Advancing from an amateur freelance photographer to professional status relies on finding paying clients. Finding paying photography freelancer jobs isn’t difficult, nor should it be intimidating. Even if you don’t have an expansive natural market or a particularly extroverted personality, you can make use of numerous resources to land your first paying photography jobs. You have the passion, talent, and experience, and you’ve put together a respectable portfolio, so why not take the next step and get paid for your work?
Freelance Photography Job Boards
There are dozens of websites that match freelancers with people who need the services they offer. Some of these sites charge a small fee to post a job, while others let you post for free but take a small percentage of your revenue when you land paying clients. When you start out, make use of as many of these sites as you can, with preference given to those that don’t charge an up-front fee.
A word of caution: Customers on freelancing websites typically chase the lowest bidder. In other words, if another photography freelancer offers to do the work for half the price, he’s likely to land the job in question. It might be wise to take a few of these low-paying tasks initially, if only to gain positive feedback for your work. Once your portfolio starts racking up five-star reviews, it becomes much easier to charge what you’re actually worth and attract good clients ready to pay for quality professional photography.
Direct Marketing to Businesses That Need Photographers
If looking for photography jobs online and competing with dozens of other freelancers doesn’t float your boat, consider marketing directly to individuals and businesses that need photographers. Real estate companies and car dealerships are two fantastic places to start. Cast a wide net by gathering email addresses for as many relevant companies as you can find, composing a short introduction letter, and then attaching a link to your online portfolio in your opening email.
Keep in mind that marketing this way is a numbers game. You may have to send out 50 emails to land one paying gig, but that means if you send out 250 emails, you’re likely to have five paying jobs. Alternatively, you can take a more personal approach and identify who you think would make the best clients, and then approach those people or businesses in person with your photography portfolio.
Photography Openings on General Job Boards
Sometimes businesses look for independent contractors on general job boards. These gigs aren’t as plentiful on traditional job boards, but the other side of the equation is that fewer freelancers troll these boards and compete with you. Even if a company wants someone to come on board full time, it might still be open to hiring you on a contract basis, especially if you have an impressive portfolio.
No matter what method you use to find paying photography jobs, remember the “”numbers game”” mentality. The more prospects you contact, the more jobs you land. As you build your small photography business, make use of tools such as QuickBooks Self-Employed. This app helps freelancers, contractors, and sole proprietors track and manage their businesses on the go. Download the app to stay on top of your business’ financial health and improve your organization levels for tax time.