• ryansnaadt

How to Build a Videography Portfolio from Scratch!

How to Build a Videography Portfolio: Today we're going to talk about how to build a portfolio from scratch.

Building a portfolio is the soul importance for you when you start to Market yourself as a filmmaker or videographer.

You need something to show prospects to convince them that you are good enough to hire. but the problem is you can't shoot jobs that pay - unless you have a portfolio.

So it's a chicken before the egg type of situation. you need a portfolio to get more work you need more work to build up your portfolio. So how do you do it?

That's we're going to cover in today's video. We are going to cover building a portfolio as a beginner, intermediate, and pro level video producer. Each stage is unique in how you approach things!


  • Free in Niche you want

  • Offer to help out on shoots as a PA or other crew

  • Reach out to smaller than ideal clients and create a banger for them

As beginner, you want to really think about what types of niches that you would like to shoot in the future. So many of us start out shooting anything and everything.

Which is fine, but then you get to a point where you have a portfolio that's built up of a ton of different industries that aren't related to anything, then it's not appealing to anyone unless they are just price shopping for the cheapest vendor. Which you want to avoid like the plague.

I ran into this after the first couple years of my business, because I had a ton of different work from weddings, real estate, corporate, Fitness, YouTube and bunch of other different stuff.

In my defense, I was testing the different Waters to see what I like to shoot which I encourage most of you to do if you're just starting out.

From a marketing perspective, if you don't have a ton of stuff to show in a portfolio, people don't really feel the trust that they need to feel confident about booking you.

So, be conscious of this and invest your time wisely, I would recommend finding the videos that you like to shoot and then get an a ton of portfolio work in that niche.

This will allow you to shoot videos that you really like to do and make sure that you're spending the time wisely to build a portfolio that will get you more work down the road and then use that you like.

Even something more General like corporate can get you a ton of experience and a portfolio built up in that industry which will help sell yourself down the road.

In addition to shooting for free in the niche that you want, offer to help out on shoots as a production assistant or the crew to get more experience.

Often times these gigs will lead to more paid work down the road and they build great relationships with other production Professionals in the industry in your area. if you help out as a production assistant or an audio, grip, or lighting guy on one production, it may lead to more paid work down the road where they need you to direct, shoot, edit, Etc

Lastly as a beginner I would recommend just reaching out to smaller to medium-sized companies or businesses and just create an absolute Banger video for them.

If you do a great job it is likely that they will hire you on for pay work and just make sure you express that really on I'm trying to build a relationship with you because I really see an opportunity with you to do more videos in the future.

This helps combat people taking advantage of you and your free services and it makes it very clear to them what you want out of the deal in the future. So in short, you have to invest in some quality portfolio work as a beginner before a ton of paid projects will come your way.


  • Spec work between paid projects

  • Solicit ideal clients on a weekly basis

  • Approach prospects with a unique concept

  • Find aspects of other filmmakers and weave them into the videos

  • Only publish work that attracts more of the same

  • Don’t publish all of it

Once you get past a beginner stage, then you move more into the intermediate stage.

This will include shooting mostly paid projects lower than $5,000 per video. Now at this stage, building your portfolio is still super important, so what a lot of people like to do is shoot spec work between paid projects.

Spec work is basically shooting a project for free to use as a marketing piece.

So if you have a slow season, say in the winter, try to go out and shoot more things in your industry of interest to build up your portfolio for free.

so if you want to land more weddings, reach out to wedding coordinators and other vendors to coordinate a styled shoot.

If you want to shoot more Fitness, reach out to sports teams and offer to shoot a free spec video and really have fun with it.

Aside from shooting spec work, also solicit ideal clients directly on a weekly basis. Check out some of my other sales videos on how to do that.

Start reaching out to prospective clients and try to organize a free shoot. The reason you don't do this stuff as a beginner, is because most people will not even give you the time of day if you have nothing to show or no portfolio.

So you see you need to have a baseline portfolio to use to Market yourself and continue to land bigger and better clients.

This is also the time when you want to perfect your craft and really build out your style so find aspects of other filmmakers and weave them into your videos. There is also a thing as publishing too much content. So my biggest advice would be to only publish work that attracts more of the same ideal clients.

Let’s say you shoot 30 or 40 weddings the year and you're trying to get out of weddings and into more corporate work.

Only publish one or two of the best weddings every year instead of all 40.

Try to really dial your website and social media to attract more corporate clients because that's who you're trying to attract with your work.

You have to put yourself in the eyes of prospective clients. If I am a business owner and am looking through your site and all I see are wedding videos - I am not going to feel super confident to contact you for a business promotional video.

There really is a thing as publishing too much content. really be selective about what pieces are on your portfolio site on your Vimeo your YouTube and your website.


  • Only publish the ideal work that you want more of

  • Comes when you have too much inbound work that you turn away people

That will lead us into the higher end professional. This bracket is charging upwards of $5,000 per video.

They likely focus in one area or are starting to hire out a team so they can have more bandwidth. Now even at this high-level stage, you still need to be building your portfolio. Almost every single video that you produce, all the time that you log, is going to be billable time to your clients. That makes it tough to find time for free shoots.

This is when you want to expand into your passion projects and shoot the stuff that really lights up your soul and makes you really excited to go to work everyday.

so this could be a feature film that you're trying to produce strip right in the spot for a specific client or trying to really attract your dream client with a really cool script.

The goal is to use this work to attract your dream projects. Not only paid work but paid work that has huge budgets and gets you fired up.

Essentially never stop creating and always have a really cool thought or creative concept that you're trying to pitch to the next client you have.

At this stage, you'll likely be turning away projects that have to smaller budgets or aren't in your wheelhouse. And that's great, you want to really lean into what you're happy to shoot and what the supply and demand chain requires of you in your area.

Should you Host on Vimeo or YouTube?

Now do you know the steps to get there, you want to make sure you're considering which platforms you're promoting your real or your portfolio on. The big two I recommend people use are Vimeo and YouTube.

Both have their pros and cons but in a general sense video as much more of a portfolio that is professional. There are no ads, sidebar banners, or distractions.

People just look at your work and take it into account what it took to create that piece. The problem with Vimeo, is that it's really hard to get your work found in the search bar. Vimeo’s search feature sucks so bad and it's really hard to find people on the platform.

But I recommend linking it off of your website or your social media and people can find you really easily that way.

Now as far as YouTube goes, it is great to be found in search so you're trying to rank in Google or YouTube search for a given topic that people are looking for. That is what you want to use YouTube for. So title all of your videos things that people would be searching for on YouTube or Google and that's how you can Leverage The Power of YouTube to get found in research.

Will this get you more of the same work?

Lastly, make sure your marketing all the videos that you think will get you more of the same work.

So if you do a really great job that you're really proud of make sure to post it on your blog shared on social media put it on your website and blasted all over every single platform that you can possible. if you don't take the time to Market yourself and tell other people about the work you're doing, it's going to be a lot more difficult to share with people that don't know who you are.

So, put it in your workflow, make sure you take the time to actually Market yourself and you're going to be seeing a lot of things that could be helpful for you.

if you're curious about my workflow in my process, Ill link in the card above the 16th step process that I do for every single one of my clients to make sure that I give them a great customer experience and also take the necessary steps to use that work to land more business down the road.

If you have any questions about this video makes you believe in the comments section below.

I check every single one of the comments and I want to build a relationship with you guys and start a conversation. So make sure to go to the comment section and leave any questions that you have down there.

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