You have confidence in your creativity as a photographer, and it’s time to move it up to a professional level. Starting a freelance business takes courage, imagination and even a little help from unusual sources. Being the boss isn’t easy, but doing what you love is worth taking a few risks.
Focus on Your Best
Someday, there may be assignments that send you around the world in pursuit of the perfect image. However, starting at home is more realistic, so think about the kind of photography you enjoy the most. Children’s portraits take a different mindset than handling a wedding party. Commercial jobs range from food styling to aerial work. Focus on what you naturally do best, and stick with it. Once you’re professionally and financially established, you can afford to branch out. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with loving a niche, and many successful careers revolve around a personal specialty.
Get a Good Coach
Photography is an art, but any success as a freelancer depends on the ability to run a business. Like web and graphic design, this might not be your strong point. Consider partnering up with someone who specializes in mentoring new entrepreneurs. A professional business coach isn’t expensive, and his advice is invaluable. He can help you get organized, set realistic goals and deal with daily routines. From long-term strategies to handling paperwork, a personal coach provides a structured framework that gives you room to grow and stay creative. One in your geographic area can be found online using an international professional life coach directory like noomii.com. A person can review many different kinds of coaches available with different areas of coaching specialties.
Give It Away
While the starving artist holds romantic appeal, no one wants to miss paying the bills and enjoying a full cupboard. Still, you’re not in a position to command premium fees quite yet. Your pricing has to be competitive, but giving away a few services can actually pay off. Think about the invaluable positive word of mouth you’ll receive when the client receives something extra. Factor the cost of giving away free images into a limited marketing budget, and the investment pays off. Volunteer work is a great way to raise your profile with the community, so get acquainted with local organizations, and offer to lend them your talents.
Make a Trade
You’re one of the best photographers around, but those skills don’t translate into coding a website or designing business cards. Bartering is an old and respected business transaction, and it’s successful because it works. The expense of a website can be traded for your work at the code warrior’s family reunion. Ask that graphic designer if he has some assignments you can do in exchange for his services. This strategy is another method for promoting your freelance business that only costs time and material. You can easily pick up valuable marketing tools in exchange for traded expertise.
It’s exciting to spread your wings and soar into the world of freelance photography, but always remember that you’re running a business. Apply your talent to what you love the most, use some smart marketing imagination, and never be afraid to ask for help.
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