5 Steps To Turn Your Hobby Into A Profitable Business

5 Steps To Turn Your Hobby Into A Profitable Business on the Fill Your Frame Podcast with Jillian Goulding

You do it for fun, you do it for a creative outlet… but could it be something more? Could you really turn your creative hobby into a career? Today’s episode is a solo show with Jillian taking you through five steps to turn your hobby into a profitable business. She will show you how to let go of fear and take action, set goals for yourself and your business, reflect and make decisions, build your portfolio, and basically? Do all the business things and turn your creative passions into a wildly successful biz that’s run the way YOU want it to run. You deserve to do work that lights you up in every way imaginable. This is the roadmap to get you there.

Let go of your fear.

Fear clouds our creativity and hinders our next inspired action. Stop worrying about others not liking your work or not wanting to hire you as a photographer. 

Making mistakes is part of the process. Learn from them and get going. Not everyone will like your work, but that’s OK. When you let go of your fear, that’s when you start to grow and create work that is true to who you are as a person and as an artist. And that’s when you begin you attract people that resonate with you because every person is different. We each have our own perspectives, experiences, and wisdom. There’s only one of YOU, and you’re the only one who can tell stories of people that you photographed through your lens the way that you do. 

You are the author of your life. Hold your pen and start writing the version that you want. Whatever is holding you back, all of that can be combatted by taking action. And as you do, you’ll gain the strength and confidence to keep pushing forward.

Set goals for yourself and have a plan.

You can’t just go into business without having a plan. 

Some things that are worth considering are: How many shoots do you want to do with your friends and family before doing shoots with strangers? Or perhaps, you want to jump right away and that’s OK. Maybe you want to make your business official by a certain date, create a social media page for your business, or send people an email about launching your business. Whatever works for you, whatever strategy you have is great as long as you have a plan. 

It’s also important to set some long-term goals. What do you want to your business to look like in 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year? Or if you have a full-time job and you’re doing this on the side, the question will be when do you plan to go full-time with this new business. We all have different situations at home and there are so many variables to consider, but having a plan for when you want to take this full-time is important.

Take some time to reflect and make decisions. 

Your photography business needs to have some structure and direction in which it will go. 

In the beginning, it’s easy to just do everything because you just want to practice and shoot. But it’s important to do a little bit of self-reflection on what kind of sessions you want to do and photograph, and most importantly, you love doing. Those things need to be defined as you’re getting started. 

There are so many avenues you can go, and you can do a bit of all those things. But you want to have a grasp of what lights you up the most. Be clear about who your ideal dream client is – what do they look like, what’s their style, where do they live? As you grow in your business, these are the types of clients that you want to keep attracting. These are the ones that truly align with what you’re trying to create as an artist.

You need to have a great sense of what you want to shoot and what their characteristics of them are. When you are creating content for your website, everything that you put in there aligns with what it is that you’re trying to portray to others.

Build your portfolio. 

Practice, practice, practice! As you are evolving and growing in your business, you want to have tons of time to practice where there is no pressure of money involved. This allows you opportunities to think outside the box to try something new or do something different that you might feel apprehensive about if a client is paying you. 

Having a good handful of non-paying clients when you’re just starting, takes a lot of pressure off and opens your mind creatively. You can work with them to create a certain look at a certain location to showcase the style that you’re wanting to create. 

This also provides opportunities to build your clientele. The fact that there is no money involved allows you to really hone your skills and learn how to create meaningful conversations as well. You’ll also be able to create images that you can use to market your business. 

Have an abundant mindset. You’re doing a great service and you’re honing your skills, and it’s going to come back to you tenfold. When you provide a great service to your clients, they’ll tell other people how amazing you are, how much fun they had, and how great your photos are. 

All the business stuff

In order to start a business, you need to have a business license. You need that because you will need to start paying taxes once you start collecting money.

But before you get to that point of collecting money, you need to figure out what your pricing is. You can start low as you’re trying to hone your abilities. Eventually, you need to figure out what aligns with you because you need to also value your time and effort. It’s important to remember though that the higher the price, the more pressure you’re going to put on yourself, so you need to find that happy medium. 

Make sure that you have a contract. There are tons of templates available online that you can purchase through different educators. Having a contract protects you from getting sued if you have a bad experience with a client. So make sure that you have a contract in place to make sure that you have a safe and fun experience with your clients.

Starting a social media account is another thing that you want to do. Some people have two accounts, one for their business and one for personal, but do what’s right for you. The good thing about starting a separate social media account is you can just have that be for business purposes. But if you want to be known as a personal brand, then combining both is a good option.

You also need to have a website and a logo. Your website is the home of your business. It’s essentially a workhorse for you that runs 24/7 to let people know that you are an established business. Make sure that your website has all the information that your clients need. Information such as your contact information, pricing, and most importantly, your portfolio. 

You can start with a simple logo but make sure that all the images you have on your website are amazing. It’s better to have fewer images and have them be amazing than have tons of mediocre ones. As you gain more clarity about the type of branding that you want, your logo will have to evolve too. So really focusing on having great images and a simple logo for the time is perfect. 

Never stop learning. As your business grows, it’s important to continue expanding your knowledge. You’ll feel more inspired and fulfilled and it also helps you meet other creatives that are on the same journey as you are. Make sure that you are connecting with other people who you can rally for and learn from. These relationships are going to be really important in your journey. 


No matter where you are in your photography journey, there are things that you can do to further your goals. Let go of your fear and just get started! 

Moving from a hobby to a passion shouldn’t be seen as such a daunting task. Just take some time to reflect on your goals and how you want your business to run, build your portfolio, and set yourself up for success. You will have an enjoyable time on and off the job. Enjoy this exciting journey through finding the right clients, marketing your photography business, and living out your passion.

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5 Steps To Turn Your Hobby Into A Profitable Business on the Fill Your Frame Podcast with Jillian Goulding

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