How do I market myself as a freelance video editor?

How editing portfolios are made

The democratization of video editing has been great for our modern civilization. Where would we be without YouTube? But this advancement has added many more video editing companies and with them come greater competition within the marketplace. You’ve got to learn to cut through the noise to be found by clients. We can take a look at how to gain a competitive edge and find quality leads to grow your video editing business.

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Video Editing Companies

If you’re thinking about jumping into the market, the first thing you want to do is focus on what kind of video editing company you’ll be starting. Hone in on the type of videos you’ll be cutting. The list is long: narrative films, wedding videos, music videos, graduation videos, commercials, corporate video, and many more custom video production types. You don’t have to choose just one, and you can sprinkle in a few areas of interest if you desire. But by focusing on a niche area, you’ll be able to pay closer attention to the needs of the customers in that specific field. That will help you get your feet firmly on the ground.


Choose wisely. Some editors only want to do music videos, but they get into wedding videos to try to prop up their business. Two years later they’re doing 35 weddings a year and two music videos, and they hate it. Some folks don’t mind this way of working. To them, a job is a job. But if you’re like most creative types, you need to have your creative output. Do your best at the onset to set yourself up to be successful in the industry you want to be in; otherwise, you’ll find yourself looking at starting over again and again.


No matter what you choose, remember you’re walking into a competitive market. You’ll need the tenacity to make it. If you’re not focused on serving your customers the best you can, you won’t be around long. Video editing companies aren’t overnight successes, and you’ve got chip away at it for a while. Don’t be discouraged, but be realistic. It’s hard work to start up a business. The good news is that you should feel a lot of excitement. At this stage, you can be flexible when attacking new opportunities much quicker than others. Your newness to the market and your agility can be a great competitive advantage. With the right market research, you can find a wedge and get your business up and running.


editing wedding video

Market Research for Video Editing Companies

Market research sounds complicated, but the truth is, it’s not. It does take a bit of time and forethought, though. Once you’ve identified what kind of video editing company you want to run, it’s time to start focusing on your target audience. Marketing is all about creating leads. Leads that you can sell your video editing services to. The goal of market research is to try to identify the people who would benefit from your services. These people are your target market. Sales is a different aspect altogether. Your sales will come after you’ve identified your leads and you have set up deals that have you actually selling to these folks.


Use these easy tips for marketing your video production company and building your audience and clientele!


Starting your own video production company is tough work. Developing your portfolio and clientele might even be tougher. You’ve got to know how to market yourself. I spent many years as a Marketing Executive for a Fortune 500 company before I made a return to filmmaking in 2011. The principles I learned in that era can be easily applied to anyone starting a video production company.


The tips we’ll discuss aren’t mind-blowing; they’re actually practical tips. You’ll find that when you’re waist-deep in the hustle and bustle of owning and running a video production company, you might forget practical things like the six tips below. There are plenty of other sources of sound advice out there, so do your research!


Market Research

I know this sounds boring, but it’s an essential thing you can do, and you’d be surprised how many times this is overlooked. So again, do your research. When I was running my own team, and we were leading up to the introduction into a new market, we spent weeks researching that very market.


We knew exactly who our competition was and we knew exactly what they could or couldn’t do. By knowing their strengths and weaknesses, we were able to develop a solid marketing strategy around that. In turn, we were able to go into these new markets and establish ourselves quickly, setting ourselves apart from others.


One thing that I will stress, and I see this mistake a lot: don’t undercut the competition. If you go into a market and drop your price extremely low and undercut other companies, then you’re really putting yourself at a competitive disadvantage. Your low rates could be seen as a sign of sub-par production value by clients, and you’ll potentially lose connections with other companies.


In 2004 I was considering starting a wedding videography business. I had a lot of the equipment needed, had the skills, and enough friends within the field of videography that I thought I could make it happen. I started my market research with an email to my immediate friends and family, asking them for names and phone numbers of anyone in the area that they knew were getting married. A day later, I had five brides to call. Let the market research begin! Looking for a Video Company in Melbourne? Check out our ultimate list of videographers here.


I called each bride and explained to them that I was considering starting a wedding videography business and wanted to talk to them about their thoughts on the matter for a half-hour or so. Each bride willingly agreed. With my notebook handy, I jotted down their answers to various questions:


  • How important was a wedding video for them?
  • Had they talked to any videographers yet or when did they plan to do so.
  • What interested them most about having a wedding video.
  • Was there something specific they looked for in a custom video production.
  • Had they seen a friend’s wedding video that might have caught their eye.
  • Did they have a specific budget for video?


I was jotting down their answers, coming up with follow-up questions and trying to draw any patterns between these potential customers.


What I discovered was that many brides really didn’t know what they wanted yet. It became very clear to me that a demo reel would be absolutely necessary. That’s a no brainer, but it’s good to know why it’s important. It also became clear to me that a website would be a great lead generation tool. Anything that could inform a potential customer of the services and type of video they could have might help them choose the right videographer. I also quickly discovered that most of the brides were attending a bridal show the following month, so I made a point to go myself. That was the most important decision for me. At the show I was able to take a good look at the competition – seven videography companies – a very small market. This was not looking as good as I’d hoped.


Point Of Entry

One of the more important things you can do in your market research is to identify the point of entry for your potential customers. In this case, the point of entry for most brides-to-be in my market was the local bridal show. When I chatted on the phone with these ladies, none of them had made a choice about videographers because they were all waiting for the show to narrow their sights. That was their point of entry. If you can find the point of entry of your market, then you have a better shot at competing. Better yet, if you can beat your competition to that point of entry than you’ll have a jump start and potentially steal away a good chunk of business from your competitors.


Your Unique Value Proposition

As I walked the crowded showroom floor looking over the pamphlets and watching laptop monitors cycle through demo reels, I looked to see if I could find how these video editing companies were being positioned. It was more market research for me. I was analyzing the competition. One company clearly labelled itself as the price leader. Their prices were nearly half of what everyone else was charging. Bad idea in this business. If you can’t mass produce your product and sell it at a super-high volume, then leading in cost is the quickest way to fail. A good video business differentiates not by price, but by some unique value, it provides to its customers. That’s your unique value proposition, and it should separate you from the competition.


A unique value proposition has to be clear to your target market. A lot of video editing companies were heavily promoting their HD video capabilities, a technology still trickling down this marketplace at that point of time. It’s easy for us video geeks to focus on our technology features as that unique value, but be cautious with this, too. It’s a hard territory to defend, as technology always changes and nearly anyone can match you in this category. If you are the first to offer 3D videos, for instance, it might be cool to you but does the client even care? Think about what makes your creative style unique and focus on that quality and how it can potentially bring value to the customer. For example, if you’re a special effects guru, how can you put that to use in your wedding videography business, or music video business, or whatever custom video production you’ll be doing. If you’re great with motion graphics, typography, and that sort of thing, that could give you an edge in a particular corporate video. This can be really challenging at first, but if you take the time to identify what it is that you can do those others might not be able to duplicate easily, you’ll have a clear competitive advantage. Just make sure it’s clear how you deliver that value to your customers.


Put it to the Test

Once you’ve identified your unique value proposition, it’s a good idea to go back to your potential market and give it a test run. Even though we’re still doing market research, we’ll get on our sales hat to put it all to the test. Call those leads you’ve found and given them your pitch. Listen to what their needs are, make an honest appraisal, whether or not they’d be a good fit for you, and then let them know what you offer. Put that unique value proposition to use. See if they bite. If not, throw out a few “what ifs”. There might be more than one way to provide unique value using your talents, so if your potential customer doesn’t take on the first pitch, ask politely why not. Then ask “what if…” and change the proposition to see if there’s a better fit with a few tweaks to your proposition. You might find a hidden treasure in there somewhere. More importantly, you’ll get a better insight into the needs and wants of your customers. There’s a good chance you’ll need to tweak your proposition until you find one that really works with your target market, so keep notes as you call on these leads. All this feedback will inform how you will actually market your business. Once you find that winning value proposition, you can duplicate it in all your marketing materials, your website, your demo reel, etc. You’ll be well on your way to making sales and growing your business.


wedding videographies purpose

Get in the Game

All great video editing companies start from the beginning. Thoughtful analysis of your target market can reveal needs or patterns that other businesses are missing. Learn everything you can from your potential market. Try to find the point of entry and exploit it if you can. Build your unique value proposition through solid testing with potential customers similar to the following list.


Unique Value Proposition Tip Sheet

  1. List the things you do best
  2. List the potential customer’s needs.
  3. Wherever the things you do best intersect with the needs of the potential customer is an opportunity to build a unique value proposition for your company.


Remember that this process is critical for a good start in any market, but it’s equally important to maintain throughout the life of your business. Industries change—competition changes. Customers change. You’ll need to stay abreast of what’s happening in your industry and market and be able to respond appropriately and stay a few steps ahead.


The freelancing world is a place many have tried, but only a few people have mastered it. It’s not easy to sell your services effectively as a freelance videographer.

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If you’re like other videographers, marketing was not your focus. It was, well, video shooting and editing. I’m not sure if it would relieve you that most video production companies started disliking the selling part of this field. But, knowing this fact surely removes your doubt that you can succeed in this business too.


We love the creative part. Selling, on the other hand, is needed to succeed in this business. What’s awesome is that you don’t have to be a marketing expert in landing your first customers. Here are the things you can start doing to land more clients.


Build a stunning portfolio

The first step in your journey as a freelance videographer is to build your portfolio. This is because the first thing a potential client would want to see is former works. When you create and regularly update your portfolio, your client would see your past and current projects, and this would make them patronize you. They will recommend you to their friends and business partners as well.


Yes, uploading all your videos on Youtube or your website is fine. But, I strongly recommend that you build a Demo Reel. It’s saving the time of your potential clients and promoting yourself with more impact.


Publish Your Video Natively

Great video content is meant to be shared. And the best way to do this is to make sure your video is hosted online. You can start by choosing from these popular platforms: Youtube, Facebook, Vimeo, Vine, and Instagram.


Youtube is by far the largest from these options. It is also the second-largest search engine on the web, so it offers more opportunities to reach your target viewers.


But it’s not enough to just host your videos online. You should also determine how they perform so you can decide your next steps. You can either cross-promote or run some paid ads behind your high performing videos.


Now here’s where the real video seeding takes place. To ensure your videos are seen, you can frugally advertise on social media platforms with controlled budgets and targeted audiences.


Optimize Your Video Content

People don’t have much time and patience when searching online, so you should strike your prospects at a glance, persuade them to click, and watch your video now.


First of all, you need to optimize the video for each social platform. Remember that people watch more videos on mobile, so try to experiment with mobile formats like a square or even vertical videos. Also never forget that.

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The storyline for social video is completely different from traditional storytelling in the video business. Keep it in mind when you create social videos. You need to tell dynamic stories that are interesting from beginning to end so that they can keep their audience engaged. This doesn’t mean that your content has to be short; however, it does need to capture your audience’s attention quickly and keep it.


One more thing, if the title is what catches the curiosity of your viewers, it’s the call to action that successfully closes the deal. So, always come up with a call to actions that will surely trigger and persuade your audience to do the exact action you want them to do.

Use promotion tools and services


If you want your videos to reach more audiences, then take advantage of Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter or even Linked In video promotion.


More and more people are hanging around social media sites almost every day. In fact, 80% of internet users are on Facebook. This just means you can reach out to more audiences by utilizing social media ads.


You can leverage your advertising by targeting your audience based on hundreds of factors. This way, you are gaining access to a more specific group of the market that could possibly benefit from watching your videos.


We also make sure to produce videos that touch the heart and soul of your viewers. This way, we create deep and memorable engagement with them, which in turn results in a higher response rate through getting more shares, comments, and likes.


Therefore, the more people see your video content, the greater chance you’ll convert them into customers.


wedding videos and why

Optimize Your Video for Search Engine

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) works. In fact, it has helped many companies boost and grow their businesses online. And yours is not an exception.

SEO is not only about understanding what potential customers search for, but it is also about making sure the content is shareable and linkable.

By simply knowing what your prospects are in search for, you’ll be able to create online content that is highly relevant and engaging. And a greater chance to gain more likes, love, and share.


Similarly, if you want to promote your video and boost its presence and reach, SEO is a great strategy to execute.


Perform video keyword research. By incorporating relevant keywords and keyword phrases on your video headline and description, your video has a greater chance to show in the search result.


Offer valuable and engaging video content. Your video should provide value to your audience rather than just push your own agenda. But it should be engaging so more people will watch and share it.


Add interactive video elements. This will prompt viewers to take action.

Include video transcripts. This will give the search engine bots a pretty good idea what your video content is about.


Creating a beautiful business video takes talent, time, and resources. Whether you’re producing your video in-house or with an outside team, the process can be expensive and time-consuming. The biggest problem is that after all the blood, sweat, and tears to produce a phenomenal final product, a big piece of the puzzle is often overlooked: the promotion strategy.


Perhaps, you’ve gotten really great at promoting your blog content – but marketing video content is a whole new beast. But we know video content resonates incredibly well with audiences. Just including a video on your landing page can increase conversions by 80%! So, the time is worth it, but you need to take the time to drive people to find, play and watch your video.

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