Now that everyone has a functioning camera right in their pocket, the market for video producers has become really crowded. Everyone’s making and uploading videos to multiple platforms at all times and they don’t even have to invest in a fancy camera, it’s all possible with even the cheapest smartphone. This means that any newcomers must find a niche if they want to stand out from the crowd and make any money as videographers.
Many filmmakers get scared by the thought of not finding any work, so they tend to think it’s best to just offer as many kinds of videos as they can and work for whoever comes along. Though it’s not necessarily a bad strategy, it’s not sustainable. No one can play that game in the long run without risking a burnout.
A better way to carve a spot for yourself in the videography landscape is by building up a reputation as an expert on a specific kind of video. Make yourself the go-to-person to certain kinds of videos, whether that is kick ass graduation videos, a whimsical take on indoor weddings, or artsy videos for indie bands. Some people view this as “limiting” their potential clients, but in reality, specializing in something specific and recognizable turns you into a thought leader for an existing market segment that’s ready to give out money for what you do. For those that are just starting out as videographers, this can be the difference between doing this as a hobby or being able to live off of videography.
Take Your Time
Most business-savvy people just study the market, find a segment that’s underserved and just go for it. That’s not a bad idea, but it might end up feeling a little soul-crushing if you’re into videography because you’re passionate about it and not just for the money.
For the more artistically inclined types, finding a niche will not be that easy. You’ll need to take your time while figuring out what it is that you like and do better than everyone else. What you need to find is that magical intersection between what you love, what you can do, and what others need. To actually get some good results you’re going to have to get out in the streets and see what’s being requested and what others are doing. You’ll need to get down and dirty with as many aspects of videography as you can.
Experiment a lot
Of course, the most important part of this process will require you to be as adventurous as you can with your videos. What will set you apart from other video producers won’t be the expensive gear or fancy equipment, but your ability to find new and exciting approaches to videography. Daring to make things differently, it’s what will allow you to discover your style and voice as a filmmaker, and that will definitely show in the videos that you make.
Keep in mind that experimentation sometimes leads to failure. That’s perfectly fine. Not everything will work out, and not every idea will give you the results you were hoping for. That’s nothing to worry about, it’s just an excuse to start all over again and try something new.
Study the Market
Since the point of finding your niche is to be able to have a profitable career as a videographer, you’ll have to keep an eye on the market. You don’t have to become an expert marketer. Just pay attention to what most people are asking for, what other videographers are doing, and, more importantly, your direct competitors. Having a general idea of what’s going on in the market will let you foresee any needs that potential clients may have and be ready to take any opportunities that come your way. Be on the lookout for unattended segments and try to stay away from saturated styles that everyone’s doing.