It was 2008 and I had just wrapped up working at ESPN.com as a photo editor. I remember running into Zack Arias' advice to offer headshot or business portraits.
Zack taught us all how to light (see his One Light 2.0 tutorial) but the marketing was up to me. Back then, with little to no real business sense, I dove into Twitter and offered my services to the first 20 people to respond. Yes, I offered to photograph them for free.
Twenty eager and friendly people made appointments for their portraits to be made and I obliged them. I loved the experience so much that I launched Connecticut Headshots and have been serving business executives, realtors, lawyers and a few actors.
Would I do that again? Knowing what I know now, would I offer to photograph them for free? Probably not.
For me, it came down to feeling less than confident. I gave myself a goal of 20 people before venturing out and creating a business out of it. I am learning now that there is another way.
“Portfolio building for free is like shooting yourself in the foot. It is hurting your business from the very start, and you’ll be losing out on a huge opportunity to create a client base and make money right from the start.”
Could I have used the revenue from 20 paying clients? Heck yeah!
What I was missing back when I started was a guide like Profitable Portfolio Builder that would walk me through the following:
Profitable Portfolio Builder also includes customizable scripts (yes friends, for those of us who are easily tongue-tied this will come in handy) to help us make the transition offering one type of photography service to another.
The only caveat Molly and Jamie offer is this: “The Profitable Portfolio Builder is based on psychology and past experience, and if you leave anything out or modify a vital part of it, it may not work.”
Are you willing to give this a try? Are you open to shifting gears and seeing what other opportunities might exist for you? I know I am glad I made the jump to also offering business portraits in Connecticut.
Please read all the way through the Profitable Portfolio Builder page to see if your current or future choice in photography would benefit from this incredible resource. As Molly says, her advice is meant for a select (but large) group of photographers. Still, there are some, like wedding photographers that this resource will not be a good fit.
It's normally $129.99, but right now and through June 29th, it’s only $79.99 (save $50!).