Okay this one’s for all my business owners. Photographer or not. I wanted to share some of the most influential books I’ve read over the years since starting my photography business in 2011. WOW. Time has passed so quickly, it feels surreal that I’ve been in business for over 12 years now. Before I get to my top suggestions for creative business books that I love, hear me out.
I went to college for photography but still felt like I knew nothing about running a successful business. When I was in college for photography, I was required to take one business class and to be honest it was so out of date and just not helpful in any way. Here are some of my favorite books that I’ve read throughout the years and each one has given me the stepping stone I needed to grow my business to where it is today.
Money. The reason most of us are in business. Sure, I absolutely love what I do and would honestly do it for free if had to. BUT every business owner I know started their business because they wanted to make money or a profit. This book completely changed the way I think about money and my business. It kind of just flips everything upside down that you’ve ever been taught about making a profit with your business.
BONUS: The Author of this book Mike Michalowicz, is really funny. I would 100% recommend listening to it on audible. He makes ‘business education’ a little less blahhh.
Profit First – Mike Michalowicz
As a creative business owner it can be so easy to get lost in all the ideas I have floating around in my head. Making it so easy to start projects and not fully finish them. This book gives you some really great practical ways to finish things that are important to you and your business.
Before reading this book there would be so many things that I would truly think about doing within my business. I would get so excited about the idea, jump in with no plan and then end up with a half finished project two months later. After reading this book I now strive to get things finished before moving onto the next project or idea.
Finish – Jon Acuff
Probably one of my ALL TIME favorite creative business books that I love. The author, Lara Casey is the founder of Southern Weddings Magazine. After founding the magazine, she switched her business over to making Goal Planners. I actually LOVE using her PowerSheets Goal Planner in my business and personal life.
This book, Make it Happen, is the starting place of this planner. A majority of this book has to do with letting go of fear. Not only business owners experience fear around goal setting or getting things done. This can be applicable to really anyone. You don’t have to have a business to read this book and benefit from it. It is such a wonderful book that I could read it over and over again. I love Laura Casey, if you’re hoping to get things done and not feel guilt in your life, I highly recommend this book.
Make It Happen – Lara Casey
Okay up next is this amazing book by Donald Miller. If you are familiar with Donald Miller and his work you would remember the book he wrote years ago- Blue Like Jazz. Since writing that book, he has become a marketing and branding guru. In this book he goes into great detail about building a story brand and clarifying your branding message.
This book is SO great if you are really trying to stand out as a business but don’t want to just copy what other people are doing. Another great point in this books is that you should make your business more personable to you. What your story is. In todays world of creative businesses its so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing. So I really love that this book reminds you to be true to yourself and your brand.
Building A Storybrand – Donald Miller
This is probably one of the first books read when I started by photography business back in 2011. This book is actually written by two photographers. It kind of gives you some fun ideas on creating a better client experience. As a business owner I love new clients but repeat customers are even sweeter. Why? Because they have already experienced my work and loved it so much they are coming back for more.
Its not always about the photos you take (or what ever service you provide) but the little extra things you do for your clients along the way that have them coming back for more.
I really love this book and the prospective it provides. It gives you some really fun ideas about how to make your business different and why you don’t have to change your prices based on what others are charging. In today’s economy this would be a really great book to read, especially if you are a newer photographer.
Worth Every Penny – Sarah Petty & Erin Verbeck
So anyways, I feel like I could talk and talk about all the creative business books that I love to better your business. Books are such an understated recourse in todays online world. If I could make any suggestion to business owners (new or seasoned) it would be to invest in yourself as a business owner.
Never stop learning or evolving your business. I’ve been a business owner for over 12 years and I’m still learning every day. I’ve truly learned so much about business by reading these books, way more than I did in college. If I would have read these books in college, my business would have been so different starting out.
I challenge you to pick at least one of these books and invest in your busines knowledge. Let me know in the comments below which one you are going to read first!
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