You have likely made a hefty investment in creating video. You have countless hours tied up in learning the craft. You’ve read many articles, perhaps some books. Perhaps more importantly, you have spent hours of time making mistakes and (hopefully) learning from your errors. (Remember the first time you lost editing time because you weren’t in the habit of backing up your hard drive?)
You have also invested time at your day job earning money so you could afford to purchase your camcorder, tripod, microphones and editing gear (to name just a few). All in all, you have tied up lots of your resources because you love to make video. I’d like to help you to maximize the return on your investment, in terms of general satisfaction as opposed to purely financial.
Let’s face it, the main reason that we make video is to influence people. If no one watched your videos, why would you make them? It is satisfying to know that your video hit the spot. You may want your audience to laugh or cry. Perhaps you want the people that watch your video to be amazed, or simply educated on a specific topic. Whatever the case, you are satisfied when you know that your video made a difference in the world. When you know that lives have been changed, it is rewarding.
To gain even more rewards, create productions with broad appeal. Those of you who know my philosophy about video, are familiar with my vision that programs can and are being made for smaller and smaller niche audiences. This is a wonderful thing, however, if you have the chance to make video with a broader appeal, you should know that the satisfaction increases exponentially when tens, hundreds, thousands and millions of people see your videos. This is the main reason why so many aspiring producers move to LA or New York. They want to make it in the big leagues.
You don’t necessarily need to reach a million television viewers during primetime. Instructional videos that teach people how to do things that don’t change much (canoeing, bowling?) have a very long shelf life. If your video were viewed by as few as ten people every night for 30 years, you’d reach a million viewers. Compare this to producing a local TV commercial, that may be played just once, and you get a better understanding of the exponential power of videos with a long shelf life.
Considering the subjective merits of your videos, it is very satisfying when you feel that your videos are helping to promote something that you feel is worthwhile. Even if just a few dozen people see your work, making videos that "do good" can be incomparable. There is great value and personal satisfaction/fulfillment that comes with making church video, public service announcements or videos for charity.
In closing, I’d be remiss if I neglected videos that are keepsakes, because they have high sentimental value that will outlive you and preserve your family history for generations.