How to create great video on a freelance budget

Apr 22, 2020

People have fallen in love with video content. They spend 88% more time on websites with videos; 84% of consumers buy only after watching a product video; and the average time a person watches video content is expected to go up by 19% in the coming years.

Video marketing is the present and future, and it has become a vital part of content strategy.

Unfortunately, there is a wrong assumption that only large marketing firms can produce videos because of the high cost involved.

The good news is that even freelancers working from home can create awesome video content on a budget. Here's the secret.

Keep It Simple

In the last few years, the cost of video production has come down significantly. You might already have the tools for creating high-quality videos. It doesn’t matter what device is used — what matters is the end result.

If you can produce a 1080p, professional-looking video with your smart phone or GoPro, then there is no point in investing pricey video recording gadgets. If you have the budget, it might make sense for you to use the video editing services of someone more skilled that will make you look better. Think of your videos as your digital business card. It will help you get more jobs.

Jay Baer, speaker, and bestselling author, shows us what can be achieved with a simple device, his iPhone. He produces and posts great-looking videos daily to educate viewers on various topics. You’ll hardly believe an iPhone produced such professional-looking videos.

He relies on exceptional content produced with little effort to engage with his eager audience. The video series performs really well.

Use a Compelling Script

The script is the fulcrum of the video; it should take the lion’s share of your time.

As a freelancer, your goal is to create a video that generates maximum consumer engagement that’ll translate into click-throughs, shares, and sales.

While facts serve as the foundation, it’s the emotions that the video sparks in the viewers that inspire them to take action. Put down on paper everything you want in the script, then filter and refine again and again till you end up with the essence that will strike gold.

Before working on the final script, you should have with you the key points, such as brand identity, brand value, highlights of the product or service, key message(s), call to action, etc.

Now you have everything to prepare a crackerjack script. Work on it yourself or hire another expert freelancer with a proven track record. Bear in mind: In a short video, every word counts and you have 10 seconds to convince the viewer to stay till the end.

Showcase In-House Talent or Opt for Amateur Actors

Do you need to hire professional actors? Nah, you can be the protagonist of the video. But if you’re camera-shy, there are certain to be one or two enthusiastic characters with acting skills in your circle of friends.

They can help you out, and you can help them kickstart their freelance acting careers. Keep an eye open for talent around you.

Hiring professional actors will cost you thousands of dollars. If including outside talent becomes necessary; place an ad for student or amateur actors. There is a lot of acting talent waiting to be discovered.

Create Animated Videos

Animated videos can be used to achieve any number of marketing objectives, including creating brand awareness, increasing social media shares, growing an email list, and more.

Animation gives you the power to demonstrate any product, service, or concept in a creative, entertaining, and engaging manner. There are no limitations, except for your imagination and skill. Moreover, both businesses and consumers love animation.

As a freelancer, if you want to make awesome videos for clients then be open to learning new skills. There are plenty of free and low-cost applications to create 2D and 3D animations. You can learn 2D animation using the free PowToon tool.

For whiteboard-type videos, you can purchase a monthly, quarterly, or annual license for using the VideoScribe tool. You can also save money by not hiring a voice actor and doing the voiceover yourself.

Put Everything Together with Video Editing Tools

Freelancers with a little cash can invest in professional video editing software such as Avid or Adobe Premiere. In the long run, your investment will pay off.

Those who are looking for video editing tools to clear the current commitments have a cheaper option readily available on their computer. For Windows users, the Movie Maker and PowerPoint apps provide all the features needed to edit a video. On Mac and other iOS devices, iMovie performs similar editing functions.

If you’re new to video editing, you don’t have to look beyond YouTube to master the skill. There are literally thousands of tutorials dealing with every aspect of video editing. In due time, as you gain exposure and experience, you can use the same platform to build your personal brand as a video editor.

Final Thoughts

You don’t need to have thousands of dollars to make videos that go viral. Unleash your creativity, plan well, come up with a compelling script, choose the right software, and before you know, voila, you have a video that competes in quality and content with the big players. Make it simple, make it engaging, and make it awesome.

This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send us your blog post.

Cristian Stanciu

Cristian is a freelance video editor, owner and post-production coordinator of Veedyou Media, which offers video editing services to videographers, marketing agencies, and brands all over the globe.