This is a guest post by Vernon Wharff is the founder of Shoot & Propser, a newsletter and blog that offers practical, unfiltered advice on everything there is to know about being a photographer in today’s industry in order to help you figure it all out.
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You’ve just spent the day working over 10 hours and when you get home, you crash. You’d love to get started with boudoir photography or make the transition, but you just don’t know how you’ll find the time AND make a living.
What’s worse, far too often you’re too burnt out to even get your laptop out at night, much less watch any of the training classes or read the eBooks you’ve purchased. And if you’re raising kids, it’s that much harder to give any attention to your business during the week.
So how do you motivate yourself and make the time to find boudoir clients?
I’ve distilled the advice of very successful freelancers and photographers into the following actionable items that will create the time you need to grow your business. Some of it is not easy, but if you really want to become a boudoir photographer, you’ll have to commit fully to the endeavor.
1. Prioritize your transition to professional photography.
You must want to become a full-time photographer more than anything else in the world. Everyone who has ever become a professional photographer has the same number of hours in the day as you. In order to find the time to work on your business, you will have to make some difficult, but necessary, changes to your daily routine. Start by thinking about how much time you spend watching television, reading, playing video games, surfing the Internet, checking social media, hanging out with friends, or even indulging in any number of your hobbies. How many times have your checked a Facebook post only to look up and an hour has gone by? You must drastically cut down or stop doing some of the things you enjoy in order to make the time for your business. Take a few moments right now to assess how you’re spending your time outside of work, and you’ll see that you actually have several hours each week you can devote to growing your business. Once you’ve identified those pockets of time, reserve time on your calendar (even it’s just an hour a week) to devote to growing a boudoir photography business. Use this extra time to develop your marketing plan, find clients, network with complementary businesses, and build your boudoir portfolio.
2. Involve your family and friends.
If you have the support of your spouse or friends keep them involved with your business. By keeping them involved, you will help them to understand what exactly you’re doing when you’re not spending time with them. They can help you build your portfolio by posing for pictures (which could help with your portfolio in the beginning) or referring people they know who may be interested in helping you practice. Your F&F may also help in providing leads by referring you to people looking for a boudoir photographer.
3. Schedule time in the morning or late at night so you’re not distracted by your family.
Start waking up at 4:30AM or 5:00AM so that you can get things done before you’re distracted by family. Waking up early gives you a quiet space within your day to focus on your business distraction free. If you can’t wake up that early, perhaps you can work between 10PM – 2AM when everyone else is asleep. The point is that you want to work on your business when you’re least likely to be distracted by your friends and family.
4. Make time to relax so you don’t burn out.
This is a marathon and not a sprint. It’s important that you don’t burn yourself out, so you want to make time to relax as well. You need to make time to relax throughout the week, because maintaining your health (physical and mental) is important. While you want to limit your downtime, since you’ll need time to work on your business, you’ll also want to be sure you make time to relax so you don’t burn out.
5. Pomodoro technique.
Created by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Technique is a deceptively simple to learn yet extremely powerful time management system. The Pomodoro Technique is designed to help you take back your focus, thereby better utilizing your mind. This technique is useful for a wide variety of tasks: writing, preparing presentations, drafting technical reports, studying, managing events, and other major projects. This method allows you to do more in less time by breaking your work day into eight 25-minute work sprints. The advantage of adopting the technique for your day job, and even working on promoting your boudoir business, is that it will allow you to get the most out of the little time that you have. It is worth it to spend the two hours you’ll need to learn this system and then use it in your everyday life. To learn more about this technique, and get free tracking worksheets, check out the free guide available from Chris Winfield.
What’s your greatest barrier in finding time to start your business? Share with us how you plan to overcome those challenges this week in the Boudoir Photogs FB Group.