One of the greatest joys of my job at James Madison University is teaching college students how to shoot portraits. Watching them flourish as artists inspires me to stay creative. Pouring out to share about a passion of mine makes my cup overflow. I hope to create and cultivate a space here where the hobbyist can be inspired to take the first steps to a hustle.
Here are 3 tips To Turn Your Hobby into a Hustle:
Shoot everything and everything, but then find your niche. Give yourself a chance to shoot several kinds of portraits: families, seniors, newborns, couples. After each session, write the trials and the triumphs. Once you’ve gotten a flavor for each, be VERY specific with the services you offer. This is where you can start saying “yes” to the shoots that bring you joy and the gentle “no” to the ones that cause stress. When you learn how to say “no” and refer the prospective client to a friend, then you’re actually benefitting everyone: giving you more time for the “yes,” bringing business and supporting another creative, and a happy client.
Make connections. Lift your fellow creatives up! Search your local creatives in your community. Swipe up on their stories and engage with each other. Some of my closest photog pals started on Instagram, and all you have to do is shoot your shot. There are also great resources such as local Facebook groups & conferences intentionally made for creatives in the industry. I cannot recommend Creative at Heart enough for that.
Aim to market yourself, not what you sell. I’m the most passionate about personal marketing. Your clients already know your talent based off of the work you sell, but what will bring the most ideal clients to you is what makes you unique. “Fake it til you make it” can only go so far. Show your face. Share what you love. Tell your everyday stories. Be authentically you.