After graduating from college in May of 2017 I was faced with the challenge that many recent college graduates face, finding a job. In November of 2017, I was still without a job and was facing a big monthly loan payment. So I decided to attempt to turn my passion for genealogy into a business.
I have now been in business for a little over a year and have grown a following on social media, have had numerous clients, and have started a blog about stories I’ve uncovered during my research.
This year has had its share of success but it has also seen me face some challenges when trying to get my business off the ground.
Challenge # 1: Name Recognition
A big challenge I have seen during the past year is getting the name of my business out and known in the genealogy community. In order to get the name of my business out, I have created accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and have posted to these accounts almost daily and have gained a following on these accounts.
Challenge # 2: Funding for my Business
A second challenge I have faced is being able to fund my business. Without any type of disposable income, most of my advertising has been through free outlets like social media and online directories. These have landed me some business but any money I have obtained from these clients has gone right back into the business. Since I do not have a lot of funding for my business, I cannot purchase a lot items to help advertise my business, such as ads, an updated web address, and other forms of advertisement which help to legitimize my business and reach a broader audience.
Challenge # 3: Making a Living
The greatest challenge I’ve faced in becoming a professional Genealogist is making enough to live off of. As with many people trying to turn their passions into a profession is being able to make enough to live off of. Since beginning my journey to become a full-time genealogist, I have started working a full-time job in order to pay my bills and in my free time, continue to push my genealogy business further until I am able to focus solely on my business.
So my advice to those chasing their passions is to keep trying to chase them. It will be difficult for sure but as long as you keep trying, hopefully one day you will be able to pursue you passions as a full-time profession instead of just a hobby.