Over the last decade, I've run hundreds of games of D&D. Recently, I dabbled in professional game mastering (paid to GM). Here are three tips to help you become a professional GM.
Tip 1: Offer a Variety of Games
Offer a variety of games to see what people want. If you schedule nothing but horror games, you might miss out on people who want fantasy. If you schedule nothing but veteran D&D games, you might miss out on new players who want to learn the game.
Offer a variety of themes, settings, experience levels, and genres. If you can, offer more than one game system. Over time, you'll learn what attracts more players and you can free up your schedule for more of that.
Tip 2: Fill Empty Seats with Your Friends
In the beginning, you might only attract one or two players for a game session. And that's fine. Ask your friends to fill in the empty seats for free. Your friends will enjoy it and the paying players will have more fun with a full table. Do this as often as you need to.
Don't have any friends that play D&D? No problem. Join any of the hundreds of Discord servers for this hobby and invite your fellow GMs to sit in for free. You'll be surprised how many people are ready and willing to help out.
Tip 3: Use StartPlaying
StartPlaying is a phenomenal platform for professional GMs. It's easy to set up your profile and start scheduling games. Players can search for and join games and the platform handles all payments.
With a powerful platform like StartPlaying, you can focus on what matters: the game.
I don't always have games scheduled but if you're interested in playing with me, you can always request a game.
Bonus Tip: Ask for Reviews
At the end of every session, ask your players to write reviews for your service. Don't mention they can write a review if they want to. Ask them directly. If they say no, that's fine. But most players would be happy to.
Reviews boost your presence and help you attract new players. They also provide critical feedback for you to improve. Always thank a player that posts a review.
Success at professional GMing isn't going to happen overnight. And that's ok. Take a deep breath and enjoy the journey.