Why freelancers need to develop their video skills right now

Susan Guillory
Susan Guillory
August 1, 2017

If you’re spending all your time looking for your next gig, you might be doing yourself a disservice. Instead, divert some of your efforts to learning new skills that will make you more marketable and expand your experience.

Take video, for example.

Even if your focus as a freelancer is on writing (or design, or whatever), by adding video production to your resume, you’ll reap many benefits. Here’s why you shouldn’t wait another second to beef up your video skills.

1. Video is hot

Did you know that every day more than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube? And that doesn’t even include the time spent watching videos on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms.

With the rise in mobile internet use, we’ve seen more people than ever consuming every type of video from multiple devices, and on thousands of websites and social platforms. Not creating videos while they’re trending like this would just be plain silly. As a freelancer, you need to pay attention to what’s happening in the content world, and leverage to your own benefit.

2. Diversify your content, diversify your reach

How do you like to consume content? You might like reading blog posts like this one, or you might prefer to listen to podcasts. Or watch videos. Everyone is different in how they like to interact with content. If you’re already writing blog content, adding video posts to your blog will widen your appeal to even more people.

Mixing up the kinds of content you publish is also a great way to keep your blog subscribers interested. There are only so many 500-word posts a person can read before they all start to run together. But if one day you publish a video interview, well, that shakes things up a bit and helps that post stand out from the others.

3. Establish yourself as an expert in your field

Admit it: the last time you wanted to know how to do something (perhaps how to make slime with no glue?), you went to YouTube. There’s a reason for that. YouTube is filled with thousands of experts who are happy to show viewers how to do something at no cost. The catch? They’re building their own thought leadership in their industry. The more views they get, the more they will attract, and those views can turn into business.

Let’s say you’re a photographer. You could create a series of videos to help business owners take their own product photos on the cheap. Then, whenever you bid on a project for taking product photos, you can point potential clients to your YouTube channel. If they’re already looking to hire a photographer, they likely won’t decide to DIY the project, but it will impress them that you’ve taken the initiative to share your expertise with the world. Bam. The gig is yours.

4. Get noticed

It’s incredibly hard to stand out from the sea of freelancers you’re competing against, so take the advantage wherever you can. Video production isn’t dead simple, so not everyone will bother to create videos. If you take the time to learn the basics of video production, you’ll be that much further ahead of everyone else, and you’ll get noticed.

5. Open up other freelance opportunities

This is an unintended side effect: the better you get at video production, the more qualified you are to bid on video production projects! With a portfolio of videos of your own to show off to potential clients, you might expand your offerings to include video services.

And the fact that 69% of companies are increasing their video marketing budget means there are even more video freelance gigs out there. So get out there and find those projects!

6. A little knowledge can go a long way

Admittedly, anyone can shoot a video from their phone. It’s not even that hard to post to YouTube. But if you bother to learn how to edit videos and polish them to look more professional, I guarantee, yours will stand out from everyone else’s and you’ll attract tons more views.

I’m not suggesting you go back to school and get a degree in video production. But there are online resources (some even free) that will help you increase your videos skills in days, not months.

7. DIY = save money

Sure, you could hire a videographer to shoot and edit videos for you, but that’s not the kind of person you are (nor will your freelance budget permit it). Learning to create and publish your own videos may take some effort, but in the long run, you’ll keep more of your hard-earned money, and you’ll have a new skill to boast about.

8. A single video can go viral

Consider what you could do with just a single video. You could post it to your blog, then share it on all your social media profiles. You could have it published on YouTube, where people who don’t otherwise know about you will find it. You could also email it to your contacts to keep them thinking about you.

You see that even if a video takes a while to create, it’s got so many uses that it more than makes up for the time spent.

9. Personalize your brand

When you use the written word to market yourself as a freelancer, there can be a disconnect between you and your audience. They can’t, after all, see your face. But a video is totally personal. There you are, the guy that bid on their project, talking about what you know best. Potential clients get a sense of your personality and of your level of professionality.  It may be the single factor that makes them choose you over everyone else.

As a freelancer on top of your game, it’s in your best interest to continually take advantage of whatever marketing tool or channel is attracting the most attention. Right now, that’s video. By investing a little time and energy into learning how to produce professional-quality videos, you’ll position yourself to get hired for your fair share of work for years to come.

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