Finding your niche can be hard, but it’s the most important part of being a creative. Being the jack of all trades will work when you’re run-n-gunning all by yourself but at some point in time you have to find what you like, and what you’re good at. These things have to be in line with each other. Or at least you have to tolerate what you’re good at.
For me, I started my filmmaking journey doing videos for fitness models and personal trainers. Not the greatest amount of money but I did enjoy it and I got as good as I could with it. Good enough for money to pay my bills and as a freelancer, that is good enough to show that I knew I was providing a good service. As I progressed, I tried doing a bunch of different types of videos treating them all the same. Looking back now, it was completely wrong. What worked for filming a workout was completely different than a music video. I had to now storyboard and have specific concepts. It wasn’t strictly just doing different workouts that would in turn, make this video look different than the last.
These things taught me many things but the most important was, I figured out how different industries worked. I figured out that being good at one thing is even more valuable than being okay in every field.
I now shoot videos for Kickstarter campaigns predominantly. I like it. Every campaign is different but they all have the same focus. To make as much money as possible. I found my niche. It took me trying everything out and figuring out what I liked and what I didn’t like.
Focusing in on just campaigns gave me a lot of benefits. The biggest being, I am now treated like an expert. Before, I had a lot of work in my portfolio but there wasn’t enough of the specific project that I would be bidding for. When you get to a certain level of clientele, it isn’t about if you know how to film it’s about how well you can do it. The line of expertise is very thin and its the difference of what types of clients you can get.
Once I was marketing myself as THE film maker for kickstarter videos, I didn’t have to compete with everyone, just the other film makers who are in this industry.
I was able to justify my pricing. Yes you could go to someone else, but are you willing to risk the difference of a potential million dollars to save a few dollars up front? The value isn’t worth it for someone who most likely would make the same mistakes I did when I first started in this niche; treating this video just like another type of video. Even if they were better than me or had better gear than me, did they have the experience in this specific sector of film making? Most likely not. There are other people, and companies and sections of entire companies who do what I do, but when it comes to the small time inventor or business who don’t want to or can’t risk five figures to possibly net six, I focus on them. That is where I can help them with value and experience.
Find your niche, go after them, and be the expert than they need.