Before I begin, I want everyone to know that this is my first official “blog” I’ve written, ever. So if a sentence or something I say doesn’t make sense then bare with me. I’m trying to figure this writing thing out!
How did I get started?
If you were to ask me today what excites me the most my answer would be creating videos. I was never a talkative person growing up in school but always had a thing for creating visual stories with my camera — that was my way of communicating. I still remember my first camera, the Canon T2i! That thing was a beast (not compared to cameras nowadays though), ha. Ever since creating videos started to become my passion I knew I had to pursue it.
I have always been a huge fan of movies and how well they captured each scene with cinematography. It really caught my eye on how impossible it seemed to record those insane smooth-looking shots. Therefore I knew I had to go out and try!
After heading into high school, I was going out and filming a bunch of fun adventure stuff with my friends. Recording videos was just a hobby so I never really thought I’d ever make any money doing it. My teachers even told me photography wasn’t a real job! Although I never believed what my teachers told me, I knew this was something I couldn’t leave behind.
How did I start monetizing my passion?
I graduated high school in 2016 and soon later turned 19 years old in June. I was never the best in school and always knew I was meant for more than just studying. I was meant to do.
INVEST IN YOURSELF
After working at Chick-Fil-A throughout my senior year, I quit with enough money saved to buy better gear.
This is step #1 to make money: Upgrade to more professional gear.
I purchased the Lumix FZ100 that shot 1080p at 60fps which was perfect for slow motion footage. I also bought a drone, the DJI Phantom 4. Along with a Glidecam HD-2000 to place my DSLR on for stabilizing shots. After purchasing a few upgrades, I was ready to go out and create!
This is something new creators don’t understand and as much as I try to explain they still don’t get it. My huge advice is to create multiple videos or demo video for each industry so you have a DIVERSE portfolio instead of just sending clients your one demo reel. This is how I’ve landed jobs with Jeep and Kia dealerships because I used my own car to create similar-like promotional videos. As well as receiving lifestyle brand deals and having the opportunity to travel the country! However, not only do you have a diverse portfolio but you also gain experience and practice for real deal projects in the future.
Never be afraid to create for FREE. This is how I spent most of my time doing to build my portfolio. Go film free real estate videos, commercials, weddings, or music videos of people/brands in your area and use those SPECIFIC videos to target new clients in each industry. Ask yourself, what industries are big in my city or town? Weddings? Real Estate? Events? Be proactive and strategic in what brands and clients are doing in your area. Reach out with an idea and create it for them.
Like Gary Vaynerchuk says: “Give value, give value, give value, then ask for business.”
I truly believe that in so many ways, BECAUSE IT WORKED FOR ME.
MASTER YOUR TALENT/SKILL
Passion and talent always beats skill, I say it all the time. If this is something you’re good at, you need to be creating content on a weekly basis even if you don’t have paying clients. Find a product or brand you like, go make a commercial for it, then use it as your demo video. I’ve done this for the past few years — it’s actually cool when the brand replies and they love it.
Get out and create content to keep your skills improving and always use all social media platforms to distribute your content. This is the game we are playing today; content, content, content. Create as much as you can.
CONCLUSION: Do what you’re passionate about.
Lastly, it’s not easy. Nothing great that you want to last forever is easy. You need to put in crazy amount of hard work to accomplish your goals and become the successful creator you want to be.
Hard work and patience. God created you to create. He has given you incredible talents to use for his glory and share with the world. If photo or video, or anything creative-related is your strength than use it for good! There’s only one of you, build something unique and LOUD.
You do not need thousands of followers to create something awesome. Like me, I am not rocking millions of viewers or followers on social media but that hasn’t stopped me from receiving brand deals or individual clients to fund my passion.
I really love loosing and being rejected more than anything. Everything happens for a reason and I know God selects what man reject. I’m working towards long term success and can’t wait to see how my haters react in a few years. Hard work always pays off my friends, always.
“If you’re good enough, you will always win.” — Gary Vaynerchuk
I really hope this helps some of you who are early in the game. I want to share more of my experiences and stories with you so stay tuned!
Thank you for reading. 😁
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