To really build your career in photography, you need to get exposure. Work for free at first. Get as many clients under your belt before you start charging. And, at first, only charge a minimal fee. You’ll get a bunch of clients, who can comment on your work. And, hopefully this will lead to a lot of referrals.
If you are going into general photography, set up at fairs, art shows and similar events. It’s usually only around $100 to $200 to set up at these shows, and you can gain exposure. Plus, you may sell a few photographs in the process.
The overall key is getting your work in front as many people as possible. If this means working for free, do it. You’ll have a better chance of making it if you can count on a large number of people as references. Word of mouth is an amazing marketing tool for you to build your photography business.
Don't forget to choose a name for your photography business and once you've done so, make sure to have some business cards made up. Read The Best Business Cards for Photographers to learn tips on what information should be included, as well as 5 companies you can create and order business cards from.