Client work is not the only way to make money with video. You have other options, a lot of them. Want to know my favorite way?
Do the production yourself.
I think that if you have video gear and skills, that’s valuable to someone. Gear is expensive (and for that matter, so is acquiring skills). You can do something that relatively few people can do: you can shoot, edit, and produce something.
Traditionally that might mean you’re available to produce for hire. But you don’t have to be for hire. You could be producing for yourself.
My favorite content to create is “how to”. All three of the shows I personally produce online (Izzy Video, Paperclipping, and Rolling R’s) are “how to” in nature.
Here’s an interesting business strategy for you video shooters looking to create some additional income outside of doing client work:
- Find someone who is an expert on a specific topic. For example, let’s say “Cake Decorating.”
- Partner with that expert on a project where you shoot a series of high quality training videos which teach people all about cake decorating.
- Instead of getting paid by the day, hour, or project — agree to split the profits. I like to do an even split, 50/50 with the expert. They bring the content, and I bring the production.
There’s more to it than that, of course, but you get the basic idea.
Will every project be a wild success? Of course not. But if some of them are, you might be able to stop doing client work — if that’s something you’re interested in doing.
If you want to try this, I recommend doing it on the side, along with your normal paying gigs. That way if a project fails, it’s no big deal. You still have your client work income.
If you’re busy all the time with client work, you might need to turn down some work so you can develop your own content. Does that sound backwards? Turning down work? I do it. Many people do it. It’s prioritization. If I have to choose between spending a day developing my own content versus developing someone else’s content, I’d rather be working on my own. In the long run, it might pay better.
Have you tried any of this? Has it worked? Would you be interested in trying it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments…
* Photo by AMagill