Most of the commercial photographers out there had to go through fire and a whole bunch of challenges before they managed to get commercial success. Commercial success can look like an entire mountain to conquer and it is, but that’s not how you should be seeing things. Take it a day at a time, focus on your goals and on the rest of the other things that you need to do a step at a time. This way, you don’t end up getting overwhelmed with all of the things that you need to work out in order for you to be in more or less the same playing field as with the rest of all of the other commercial photographers out there who are currently enjoying the perks of being at the pinnacle of their careers. If you don’t gain commercial success right away, this is because it is most likely impossible to do so, given the amount of competition and difficulty it will usually require for commercial photographers to succeed. However, you can always gain consolation in the knowledge that things like these are gradual and that they will get to work out one way or the other for as long as you are patient enough and diligent enough to go through with things at the end of the day.
Always manage the expectations of your clients.
Always learn about what they are requiring from the commercial photographers they are considering. Your clients are paying customers. This means that they are shelling out a good amount of money for your services as a commercial photographer. You cannot afford to do anything halfway through or half heartedly. You need to make sure that you are able to really go through with things in the best possible way and that your clients are fully satisfied with everything that you manage to produce and provide for them by the end of your coverage. This means that whatever they may currently be expecting from you should always be satisfied and you should even try to go perhaps so over that. Talk to them and find out about their expectations at the onset of the agreement. If you think that their expectations might be a little too much to follow through on, explain what the realities are and try to gauge their responses from there. If they are absolutely adamant about getting what they want but are unwilling to compromise with say, the pricing, for example, then perhaps you should use this as your cue to let go of the agreement.
Get your pricing plan set in motion and explain it well to your clients.
Your pricing should both be attractive to potential clients and strategic as well. This means that it should be low enough to bring them in and have them book you but still high enough for you to have a fairly comfortable margin of profit from it somewhere along the way. Study and list down the overhead costs and the kind of equipment that you will be using for the coverage. Also project the number of hours as well as the different deliverables that you will need to push through with and try to calculate those. The moment that you deduct all of the overhead costs and equipment charges, aim for a per hour calculation of your services.
Constantly do sign offs while you are at it.
It can be tricky having to deal with demanding clients and commercial photographers stress over this all of the time. They might ask you do redo your shoots because they didn’t get what they were aiming for. To avoid this, bring them along during shoots and constantly try to do sign offs while you are at it. This way, they are looped in all of the time and you get their sign of approval before you move on to the next phase.