If you want to get paid for your freelance work
…then access to tools is no longer sufficient. Everyone you compete with has access to a camera, a keyboard, a guitar. Just because you know how to use a piece of software or a device doesn’t mean that there isn’t an amateur who’s willing to do it for free, or an up and comer who’s willing to do it for less.
…then saying “how dare you” is no longer a useful way to cajole the bride away from asking her friend to take pictures at the wedding, or the local non-profit to have a supporter typeset the gala’s flyer or to keep a rock star from inviting volunteers on stage.
…then you ought to find and lead a tribe, build a base of people who want you, and only you, and are willing to pay for it.
…then you need to develop both skills and a reputation for those skills that make it clear to (enough) people that an amateur solution isn’t nearly good enough, because you’re that much better and worth that much more.
…then you should pick yourself and book yourself and publish yourself and stand up and do your work, and do it in a way for which there are no substitutes.
It’s true, if someone wants professional work, then he will need to hire professionals. But it’s also true that as amateurs are happy to do the work that professionals used to charge for, the best (and only) path to getting paid is to redefine the very nature of professional work.
Scarcity is a great thing for those that possess something that’s scarce. But when scarcity goes away, you’ll need more than that.