If you’re a keen photographer, you know that your DSLR or Micro Four Thirds camera shoots stunning video. And even if you only ever take snaps with your smartphone, you probably know it can shoot great video too. But did you know how easy it can be to make money from videos?
You might think learning to shoot videos that people will pay for is a long road. Here’s the good news: it’s not. The truth is creating videos—and earning from them—is easier than ever before.
Here’s my top five tips to getting started…
1. Get smart with your phone
Your smartphone is incredibly good at shooting high-quality video, and it will even edit videos for you.
Have you heard about the iPhone movie? Yes, producers shot an entire movie with an iPhone 7, and Director Steven Soderbergh (Oceans 11, The Informant, Magic Mike), described it as a “liberating experience” and “a gamechanger.”
If Hollywood can shoot an entire movie on an iPhone, then you can certainly shoot a professional-looking video using your smartphone.
These phones have become so advanced they will edit your clips into a video, complete with music and titles. In my course, Travel Videos for Profit, I give you tutorial videos for both Androids and iPhones so you can activate and use this incredible feature.
2. Hold steady
If you’ve been shooting video for a while and want to step up your game—and charge more for your videos—I recommend using a tripod to set yourself apart from the shaky amateur footage, shot in vertical mode, we often see on YouTube or the news.
But carrying and setting up a tripod can be tedious and time consuming. If you are using your smartphone, there is a very simple way to shoot stable video: a hand-held gimbal.
A gimbal works by a three-axis stabilizer—no matter how much your hand moves, your camera remains steady, and you get amazing “steady-cam” shots that look like you are gliding forward while you are walking.
You can get a gimbal stabilizer for your phone starting at just $30. (I recommend certain gimbals over others in my accessories list in the Travel Videos for Profit course which you can check out right here.)
3. Provide a convenient, affordable service
More and more small businesses realize they need authentic videos for social media, but not many people provide affordable video services.
Covid-related changes and disruptions to many business operations means the demand for video is incredibly high right now. Businesses around the world—and in your hometown too—need to communicate to potential customers that it’s safe to return.
However, affordable video production is still a challenge because large video production houses have high costs and can’t lower their prices. This is where you come in.
The ability to provide authentic video that sets itself apart from amateur footage is incredibly valuable. All you need to do is learn a few simple techniques and you could be booking clients and making money with videos within a month.
4. Help a business
I have been using video to travel the world for 18 years. Of course, that ground to a halt last year thanks to the pandemic, but with travel set to come back with a bang there’s big opportunity on the horizon.
Tourism-related ventures have lost out on a lot of income over the past year, so they are keen to gain people’s attention with personal, authentic videos.
Creating a video for a hotel with your smartphone could cover the cost of your next vacation…or you could offer to exchange your videography services for a stay at the hotel.
Pro tip: If you have agreed work with a business in a certain area, contact other local businesses. That way you could be paid double for the same cost of travel—or just enjoy some of the extra perks that come with the job, such as a free meal, spa treatment, excursion, or round of golf.
5. Make sure the price is right
I get asked how much to charge for videos all the time and my answer is always the same: it depends on your confidence and experience.
When you start out, I would suggest doing a few sample videos for free. Once you have two or three video sample videos under your belt, you can start charging between $50 to $100 per video. As the value to the client is far greater, you will find most businesses don’t need to consider the investment for long.
Once you have created about 20 videos you can easily start charging $150 and more.
I now charge up to $7,000 for elaborate videos, so the income potential is enormous.