goals to success for your photography business are goal-setting categories. They include elements of your business activities but also importantly, your lifestyle. This is crucial, as all these aspects work together to form the supporting structures to your overall strategy.

Goals are an essential element of your success; they are the foundations and provide the roadmap for your business.

During this guide, I’m going to explain in detail how to go about setting those goals, how to make those goals effective, and ultimately how to make more money from your business and achieve success.

How can setting goals make more money for your photography business?

Let’s get this out there straight away. I wouldn’t be talking about this unless I believed it would make your photography business more financially successful. That’s what we are all here for, right?

My framework has been established from years of industry experience, running my own photography businesses, and working with thousands of photographers around the world to support them in making their photography businesses successful.

I’ve described this process as “8 highly effective ways to set goals to success for your photography business” for a reason, they work – if you put in the work. And you’ll make more money in your business. Simple.

Set goals for your photography business. This is an image of a man sitting in a cafe writing his ideas on paper.

What is goal setting for photography?

I often hear photographers set themselves big goals such as making £100k this year or a booking certain number of shoots in a year. Those are great goals! However, they are incredibly general. A lot of other aspects of your business need to come together for you to achieve them, and you need a process that you can follow to get yourself there. This is where you set goals.

As creatives, we struggle with procrastination, imposter syndrome, setting priorities in our businesses – the works. To believe in ourselves, and succeed in our businesses, we need to set goals and hold ourselves to them.

With no way of holding yourself accountable or even tracking your progress as you go, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay on track, or equally recognise your successes as you progress.

The 8 highly effective ways to set goals to success for your photography business have been developed very specifically to help you focus on particular areas of your business, and allow you to be clear about the progress you can make – keeping within these categories limits procrastination and frees you up for success.

Where to start when you set goals

I’ll teach you now to come up with those BIG ideas – as we don’t get anywhere without BIG goals. From there we need to break them down into smaller, manageable day-to-day activities.

This is the essential element to the process that I teach, how to break down those ideas and be consistent. You set goals using all the small activities that help you get there.

Write down your 10 big photography goals.

When you write down your goals you start to make yourself accountable. I’m going to show you more about what those goals might be in a moment, but before we start, I wanted to underline the importance of writing them down.

Did you know that 90% of people never clearly write down their goals?

So just with the simple act of writing them down, you are putting yourself into the top 10% of photographers heading for success.

Once you start to set goals you can start to break these down into smaller daily routines and habits that give you a path you can follow.

You can start to take action. Without writing those goals down in the first place you’ll not have any markers or milestones to follow. It’s also an important element for your mind. By writing down your goals, you make them real, you provide yourself with a focus and a place to start from.

Remember, my 8 highly effective ways to set goals to success for your photography business are here to guide you. You don’t need to feel overwhelmed anymore. This is a straightforward structure that you can use to give yourself focus and deliver big results.

My top tips when thinking about your goals.

  • No goal is too great
  • Make your goals ambitious
  • Ambitious goals deliver big surprises
  • Set goals around visibility.
  • Break down your goals into mini-milestones.
  • Get started, it’s not going to be perfect.
  • Track your goals weekly.
  • It’s the small steps that produce big results.
  • Visualise and dream daily.
  • Revisit your goals every Sunday evening.

Using goals to make more than money for your photography business

You can make money in your photography business without goals. You might even hit some of the targets that you set yourself, it will be hard. However, it’s easier when you set proper goals and break them down.

When you set big ambitious goals, you’ll find that you are inspired to work harder. Quite often you’ll find yourself getting amazing rewards along the way, long before you achieve those huge goals you set out to accomplish.

Those surprises will almost always help your bottom line, but they also have the power to delight you and to raise your business life into something infinitely more valuable.

What areas of your business and life can you set goals for?

Having been working both as a photographer and a photographers’ mentor for over 15 years, I have developed my goal setting areas based on my personal experiences and those of my mentees.

These 8 highly effective ways to set goals to success for your photography business are essential aspects of your operations, but they all work together. There are often hugely surprising results. Only recently one of my mentees massively increased her revenue AND re-focussed her entire message allowing her to become known as the five-star premium headshot photographer in her county.

She did this simply by starting with a focused SEO goal to achieve 100 5-star reviews on Google My Business. By achieving this one single goal she also exceeded her revenue target, increased her prices, got to the top spot on Google and booked more clients, all by chasing those 5-star reviews. You can hear more detail about this story in my YouTube Video on Effective Goal Setting for Success here.

How goal setting for your business works.

The areas outlined below all work together, they complement each other. So, by working on one goal, you’ll often indirectly be supporting yourself in reaching another goal.

Let me explain. The same is true when you set goals outside your business life. You might have a goal to lose weight. You know that reducing your calorie intake or choosing certain foods will help. You also know that if you increase your exercise, that will take you a step further. All of this will improve your overall level of fitness. All these little things add up and complement each other to help take you to the bigger goal.

With your photography business goals, if you improve your SEO and website ranking, you will attract more visitors and therefore more enquiries. This will help you towards your financial goals and the number of shoots you may be aiming for this year.

If you improve your photography business branding and create a more premium look and feel, you will be able to increase your pricing. This will help you towards your financial goals.

The 8 highly effective ways to set goals for your photography business.

Income & Shoots

Do you have a big financial goal for the year? It’s a good idea to break this down against the number of shoots that you need to do for the year to reach this goal.

Brand & Pricing

To achieve that big number goal, you may need to increase your pricing. If you want to increase your prices, you may also need to invest in your brand. You might consider redoing your pricelist, developing a new brochure, or having your logo created. All these aspects will support you in reaching that financial target.

Website, Blogging, and SEO

Setting goals to increase your website SEO rankings will help your business to be found, which in turn can help with your other goals. More website visits means more enquiries, more bookings, more followers and more revenue. Do you see how all these goal-setting areas complement each other? They support each other to help you to reach your big goals.

Social Media & Authority

You’ve probably heard the old “visibility is credibility” message. Well, it’s perfectly true. The more visible you are, the more credible you become. Set yourself big social media goals such as the number of followers or frequency of posts.

Joint Ventures & Collaboration

This is so often completely overlooked by photographers, but it truly is a superb opportunity. One of the fastest ways to grow your online following is to develop collaborations and joint ventures with other businesses that already serve your ideal clients. It sounds complicated (and possibly a bit daunting) but it really doesn’t have to be.

I’ll be following up this post with another about how to set up joint ventures and collaborations. It’s such a valuable business skill, and I really don’t want you to miss this opportunity!

Projects & Passive Income

More than ever in the past, this is the time to look at how you create a passive income, or evergreen revenue projects.

Here are some examples to get you started. You might look at including images in a stock site, or at creating online courses and programmes to sell photography training. You could set up a private member site or sell your images through Facebook groups. Landscape and cityscape images are frequently sold through private Facebook groups. You could teach photography tips and tricks through private Facebook groups for a fee. Even writing and selling e-books, journals, and kindle books can provide a form of passive income.

These are all fantastic ways of creating an ongoing passive revenue stream, just by sharing your photography knowledge and skills with people in the wider world.

Personal & Lifestyle Goals

It’s so important to remember that it’s not all work, work, work. So please do think about setting yourself some personal and lifestyle goals for the coming year. Often how we feel in ourselves reflects in our happiness, positivity, well-being, and drive.

I personally know that when I feel fit and healthy and have enjoyable things to look forward to in my life, like holidays and spending quality time with my daughter, my work productivity increases, and my overall well-being improves. I get more stuff done because I’m in a better frame of mind. I feel fitter, I don’t feel lethargic. So, these lifestyle and personal goals really do help towards your overall business goals.


This is a good one! As business owners, sometimes we forget to set reward goals for ourselves. We’re so busy running the business, paying the bills, and serving our clients, that rewarding ourselves is often forgotten. If you set yourself a goal to save for something, you are rewarding yourself for your hard work. It’s an essential goal to have, in my opinion.

So now you know what the 8 highly effective ways to set goals to success for your photography business are, what do you do next? Read on.

Write them down!

Remember what I mentioned earlier about 90% of people not writing their goals down? This is the moment that you do. At this stage, I strongly suggest you write some down. 

If you’re not sure where to start you can download my free 10 Steps to Setting your Photography Goals guide. You’ll find a planner at the end that will help you get started.

Ideally, you want to come up with 10 big goals. So now you have your BIG goals. You need to:

Develop a system for breaking down your goals

One of the hardest things to see is when photographers have been brave and set themselves big, beautiful goals, but they have no system to break down those goals into small daily tasks to help themselves achieve the goals that they have set out to reach.

How to get from a broad BIG HUGE GOAL to manageable chunks.

Yearly goals fail because the timescale is just too great. This is why I teach my mentees to break their goals into manageable three-monthly markers. I call these 3-Month Milestone Goals.

How to use your 90-day goals or Milestone Goals.

This is where you really get started and track your goals. You break your huge goals into 90-day, then monthly, then weekly, then daily activities. You can track how you are going against them WEEKLY. Suddenly, everything becomes a lot more manageable. The small steps produce big results.

How to maintain your goal setting

The best way that I have found to maintain your goal-setting habit is to check in on your progress every Sunday evening. This is a perfect time to look back at the 90-day Milestone goals, your monthly goals, and set your daily tasks out for the week.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and feel more confident about using these 8 highly effective ways to set goals to success for your photography business – with all of these small efforts you really can achieve big results! I’ve seen it time and time again.

Get serious about setting goals

If you’d like a really comprehensive guide, and the full goal-setting experience, my book, The Ambitious Photographer’s Journal is available on Amazon.

During this 52-week journal, I take you through my entire goal-setting method. You’ll find out the entire process behind the 8 highly effective ways to set goals to success for your photography business. It’s full of examples and much more detail about how to go about setting those all-important goals.

You have sections for your big ideas, your 90-day milestones, and goal trackers for every month of the year, right down to your daily tasks and habits to ensure you reach those BIG goals.

The genius of the journal and you can start using it ANYTIME you like. It’s not date or time-limited, so if you wanted to start in the middle of April or September, you can just do that. There’s no need to wait.

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The Photographers Mentor

"If you would like a FREE social media and marketing review of your business, click to book a call, and we can chat. I'll give you some great tips and advice and answer any questions you may have about my six-step photo shoot program. I'm not going to hard-sell my program itself; if you feel it's time to take your business to the next level, please think about it and get back to me after we talk. I have a great relationship with all my clients, and I'm honest with you. You can't build relationships on hard selling; that's what gives marketing mentors a bad name, and that's not me." Thank you, and I hope to speak to you soon, Jeff