You love photography (I mean, come on, who doesn’t?!) You want to be a full-time photographer. You’re passionate about photography and know you take amazing photos. But, how do you make money doing it and how do you get people to hire you?
It’s definitely a serious question, especially if you go for a full-time career in photography. One answer to make some quick money right away that can lead to additional jobs is to do freelance work.
One of the biggest challenges of freelance photography is getting your foot in the door when you get started. Photographers who have been in the industry for years before you already have clients and get a lot of the jobs you want. So, you may be wondering how to get more freelance photography jobs when the competition to so fierce.
The answer is in the work you put into making connections.
And the best method I’ve found to outwork everyone else is called the “Ten Before Ten” method.
So, what is this magical elixir of hard work and great photography?
The Ten Before Ten method is simple in thought, but takes a lot of time and dedication. The idea is to contact ten people or companies before ten in the morning everyday.
Ten people per day might not seem like a huge number, but if you do this for a full month, you will have reached out to about 300 people.
What if you did it for a year? That’s 3,650 people who now know who you are. The numbers add up!
Now, these could be people that you already have connections with, but most of the time they are people or companies that you’ve never met before. So, you need to be aware of how to present yourself as a professional right off the bat. Remember, you never get another chance to make a first impression.
Here are some tips to make a great first contact email to score more freelance photography jobs using the Ten Before Ten method:
- Start with your why statement – why are you a photographer, why are you contacting them, what do you believe?
- Move to your what statements – how can you back up your why statement?
- Briefly list some successes you’ve had in the past
- Always point to the next meeting
- Provide them with image attachments as photo examples
- How do you relate to their company?
I recently re-wrote my contact letter to people that I reach out to for the first time. Feel free to grab bits and pieces of it to use in your own letters. Here it is:
My name is David Johnston and I’m an outdoor photographer. I believe photography is the most effective marketing that a company can invest in. By showing people what they’re missing through photos, as well as creative posts on photography friendly social media sites, photography can make people desire to experience the outdoors with your product.
I’ve helped companies like Southern Polished grow their business and product reach through photography. I would love to have the opportunity to discuss how I can help you grow your business through high quality photography as well.
In the meantime, I’ve provided you with some examples of my work attached to this email.
Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you!
See? Short and sweet with plenty of reasons why they should reach back out to me.
So, if you want to know how to get more freelance photography jobs, you need to work harder than everyone else, and reach out to more people than everyone else.