It can take a long time for your side gig, your hobby, your passion project to feel official. If you do work a full time job then it is so easy to dismiss the other work, the art, as nothing more than a foolish hobby.

Yet there are certain things that can make it feel a lot more official.

  1. Put money into it.

The simple act of investing finances into it changes how you look at it. Woe unto the modeling talent who never put a single dollar into their craft. They will never truly respect it or be able to leverage it to its full potential.

  1. Spend the time to plan

Instead of flying by the seat of your pants to chase down whatever seems interesting in the moment – spend the time to draft up your goals, your plans and your action items that must be taken to achieve those goals.

  1. Market relentlessly

The most your market your hobby, the less it feels like a hobby. When I was starting up my photography business but still working in my marketing career full time I would often be hesitant to even tell people I was a photographer on the side. The more I grew my photo business, the more I marketed it, the more comfortable I got in telling people; yes I am a photographer.

  1. Evaluate results

Spend the time to evaluate the things you are doing. Are the photos you shot achieving the results you wanted, why or why not? Are the business cards you ordered working well with your target clients, why or why not? Is the marketing plan you set forth on yielding the results you expected, why or why not? Have metrics to measure with and throughout the year (can just be a few times) analyze what you are doing and what needs to be adjusted.

Those four things can shift the perception of what you do and help you take your passion a lot more seriously.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto