Practical advice for pro videographers to boost their profits

In a nutshell

  • Our main piece of advice for videographers is to diversify income sources. Stock footage, social media content creation and corporate videos can significantly enhance your earning potential.
  • Investing in high-quality equipment and offering a variety of services can attract a broader client base and justify higher rates.
  • Building a strong online presence and networking effectively are crucial for attracting clients and securing repeat business and referrals.

Right now, the demand for high-quality video content is higher than it has ever been. The need for skilled videographers is ever-present, from corporate advertisements to social media campaigns. Naturally, this means there are more opportunities for videographers to make more in their line of work. However, maximizing income requires a strategic approach and a willingness to adapt to changing market dynamics. Let’s explore various ways to enhance your earning potential as a videographer and some practical advice to maximize revenue.

Enhancing earning potential through diverse opportunities

Stock footage and passive income

Incorporating a passive income revenue stream into your profit margins is a must. One of the most common practices in the industry is to upload stock footage and earn passive income that way. While the time you have to spend uploading your videos from your hard drive can be a lot, selling stock video is an easy way to make money as a pro videographer.

Platforms like Wirestock help you upload your videos (and even photos) to all stock sites and start making money on them.

Social media content creation

Another way professional videographers can make money is by shooting TikToks and Instagram reels. You can offer the ability to shoot TikToks and Instagram reels for clients. The best way to do that is to be on retainer for a company, shoot a bunch of content once or twice a month, and then keep uploading the content throughout the month to fulfill the client’s content needs.

Corporate videos

While corporate video work can often be duller than other projects, shooting corporate videos can be quite lucrative. Corporations will always need three types of videos: “about us” videos, testimonials, and videos of their products and services. The first type is “about us” videos. These videos outline the company’s purpose and services. Next, we have testimonials. Testimonials can include anything from a customer review to a case study. And, the last type of video, is videos of products and services. Think of fast-food commercials or gadget announcements.

You can specialize in a particular type of corporate video type, but to maximize your profits, do all three. Sell them as a package and multiply your income.

Wedding videography

Weddings can be another profitable way to boost your income as a professional videographer. How much you charge your client will depend on their needs and where you’re based. But on average, you can expect to earn $1,500 to $2,500 per client. You can offer your clients various package deals that will cover various services. For example, you can sell a base package that offers 6 hours of coverage and up to two wedding locations. Alternatively, you can offer more coverage hours, a higher location allowance, and additional cinematographers for a higher-priced package.

YouTube channel

Starting a YouTube channel can lead to more passive income. However, it can be a very cluttered market on YouTube. It may take a while to make a worthwhile income. First, you need to join the YouTube Partner Program, which is tough in itself. Then, you need to be able to make content that people consistently engage with. However, if you can differentiate yourself from the rest of the market and find success, YouTube can really pan out.

Real estate videography

When it comes to breaking into real estate videography, the cost of entry is low. There are always houses being sold and realtors who need video. Also, the gear you need to shoot real estate videos is fairly inexpensive. So, if you want to start making money and have low overhead, real estate videography is one of the best options available.

Tips for making more money

Investing in quality equipment for higher rates

If possible, invest in higher-quality equipment. When you own more valuable gear, your videos’ overall quality will be better. In turn, you can charge more for your work. Having quality gear allows videographers to command higher rates because the output is higher quality. Ultimately, investing in better gear enhances the value you provide to clients, justifying higher pricing.

Upselling and package upgrades

Upsell services and offer upgrades to packages to enhance clients’ projects. Say you’re filming a sporting event; you could offer add-ons such as livestreaming services or aerial coverage for an extra fee. Your client may not be aware of the additional options available, so always present them in a conversational manner to extend an opportunity to upgrade a job and earn more revenue.

Renting gear and offering services to other filmmakers

If you want to make more passive income, you can rent your camera gear out to other videographers. Like with clients, the higher value your gear is, the higher your rates can be.

Besides renting your gear out, you can also rent out your videography services to other filmmakers. It’s fairly simple to connect with other videographers in our communities. Look up filmmakers or videographers on Instagram using hashtags by typing in the name of your city and “filmmaker” or “videographer.” You can also follow your state’s film page on Facebook or Instagram and look for ads requesting videographers, behind-the-scenes shooting or requests for crew or gear rentals. Additionally, many video gigs can be found on Craigslist.

Creating an online presence and building relationships

Online presence and client engagement

Moving on to more advice for videographers, creating an online presence in today’s digital landscape is mandatory and essential for attracting clients and displaying your portfolio. Websites, portfolios, client testimonials, social media presence and contact information are vital to connect with potential customers. Sites like Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn are great to share your work and engage with potential clients.

Networking and client relations

Attend networking events and build strong client relationships in your community and online. Building strong relationships with clients increases the chances for repeat business and referrals. It’s important to lay out clear expectations, pricing and delivery, so take the time to understand your client’s needs and deliver exceptional service that exceeds their expectations.

Professionalism and client incentives

Always strive to maintain a professional demeanor. By communicating reliability, you can establish yourself as a go-to videographer in your industry and secure ongoing work opportunities. Offer different services, packages and retainer fees to give your clients options to book you for the job. For repeat and VIP customers, it’s smart to offer incentives to clients to book multiple projects with you. For example, you could offer a discounted rate for clients who hire you for both filming and editing services or for multiple jobs. Be honest about your services and always remember the golden rule of business, which is to under-promise and over-deliver.

Simplifying pricing and using contracts

Be sure to make pricing simple and use contracts to ensure that you’re compensated for your work and get paid on time. Establish clear pricing structures and contracts with your clients. Clearly communicate the services you will be providing for the job, deliverables, timelines and payment terms to avoid conflicts when it comes to getting paid. Be candid about your rates and additional fees for extra edits, revisions, delivery formats and other ancillary costs like travel expenses. This ultimately will protect your interests.

Creativity, business savvy and proactivity

We’ve provided a lot of advice for videographers in this article, but here’s the bottom line: Remember to stay creative. The way to do that is to remain curious. Also, be business-savvy and proactive in your self-promotion. Video services are in more demand than ever before, with companies and brands looking to scale up their social media presence. So, take advantage of the opportunities in today’s marketplace to increase your revenue as a videographer.

Landon Dyksterhouse
Landon Dyksterhouse
Landon Dyksterhouse is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and is the founder of D-House Entertainment.

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