HOW TO BRAND YOURSELF IN THE VIDEO MARKET
We all get into the video world to become a "name" or have some kind of status when someone sees our work. 5 years ago when DSLR's first came out it was easy to stand out. Now since everyone either owns a camera or shoots video on their phone, it's hard to stick out
This makes it hard for videographers starting out. They wanna get their work seen but how? Everyone is doing it and posting on youtube so how is someone going to emerge through and be the one?
LOGOS AND WEBSITES
I know a few years ago video intros were a thing (and they still are) but I think that is so played out. There is no reason to have your 15-20 second video intro over a piece of work that just tells people your name. Make a logo
Logos are simple and attach a brand to the body of work without taking away from the video. Here are a few examples of my logo in videos I've done. It works seamless with the piece.
Adding this doesn't take away from the video and I'm not using an intro before the video. Using this method will almost guarantee that everyone watching will see this logo. (I skip a video intro every time I watch a video, and so do most people) Remember: This video is for your client, not 15 second promotion just for you
BUILDING A WEBSITE
I can not stress enough how important a website can be to a company or even an individual. Having a website is already going to put you ahead of the game. Most people will tell you making a twitter or instagram or youtube will be okay. These are great thing to have (and you should have all 3) but having a site where only your work is on there, engages the user on it. You aren't just a "thing" like on twitter/youtube/IG. Everything they see was created by you. The best website builder is squarespace (it's what I use). Go buy a $10 domain from domain.com and start your website on here.
If you don't have any money to pay for squarespace, try looking at tumblr or wix. These are not the best options but something is better than nothing.
Last week I was in a meeting with my my manager/agent and we were looking at google trends. He was showing me how much traffic Twitter/IG/Youtube/Facebook get. It was insane - Millions of users each day are visiting these sites and are actively coming back.
If you are a music video director/wedding videographer/photographer/anything video related - you should be on ALL of these platforms. Some would say "I have all of these but I have no fan base or followers" This is fine and everyone started out like this and believe me, it's hard to start a fanbase on these - especially when you are just starting out.
Instagram is one of my favorites. You can post 1 minute videos and interact with everyones work. Since buying my red i've been using the hashtag "R3D" and also tagging RED's account is my photos and videos. Just this alone helps other shooters find my work who also shoot on RED. My bio has my website which has all of my social media links displayed on the front page. Interacting with people every day will slowly build all of your social media accounts. I highly recommend using hashtags and tagging companies in your photos.
The worst thing you can do for your brand is upload a video once a month or put out a photo every other week. This is the FASTEST way for your brand/company to fail. You need to constantly be putting out content every week. BTS at shoots/previews of videos/"gear porn". These are all things that will keep your audience active and coming back for more.
The next thing is YOUR work. I'm going to be very blunt about this and it's the truth. If you look back at your work from a year ago and see little to no progression. Something is wrong. You need to be at the top of your game every time you put out content. Innovating your work every day and every shoot. This is the key to standing out. A lot of new shooters (mainly in music videos) all copy some style exactly and ask questions like "why isn't my work sticking out" or "why is no one booking me". It's because of one thing, the videos they make look like the other 100 video directors out here. You have to find your style and innovate some new things into it. This is the main thing holding video directors from progressing.
What if everything above you've been doing and nothing is working out? I know a lot of people who are in that position and maybe only book 2-3 shoots a month. This is where you have to figure out if this is what you wanna do or if its just a hobby. I used to be in this position and see all the people I look up too buy RED's and fly all over the country every week and I was jealous. Why couldn't I have that? I was putting in the work, I was making the connections. Everything in your career is a puzzle piece . Some pieces are big and some are small. All of these come together and make a big picture. Nothing you do will dictate the rest of your career. Will it boost it? of course but it won't make you.
This is why I hate people who complain. "why can't I have a big brand" or "why won't my twitter grow fast enough" Excuses don't matter because no one cares.
When I lived in Chicago for my first year of college (2014). I was barely getting any work, I just moved to a big city and I thought I would get there and every major artist would hit me up, wrong. Each job I got led me to another possible connection. Even though most connections didn't come through - the ones that did opened up more doors each time. It took my first full year of college to be able to get enough work to support myself and drop out. Almost 7-8 months. It wasn't 1 job and I didn't get lucky with an artist and takeoff. It was creating small pieces that ended up making a big picture. This eventually led my current manager (On The Grind MGMT) to see my work and sign me. That is what you need to focus on - taking every opportunity and building a career piece off of it.
F**K WHAT ANYONE SAYS
I can't tell you how many times when I first started out in 2013, how many people at my high school made fun of me for doing video work. They thought it was a "trend" or I was just a nerdy kid with a camera. Even my parents in the beginning told me to focus on something more substantial or at least have a backup plan. I could've taken this advice and quit and that would've made my parents and peers happy, but there wasn't a chance that was happening. Starting a brand and wanting success isn't just about putting out amazing work and being verified on social media. You have to be hungry and want it more than anything. You have to be willing to work 7 days a week with no days off. This isn't a job where you clock in for a few hours - work and than clock out and go home. This is your livelihood
No one is going to hand you anything and you're going to have to work for it until someone says yes. This industry takes a lot of heart because no one wants you to have it. Whether you believe it or not, your friends and peers don't want you to be successful in this. While they are slaving away studying for finals and working a terrible summer internship and seeing you get to shoot videos for your job. Not a chance they want you to have that. This is the dream life and no one will ever take it from me. If you really want to make it in this, do yourself a favor and ask "Am I up for it?" / "Can I not go out every weekend and spend instead inside writing treatments and editing videos". If you don't have an answer for this, you might wanna pick something else, because there are 100 other video shooters who want it more and will run you over.
"Make your own rules, and not excuses. That's the #1 way for your brand to thrive in this over saturated market."