“How did you get started with your photography business?”
“I’ve been considering a side hustle, but don’t know where to begin!!"
These are some of the most common questions that pop up in my DM’s, emails, and texts, which is why I figured it was time to write a blog post about a topic that’s near and dear to my heart - THE SIDE HUSTLE.
I get it. Diving into entrepreneur life is intimidating. Where do you even begin? How do you invest? What if you fail? I remember the fear all too well. I’m by no means an expert and I’m still learning a lot, but looking back, I do know a thing or two about getting started. My mission today is to minimize that fear for you, and replace it with newfound confidence to dive on in!! Today I’m sharing some of my best tips to get you started with your new business idea.
1. Do some self-reflection. A side hustle will not be easy. It’ll take time away from other things you enjoy, like family and friends. Because of this, it’s so important to make sure you LOVE what it is you’re doing! It should inspire you every single day to get out of bed, and keep you motivated through the tough times. When I think about photography, I know in my heart I’d do it for free because I love it even if I’m not getting paid. So think about hobbies or interests you already have. Are you an awesome cook? A yoga enthusiast? Are people always asking you for makeup or style tips? Take note of these strengths and interests, and get creative!
2. Don’t go into debt for your business. This was a piece of advice I heard early on, and I’m so thankful I listened. Even if it’s a slower process, I’m a huge advocate of starting a side hustle while still working full time. It’s a great way to fund your new venture, test the waters, get feedback, and set yourself up for success in the long run!
3. Choose a platform, and shout from the rooftops! There are SO many mediums today that you can use to spread your message. Whether it’s social media, a blog, a website, a podcast... the options are endless! You don’t have to do all the things, but choose a platform that fits your message and start sharing what you’re up to.
4. We’re all scrappy at first. Even the kickass boss babes you idolize started somewhere. If you’re waiting for it to be perfect, you’ll be waiting forever. When I started my business I literally had no work to share, so I set up free shoots with friends. I shadowed other photographers. I bought a used camera off Craigslist. I marketed for free on social media until I could afford a website. It wasn’t perfect. But looking back on myself, I am so proud that girl who believed in herself and just started!
5. Look fear in the face. Guys, this entrepreneur stuff is scary as heck. When I started my photography business I was terrified that I’d fail. To help get over that fear, I envisioned my absolute worst case scenario. What would happen if it shhh hit the fan? I realized I would still be ok – I have a college degree to fall back on, I’m a hard worker, I’m flexible and I’m smart. If photography didn’t work, plan B would be okay, too. Once I rationalized my fear, I freed myself from it.
In my second year of business, I feel so grateful that I get to spend more and more time doing what I love. I may not be where exactly I want to be yet, but thank goodness I’m not where I was. Thank goodness I STARTED. I’m proud of my growth. And by the way, I am not a special case!! I had zero photography experience, no fancy equipment, no special connections. I worked HARD to get where I am, and you can, too!!
Taking the leap into a side hustle will look different for everyone, but I hope these tips empower you to get started. As always, I'm in your corner cheering you on!!!
Image credit NOT ON HIGH STREET