In the ever-evolving world of freelance videography, not only is skill crucial, but so is the ability to navigate the business side of things. If you’re looking to boost your income and make a better living from your passion, here are some key strategies to consider. Cover photo by Chase Fade.

1. Find Clients Who Are Willing to Pay More

Targeting clients who understand the value of quality videography allows you to command higher rates. Identify industries or niches where your skills are in high demand and where clients have the budget to pay a premium for top-notch work.

One way to find these clients is to attend industry events where your target audience is hanging out. Whether that’s a tech conference, a real estate convention, a wedding expo, and more. Your clients are at these events to learn and to network. Meeting them where they are at is a great way to get your foot in the door.

Another option is to join Slack groups with local businesses. For example, here in Utah we have an online community dedicated to subscriptions and e-commerce businesses. They have a Slack channel where they post jobs, share tips and advice, and network. Being present in those conversations is a great way to show your expertise, find new friends, and throw your hat in the ring when a new job is listed.

LinkedIn is also a great place to find high-paying clientele. The LinkedIn of today is much more diverse and interesting than it was 5 years ago. Videographers who have shown their ability to unite business purposes with impressive video quality have been able to drive their client acquisition through the roof.

Lastly, you should be asking for referrals from your highest-paying clients. An introduction has much more power when it comes from a well-connected person, so ask your highest-ranking clients if they know of anyone else you could work with. Those introductions will carry more power than your aunt’s neighbor who knows that you have a camera and like to make videos (though I would never discourage your aunt’s neighbor either. You never know who they might be connected with…).

2. Providing Superior Service

One of the most effective ways to charge more for your videography services is by consistently delivering exceptional quality. That might not sound very groundbreaking to you, but clients are willing to pay a premium for outstanding work. And if you are consistently delivering home runs, clients will have a hard time looking for a new contractor to replace you. 

Beyond executional proficiency, you can also focus on understanding your client’s needs and exceeding their expectations. Creating an environment where communication freely flows between both parties is a great way to keep clients in-the-know, feeling valued and understood, and helping them to feel a sense of calm. 

One way to streamline your client management is by utilizing freelance tools like Whelm—a dedicated client management platform designed specifically for freelance video professionals.

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It has asynchronous media review tools that allow you to keep in contact with your clients without having to set up meetings or sending long emails back and forth. Plus it also helps you keep your projects in order, manage invoices, create legal contracts, and more. It’s everything you need to keep your clients happy and make your administrative needs disappear.

3. Leveraging Upselling Strategies

Once you’ve established a client base, explore upselling opportunities. Offer additional services or premium packages that enhance the overall value of your videography services. This not only increases your income per project but also strengthens client relationships.

Don’t worry about selling all of your services at once. For some clients, it might be easier to sell them on a small one-off editing project. If you nail the job and they’re happy with your work, you stand a good chance of pitching them on your other services. Building that rapport goes a long way, and will pay dividends. So don’t shy away from the small projects.

4. Solidifying Your Workflow

Establishing a well-defined workflow is crucial for maximizing productivity and ensuring consistent quality. From pre-production planning to post-production editing, having a streamlined process not only saves time but also enhances the overall client experience. A structured workflow also positions you as a reliable and organized professional.

Your workflow can include things like time-blocking for maximizing your creative output, AI tools for faster completion of tedious tasks, and even outsourcing some of your daily grind so you can focus on the things that matter. All of these little tips and tricks will not only make you more efficient, but will allow you to take on more clients (and make more money).



Additionally, freelancers should expect clients to respect realistic turnaround times, and should charge more money for a rush-job. Client needs a video within 2 days? Tell them it will cost 50% more than normal. You’d be surprised at how many clients won’t balk at this idea, as most professionals have encountered this scenario more than once in their careers. Of course, this isn’t advice that should be taken as a one-size-fits-all solution. Every client relationship is different, but having a rush-job clause in your contracts will not only help prevent these awkward scenarios, but also help you to make more money when they do occur.

5. Being Dependable and Accessible

Reliability is a cornerstone of a successful freelance career. Be transparent about your availability and communicate effectively with clients. By being dependable and accessible, you build trust, making clients more willing to invest in your services. Prompt communication and meeting deadlines are key aspects of being a reliable professional.

This doesn’t mean you have to respond to emails from clients at 3:00 AM. But it does mean you need to respond within a reasonable amount of time. Being consistent in those small efforts lets your clients know that they can trust you to take care of them.

On top of that, you need to be dependable in your expertise. It’s much easier to trust a freelancer who can effectively share expert advice than it is to work with one who doesn’t collaborate very well.

6. Getting Retainer Clients with Guaranteed Monthly Contracts

Retainer clients provide a stable income stream, offering financial security for freelancers. Securing retainer agreements with guaranteed monthly contracts can be a game-changer. This not only ensures a steady flow of work but also allows you to plan your schedule and resources more effectively.

One of my good friends tried to go full time as a freelance videographer on 3 separate occasions. He got closer each time, but once he got a retainer client on his 3rd try, he was finally able to make it work. Unlocking that secret to stability has helped him to find his groove, and he has been a freelance filmmaker ever since.

But how do you find that perfect retainer client?

For him, it was all about finding his niche. He’s obsessed with cars and trucks, so breaking into automotive videography was his key to success. He did a few passion projects to build his portfolio, which helped him to get a job at a car dealership. From there, he only improved his technical skills while building a massive portfolio of automotive work. About a year later, he signed his first retainer client – an auto enthusiast with a bunch of cars.

My friend was able to understand his client’s business and growth strategies because he had in-depth industry knowledge, and he could speak to how video would improve those tactics. He could also offer his client customized packages with rates that are both affordable to the client, and lucrative for himself.

Once you’ve nailed that formula, repeat it as much as you can.

You might max out your capacity at 4-6 clients, but if all of them are paying you a couple thousand dollars a month (or more), you’re making a pretty good living doing what you love.

7. Diversifying Your Skill Set

Expand your skill set to offer a broader range of services. This advice sounds like it might fly in the face of my last tip, which focused on finding your niche, but I promise it doesn’t. 

Videographers with expertise in additional areas, such as motion graphics, post-production, marketing, design, and more, can position themselves as specialists and command higher rates. Diversification not only attracts a wider range of clients but also allows you to capitalize on emerging trends.

Even if you are “niched-down” into a specific category, being able to bring multiple skill sets into that niche will make you a one-stop-shop for your clients. This will allow you to keep your clients from looking for new contractors, and you’ll be able to charge higher rates for your service.

Conclusion

By implementing these strategies, freelance videographers can not only charge more for their projects but also build a sustainable and prosperous career. Remember, it’s not just about creating great videos—it’s about creating a thriving business and lifestyle that you want to sustain.

Higher paying clients typically are more fun to work with (though they can be rightfully demanding), but the payoff is worth it. You can live a life you love, make plenty of money to support your family, and do work that inspires you. Now go make it happen!

Read next: 8 Ways To Make Money as a Content Creator

The post How Freelance Videographers Can Charge More and Unlock Higher Paying Projects appeared first on FilterGrade.

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