Everybody would love to make a living from their favorite activities, but it’s not that easy for most people…
Well, in the Cosplay world it is actually possible to turn your hobby into a career, that’s what we call “living the dream”.

Just so we get on the same page about Cosplay, it is a trend that started in Japan and came to the USA with the anime and manga during the “Seventies”.
It was only a matter of time before people started to build their own costumes to re-live their favorite characters.
This is what cosplay is all about, a very inclusive trend where you can wear costumes and play characters to entertain other fans!
Cosplay is very popular and it has reached a solid growth with marketing from big studio companies and television.
Companies wanted to attract new fans for their productions and all of a sudden cosplay has become the new thing and a resource for this marketing strategy.

But How Do People Earn Money With A Costume?

If you don’t take a closer look at this subject, Cosplaying might look like a kid thing or an activity for people with a lot of time and no concerns, but it is much more than that.
When it comes to professional cosplayers, you will start to see people with degrees in marketing, social media and fashion.
Just like any other market, in Cosplay one of the main skills is the ability to make good connections, especially with people from the industry in general.
If a cosplayer can promote a character or a movie, this increases the chances of being sponsored by this brand, so it’s very important to pick the right options, stick to them and to know how to carry yourself in this game.
A lot of skills can come into play here, business management, photography, marketing, design, etc.

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Where do I Start?

At first, you need to understand that if you take this only as an investment, there would be more interesting options around. But if you really enjoy cosplay, then it can also be a nice investment option.
With that said, you don’t need to start with an expensive costume in order to make some money.
In fact, a lot of famous cosplayers started with humble resources and built their path from there.

You can be smart about marketing yourself without spending too much, a good presence on social media is key, you can start a fan page with supporters and rent costumes, make nice videos of your favorite characters and so on, your followers may be the main source of income in no time.

We all know that starting out can be tricky on any market, let’s take a look into the most common ways to build up a career with Cosplay:

1- If you do not want to be a cosplayer but love the market and want to generate income from it, maybe you can try some indirect paths, a good start would be to sell replica weapons, costumes, and armor to the fans! Why not?

2 – If you want to be a cosplayer, keep in mind that the option above can also be a good start to collect some money to invest in your career, you may need to spend some cash with conventions and self-promotion!

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3 – Being a Sponsored Cosplayer – I Bet you did not see that coming, right? Yes, you can be sponsored!! Basically, there are many companies (especially in the games business) that need to promote their products and paying somebody to dress as the main character is a great catch!
So, for a cosplayer and the company, this is a win-win situation, as a cosplayer, you can dress up, be at a nice convention, all while earning from it!!!
For the companies, it’s a great marketing strategy to boost sales and presence, if you want to learn more take a look into companies such as CAPCOM, SONY, and UBISOFT just to name a few.

Experienced Tips For Beginners
Alright, now you have a path to work on, but getting tips from experienced people is never too much, we have collected a few tips from professional cosplayers that can make your adventure easier and lighter by avoiding some common issues in this market.

1- Value your Privacy – This may seem a bit strange at first sight but be prepared, as a successful cosplayer your privacy can turn into an issue, you may want to check all the info on social media prior to that, limit your info to professional-only to avoid headaches and other personal problems.

2- Learn how to deal with Fans – Some people learn the hard way, people can be tricky sometimes and a resentful fan can become a major problem during work time.
Learn how to treat fans well at all costs, if a fan gets upset for not getting a pic, offer to get them one or two, treat them well.
The client is ALWAYS right, especially while you are representing another brand!

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3 – Professional Behavior – As tip number 2 above, you need to get your act together at all costs, there are some tips on how to behave to stay on point:

While in public – People can hit really hard sometimes, when dressing up people will always be looking at you, taking pictures and making comments.
Some critics will be positive, others not so much, this is part of your job.
Just remember you are there to entertain the audience, be confident.

For most people in this industry, cosplay will always be just a hobby, but for others, it can be a career.
When the scene gets more attention, commercial offers might grow for cosplayers, especially if you have experience with characters from video games and movies.