Video creation is a popular field of work for freelancers today and covers a wide range of opportunities. In prior decades, the cost to produce a single video meant this career was out of reach for many budding filmmakers. Today, advancements in camera hardware and editing software have made it much more affordable for anyone to pick up a camera and start creating videos. In fact, entire movies have been filmed on smartphones, something that would have been hard to imagine just a couple of decades ago.
What Is a Freelance Video Creator?
A freelance video creator is someone who produces videos for a living but isn’t traditionally employed at a company. Instead, they set their own rates and sell their services to a variety of businesses. This could mean that they write, record, edit, and even talk in front of a camera to create video content for businesses or for a growing audience of online viewers. Marketers and influencers alike are always on the lookout for quality video creators who can help them produce videos for consumers.
You’ll be your own boss, managing your hours, building client relationships, and other behind-the-scenes tasks that come with growing your own business. Despite the extra work, it can feel highly satisfying to work for yourself.
What Skills Does a Video Creator Need?
A video creator is a bit of a jack of all trades when it comes to content creation. Many video creators have learned how to become their own production team, handling the research, creation, and promotion of their content. Here are some of the top skills needed to be a video creator:
Depending on the videos you create, a video creator may or may not need an entire script, but they do need to know how to brainstorm, plan, and execute their vision for each video. There’s a lot of planning involved that goes into every produced minute of video content.
A video creator often doubles as their own cameraperson. As you grow more successful, you may have the option to subcontract any camera work to a videographer, but in the beginning, you’ll most likely be your own cameraperson. You’ll need to know the best camera, lighting, and framing techniques to create high-quality videos people want to watch.
Editing is another highly sought-after skill that video creators should develop if they want to create content as a freelancer. You’ll need to learn about how to cut footage, create transitions, develop good timing, apply color correction, and have good attention to detail.
Not all video creators step in front of the camera, but if you choose to, you’ll need to develop your camera presence and delivery. It takes time to find your personality in front of a camera and can feel a bit awkward at first. However, the more you practice, you’ll discover how to portray yourself on camera.
Lucrative Freelance Ideas for Video Creators
You’d be surprised by how many opportunities video creators have, especially with the social media boom over the last decade. And with the barrier of entry getting cheaper every year, video creation has become a very popular freelance career.
YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and even Facebook have created social media influencers, which is typically what we think of when talking about video creators. However, there are many other freelance opportunities that video creators can pursue to make a great living.
1. Produce Marketing Videos for Local Businesses
Every business in your city needs help with producing videos. Whether it’s for commercial or in-house content, businesses of all sizes have seen first-hand how important videos are in today’s market. Hubspot reported that, in 2020 alone, 96% of consumers have said that they want brands to increase their video marketing. And businesses are taking major notice of this rising trend, especially since statistics show that 66% of people prefer video content to reading text-based content.
There are huge opportunities for freelance video creators to produce content marketing videos for local businesses to be released on their websites, social media platforms, or for local TV ads.
2. Sell Courses Online
Are you an expert on a topic? You can record yourself giving tips and advice about a subject you have a lot of experience in. It may take some time to establish credibility in the industry by growing a following through other social media platforms, but once you become established, this is an extremely lucrative way to make money as a freelance video creator. You can sell courses as a package deal for people to purchase and download, or create weekly videos that people can pay a monthly subscription to watch on platforms like Patreon.
Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe
3. Create Corporate Videos
Producing corporate videos is a highly effective way to make a living as a video creator. There are many videos that corporations need besides commercial work. Typically, corporate videos are targeted at internal employees or used by businesses to sell products and services to other businesses. This can include press releases, safety videos, shareholder meetings, market updates, and the list goes on.
Here are some of the most popular corporate videos in demand right now:
- Explainer videos
- Training videos
- Demo videos
- Testimonial videos
- How-to videos
4. Make Videos for Social Media Influencers
If you don’t like being on-camera, you don’t have to be an influencer to make a living on social media platforms. Instead, you can produce videos for other content creators by selling your video creation services. Influencers need researchers, writers, videographers, and editors to help them produce videos each day. The amount of video content that needs to be produced to grow and maintain an audience can be hard for a person to manage alone, so influencers are always looking for freelancers who can work with them.
5. Partner With Realtors
You might’ve heard that real estate is a great gig for freelance photographers, but you may not be familiar with how it can also be a fantastic opportunity for video creators. Realtors for larger properties are increasingly seeking people who can produce video walkthroughs to showcase homes. Videos give buyers a better idea of what a property looks like, and they can watch a walkthrough before deciding if they want to visit in person. You can build relationships with realtors to become their go-to video creator to help sell houses.
6. Film Music Videos
Producing music videos has been a staple way for freelance video creators to earn money. In every city, there are people with dreams of making a career in music. Platforms like YouTube and Vimeo have given musicians an outlet for their music, which means there are more opportunities for video creators to produce music videos. Many famous filmmakers got their start by producing music videos as a freelancer, including Spike Jonze, David Fincher, and Michael Bay.
7. Produce Wedding Videos
One of the most popular opportunities for video creators is to produce wedding videos. This can be a highly lucrative way to make a living once you build credibility in your city. One thing worth noting, there is quite a bit of pressure involved with producing a wedding ceremony (you only get one shot at it!). But it’s pretty easy to get your start as a wedding video creator.
One way to start is by filming a wedding for one of your family members, in which you’ll get a solid sample for your portfolio. From there, you can begin pitching your services around the area to generate more opportunities and scale your freelance business.
Photo by Foto Pettine
8. Record Live Events
Live events for conferences, corporate events, product releases, and more need to be recorded for viewers tuning in online and for later playback. Unlike weddings, there’s not nearly as much involved in recording live events, as you typically stick with a wide shot for most of the filming.
Larger conferences may require more dynamic videos that involve a few different cameras for different angles, but if you don’t have a ton of experience, recording live events is an easier way to break into video creation. The goal is to land recurring gigs for local conferences. For instance, any time a new speaker arrives in town, an agency can call you up to film each session.
9. Create VR 360 Videos
Want to get ahead of the curve? You’ve probably heard a lot of people talking about the metaverse and virtual reality recently. Virtual reality has experienced a lot of growth these past few years, making 360 videos more popular. A 360 video gives viewers the sensation of being “inside” the video, which is made all the more immersive when wearing a VR headset.
Although companies are experimenting with how to make these videos more engrossing, it’s still a relatively new video format to jump into. You can open up your own 360 video production business to create exciting experiences for viewers at home or for businesses to use in their video marketing.
10. License Stock Footage
High-quality b-roll footage of cities, landscapes, aerial views, and nature can be sold to production companies and YouTubers to be used in online videos, commercials, and even feature-length movies. Any footage you capture can be uploaded to sites like Shutterstock, where you can then license your b-roll for other people to buy.
There’s a lot of competition in this arena, but as you build up a great portfolio of work, you can make a pretty good living from selling stock footage. Even better? You can produce high-quality videos for social media influencers, and any extra footage that doesn’t make the final cut of a project can be trimmed down and sold as stock footage. Just make sure that your contract agreement doesn’t prohibit you from selling any b-roll footage.
There are no shortage of ways to pick up a camera and start producing videos as a freelance video creator. You can pick the niche that appeals to you the most, start practicing, and never stop learning. And while it can take some time getting used to the added work that comes with being a freelancer, once you develop your own system for getting things done, you’ll find that the life of a freelance video creator can be very rewarding.
Brandt Sohn is a copywriter and content writer for Indy. He enjoys writing about all things digital marketing. In his spare time, you’ll find him traveling abroad and catching up on the latest movies.