How to make a living as a videographer

This is not an easy task at first. I will give a few ideas that may help you along the way.

It's easy as a video/tech person to want to sit in a dark cave-like room and work on what others would consider deep magic. If you're a technician more than a person to person communicator then you have some thing stat you need to consider.

It does matter how good you are at your craft, But it doesn't matter how good you are at your craft. Sound contradictory right? Well the point is, it matters how good you are once you've landed a job, but if you never land a project then it doesn't matter how good you are.

So much of this is how to land projects. A lot of it is based on whatever network you already have when you decide to go into the video business. For me I traveled around and played music at religious functions. I was a drummer for one of those christian rock bands. I believe this helped a lot because I already had a network of people that were very interested in video. Many of those some people are still my clients today.

So your first task is to think about your interests. What do you like to do, and what do you connect with other people about? This might be a good place to start, when building a network.

One of the most important things you can do is be extremely likable. If you are a jerk, very few people will hire you. I like to think that there is a direct correlation between how good you have to be, balanced against how likable you are. If you are mean and short with people, then buddy, you better be a video wizard who can shoot special effects from your eyeballs. If you are really likable and enjoyable to be around, then don't fret too much, there is space for you too in the industry.

Along those lines, people need to like talking to you. If a video project comes up in the mind of a potential client, why would they think of you first. A lot of it is based on how easy it is to chat with you. How do you act when people throw questions at you. You need to be sure not to have the attitude that so many tech folks have. I'm sure you've seen it before. It's the, "I know way more than anyone else." attitude. If you exude that, then people probably feel a little sick when you speak, and therefore they will not contact you next time. Approach it with humility and joy and people with think of you when they need services like what you are offering.

Another important aspect is, always be pitching. Pretty often people will ask what I do for a living. I tell them I do video. Often people will mention that they need some video for their business or whatever. That is my opportunity to do what I call a soft pitch. (I hated softball but this is really important.) People need to see a creative person as one who has creative ideas. I always try to come up with an impromptu idea right there on the spot. I say things like, "You know what would be neat is to make a video with ________" Or "I've always wanted to do a video with __________" these types of statements demonstrate not only that I am trying to work with them but that I love what I get to do, which is true. People are drawn to idea people. They are also drawn to people who are full of life.

Life and death is in the power of the tongue. If you approach it with enthusiasm and enjoyment, people will gravitate toward you, if you are negative and demeaning, people will avoid.

Good luck and happy hunting.


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