A lot of people on Instagram are asking me how can I make a living with photography. Believe me, it's a hard job, you must be very motivated, always updated, ready to compete with a fierce competition.
During the last years I learned a lot about how can you transform your hobby in something serious, so I decided to write a list of tips that I consider useful if you want to start a business with your camera.
1) Work only with successful clients: working with a successful client means that your collaboration has more chances to be longer and more interesting.
2) Invest on your business, not just in your business: it means that you must know how to do your job, but you must also know how to manage and promote your job. If you show the world that you're able to promote your job properly, the clients will be more convinced that you can do the same for their business.
4) Take care of your time: If a client, or a customer, makes you waste your time you're doing a double fault. First, you're not earning enough compared to the time spent, second, you could use your time searching for new good clients or costumers.
5) The best clients don't spend money, they invest money. It means that you have to give them $omething back! Remember: if your clients are increasing their incomes thanks to your photos you will increase yours.
6) Work smart not hard: Build your workflow smartly is the first step to minimize the loss of time. In my opinion, one of the best ways to plan your workflow is the Kanban scheduling system.
7) Never underestimate offline marketing: Internet could be a good channel to find new clients, but don't focus all your energies on it. Talk with people, organize dinners, go to fairs, conventions, exhibitions, etc. Remember to bring with you everything you need to convince a potential client: business cards, portfolio, cv... everything!
8) Select your potential clients: Sending a newsletter to 20000 people who don't care about your business could be less effective than sending a mail to 20 people who need your services. Example: If you want to work for the tattoo business, build up a good portfolio, find 20 or 50 or 100 studios in your city, and send them an email with your photos proposing your service.
9) Always ask an honest reward: It's not just a matter of money, it's about respect. If you ask an honest reward the client will be encouraged to treat you honestly. If you work for free your client will undervalue your job treating you like an asshole.
10) Don't give up: Ten years ago I started working as a photographer, I've seen most of my colleagues giving up because is too hard to make a living with it. I've never thought to give up and now, after many years, I can proudly say that I can live with photography. Don't be afraid of many of your colleagues are giving up, every photographer who gives up leaves a clients roster ready to get in your business!
10+1) Cooperate: if you know something valuable for your job, share it with people. Don't be jealous of your job. If you have some tips you want to share write it in the comments below.