Being a freelancer is a career experience that provides a significant amount of independence. That’s not to say that it’s always a simple path. There is relative instability to contend with, and the need to frequently identify and attract new clients. As such, part of being a successful freelancer is understanding what tools can make your operations more efficient and effective.
This is where video has become a useful medium — the rise of our digital age has transformed it into a versatile tool. High-quality video is no longer the sole domain of businesses with large budgets. Most people have the equipment they need in the form of even an entry-level smartphone. As a freelancer, this presents some exciting opportunities to boost your reputation, enhance your output, and make your day-to-day working life more practical.
We’re going to take a look at a few of the primary areas you should be focusing on when using video to enhance your freelance career.
One of the most interesting ways that video can be part of your freelancing career is through creating and distributing your own video content. This shows that you have a passion for your industry beyond simply producing your work. It can also bolster the impression of your expertise in your field, and provide additional value to clients.
There are a few different approaches you could take to this, including:
● Explainer Videos
Your knowledge is valuable, and it’s right that people should pay for your expertise. However, by creating a series of explainer videos in your oeuvre, you can give a glimpse into your world that is both useful to audiences and valuable to you. Often the best approach to this is providing advice that clients wouldn’t be paying for anyway, but you can give a more concise, insightful, and potentially entertaining take on. This highlights what you bring to a project as well as your expertise.
● Scheduled Content
Whether you approach making video content to gain advertising revenue, client exposure, or the attention of sponsors, creating a successful YouTube channel requires a commitment to a regular content schedule. You should also take planning each video seriously. Create rough storyboards and shot lists to ensure that you are effectively and efficiently communicating the type of story you want your audience to receive about what you do. If your work is entirely indoors, it can be worth investing in a green screen background, and some basic video editing software to make your content more engaging. However you shoot it, aim for consistency in your schedule — you can most effectively build an audience if they know when to access your content.
Video is more than just a passive medium in business today. It plays an important part in keeping connected to your clients as a freelancer. One element that helps maintain good relationships and ensure everybody is on the same page throughout long projects, is an excellent communication skill set.
Videos can be used to support the following areas
● Conference Calls
It is not always necessary, or indeed convenient for clients to meet with you in person. However, face-to-face contact can help to form stronger bonds. Utilizing video platforms such as Skype and Zoom for this has become the norm for many freelancers, particularly since the pandemic. However, it’s still important that this medium is treated with no less professionalism than in office environments. Dress appropriately, and consider whether the background for your calls is free of items or decorations that may be distracting. Where possible, try and create a neutral setting for your first call: use soft colors such as earth tones. That said, particularly if you’re working in creative industries, it can be important to use your background to highlight aspects of your personality.
If you are involved with a long project, there will be times that it’s important to provide periodic updates on progress. Particularly where highly visual jobs are concerned, video can be a useful medium. Rather than produce long emails, you can create a video overview of what has occurred in the time since your last update. This not only provides a more engaging form of communication, it also means that clients can review it at their leisure and refer to specific elements in their response to you. However, be sure that you are using clear footage for these updates, and that you share them via a cloud platform rather than attached to emails.
Your continued success as a freelancer relies upon you being able to attract new clients. As such, you need to place a certain amount of focus on your marketing. While this isn’t in everyone’s wheelhouse, utilizing video can help to bridge the gap. Some uses to consider include:
● Landing Page
Your website is one of the most important tools that you have in your marketing arsenal. It gives potential clients a place to move to following your outreach email. A video on your landing page can be an engaging element. It doesn’t have to be anything complex — and don’t make it too long. Use it as an introduction to yourself, and show them something of your personality, and tell them what they can find on your website. This helps visitors forge a personal connection with you, and gain a positive impression of who they may be working with.
● Video Content
Your clients may be among the increasing amount of businesses that are using social media to discover new collaborators. As such, video content marketing can be a boost for your freelance career and your brand in general. One recent report found that 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others — by creating engaging and entertaining branded content, you have the potential to be seen by a greater number of clients.
No matter how skilled you are in the technical aspects of your freelance career, it’s just as important to use tools that can support you. Video has emerged as a versatile platform for freelancers, used to bolster your expertise in your field, keep connected to clients, and attract new work. However, it’s just as important to approach using video with a high degree of professionalism and planning.