It’s no secret that the entire world is consuming online videos on a daily basis. Most of that video is user-generated content (think TikTok and Instagram Reels), but brands that want to succeed will end up hiring a professional videographer sooner or later. That’s where you come in.
The market has never been better for videographers and today I want to show you a few ways in which you can make some extra money with the tools and the knowledge you already have.
Pssst. Don't feel like reading? You can watch the video instead!
Recording Social Events: Weddings, Celebrations, Funerals, and other events
We know the pandemic hit you harder than most, with all venues closing their doors for several months, but things are changing.
The world is reopening. Most people have been vaccinated, which means that you can go and do what you do best, create some gorgeous films at live events.
The best part about social events is that the pay is better than most other alternatives on this list. Once you establish yourself as a proficient videographer in a small niche, your income is almost guaranteed.
The worst? They’re exhausting! Running after brides all day or setting up a multi-camera setup every 10 minutes surely is a way to get swollen feet at the end of the day.
Live Streaming Events: Weddings, Funerals, Theatre plays, Concerts, Conferences…
Just like social events went down because of the pandemic, live streaming events skyrocketed during the last 18 months. It’s been a rollercoaster that you can jump into at any time.
Many videographers used the equipment they already had to start live streaming events as soon as Covid-19 hit the news. Some offered intimate weddings such as elopements and socially distanced events, while others discovered a massive success in live-streaming funerals for the ones who couldn’t say goodbye to their families.
The best part about live streaming events is that it requires very little to get started and it’s probably the easiest way on this list to make some extra money. Some people used a private live streaming app with an iPhone and a gimbal, while others went for the full-gear route with their Macbook and a 2-camera setup using a platform such as EventLive.
The worst part about live streaming events? You might need to acquire a WiFi hotspot if you work on locations with poor signal. If you live in a rural area, you rely on decent WiFi to be able to live stream smoothly.
This one shouldn’t be too high on our list because it doesn’t work for everybody, but if you live in a big city, corporate events are a fantastic way to mix the first two methods to make money: Social Events + Live Streaming.
The best part about corporate events is that if you do a good job, they will call you over and over again. It’s a way to future-proof your videography business.
The worst part? It’s not that easy to get the connections to get your first gig. That can be solved by reaching out to the right people and let everyone know that you’re also working with companies to produce content for them.
This market, just like live streaming, went through the roof during the pandemic.
Many families realized that the place they live in isn’t really comfortable to spend long hours inside. They’re looking for more greenery, a bigger backyard, or simply a more up-to-date home.
Real estate prices went higher than ever and most real estate photographers and videographers are fully booked because of this. Everyone wants to sell while the prices are high and they can only do so with the right imagery.
You can jump into this opportunity using the same tools you already have. It’s easy to learn for skilled videographers and, depending on your area, real estate brokers might already be looking for someone like you.
Companies like The Hancock Group are hiring videographers for $40,000 - $50,000 per year for filming and editing videos that highlight real estate listings as a full time job. If you're looking for a part-time offer, Tom Toole Sales is paying anywhere between $25,000 - $30,000 for your skills. The average pay is $45,813 /year, according to ZipRecruiter.
With more and more brands offering their products online, e-commerce platforms are in need of your talent and expertise.
While e-commerce photographers have several options to get into these market, for videographers the options are a bit more limited. For mot gigs, you'd have to work with a photographer on-set to produce videos that show how products are used.
It might not be the most creative job out there, but it sure is an effective way to bring an extra income on the side.
The best part about working on e-commerce sets is that once you nail the aesthetic the brand is looking for, it's all about reproducing similar footage.
The worst part is that your creative skills might not always be used, as brands already have a defined style that you need to replicate.
High School Events: Sports, Plays, Graduations
I hope I’m not offending anybody with the following statement: these are easy money.
Easy money doesn’t exist, I know. But… hear me out.
You don’t have the stress of losing the bride’s first look or emotional vows. You don’t have to frame cinematic compositions for everything that moves. You don’t have to sit down and edit every jump cut to the beat of the music you spent hours looking for… one that’s royalty-free to avoid another strike on Vimeo.
And the best part? If you’re good at it, they will hire you again next year for the same event.
Graduations, plays, and similar events are a fantastic way to offer different services. You can sell a feature film or live streaming, which might give you the opportunity to show your brand to every family member that visits your live event. I can’t think of a better way to grow your videography business and contact list than this.
Short videos for Businesses
Remember what I was saying before, about us consuming an insane amount of video content?
You can be the one creating it. This job requires a lot more creativity than the previous ones, and sometimes even more equipment to get started.
Sure, you can do it with your phone and a small microphone, but most brands will hire you to give them an edge in image quality compared to most influencers out there.
The best part about this one is that once a few of your videos go viral, you can leverage the numbers to get new clients.
The worst part is that the initial payment might be low for the number of hours you’ll need to put in. Eventually, they’ll pay what you’re worth, but you need to show your value first.
Are you quick on FCPX? What about Premiere? Are you a talented motion graphics designer?
You’re in luck. These jobs aren’t the easiest to get, but they pay pretty well for a couple of days of sitting with a cup of coffee in front of the computer.
If you’re looking for editing gigs, UpWork is a good way to start. You can skip services such as Fiverr and other websites that pay pennies per hour for a lousy job.
Personally, I’m a people person. I prefer to be on the field with a simple broadcasting setup while my clients rave about the magic of being able to see it live. Oh, and the pay is so much better per hour.
I’m always looking for interesting conversations with videographers about the best way to grow their business. If you’re interested in getting customers or even expanding your videography packages to offer more services, do not hesitate to reach out. I’ll be happy to guide you for free.