Side Hustle CEOs: Brianna Mills and Visuals by Bri

I always questioned the worthiness of my work.

Is there an artist who can’t relate to that thought?

Not one that we know.

Meet Brianna Mills of Visuals by Bri, a photographer who inspires creatives to travel and make their own money (we like that).

When you look at Bri’s work, you’ll see that her images are nothing short of stunning! Yet, like artists before and after her, she didn’t immediately see the value in her work.

Something we love about Bri’s story is the way she talked herself into accepting money for her work. It’s easy—too easy—to tell yourself a million reasons why you’re not good enough to get paid for what you do.

It’s hard to be your own cheerleader. Bri did it anyway.

We won’t expose the whole story. Instead, we’ll let Bri tell you how she got started, through her…lens.

So, without further ado…

Meet Bri.

Brianna Mills, Founder and photographer of Visuals by Bri.

Visuals by Bri (Brianna Mills) - Side Hustle Business School

What is your side hustle?
I’m the Founder and photographer of Visuals by Bri. While my main service provides travel and portrait sessions for clients, the company serves to inspire creatives to travel, photograph, and run a successful side hustle.

When did you get interested in this particular craft?
Growing up, I always found myself in the back of my mom’s closet digging through her old photo boxes. I’ve always felt documenting special moments in life is so important when thinking about our legacy. As a visual artist, photography gives me the permission to share and document my stories across generations.

Tell us the story of how you made your first dollar?
After doing a senior photoshoot for my friends and posting them on Facebook, a classmate reached out asking how much I’d charge for a similar photoshoot. At that point in time, I was still using my Sony Cybershot digital camera – not like the professional-grade DSLRs out now – but we still came away with some quality shots.

At the time, did you feel “qualified” to start charging for your services?
Not at all, but I’ve always been a firm believer of getting compensated for your work and services. I’ve always been told I have a good eye for photos, so I reminded myself of that even though that was only my second photoshoot ever.

Looking back, do you feel like you were qualified?
When it came to setting and sticking to prices for my services, especially as my clientele has grown, I always questioned the worthiness of my work. How could I charge hundreds of dollars with no formal education and just a couple standard lenses? It required a lot of reflection, dedication, and honesty with myself to silence that doubtfulness to finally see that I was/am qualified to do this work.

What made you take the leap?
I had a growing portfolio and knew my work and skills needed to be shared on a larger scale. Building my website was the first step. Getting to see all of my work in one place in a way that was representative of my brand gave me the momentum to keep dedicating time to the business.

Where would you say you are in your business growth now (Hobby, side hustle, small business, large business)?
I’d say I’m somewhere between a side hustle and small business. After 9-10 hours at my full-time job, I spend the remainder of the day focused on my business. I filed as a sole proprietorship last year, so that makes the company feel even more official.

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You got that glow ✨ Shooters Union NYC

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What stage would you like Visuals by Bri to get to and when?
I envision the company growing to a small business/startup within the next couple of years. My next goal will focus on building out the education pillar of my brand to provide my audience with the necessary resources to become a travel photographer and build confidence when it comes to this side hustle lifestyle.

Would you do anything differently?
I definitely would have taken more photography classes in high school and college. Taking the time to teach myself the technical side of photography, outside of my full-time role, has been a challenge when it comes to time. I think learning in a more formal setting would have solidified my skill set earlier on.

If you could go back in time to the day before you made your first hustle dollar and tell yourself anything, what would it be?
Keep believing in yourself. Keep pushing. Keep learning. All things I still tell myself to this day.

What’s one song that keeps you motivated and why?
Django Jane by Janelle Monae. It’s the Black Girl Magic anthem! Black women are really out here shifting the landscape in so many industries and have been doing so for centuries. Whenever I need a reminder of my accomplishments, this track gives me that boost of confidence and reassurance I need to keep moving forward.


Thanks so much to Bri for sharing her side hustle story with us! Make sure to follow Bri on Instagram and check out her amazing shots!

Posted by Side Hustle Business School Team in Side Hustle CEOs, 0 comments

Side Hustle CEOs: Terence Latimer and Food Tribe

People who introduce us to our new favorite foods are the real MVPs! You’re about to meet the ultimate food plug who makes it easy to find the restaurants who cook up dishes that make our hearts sing—and our Instagrams bling (seriously, they have a guide called “How to Take Food Photos That Will Make Your Friends Want to Lick the Screen“).

Meet Terence Latimer and Food Tribe. Continue reading →

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Will I Need a Contract for My Side Hustle?

Will I need a contract for my side hustle graphic

Let me start this by saying that I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. This is not legal advice.

Got it? Cool.

Having a side hustle is supposed to be simpler than having a small business. So when people start pulling out contracts, things can get a little tense (particularly for a potential client).

All of a sudden, what felt like it was going to be a smooth, simple project starts to feel like—dare I say it—a serious commitment.

It’s easy to see why people start work without one. And, sometimes, not having a contract might feel like the right thing to do.

…but that might not be the best move for every freelancer.

What do I need a contract for?

A contract outlines the agreement for whatever work you’re going to do. If someone asks you to design a logo for them, you can verbally agree to do the work and agree to a price and move on from there.

A written contract lays out the agreement so that everyone knows what the rules are at all times—preventing people from forgetting a price, payment date, or what they actually asked for or promised. #ByeAmnesia

Will things go badly if I don’t have a contract?

The decision to prepare a contract or not really comes down to how bad things could be if something goes very wrong. If you’re not sure what you have to lose or what kinds of things you should plan for right now, Side Hustle Business School has lessons on contracts that will help you think holistically about whether you should use contracts in your relationships with clients.

And you can check out a lesson on contracts for free.

Do I need a contract - Side Hustle Business School

Where can I learn more about contracts for my side hustle?

These lessons are available on the Freelancer Track and the Content Creator Track—but you can check a few lessons out now on your free test drive.

Posted by Naya the Creative in Content Creator Track, Freelancer Track, Lessons, 0 comments

How Can I Accept Online Payments?

How do I accept online payments graphic

Payments usually come in three forms: cash, check, or credit.

If you’re selling online, you want to be set up to take online payments via credit (or debit). Otherwise, you’ll have to wait for a check in the mail and then wait for that check to clear.

That might be a long wait.

How do I collect online payments?

There are several payment processors that can collect your money online for you. Some have transaction fees, but processors some have ways to avoid those fees. There are even some tools designed to help you take online payments for specific kinds of sales, like event sales.

If you’re planning to sell subscriptions, as in charge people on a recurring basis, you want to make sure your payment processor does that as well. And if you’re into discounts, you need to find a service that allows for coupon codes.

You can check out a few with a quick online search, however the results might get overwhelming (we have a list for you in Side Hustle Business School).

Before you start looking anywhere, make a list of the things you want your payment processor to do, then see what’s available to you.

Point of Sale- Side Hustle Business School

Keep learning

If you’re not sure which tools to use or how to go about dealing with transaction fees, Side Hustle Business School‘s three guided learning tracks (the Freelancer Track, the Content Creator Track, and the Product Seller Track) have lessons that will help you make these decisions.

Once you figure out which tools to use, you’ll also need to make decisions about how to interact with you client when you’re accepting payment from them. The moment that the transaction happens is critical because this may be one of the few times you have your client or customer’s undivided attention.

You can use this time wisely.

Posted by Naya the Creative in Content Creator Track, Freelancer Track, Lessons, Product Seller Track, 0 comments

What is a Point of Sale?

What is a point of sale graphic

Simple answer: the point of sale is the place where a customer or client pays for products.

Checkout lanes, ticket booth, “buy now” pages on websites—all points of sale.

Point of Sale in a non-physical space

If you’re a freelancer, your point of sale might be less of a place and more of a time.

Meaning, the point at which you’re paid for your service might be during a particular phase of your project and may not have to happen at a particular place.

You might be paid by check, cash, bank transfer, etc. And, depending on your setup, you might have multiple point of sale options for different clients.

Why is this important?

Only a few of the people you reach with your marketing are actually going to buy from you. You want to learn as much as you can about them. When they’re handing you their money is the right time to get the information you need.

In a nutshell, selling helps you refine your marketing for the next sale.

Cha-ching!

Point of Sale- Side Hustle Business School

How can I learn more?

All three of Side Hustle Business School’s guided learning tracks (the Freelancer Track, the Content Creator Track, and the Product Seller Track) have an entire section on establishing your point of sale, accepting payments from customers and clients, and using your results to create more effective marketing strategies.

You can take a peek at those lessons in Side Hustle Business School’s free trial here.

Posted by Naya the Creative in Content Creator Track, Freelancer Track, Lessons, Product Seller Track, 0 comments