For most people who have a creative hobby that they work on in their spare time, the ambition is to be able to do what they love professionally as a career. The road from a hobby to career can seem difficult and intimidating, but there are a few steps that you can take to make life much easier for yourself.
Find Your Niche
Take a cold look at your skills and what you enjoy doing and then look at what everyone else in the market has been doing. If you find that there is something that you’ve been doing a bit differently or particularly well, then this could be your golden goose. Refine this area and carve it out into your very own niche. This is much easier said than done though, as you’ll need a great deal of self-awareness to properly identify your strengths and weaknesses.
Look at Industry Standards
Before you make the decision to strike out on your own in the world of business, it is well worth taking a little look at the current industry standards in your field, for both quality and practice. It is important that you treat these standards as a baseline that you must be able to reach above in some way or other. If you think you are trailing a little bit behind in certain areas, then once you have properly identified these you can work to improve them and give yourself a better head start when you make the move to business.
Treat it Like a Real Profession
You’re going to need to treat your work seriously if you ever want anyone else to. It can be difficult when someone new finds out what you do, and their immediate response is something along the lines of “That’s not a real job is it?”. You should treat your chosen career as seriously as you would treat any other job, that means sticking to schedules, behaving in a professional manner and presenting yourself as reliable and effective.
Attend Industry Events
As always, the age-old adage that it’s “who you know, not what you know” plays true, even in the smallest or most obscure industries. Networking at industry events is a really easy and effective way of getting your name out there and recognised amongst your peers. If your industry doesn’t have any events that you could attend, then have a look at building your network online and through Social Media. You’ll often be able to find thriving communities online, and with the advent of instant messaging services like Discord, you could also find an effective source of clients.