When my two partners and I agreed to pursue the venture, we thought of it as almost a hobby. We all enjoyed combat sports and thought it would be cool to sell related videos. And, if we made a few extra dollars by doing it … even better.
Fast-forward a few years and the enterprise we started is anything but a hobby. It now employs 10 people. People who now own it, it’s a very serious business that nets over $250,000 a year!
But what I find really incredible about this story is that we started this business with only a few hundred dollars.
For the first videos we produced, we just rented the lowest-level broadcast-quality camera for $50. And we hired a service to do some simple edits for about $100 more. After that, we placed some small ads and created a website. The rest, as they say, is history.
Naturally, if you’re financially able to purchase all the equipment, it makes the whole thing more convenient. Still, I recommend producing a video or two first. Then, once you’ve got some cash coming in, go ahead and buy a video camera, a computer, and the appropriate software. You should be able to get everything you need for about $6,000.
There is an almost unlimited opportunity to produce videos, because there’s a demand for them in just about every area of interest. Since my experience with that first partnership, I’ve created and produced a variety of other videos that have all been extremely profitable. (By the way, I eventually sold my share for a nice profit.)
Some of the best kinds to produce are instructional videos. Because people are buying information – not special effects or top-notch acting – your production doesn’t have to be perfectly polished. It shouldn’t look like you shot it in your garage with a camcorder, but it doesn’t have to look like a broadcast television show or blockbuster Hollywood movie.
You may already have the technical know-how to create your own instructional video, and you may even feel comfortable being on camera yourself. If not, no problem. All you have to do is hire people who have the skills or knowledge you lack.
In one instance, I became acquainted with a fitness instructor who had developed an awesome technique for stretching the back that really helped me. And because so many people suffer from back pain, I figured there might be a market for her system. So I hired her to host an instructional videotape that I produced.
The results were nothing short of fantastic. I made a $5,000 profit within days of putting the video up for sale. And I did it without having any personal expertise in videography.
And I’m definitely not the only one who’s been able to turn instructional videos into a profitable business. KH came across a man who, in his 60s, was in better shape than most 20-year-olds. His muscles were toned and he had amazing energy and vigor. The man agreed to turn his personal exercise regimen into an instructional video (with KH as the producer) – and within 30 days of shooting it, KH had made a $10,000 profit. The best part is that KH had started with a mere $250 investment.
If you have your own area of expertise that you can transform into an instructional video, so much the better.
As I’ve mentioned several times in ETR, I taught ballroom dancing for years. And I’ve earned a nice stream of income from an instructional dance video I created during that time. Because I featured my own skills in the video, my investment was even smaller than it would have been had I needed to hire an outside expert.
One of the best things about creating and selling videos is that they can provide a continuing income stream. Once you’ve made the video, all you have to do is fill orders. And if you have a topic that continues to interest people – and you continue to market it – the video can sell forever.
Here’s how to get started with your first “how-to” video:
1. Choose a subject.
2. Either plan to be in the video yourself or hire a qualified expert.
3. Rent or buy the camera and editing equipment.
4. Shoot and edit.
5. Using the direct-marketing techniques you read about in ETR all the time, sell the video to your target customer.
Producing and marketing your own videos is not only exciting and fun, it can also be very lucrative. Plus, this is a business where you can quickly get your foot in the door with a very small outlay of capital. Just take an inventory of subjects you know already or find interesting … and you could be a video producer in a matter of weeks.
[Ed. Note: Paul Lawrence is a produced screenwriter, direct-mail copywriter, and business author. He is also the creator of the Quick and Easy Microbusiness System, ETR's program for starting a business for under $100.
Learn more of Paul's video-business secrets HERE]