Getting work as a new videographer can be tough, even with experience videography can be a very competitive field so with that in mind here are some of the ways you can get your first paying jobs under your belt.
1) Make sure to tell everyone you know
The first tip is to tell everyone you know and everyone you come in contact with what you do.
This may sound obvious, but most people don’t do it. You will be surprised by how much business this can bring in long term when you start to do it.
Most people will know someone who’s getting married, having a party or attending some event which may need a videographer to cover. If you don’t mention what you do there’s no chance of you getting introduced to these people, but if you mention in conversation that you film weddings there is a good chance you could be introduced to someone who’s looking for a wedding videographer, after all everyone knows someone who’s getting married this year.
You may not get business right away from this but by telling people that you’re a videographer they can act as mini salespeople for you without even realising. This is a very powerful way of marketing yourself and your business so please make sure to do it at every opportunity. If you want to take this a step further you could even offer people a referral fee for when a client signs up with you.
2) Post ads on classified websites
Depending on where you live in the world there is going to be a classified website that you can post your services on to generate more business.
An example of a classified website could be Gumtree or Craigslist.
When you are starting you aren’t going to be commanding the highest of rates and generally classified websites don’t pull in the type of customer that is going to pay high rates so you can use them to get some work to show off on your portfolio but longterm you will want to move away from using sites like these to grow your videography business.
3) Your website is very important
A website is vital for your videography business as it serves two main functions.
Firstly it shows your potential customers the type of work that you can do and then it gives them more information about your services and how to hire you.
If you are trying to get more business for your videography services you will need a website set up right away. When you have your website set up you can then use it in a few different ways to generate leads for your services.
Firstly, you can run social media ads to sell your services and link back to your website so people can see more information about that service.
The great thing about social media ads is they can be set up and run for only a few dollars a day. If you have more money you can increase the ad spend and then drive more potential customers to your website. Buffer has a good guide on setting up Facebook ads.
When a website is configured correctly which is known as SEO it can also show up on the search engines when a potential customer searches for your services.
For example, if you provided wedding photography in New York and your website was optimised for that keyword you could then pop up when someone is looking to hire a photographer for their wedding in Brooklyn. Weeare has a great guide on organic SEO and link building which is vital for getting your website to show up in competitive markets such as videography.
Lastly, providing that your website is set up and you can show your work off you can cold email other businesses who may be interested in your services.
Depending on your style of work you could cold email wedding venues, wedding dress shops, corporate companies, other photographers and marketing agencies because they could all benefit from your services, all you need to do is ask them if they need help with creating video content. Microbudgeter has a good article on cold emailing businesses selling videography services.
If you are starting your business, cold email can be an excellent way of making sales quickly. All it takes is a little effort to pull off and you could have more clients by the end of the week.
Cold email does have a bad reputation because it is used by spammers, but if you email every prospect individually with a custom message you are not going to get bad responses.
4) Use LinkedIn
Think of LinkedIn as an extension of cold email as you can outreach to potential clients on there too. However, if you only use LinkedIn for contacting potential clients you are missing out on business.
Let’s say you have decided your target market is marketing agencies. You could then go on LinkedIn and add all of the directors and CEOs of marketing agencies in your local area.
Once you have added these people you then need to nurture them to become a customer. You could start producing content on your LinkedIn page that talks about the benefits of using video in marketing campaigns. If you do this enough you will become the “video guy” and people will reach out to you when they need your services.
You need to share content that will help your audience if this strategy is to work, you can’t post messages or content selling all the time as it will have the opposite effect. Uhuru goes into detail with this in their ultimate guide to social selling.
5) Contact local real estate agents
Your local estate agent could turn into a goldmine for you if you do a good job. If you look at the average real estate website they will use photos which is ok for cheaper properties but as a property price increases the buyer will need to see more detail and a video is a great way of showing this off.
Videos for real estate agents can also be used on their social networks which makes selling the properties easier. If you do well with one home you will be asked to shoot more as they come in.
The great thing about working with real estate agents is each town will have multiple and if you’re willing to travel further for work you will have a never-ending supply of potential clients.
To work with real estate agents you can either cold email them, talk to them on social media or go into their office and talk to the owner. You could even offer to shoot the first video for free to show them how much better video looks than static imagery.
No one likes working for free, but if you could take a few hours out of your day for a continuous supply of work I’m sure you would agree that it would be worth it.
6) Freelance websites
When you’re starting out in any business getting clients is tough, websites such as Upwork, however, make it a little easier as you don’t have to cold email, spend money on ads or do any complex marketing. All you need to do is to fill out your profile, show off the work that you do and apply for jobs that are relevant to you.
The only downside to Upwork and other freelance websites is the competition there is fierce. If you can do a video for $500 there will be someone on there willing to do it for $50.
With that said, if you can show your quality you will also get users who are more than happy to spend the higher rates if you can do a good job. Many business owners have been burned by freelancers in the past who charge little and are willing to spend more to get the job done right.
Freelance to win has a great post on sending proposals on Upwork to win jobs which is worth checking out.
Everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. For example, you may be terrible at getting leads on a freelance website such as Upwork but you could crush it using cold emailing to corporate clients.
Above are some of the ways which you can get clients as a videographer and you should try them all to see which works best for you.
About the author
James Mathews is a videographer at Bounce Color, a website that creates video assets and presets to make video editing less painful and easier for all skill levels.