Have you been thinking about turning your photography hobby into a sustainable business? You might be surprised to discover that it’s a fairly simple transition to make. The popularity of the internet and social media has opened up entirely new opportunities for freelancers. So if you want to transition from hobby photographer to freelance photographer, there’s no better time to get started.
Leverage Social Media
One of the easiest ways to grow a freelance photography business is to use your favorite social media platforms as a marketing tool. Instagram is the most obvious platform to start with because it revolves around photography. But you should also consider using Facebook and YouTube as good options due to their popularity and the emphasis on imagery.
Facebook allows you to create a business page for your photography business. Then, you can use it to share your photos with your audience. You should also consider using Facebook’s ad platform to advertise your services to people in your local area. The platform lets you narrow your audience so that only people in your local area can see your ads.
You can use YouTube in several different ways. You could take behind-the-scenes videos of some of your photo shoots. Or you could use YouTube to share tips with your audience that are relevant to your area of photography. For example, if you’re a family photographer, you might make a video telling your audience how to coordinate outfits for their next family photo shoot.
Blogging is a great way for freelance photographers to share experiences with their audience. But there are several more benefits of blogging. One of the best things about blogging is that it’s a cost-effective way to market your business. Each blog you create is more material that you can share on your social media platforms. And if you use proper SEO techniques, your blog will appear in the search engine results, which means free website traffic for you.
Choose a Niche
Before you start making the transition from hobbyist to professional photographer, you should choose an area of photography to specialize in. For example, you might decide to become a wedding photographer or you might specialize in shooting senior portraits for teens getting ready to graduate.
When you choose one area of photography to specialize in, it makes it a lot easier to market yourself. This is because you’re able to create ads, social media posts, and blogs that speak directly to the people in your target market.
Remember, you can always add more areas of photography later, but specializing is a good idea in the beginning because it gives you focus and helps you stand out from your competition.
Create an Online Portfolio
You don’t need to build an entire website to become a freelance photographer, but you should create some kind of online portfolio. After all, people hire you because you take great photos, so they will want to see your work before signing a contract and putting down a deposit.
To create an online portfolio, use a site builder that offers free templates such as Squarespace, Wix, or Weebly. Once you select a template, you can display your photos on the page you create. This way, when a potential client asks to see your work, you can point them to your online portfolio.
If you prefer, you can use a site builder to build a website with multiple pages. For example, you might have a portfolio page, a page that displays your starting rates, and a homepage that tells visitors a bit about you and your business.
Ultimately, making the transition from hobbyist to freelance photographer is simply the difference between taking photos simply because you love photography and taking photos for a paying customer. It’s not a huge jump. If you focus your time on building and nurturing online relationships with people in your local area, it won’t take long for you to build a steady customer base.