How to get clients as a videographer

Making money with video can be a stressful task. As a videographer, getting new work is always stressful, no matter if you’re new to professional videography or if you have years of experience. The competition is fierce and it will take some effort for you to stand out and find clients to work with.

Being proactive in your search for prospective clients is essential for getting new work. It can be discouraging to reach out to potential clients, but receive a no or just don’t get an answer back. Don’t be discouraged. The only way that you’ll find work is to keep proactive in your search. So, here’s how to get clients as a videographer.

Stay proactive

Create a portfolio

First things first, you need to set up your portfolio. Take advantage of some of the free online website building tools. It’s crucial that you have a way for potential clients and employers to see your work. Build the website around how you want to market yourself.

There are templates you can use and tweak to your liking, or you can build the website from scratch. Regardless of what you pick, make sure that the look and feel of the website seem right to you. Additionally, keep the design consistent across the entire portfolio and other things like business cards and your resume. Consistency will help you convey your professionalism and attention to detail to your potential clients.

Also, take time to write about each project you feature in your portfolio. Walk through the process of creating it. Focus on describing your process rather than talk about the visual elements of the project. The potential clients and employers can already see what’s there in the video. It’s important to show them how you think and come up with solutions to problems.

Build your online presence

One thing to consider as a videographer is your online presence. When potential clients look at your portfolio, they’ll likely want to check out your presence on social media. Be sure to build your online presence on places like LinkedIn, Facebook Pages, and Instagram. Be sure to post your videos on Vimeo and YouTube as well. Be mindful of the content you post as well, as what you share is a reflection of you and your business.

Reach out to people that might be interested in your work

Now it’s time to start reaching out to people that might be interested in the kind of work you’re doing. First, check to see if any of your connections might want your work or if they know people that might be interested. You may also try cold emailing people on platforms like LinkedIn. There are also companies that connect clients with contractors, so you can get your name in that system and see if anything comes up. Be sure to research keywords that the majority of clients and employers are looking for. A lot of places use an automated system to sort through keywords on things like resumes. It allows them to find more qualified candidates quicker, So, go through as many job postings as you possibly can and jot down the terms and kills mentioned the most and be sure to include them in your resume.

How do you tactfully offer your services to someone who didn’t ask for them?

The best approach you can take when offering your services to someone who didn’t ask for them is to be professional and respectful. Also, be sure not to pester them if they don’t show interest. They will appreciate your professionalism and will see you as someone who is looking for work, not pestering them to hire you for work. Present what you can do for them and how your services will benefit them. If they still aren’t interested after that, thank them for their time and leave them with your contact information, like a business card. This way, if they eventually need your services in the future, they have your contact information.

How do you get your demo reel seen?

As a videographer, whenever reaching out to agents of managers, you’re going to have to have a demo reel ready. A demo reel is a two to three-minute preview of your work. The best way to get your demo reel seen is to have it available to watch digitally and send it out to potential clients digitally. Do not send a DVD unless you are asked to. There are some people that will still want DVDs, but the majority of them will want to have it accessible through a link. It’s much quicker and efficient to click than it is to take the DVD out and insert it. So send a custom link to whoever you’re reaching out to.

Don’t send your reel directly to a client. The file size will likely be very big and will be a hassle for the person receiving it. Also, you run the risk of having your email placed in the junk or spam folder. Send a link that leads to your website or places like VImeo or YouTube.

Should you share your list of current and former clients with new prospective clients?

Privacy is critical for maintaining a healthy relationship with current and former clients. Most of the time, you shouldn’t share your list of current and previous clients. However, if you ask the company or include it in your contract with them, then that is more acceptable. Regardless, you should always make the company or client aware that you want to include them on a list that you’ll share with prospective clients. Depending on their answer, you can either include them or not include. Also respect your clients’ privacy if you want to maintain a healthy relationship with them and also not run into potential legal troubles.

How might your approach differ based on the type of work you do?

Depending on what kind of services your prospective clients are looking for, you should tailor the elements you send to them based on those services. Say one of your prospective clients is looking for a videographer to shoot a commercial for them. You should do your research on what your client is looking for beforehand and adjust your resume and reel to highlight your skills with commercial videography. It wouldn’t be as efficient if you presented yourself as an event videographer when the client is looking for a commercial videographer. It’s also good to create different reels that showcase a specific area of your expertise. So, have a reel that highlights your commercial work and have another one that highlights your event videography work.

Keep at it and you’ll get work

You will receive a lot of rejection in your search. Unfortunately, it’s a part of the process. However, keep a positive attitude and be respectful to everyone you talk with. Who knows? Maybe one of the clients that initially didn’t need your service might in the future, or they can refer you to others that might be in need of your expertise.

Always network with as many people as you can, regardless if you work with them or not. Networking is the single most important thing you can do to find new opportunities. It’s also important to continually keep your portfolio, resume and demo reels up to date and tailor what you send clients based on their needs. This will ensure you’re showing them the skills you have most relevant to them. Clients are looking for answers to specific problems. Convince them you’re the answer to their problems.

Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's managing editor.

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