Did you know that you can earn as much as $93,000 a year as a freelance videographer in the United States? But in order to build a successful career as a freelance videographer, you must first learn the basics. With that being said, you’ve come to the right place.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about becoming a freelance videographer.
In a nutshell, a freelance videographer is responsible for capturing and editing video content for various clients. They usually work as part of a team though it is not uncommon for a freelance videographer to work alone.
Capturing and editing videos require knowledge and skills in operating certain equipment like cameras and video-editing software, something a freelance videographer should be well-versed in.
The responsibilities of a videographer may vary depending on the client’s requirements but the ability to capture and edit videos is both non-negotiable. Below are some of the other tasks a videographer is usually responsible for:
Apart from the ability to perform these tasks, a freelance videographer should at least have an idea of what works in terms of aesthetics. They should have an idea of proper lighting, video framing, and suitable transitions to use in putting videos together.
At the beginning of the article we mentioned that a freelance videographer can make close to six figures a year, but let’s break it down even further. The hourly rate of a freelance videographer varies depending on several factors. Education, training, skills, certification, and experience are just some of the key considerations in determining a videographer’s hourly rate.
According to salary.com, the average hourly wage for videographers in the United States as of July 2020 is $32. The actual range is between $26 to $40.
It should also be noted that the complexity and urgency of a project may also dictate a freelance videographer’s rate.
If you’re trying to make your way into the gig economy by becoming a videographer, you’re going to need a solid plan.
Like most professions, becoming a videographer doesn’t happen overnight and requires sound decision-making if you’re going to make it.
Here are a couple of useful tips you can implement.
Before embarking on any freelance journey, it’s important to have a clear plan. Freelance work differs from traditional work in several important ways. For example, freelancers don’t have benefits (healthcare, PTO, etc.), freelance pay can be inconsistent, and you’ll be responsible for paying for your own tools and necessities.
Needless to say, you simply can’t take the plunge without a valid plan because strategies like this usually end up in disaster. The best way to begin is to write everything down and your plan should include the following:
If you want to have a successful career as a freelance videographer, you need to have a strong foundation. While raw talent, skills, and passion are nice to have, you’ll still need to do lots of learning. There are several colleges that offer videography programs that can teach you the ins and outs of video production. Take a look at this list to learn about the different programs and what they have to offer. It’s important to note, however, that a traditional college education isn’t a necessity to become a freelance videographer.
If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative, YouTube and other online courses can provide you the basic information you need. There are also online platforms that offer digital coursework that you can take to earn certifications.
As a freelance videographer, you’re going to spend a lot of time in front of a computer editing video content using video editing software.
It’s important for you to be up to speed on the latest editing software. What are the latest features you’ll find in the newest version of Final Cut Pro? Is the current version of Adobe Premiere Pro compatible with the latest Windows OS?
Obviously, you’ll only get to know these things through proper research which you need to do every once in a while especially when updates to popular editing software are due to come out.
Joining online forums or groups composed of freelance videographers will also help you stay up to date with the latest video-editing trends.
While every videographer will have his or her preferred software, it pays to have at least a basic grasp of what the other software can do so you’ll become more versatile.
If there’s one thing that separates being a freelance videographer from other freelance gigs, it’s the number of tools and equipment you’ll need. As we stated earlier, you’ll be responsible for purchasing these tools yourself, so you want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
Below are a list of tools you’ll need to get started as a freelance videographer:
You don’t necessarily have to buy everything to make an impression though. As long as you understand what each of these tools does, you’ll have a better idea of what you’ll need to make things work without breaking the bank.
It would be best to do some research on which tools are necessary especially for beginners on a limited budget. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, analyze your budget, and check if you’ll have enough money to finance these types of equipment.
If you come up short, look for cheaper brands that can get the job done. Do this for each of the tools you’re looking to buy until you’ve got everything you need.
When you’re a freelancer, the ability to market yourself will make or break your career. Social media is one of the most popular and affordable ways to promote your services, but you’ll need to post consistently to gain a following. Instagram will likely be your best option because the platform is specifically designed for visual content. When posting on social media, try to engage your target audience by showing samples of your work.
You should also create an online portfolio to put some of your best work on display. If you’re unsure where to start take a look at our blog post on creating a strong portfolio. Platforms like YouTube or Vimeo can be great places to upload your work.
You can also attend events, joining groups, and if you want to fast-track your freelance career, do some projects for free.
Why is this necessary? Because doing projects for free will accomplish two things: It will widen your network and it will give you more experience. This, in effect, will also give you the confidence you need to eventually get paid for the projects you take.
Becoming a freelance videographer is hard work, but once you build a solid foundation the rewards can be limitless. Once you establish yourself as a talented freelancer, you can use FreeUp to find videography jobs and grow your business.
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