YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion and MetaCafe are just some of the video-sharing websites that have dominated the Internet landscape to watch promotional videos about a product, a media personality satirize the day’s events, a lecture by an economics professor or to view an average person make a fool of himself by eating a tablespoon full of cinnamon.
Since YouTube and others like it take up a significant part of our day on the web, advertisers have flocked to these outlets to tap into this immense marketplace filled with an enormous sum of content creators and viewers. Although we may not click on the ads themselves, they’re still ubiquitous each time we watch a video on the front-page (that is, if you don’t have a browser add-on to skip it).
In order to maximize a product, service or website, companies will seek the services of professional video makers, whether they work for a private firm or are on their own as a freelancer. With many web designers available and looking for work, it has now become a competitive market, something that can become quite lucrative for the professional video producer if he treads carefully.
Here’s how to thrive as a freelance video maker:
When you’re involved in the computer and web design business, it’s imperative to have the latest equipment that can churn out stellar work, whether it’s a video, graphic or website. This means that you should have a top-of-the-line computer with an abundance of software.
According to Jennifer Kyrnin of About.com, a web designer should have the following in his or her office:
- A high-end computer (preferably Mac or Dell)
- Tech gadgets: printer, scanner, phone, external hard drives
- HTML and graphics editor
- Professional workstation
- Desktop video
Since you’re involved in the video design industry, it’s likely that you have the expertise and tools of the trade to create your own website. This will save you a lot of money on hiring a professional website developer, which can instead be utilized for marketing purposes. The website should entail contact information, samples, a detailed list of equipment and pricing.
If you have yet to build an in-depth portfolio (or show reel) of samples then be sure to start out on your own. You can do this by volunteering your services to various websites and then uploading those videos to YouTube, DailyMotion and others (warning: do pro bono work up to three clients and no more).
Another option you can employ as a video maker is to launch your own YouTube or Vimeo channel and use an idea of yours and upload it without any presuppositions of reaching one million views.
When working in the Internet industry, it’s important to utilize both online and offline marketing.
Online marketing would consist of employing social media techniques, placing ads on websites and listing your services on freelance websites. Offline marketing methods would include handing out your business cards to businesses that may not have thought about video marketing, posting flyers in small areas with plenty of businesses and attending industry conferences.
No matter what kind of video you produce (unless it’s vulgar) always be sure to share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
Quality, Versatility & Dependability
The online marketplace includes millions of competing freelancers. If there is one complaint that a client has it’s there are too many undependable workers, and if they’re reliable then their quality is horrific.
This is where you come in: produce quality work and be versatile in what you can complete (videos for filmmakers, videos for news websites, videos for marketing firms, videos for online retailers). It’s with the utmost importance that you be reliable and ensure that your clients can depend on you to complete a project on time and are usually available during business hours.
If you fail at any of the above then a client can have access to millions of other individuals who are involved in the exact same kind of business on Elance, Freelancer or oDesk.
Are you a freelance video maker? Tell us how you succeed and thrive in the comment section.