How to land your first paid videography gig
In this post, Scott Dumas, a professional videographer and YouTuber discusses 5 things you need to do to get your first paid videography gig.
Hi, my name is Scott and I’m a videographer & youtuber making camera reviews and tutorials. Today I’m going to talk about how to land your first paid gig, and keep it going after that. And, this can apply to both photo, video and maybe even a whole lot more.
Start by building up your confidence
Getting your first paid gig is relatively easy. Getting the gigs consistently is the difficult part. But, it’s not rocket science, you just need some patience. Believe in yourself and don’t give up.
Today I’m not going to talk about pricing, because that opens up a whole other can of worms. Today I am going to focus on how you can get that first paying client to begin with, and then how you can keep that going in the future.
First of all, you need to be at least somewhat confident in your ability to achieve the results you have in mind. Don’t waste anybody’s money and make sure you give them a solid reason to recommend you to others.
If you use lights, know how to use them, know your cameras ins and outs and don’t look like an amateur on set.
Build a portfolio
Something that will help you to gain that confidence is making sample videos.
This can be anything, and ideally it should apply to the type of work you’re looking for, but it could be just product type videos of things you have at home, it could be model style videos that you make with your friends, it could even be videos of your kids or pets if they’re made well.
If you are a YouTuber, this is essentially just b-roll, but a little bit more complete. Something that has a little bit of a story or at least a beginning and an end to it.
Have fun with it though. Like I said, you’ll be learning as you go AND this will be growing your “portfolio” to show potential clients.
Want paid gigs? Don’t do it for free!
Simply put, don’t do it for free. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing this for friends or family – just don’t do it for free.
It doesn’t have to be expensive. You can always raise your prices in the future as your quality or value increases.
If you want paid gigs, don’t do free videogrpahy work because that IS a rut you WILL get stuck in and it’s a very difficult one to get out of.
Network, network, network
However, do use your family, your friends, your connections, your family’s connections, your friends connections. Then ask them all for recommendations!
Word of mouth, for me, has been my number 1 source of new, quality and long lasting jobs. And almost every one of those jobs has led to at least one more.
If you have advertising agencies in your area that make websites or flyers or other material for businesses, go to them too. Some of them might not have many options for video or photo work, whichever you’re wanting to offer.
Present yourself in a good way and they might be willing to recommend that work to you and at the same time expand what they can offer to their own clients. Even if they do already have videography services provided by someone else, if you go to them with some good work and a good attitude, they may be willing to put you on their roster.
They will obviously need to see a sample of your work, so use the sample videos that you already created at home in your free time.
Don’t be afraid of being rejected. Even if they turn you down it doesn’t hurt. If that happens, ask for feedback and learn how you can improve your portfolio. Most importantly, keep going!
Never stop learning and improving your craft
Finally, make sure you never stop learning!
Every single shoot WILL be a learning experience in some way or another, and don’t overlook that. But don’t let mistakes get you down either. The key is to learn how to deal with those mistakes in real time, cover for them, and still get the shot that you need in some way or another… that’s what makes a professional and that’s what we all want to be, right?