You’ve got a knack with the camera, and you’ve managed to capture some pretty interesting footage which is proving popular on social media and with your friends and family. So you’re wondering if it’s possible to make a living or even build a business around your phone and your footage?
Just like starting any other business, there are plenty of things to be aware of: it’ll be hard work; it can be highly competitive; it may take quite some time to actually start earning a living. Yes, it’s a given that these things will impact on getting a business started.
But it’s also a given that there are resources and platforms out there to help make it easier for you. For instance, since WordPress launched in 2003 and established itself as a go-to behind the scenes in websites, producing an online presence with a website and blog has never been easier for small businesses.
Similarly, when it comes to building a business selling your videos online, there are also platforms to make it easier for you. Take Newsflare, for example. Newsflare is a free to register platform which works by pitching your videos to those who are looking for them and are willing to pay – but without your loss of intellectual copyright or ownership.
So that’s the platform, but what types of video might be good for business?
News is a 24/7 business
Creating and contributing news videos means accessing a media network which is responsive in real time. There’s no such thing as down-time, out-of-hours or off-peak because it’s always daytime somewhere around the globe, and there’s an open market for news-related footage.
If you have a flair for capturing moments or creating news-bite videos, then you could be more likely to make a living selling your videos online instead of just doing it as a hobby or interest.
Using the resources of video-pitching platforms brings access to the media companies they work with, including big news networks and production companies. As a result, over 10,000 Newsflare members have sold a video.
No news is good news
When you’re building a business it can be hard to know whether to stick within one niche for your products or to branch into other areas. Earning money from videos can throw up the same dilemma.
For instance, if you’ve started off selling newsworthy videos through a platform with the right links and contacts, it can be easy to see this as the media niche for your business. You may even have started to build up some professional credibility by showing and sharing on your business website.
Then you capture a great video of something ridiculous at a party, which just happens to fit a trending social or seasonal interest. Not newsworthy, but certainly with the potential to go viral and earn some money.
The good news is that you don’t need to disturb your niche or credibility, or even move along to a different platform to see if there’s likely to be any interest or money in your alternative video. Newsflare have just as much access to niche production companies and websites as they do to the international news media, so by uploading the video to Newsflare, you could still generate an income from your videos, whatever they are.
Getting the brief, getting the shot
When you’re building a business, any type of business, it really helps to access a network where others are in the know. The Newsflare platform works on this very basis by giving their members video briefs, outlining what their contacts are looking for, complete with deadlines.
So, where a hobbyist might happen to catch something on film and make a bit of cash with it, you can take a business approach instead – by seeing what’s currently in demand, then going out to find your footage. Having briefs leaves nothing to chance; it maximises your opportunities and your earning potential. Overhead costs are also minimal, as it costs nothing to access Newsflare briefs.
Building a business, not just an audience
It’s well known that YouTube is a go-to channel for uploading videos, and is a channel that many of us associate with earning money from videos. But the fact is, most businesses are uploading videos of their products to build an audience for their brand, products and services. If your actual products are your videos and you want to sell them onto other channels, then YouTube isn’t necessarily going to be the right platform.
But because, as the latest 2018 numbers show, YouTube has 30+ million active daily users watching around 5 billion videos a day, it’s certainly a good place to gain visibility whilst you build your brand. Newsflare recognises this and can help with getting eyes-on with some of your videos through a dedicated YouTube Programme. This programme also helps with business cash-flow as the YouTube Programme means you access payments as soon as you hit £10 on YouTube. If you were trying to build your business through YouTube independently, you’d have to wait until your revenue reaches $100 to cash in.
Of course, just like all aspects of business, YouTube is also highly competitive, with around 50 millions users creating shared content to date. Instead of competing with them by trying to sell videos through YouTube, using the platform to showcase what you’re capable of creating can be a shrewd move. In the same way as a business trying to sell any other product, Newsflare can utilise YouTube as a channel on your behalf, for creating exposure and interest.
Using the YouTube Programme could also generate additional income through monetisation, whilst your videos are pitched to make money for you elsewhere.
Filming for the future
Many businesses fail due to timing – a great product but at the wrong time for the market, or being unable to produce enough to make the most of a market trend.
The market for videos is no different, except that video should be easily accessible when a trend arises, whilst a viral video can even start a trend.
So you could be capturing footage whenever you want. Some may be raw and in-the-moment, that’s fine. Some may even be edited to high quality, high definition videos. But however your videos are looking, you’re not sure who’d even be interested in looking at them. Uploading your videos to a single platform creates a complete portfolio where, even if a video seems not to garner interest to start with, it’s ready and waiting for the moment trends change.
For example, you might have captured some stunning images of a volcano starting to erupt six months ago. No one has licensed it, so the video stays in your uploaded Newsflare library. Then a well-known volcano starts acting up, related environmental issues start trending in the news and suddenly there’s plenty of interest (and payment potential) in your video.
And your video library isn’t just available for passing trends. It also remains available for Newsflare clients who are sending their briefs through, so your videos could be snapped up when needed.
The business end
Of course, another given about starting a business is that you need to be in compliance with the tax office and reporting your income correctly.
Say you’re going it alone and you’ve managed to get a video with 2 different news companies, 4 niche websites, another with a product company website and a couple on YouTube. That’s a lot of financial data to stay on top of. In reality though, without many media contacts you may only have a couple of income streams to worry about.
Whilst an obvious benefit of working with Newsflare is their extensive contact list for pitching your videos, when this results in several income streams from your videos all at the same time, there’s a hidden benefit too. As the revenue generated all comes via Newsflare as a single platform, accounting and keeping track of multiple-video income is much easier and less time consuming, leaving you to do what you enjoy about the business -making videos.
Building up any business takes time, but if you want to be in the small-screen business, thinking about the right platform can be the difference between making videos as a hobby and making a living or building a business selling videos online.