words Alexa Wang
Starting your career in video production sounds interesting. You get to travel to many places. You get to meet different kinds of people, possibly even famous personalities.
Plus, you might get the chance to document historic moments as it’s happening!
But before you jump the gun and commit yourself into the wonderful but crazy world of videography, here are a few things you need to know.
Play to your strengths.
The video production industry offers a wide range of career paths for aspiring videographers. You can be a wedding videographer, a documentary specialist, a sports videographer, and even an actual filmmaker.
That’s why, before you decide to accept clients, you must first choose what kind of videographer you will be. This depends on your strengths in video production. Will you be offering purely video shooting or could you do post-production? Can you do same day edits for live events? It’s really up to you.
Another thing to note is that your strengths also have a lot to do with your location. If you will be offering video production services, check out your area for possible clientele. For example, you may be situated near a business district so corporate videos might be something you can produce.
Invest in technique before equipment.
Videographers make the mistake in splurging on all the latest cameras, lighting tools, and even software at the start of their careers. While you do need a few basic pieces of equipment for your productions, you don’t necessarily have to buy all that is out there.
Try working with a bare minimum setup and focus on mastering your technique. Once you’ve perfected your technique with just the essentials, that’s the time you can buy that expensive gimbal that you’ve always wanted to try!
A perfect showreel is a must.
Needless to say, a videographer’s showreel is much more important than his resume. It doesn’t really matter how long you studied filmmaking in school. What matters to clients is the quality of all the outputs you’ve done.
If you don’t know it yet, a showreel is an essential and effective piece of marketing to show just how good you are at your craft. If you’re just a videographer and have no confidence in your editing skills, try asking your editor or someone else to help you make it.
It pays to be sociable.
Remember how your location is one of your strengths? Well, this can only happen if you know how to market yourself. You can’t really build a good showreel if you have nothing to show for it. So most likely, your family and friends will be your first clients. If you treat them right, then they might just give you the big break you’ve been hoping for.
Being friendly to other people in video production can also be helpful, especially if you need a specific gear that you still don’t have in your arsenal. Just take care of the equipment and be sure to return it once you’re done.
Determine your base prices before offering services.
Putting a price tag on your masterpiece is certainly not an easy task, but it’s necessary for the success of your business.
To avoid being swayed by lowballers, you need to determine the base price of your services before accepting clients. It will also help you gauge just how much of a discount you’re going to give to cover your cousin’s wedding (when working with family).
Take note that you must factor in equipment maintenance and overhead costs on top of your professional fee. Also, free food should never be a form of currency!
Hire a competent person to be part of your team.
Once your video production services take off, you will want to add a few more people to your team. Adding at least one person will help unload a lot of burden for you and will make the production process much more efficient.
However, this will only happen if you are able to hire a competent person that is fit for the job and will sync with your workflow.
As a general rule, you must check out their showreel and ask clients and peers about his or her work ethic.
Last but certainly not least, a lot of videographers often forget the health risks that come with their chosen careers. As a videographer, you will likely find yourself working under harsh conditions and strict deadlines which will make you become careless at some point.
So please do not make that mistake and invest in protection plans for your own sake and for your clients’ peace of mind.
As you can see, there are many considerations to think about when starting your videography business. Everything from insurance to being smart with your equipment purchases, every decision you will significantly impact your business. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and pay attention to how your talents will best serve the location you’re in. If you can at least do those two things, your chances of success will greatly increase.