GROW your photography business FAST! – Tips

(whirling) – Yes, I still have a fidget spinner. What’s going on guys? My name is Chris Hau and this week we’re
going to be talking about finding your niche and how you can be making money quicker with videography and photography. Also, it just started
snowing here in Canada. Do I look like somebody
who’s designed for winter? I mean look at my hair. No, I should be on a surfboard. Anyways guys, let’s get into it. (cheerful music) Now you’re probably wondering to yourself, what does finding your niche mean? Well I think I can kind of sum it up in a bit of my origin story and how I ended up falling into
photography and videography and how I started making money with it. So let’s go back six to eight years, something like that. I think that’s the timeline. I used to work for the town of Newmarket, which is government agency just north of the city of Toronto, as a lifeguard. Now I worked there for two years. I did my life-guarding
things which was just this. I was really good at just
looking back and forth. Now move along two years. My boss knew that I was going to school for radio and television, and that I was going
into video production. And she said, “Hey Chris would you like “to make a video promoting
the aquatics department “here at the town of Newmarket,” this government agency that I worked for. And of course I said yes. So we went in one day. I brought my camera. I shot this whole thing about lifeguards and how cool they were. I think Arnold Schwarzenegger
made a cameo in it or something like that. Or I was dressed as Arnold Schwarzenegger. I can’t remember what it was. Anyways whatever it ends up being, we made this video and the town of Newmarket
ended up loving it and the communications team came up to me and they said, “Hey Chris. “Would you like to get paid
the same as a lifeguard, “but just make videos for
the town of Newmarket?” And I said yes, that sounds amazing. So I went right into working
with the communications team. And I think I was like
17 or 18 at the time. And I was really excited
about this opportunity. I didn’t really know
what was going to happen, but I knew I just liked making videos. So I just went right
into it for nine months making videos for the town of Newmarket. And I put the same
excitement and knowledge as I would into any other project for a corporate or commercial client. I really wasn’t getting
that many of these ones. But I kinda put as much
energy and effort into it just ’cause I really enjoyed it. So a couple months in
I made this one video, it was called Glow, and this video did really,
really well online. It got something like 10 000
hits for a government agency, which is like a million hits for like any other company out there. It was kind of a big deal. I’m like eating my hair. One of the disadvantages
of having long hair is that you eat your
hair on a regular basis. So we made this viral government video and all of a sudden I
started getting calls from like other government agencies. It was like the city of Burlington and the city of Hamilton. Shout-out to anyone from Ontario who knows what I’m talking about. I started getting calls from all these other government agencies that wanted me to make videos for them. So by chance, ’cause I was just kind
of working on contract for the town of Newmarket, I started a company because
I had business coming in to make other government videos. And all of a sudden I became the government video guy here in Canada, which for a lot of people it would be like oh he makes government videos, it’s similar to when people are like oh they do wedding videos all the time. And there’s literally
nothing wrong with that. I found a niche where I noticed that people really weren’t
putting as much time into making good government videos. So I went in there and started making good government videos. And very quickly, literally within a few months, I started getting calls
from all these other places that wanted me to start
making videos for them. So for the first four years of my career, I made government videos. Now I did a few other projects, but that was like the
baseline of my income. And eventually by the time
I graduated university, yes I did go to school for
radio and television arts, and I did go to school
for video production. Highly recommend it if you
guys want an awesome network. I might go into that into another video. But yes, I went to school for it. And by the time I graduated university, I had enough business to create a company so that I could just
work on videos full time. And the baseline of
that production company that I started was all government videos. So this was my bread and butter. This gave me the opportunity to be like I can make a living from my art, from my skillset as a video
producer and photographer. And the reason why it grew so quickly is because no one else was
really doing that area well. So what I’m trying to kind
of sum up in that story, is that find a place where
people are not really producing high quality content. And you should go in
there and start producing 10% more, 20%, 100% more so you can start blowing
the norm in that industry so that you can start
getting a lot of business. Another example of this and a quick story, is my friend Lucy. She’s actually a fashion photographer for wholesale fashion clothing lines. Her goal is to take photos
that end up in a catalog, where all these other stores are buying wholesale clothing from these companies. So really a lot of the
photos that she makes no one ever really sees, but they serve a very big purpose and she’s one of the few people that does it really well. So all of a sudden she became
very quickly in demand. So what I’m trying to
say is go find a niche where other people
aren’t doing it as well, and you go in there and kill it. Kind of going into this note too, is I don’t ever want you to be ashamed of the work and working in this space. I’m very proud of the
government clients that I have. They pay fairly, they’re never gonna ever go away. Like the town of Newmarket’s
never gonna disappear. If anything it’s going
to continue to grow. That’s what’s great about
the government space. And I would really, really recommend that you
try to find an industry where that company is
not going to disappear. And I have a lot of friends
who go into startups and they’re like I want to
make a video for this company ’cause they’re gonna offer
me a few thousand bucks to make a video, but that company doesn’t
survive past a year. So really I would be very conscious of the clients that you take on. And you know that’s why we love
government clients so much. That’s why our company still works. I would say 50% of the
business that I still produce, you don’t really see a lot of it, is government work. I love my government clients. I love working with them. They’re great people. They’re super nice. They’re never going away. And the paychecks are always on time. So these are very important
things to keep in mind when finding your niche. So a quick reminder is go out there, see what industries are not
producing good quality content, and start producing awesome
content in that space. And that way you guys can
start growing very quickly. Create a baseline income so
that you can make a living off of photography or videography, and then you can start
exploring the clients that excite you or anything else that you kind of want
to start getting into. So I think those stages are very, very important to consider. So guys if you like this video, please press like. It’s somewhere down here. It’s in one of those corners
on this YouTube screen. It actually makes a difference. Subscribe. It would mean the world to me. And we’ll catch you next week. Peace out everyone. (delightful music)

100 Replies to “GROW your photography business FAST! – Tips”

  1. Love how honest this video was you told us your back story and weren’t ashamed of it or try to make seem like you were miserable doing it , like other content creators talk about awesome !!! Man

  2. Great video man, I'm definitely going to think about this over the next few days. I naturally capture landscape and nature photos best. I've always been inspired by walks in nature and stories of nature (Walden by Henry David Thoreau). I'm not sure where this leaves me, or where the gap is in this area that I could fill, but I am definitely going to give it some thought. Thanks again!

  3. ahhhh freaked out when you said new market. Ontario represent! Don't see a lot of YouTubers in Ontario, let alone the GTA. Well except Lilly Singh, but shes a hell of an exception. Love your videos, love your Ontario pride,  keep it up! defiantly​ subscribing 🙂

  4. Yes ..your are the potential….you are the person who am looking for..i wanna talk to you..8943424121 is ma nmbr or masge me on shiyas__ali on instagram

  5. I actually enjoy this video a lot, one quick question: As someone who is still trying to find their video niche (wedding, corporate, etc.) I have a few clients that I work with now, have you ever had to let a client go? When did you notice it was time and how did you go about discussing the transition with them?

  6. I hope that my niche will be something that catches attention! Thanks for your advice Chris, you have great work!

  7. Great Video man!! I'm living in Ontario and has seen sooo much of your work! i hope to be half as good as you one day!

  8. Love the journey and sharing how valuable starting in a niche is. Then grow out from there. Also great point about working with clients that are always going to be around vs business that may not survive the market

  9. This makes me tempted to shoot a video about the city I'm in and put it out there and see if anything comes out of it. If not then I still have a good video.

  10. Thank you so so so so much! I’ve got a small time offer to film an event from a family friend who works for the local government and I’m pretty sure no one is doing much in the government sector for videos in my city! Woohoo!

  11. Hi Chris. Very interesting story and great video. I totally agree with you. Your government videos are seriously nice. Great job. By the way… i am also from Canada… Oshawa here.. 😊

  12. all the Ontario boroughs! fellow scarborough native here 🙂 great story, it's cool how some things just fall into place. I think the biggest thing is putting your talents out there. you never know who could help you out.

  13. Hey Chris. Thanks for the great video. What two or three things do these clients care about the most? Storytelling, slickness, on-time delivery, price etc?

  14. Dam I'm in Canberra the capital of Australia and all the government videos are made here and they are great quality and there isn't much work for anyone with a camera in this tiny city

  15. I grew up near Hamilton! Canada EH! I enjoyed the video, someday I hope to be as successful with my photography!

  16. Dude you rock, thank you for the solid advice always! Subscribed and liking all your videos! Much love from Sudbury Ontario 🇨🇦

  17. I love how everyone has such a different introduction to this industry. It's cool hearing how differnet people got into their area. It can be hard to apply that to yourself, but it's very interesting

  18. Interesting Points Chris. Recently I have followed the example of another youtube channel, and photographer/videographer and focus on my local market. Photography wise I think I am ahead in image quality, size of body of work and also on post processing. But this has only led to 2 clients for me in the past year. Nor does it give me much action on social media. To be fair, I live in a town of 130.000 people. But I would have expected more than 2 locally. What am I doing wrong?

  19. That's it..I'm subscribed. Love your perspective and optimistic approach. That touches people. Thanks for the Gems!

  20. This is so helpful. I have been trying to start and establish myself as a fashion photographer and it's tough. This makes me want to work harder to find my niche.

  21. Chris, loved that video. It really made me realise I'm in the same situation you were. I've worked for a global law firm for 10 years now. 8 Years on the I.T. Help Desk, and then I proposed to them to employ me as a photogrpaher/videographer, and they're loving my output. Only slight downside is ALL MY GEAR (pretty much, although I own 6D, and a couple of lenses) was bought by them. So for a couple of years I've got used to using some top notch gear (5DII, GH4, 16-35mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm, Glidecam,/Ronin-s, Aladdin LED flex LEDs etc etc, list goes on!) so the experience/understanding of that kit is now sorted, I guess I need to be prepared to leave that behind, IF I decide to fly the nest. Ooohh…. scary stuff. I need to fight that fear, and believe in myself! Thanks for your inspiration though!

  22. This is actually a very good advice !! My problem when I started my photography business was that I did too many different types of photography. As soon as I tried to stay in a certain niche I saw that I was getting more clients and more regularly

  23. Do you have any suggestions for a starter camera that does a lot of what yours does…..that is more in the 500$ range? A starter camera to use for videography and photos? Would love to have the Sony, but not ready for that price tag quite yet. Love your videos!

  24. haha ok but any suggestions on how to find a niche market that needs help? Sadly there are a lot of very good wedding and portrait photographers already so its a very over-saturated and crowded market.

  25. This totally merges the creative with the practical…love the advice! Also, it's so impressive that you had a production company by the time you graduated from university. Please continue to share your story 🙂

  26. Great tips! Think outside the box, look at the big picture of markets and if you are clueless find people paying photographers and ask them what they are looking for. They have no reason to withhold that information from anyone especially if they know you are a photographer. Learn about each industry where you might serve and be sure that your business model and pricing is sustainable but also can go upward if a client wants to. One niche I've found is cosplay and themed photoshoots. I live in a large city area and many of the photogrpahers now know me as that guy, they send clients they can't serve my way, or when someone posts and asks for that kind of work they always tag me. Build a good reputation for yourself and make your clients experience as well as your product unforgettable.

  27. Shout out for knowing about Burlington Hamilton and Newmarket! Haha ( Ontarioan here). Awesome videos. Would love to get someone like you to do my promotional business video.

  28. Great advice! I was actually expecting this video be a lot like all the other ones on youtube but you gave some gold nuggets. Thanks Chris!

  29. I was going into Broadcasting too, was even a DJ for awhile. But when they paid me minimum wage, thought it'd be better to get a real job. Did that for 30 years, still love photography but I'm up to my ears in debt! Thinking about it. 🙂 Great vid man

  30. I hope this happens to me. A school teacher asked me to do a photo of her students and i hope it gos from there.

  31. hey, just a quick feedback from a casual viewer: you're too close to the screen. it makes the viewer kinda nervous. can you change your focal point to something between like 24-30mm? I think that would be better 🙂

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