Once upon a time, there was a beautiful girl, who was an amazing artist, but was scared to quit her awful day job because she was afraid that no having the financial security the bill-monster would eat her…

Sounds familiar? One of the biggest fears of people dreaming about working as full-time artists is the lack of financial security. I have found it absolutely doesn’t have to be true. There is a secret weapon you can use to create your financial security and the career you dream of. Ready?

It’s called: “multiple sources of income”.

Sounds crazy? Weird? Or maybe you’re disappointed? Think twice. Most freelance artists depend solely on the direct services they provide in person. That’s why they struggle. This model is risky because of a. you have a limited amount of time so you can serve only a limited amount of clients, b. if you’re ill, you can’t work = you don’t earn, c. if anything happens (like the COVID-19 pandemic) and your clients don’t buy your services, you’re… in a very bad situation (I’d use a stronger world here, but… let’s keep it this way).

What are multiple sources of income and how do they influence the financial security?

These are various ways of making money. To find financial security, you have to offer a wide range of services instead of focusing on one. And I don’t mean offering different variants of the same service. For example: if you’re a wedding photographer, offering also engagement photoshoots, pregnancy, and newborn photoshoots is not a solution. They all belong to one source of income: direct services performed in person. You have to create other sources of income that can give you financial security. Preferably, most of them should be online, so that even if anything happens to you, at least some of them can still bring money.

Not sure what I mean?

Here are a few examples.

Let’s continue with our wedding photographer. In her case, the wedding pictures are her main source of income and that’s great. But let’s think, in what other ways can she make money?

She can teach

You always know something or have some skills that others don’t. Use it. If you don’t have other ideas for multiple sources of income, teach. You can organize workshops, but I know it can be time-consuming. You can also offer one-on-one online classes via Skype. There are so many people searching for classes of nearly everything.
Except for teaching in person, you can also turn your knowledge into an e-book or an online course. These sources of income are amazing because you do them once, upload to your website, Udemy, or wherever you want and they keep making money for you.

She can use the sources she already has

As a photographer, she must have tons of pictures on her memory drives. They can be used! She can’t sell the pictures of people without their permission, but she has so many others she can use and sell on stock (banks of pictures where everybody can go and buy pictures for their projects). She can sell endless pictures of wedding decorations, dress details, holding hands, etc. As a photographer she probably also has endless pictures from her trips, so she can also upload landscapes, etc. This is also a source of income that works for you all the time, even when you sleep.
PS. You don’t have to be a photographer, to be able to sell on stock. Whatever your art is, you can sell pictures of it or of the backstage process of creating it.

She can write a blog and find paid collaborations with wedding brands

The influencer marketing is so popular now, you don’t have to be a fashion blogger to earn on it. In fact, the more specialized you are, the better.

She can use her other skills

As a photographer she’s probably good at retouching pictures. So she can offer retouching or maybe even designing services on Upwork on Fiverr. This way people from all around the world can contact her.

Summing up, the example sources of income of a wedding photographer could be:

  • Wedding photoshoots
  • Workshops in person
  • Online classes one-on-one via skype
  • Online course
  • E-book
  • Stock photos
  • Paid collaborations with wedding brands
  • Retouching services

*The sources in bold are those that make money all the time, even if you can’t work.

I know it may all seem overwhelming, but it’s a system that really works. I’m writing these words during the COVID-19 pandemic and thanks to multiple sources of income I am not left without money. A year ago, a member of my family had urgent surgery and spent a few weeks in the hospital. As I’m a freelancer, I just jumped on a plane, rescheduled my photoshoots, and for 3 weeks I worked by her bed in the hospital. I didn’t lose any money, I earned a normal monthly payment, and at the same time, I was with my beloved one who needed me. I didn’t have to choose between making a living and health of a family member and it was such a relief in that difficult time!

Now it’s your turn to get financial security!

Make a list of at least 10 possible sources of income you can have. Some you’ll be able to put into action right away, others will take time. I know it. Don’t freak out and don’t feel overwhelmed. Put all the ideas in order: from those that take the least time to start, to those that take the most. Once your list is ready, start putting it in action: one income source at a time. When you set one to work, move to the next one. And so on. You’ll see how a heavy burden moves off of your shoulders and how calmly and with more optimism you’ll be able to look into the future. And if you have artist friends, who struggle financially, make sure to share this post with them!