[MMYH Ep. 31] Building A Business As A Photographer or Videographer with Sarah Soliman of Soliman Productions

by Amanda Abella  - May 23, 2017

photographer or videographer

Who are you?

Sarah graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in radio and TV. She worked for production companies after colleges, and worked for her local radio station. Sarah finally reached a point in her life where she wanted to build her own business as photographer or videographer. She’s been a part of the production industry for almost 10 years, and she considers it something she’s passionate about.

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How did you transition into owning your own business?

Sarah felt fortunate enough to work for a production agency full-time, until she started to feel uncomfortable in the corporate setting. She loved producing and using her creativity, so she decided to start a side hustle while working her full-time job.

Sarah didn’t want to leave her job on a whim, so she created a game plan and started to gather everything she needed to run a successful business. She started attending networking events and built a name for herself locally. She also decided to employ a good friend and colleague named Orlando, so that he could help her as an extra photographer or videographer.


Can you explain the process of starting your company?

Sarah and Orlando would get paid very little (or nothing at all) for events and networking at first, but they continued to be persistent. Sarah believes in building your portfolio, name, and brand so that you can gain more clientele.

If you do work for free, Sarah asks that you be cautious, and to make sure that you’re building a team that is okay with working for free in the beginning, because you don’t want to take advantage of them.

Sarah believes that once you have a solid portfolio, or enough work to prove yourself, you should start charging for your services. She suggests starting on the lower end, proving your worth, and then increasing your prices as you grow.


Did you feel uncomfortable at any point building your business?

Sarah believes she would have been more uncomfortable without her parents as her support system and the people around her who had also owned their own businesses. She decided to talk to those that she admired in the business to pick their brain, and it helped her immerse herself in the entrepreneurship world.

As a photographer or videographer, it may be hard to invest all of your personal time into building a business. But networking with those that already know about the business can go a long way. Also, even if you make mistakes (like undercharging for your services) Sarah believes that it makes you better at building your business. You’ll start to value your time, and start making decisions that can take your business to the next level.


What advice do you have for a photographer or videographer that is trying to build a sustainable business?

Sarah says that networking is the best route to go for someone like a photographer or videographer. In her research, she’s realized that most companies and entrepreneurs don’t realize that they even need a video.

So Sarah will reach out to the marketing team of a business and offer her services to them and show them how much a video can help their bottom line. She also thinks that a photographer or videographer can offer a retainer package to a client, so that they can create video content on a regular basis.


How were you able to grow your business so quickly?

Sarah believes in the three P’s…personal time, personal brand, and personal relationships. She knows it can be a challenge for creatives to work on the three P’s, but that is the formula she has used to build her business from a small room to a full office with employees in less than two years.

For Sarah, that meant investing her personal time into building a portfolio or meeting with business professionals and entrepreneurs. She also made sure to niche her brand and build it the way she felt was right, and she made personal relationships with just about anyone she had coffee with so that she could outreach to them and connect.


What’s one tip that listeners can implement to improve their finances?

Sarah says it’s all about saving money and investing only in what’s important to build your business. As a photographer or videographer, If it’s not contributing to your growth, don’t spend the money, save it instead! You never know when you may need it to replace equipment, hire help, or expand.


How do you make money your honey?

Sarah makes money her honey by using her money to delegate to those that can make her even more money. She believes that having the right people in your corner that understand your brand and business can help you grow it faster and better than you ever thought possible.


Where can listeners go to find out more about you?

Soliman Productions

Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin

If you are a freelancer looking to expand your portfolio, you can connect via email at sarah [at] solimanproductions.com


Resources that are mentioned or add value to this episode:

Personal Capital

Make Money Your Honey With Freelance Writing – My on-demand classes that teaches people how to become freelance writer’s online.

Make Money Your Honey: A Spirited Entrepreneur’s Guide to Having a Love Affair with Work and Money – My Amazon bestselling book.

Collab Miami

Attract Abundance: How to Bring an Abundance Mindset to Your Finances – This is the first course I filmed with Wisdom Times which is now available in their library.

[MMYH Ep. 32] Money Management As A Millennial with Erin Lowry of Broke Millennial

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