1. Create an online portfolio
Having an online portfolio allows you to showcase your work. You will be able to easily share it across different platforms and with different people. It also provides an easy way for people to browse your work, helping them make a decision and providing a contact point.
2. Set your fee
Setting your fee is one of the trickier aspects of the job. You’ve got to be able to figure out how much work you’re putting into the project and whether the price you will be charging will cover that. If you’re stuck over how much you should be charging you can use our handy tool to figure it out.
Although this gives you an hourly rate (hence why we called the hourly rate calculator) – you’ll be able to judge from your experience how long each type of project takes and where necessary set a fixed fee.
3. Separate your personal life from your professional life
While it’s great to share some aspects of your personal interests through your photography, you’ve got to make sure to draw a line. Freelance work has no clear cut boundaries and you could find yourself taking work home with you. Set yourself office hours and rules so as to keep your work life and your personal life separate.
4. Schedule your work
Have a ‘normal’ working life : wake up at 8.00 – have a shower – eat breakfast – start working. You will have more energy and more productivity and people will learn what hours they should contact you. If they see that you’re always available they’ll quickly start calling at all hours which will blur the boundaries between your professional and personal life.
5. Be quick
If a client contacts you, they are interested in what you’re doing, and they have probably been looking at your work – this is the point when their interest in you is at their highest – so catch them while they are hot. The more time it takes you to get back in touch with them, the more likely it is that they will go elsewhere. Getting back to them in minutes, is better than hours, is much much better than the next day.
So although 3 above says you should separate Professional vs Personal life – you’ll have to make an exception for new business contacts. These take absolute priority!
6. Establish connections
You can’t assume that people will come running to you. If you want clients you’ve got to establish networks and make the right connections. Showcase your work, engage your audience, and show people that you’re available to work on upcoming projects.
Tips on how to establish connections.
- Go to places where your clients hangout and be present (if you’re a wedding photographer, go to weddign events, if you’re a fashion photographer, go to Fashion Shows).
- Try to establish connections with people who can provide you with repeat business or referrals. This makes getting new work so much easier if you establish a few connections who can send you repeat business. Team up with hotels and venues for weddings, you get the gist
7. Set realistic deadlines
Give yourself an extra few days to work. You never know what might come up. Plus the client will be very pleased with your efficiency if the work is done earlier.
8. Be organised
Create systems and processes for dealing with things. File your work neatly and keep all financial documents in an organised area where you can make easy reference to them. Just because a job is done it doesn’t mean you can throw the invoice away. Keep financial documents for a minimum of ten years.
Or go digital with your project management – BeeWits can help. As a project management tools for creatives, with BeeWits you can solve the pains which are specific to you and other creatives.
9. Set yourself apart
Photographers are a dime-a-dozen, so what sets you apart from the hordes of photographers out there? Niche into a specific industry, whether this is offering additional services such as aerial photography use a most expensive drone, whether you specialize in food photography, whether it’s particular headshots … differentiate yourself from the rest out there.
Perhaps one of the most cost effective ways to get your name out there is through social media. Create a Facebook page, or an instagram account where you can share your latest work or even behind the scenes images of your latest shoots. This will help you to engage your audience, build yourself as a brand, and promote your work.