Creating your own videos is a great way to make a little – or a lot of – extra cash. In fact, I’ve been producing instructional videos for years. I enjoy a steady stream of income from this fun side venture. And you could, too.
Despite the profit potential, some people are reluctant to get into the business of producing and marketing their own videos. One of the main reasons is that they don’t know what kind of video to produce.
In past ETR articles, I’ve recommended producing videos where you teach a subject or skill that you’re an expert in.
I’ve also recommended hiring outside experts to “star” in your instructional videos. For instance, one of my videos featured a gentleman who had created his own exercise program for middle-aged and older men. (That video brought in over $30,000 in 30 days.) For another video, I hired a fitness instructor to demonstrate a back-stretching technique she’d developed. (That one made me a $5,000 profit within just a few days of offering it for sale.)
But there is an even easier way to produce marketable videos.
All you need to do is find an upcoming event that people might want to watch, and make a deal with the promoter of the event to videotape it.
You could, for example, produce a video of stand-up comedians performing their acts… a financial consultant giving a seminar on investments… a Little League championship game. The list of video-worthy events is practically endless.
I know one entrepreneur who records the performances of amateur contestants at ballroom dance competitions. A major ballroom competition has hundreds of amateur dance enthusiasts who dance in multiple heats. Naturally, they want to buy the videos of themselves dancing. In one weekend, without spending a dime on marketing, he clears $10,000. By working just one weekend a month, this guy can make close to $120,000 a year.
And remember, you don’t need to be a video expert yourself to produce a video. It’s easy to find hungry videographers who will record your event professionally for a very reasonable rate.
The key to making serious money by recording live events is to find promoters who have not already made plans to videotape their events. You will find plenty who either haven’t thought of it or just don’t have the time or desire to do it. These people will be your perfect partners.
To create marketable videos of other people’s events, take the following steps:
Step 1: Identify Potential Events
Most large and well-organized events will already have a video program in place. ETR, for example, always has its fall Bootcamp professionally recorded. You can certainly approach the promoters of major events, but you’ll have a higher likelihood of success with smaller operations. Combing through the “upcoming events” calendars in local newspapers and websites is a good place to start.
Step 2: Create a Marketing Plan for the Video(s) You’ll Produce
In some cases – as in my example of the fellow who videotapes ballroom dance competitions – your marketing plan will be very simple. All you have to do is sell your video to the attendees and participants of the event. But for many other kinds of videos, you’ll need additional marketing strategies.
Let’s say you produce a video of a tax expert giving advice on how to take advantage of little-known tax deductions. Your best shot at marketing that kind of video would be via the Internet, and maybe through direct mail, too.
Before you produce any video, make sure there’s a market for it. Using pay-per-click ads is a quick, cheap, and easy way to see whether people will buy it at a price that will allow you to make a reasonable profit.
Step 3: Submit a Proposal to the Event Promoter
You’ve got to give the promoter a reason to let you record and sell a video of his event… and that usually means money. Some promoters will agree to a one-time fee – and if it’s cheap enough, that might work for you. But you might be better off with a profit-splitting deal, where they get anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of the profits on every video you sell.
Sometimes, you can get the promoter’s permission simply by persuading him that your video will benefit him in some way. This approach is especially effective when the promoter is an expert in some area (like martial arts or business) and the video will enhance his image.
Step 4: Make Sure the Participants Have Agreed in Writing to Be in the Video:
I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t offer you legal advice – but my lawyers have told me that, in most cases, you cannot commercially exploit other people’s images in a video without their consent. Fortunately, consent is usually not hard to get. One good way to get it is to have the promoter require each participant to sign a release form before they can take part in the event. (You can find boilerplate language in books with legal forms or you can have your own lawyer create a release form for you.)
Creating videos of live events is an excellent way to get a side business started with a very small investment. And if you choose marketable subjects, you could have a real moneymaker on your hands.[Ed. Note: Making money in any venture – including the video business – is much easier when you’ve mastered marketing strategies that are proven to create profits. You can discover 12 powerful marketing strategies and get step-by-step instructions for how to put them to work in Michael Masterson and MaryEllen Tribby’s new book, Changing the Channel. The book will be released on Tuesday – but you don’t have to wait to learn more about the profit-building advice it contains. Learn more right here.
For more detailed strategies on how to make money by producing your own videos, sign up for entrepreneurial expert Paul Lawrence’s “Get Rich in the Videobiz” program. ]