Thinking of taking your filmmaking a little more seriously? Here are a few ways you can start making as a filmmaker in 2018.

Labeling yourself as a filmmaker in 2018 can mean many different things. You could be a director, a cinematographer, a vlogger, or even a graphic designer. The point is that if you’re telling stories and consistently creating new content, then who’s to say you’re not a filmmaker? To take on this role full-time comes with obvious challenges, like How do I make a living? and How do I get my work seen by more people? With avenues like YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, and crowdfunding sites, the opportunities to show off your content are right in front of you. But, making decent money and being able to comfortably create is a challenge.

Here are three different ways you can begin your journey as a working filmmaker.

1. Work Free Jobs

If you’re just starting out as a freelancer without a steady supply of clients, be patient. You won’t immediately start getting project after project, so you can’t quit your day job right away. However, what has worked for me (and others) in the past is accepting and submitting free gigs for friends and local businesses. Nothing builds your reputation around town like good word-of-mouth. Your first at-bat might not be an Oscar-winning masterpiece, but it will get you moving in the right direction to secure jobs from other people.

2. Shoot Stock Footage

Now, obviously this is a shameless plug, but shooting stock footage is a knockout way to make money in this industry. Follow the trends and shoot footage you think businesses and people would like. (Creating a profile and uploading is a lot easier than you might think.) As far as quality of footage goes, cameras with fantastic sensors are much more accessible for consumers now, meaning you can capture unbelievably nice images much more easily.

Learn more about submitting your footage here.

3. Learn How to Market Yourself

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned since entering the workforce is the importance of your reputation. Just like word-of-mouth for your work, word-of-mouth for your personality (and work ethic) will go a long way in terms of securing jobs. If you’re nice, hard-working, and persistent, you can’t fail. Nobody wants to hire someone with a poor reputation. So while you’re working on your craft and taking strides to become a better filmmaker, focus on yourself and those around you in the process.

Looking for more video production tips and tricks? Check out these videos.