I have been thinking about this for a while and I just haven't been able to get it off my mind. Over the last 4 years, I have met so many different types of photographers who have asked me so many different types of questions about how to get started and how to find new business. I am going to share a couple of things that I hope will help you to get started on the right foot in being self-employed.
The easiest thing that a person can do is to change how they interact with people. The number one thing that I tell people is to be positive. I think a lot of people need to learn that being a positive awesome person is an easier thing to do than you think. There is a lot of negativity out there in the world. It is so easy to complain about everything but when was the last time you found an excuse to not complain? I am telling you that if you spent more time building people up versus tearing them down that people will begin noticing.
Another thing that will help you get on the right foot of self-employment is to begin looking at your life on a micro level and stop looking at it on the macro level. Make small steps every day that will help you in the long run. I have said this to plenty of people in the past. Stop trying to become a world famous wedding photographer and work on being a (name your city) famous photographer. Crush your local city and become respected there first before you take on the world.
Photography is a marathon, not a sprint. Take some photographs every day, even when you don't want to pick up a camera. Do you think you are going to master your craft only when you get hired to photograph something? You aren't and that is why you should take at least 500 photographs a day. If you are pumping out the good stuff (even ok stuff) people will follow. Stop trying to get Instagram famous and start trying to get better at what you do.
Build relationships. This is pretty crucial. We spend so much time online and on social media that we have become lurkers of other peoples success. When we become lurkers of others success it can turn into envy and inactivity. A way to combat this is to leave true and meaningful comments when someone else has a win in life. Then take their win and find one of your own. Social media has made us not social. You have to change that. You have to drop some love to people to let them know you recognize their hard work and their wins. I can guarantee to you that people will remember that because it doesn't happen as often as it should.
Find a workshop to go to where you have to interact with other creatives. A lot of what we do we do it by ourselves. We photograph clients on our own, we edit on our own and life as a photographer can be very isolating. I am not saying to go to a workshop every year but maybe one every other year. The one workshop in 2018, that I am the most excited about it is The Midwest Gathering. It has an incredible lineup of creatives who will challenge you in every aspect as a creative. It also has 50% women and 50% minority representation. That is not the only reason why should go, you should go because the creatives in this group are unlike any you will encounter at any other workshop. It is cheap to fly and stay in Detriot and I promise you will walk away with a ton of information that will help take your business to the next level. The closest relationships that I have in the photography industry are with those that I have met at a workshop. I have always walked away from a workshop with my creative tank full and some new sharpen tools that have helped me in my imagery. You should really go to The Midwest Gathering, check out the lineup and their work here https://midwestgathering.com
The last thing I want to say is that I want you to know that you can build an empire on being positive. Take some time TODAY and I want you to write 5 people a personal note, DM or FB Messenger telling them how good they are, trust me, it will make their day.