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How To Be A Profitable Freelance Filmmaker

The great thing about being talented at filmmaking (or at least passionate) is that there are many different paths you can take depending on your preferences. If you’re not one for crazy long hours and hundreds of millions of dollars of pressure on your head, then this article might just be for you! It’s time to learn how to be a profitable freelance filmmaker. I’d first like to suggest signing up to our Crew List or Production Company List, because you know, it’s awesome when you do that.


The Era of Videos is Upon Us

Try to go a day without seeing something created by a camera. No? How about an hour. Still can’t? 10 minutes? Nada. Everywhere you look there’s some kind of video playing. Whether it’s a movie, commercial, advertisement, or just your friend’s cat video. Now more than every before video is taking over our lives as we know it, and I’ll let you in on a little secret, it’s not going to stop. Every year new data shows a dramatic increase in video production. People love them! Which in turn is a great opportunity for you, a filmmaker. Finding a client to make videos for keeps getting easier and easier with each passing day. Higher demand, cheaper and better technology, and simpler equipment. Sounds like the perfect time to become a profitable freelance filmmaker was yesterday right? Well, it was.

RED camera in the middle of the street is the key to becoming a profitable freelance filmmaker

I literally found this on the ground yesterday.

Starting Out

If you want to get out there and start shooting as soon as physically possible because you’re an unstoppable one-man army then do it! There are tons of clients out there looking for a man (or woman) with a camera ready to take their business’s marketing to the next level. Some companies aren’t looking for a massive production company to take on their dream, they just need someone eager and willing to work with them. As a freelancer you’ll need to start creating a presence as soon as possible. Make an Instagram account, YouTube, Vimeo, a website, Facebook page, anything to get more people aware of who you are, what you do, and how awesome you are at it. Then, start shopping around for your first client. All you need is that initial one. After that, it will lead to the next, then the next, and so on. Getting your first gig can be tough, you’re most likely not going to be contacted first. You’ll have to be ringing doorbells and offering your services (or whatever the equivalent is online). Get your name out there, and you’ll be rewarded. Remember, you’re running a business at this point, so be a businessman!

The Single Most Important Thing When Freelancing

Reputation. Reputation can make or break your freelancing career. Now more than ever things can spread without a moments notice. Disrespect your client? Internet knows. Charged more than the product was worth? Internet knows. Poor communication? Internet knows. Unfortunately, people are way more likely to complain about you than praise you. When was the last time you left a positive review about something? Your only defence against this is to give your client nothing to complain about. Be great, be awesome! If you screw up, let your client know and while you’re at it, tell them how you’re going to fix it. Whatever you do, don’t try to hide it or cover it up. That will only lead you down a dark hole of 1 star reviews. The best part with making your client happy is that they’ll keep coming back and giving you more projects, which means more money. It’s a lot easier to stick with one person who works than finding a new person every time.

Why You Should Be A Freelancer

  • You can do it literally anywhere! All you need is your trusty camera, laptop, and an internet connection.
  •  You’re your own boss.
  • You can pick when you want to work. No more 9 – 5.
  •  Theoretically, the amount of money you can make is limitless. It’s all up to you.

Why You Shouldn't Be A Freelancer

  • No job security. Can be times when you have no clients or work which equals no income.
  • You won’t always be doing the most creative work. Sometimes you’ll simply be shooting some board meetings.
  • It can be a lot of work before you’re making good money.
  • You’ll have to learn how to run your own business. Ex. taxes, contracts, invoices, etc.

Still With Us?

Great. Here are some tips on how to become successful.

  • Don’t be picky when you’re first starting out. You’re not going to get the most glamorous gigs at first, but they will come.
  • You’re not going to be a profitable freelance filmmaker right out the gate, things like this take time. Have some patience!
  • Work on marketing yourself the best you can! Create that following, it helps your reputation.
  •  Don’t take shortcuts with your work. Deliver the best project you possibly can.
  • Communicate! Never leave your client wondering where you are with their project.
  • Never sell yourself short when it comes to pricing your projects.
  • Stand out from all of your competition.
  • If you need reliable and affordable gear to start your journey, visit our Store.
  • Your client isn’t always going to know exactly what you want. Make it easier for them by figuring it out. Do your research to be one step ahead of the competition.
  • Let your creativity shine!
  •  Make. Your. Client. Happy.

Are You Ready to Become A Profitable Freelance Filmmaker?

Thanks for making it to the end of the article! I hope the information given to you will help you start your intense career as a profitable freelance filmmaker. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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