5 Side Hustles for Video Production Professionals

by Jim Donnelly | April 27, 2022

It’s the most valuable advice any video professional can get – develop a side hustle that can earn you extra money while utilizing your (hopefully) already formidable skills.

After all, the reality is, the post-production industry is notoriously volatile, and it’s always good to have the next gig to fall back on if times get tough.

But the day-to-day grind can wear on even the most dedicated of video production pros, and for that reason, it’s often reinvigorating to spice up your schedule with something different.

  • A side hustle will allow you to develop and refine your skills while earning extra income.
  • It will give you the opportunity to work on projects you normally aren’t exposed to, which is good for creativity and renewed focus.
  • You can even make new contacts that could help you get even better work in the future.

Side hustles can also be combined to serve as a universal source of income. For example, if you are a freelancer who has their own company, constantly chasing the next gig can be stressful. It’s good to diversify your options and have multiple revenue streams.

It’s agreed, then: side hustles for video production professionals are pretty great. But what are some of the best ways of earning extra money?

Table of Contents:

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Become a Content Creator

A man places a DSLR camera on a table next to a cup of black coffee and pair of reading glasses

YouTube

Peter McKinnon (you know him) reportedly earns close to $700,000 a year from his YouTube channel alone. His Instagram posts are also estimated to add another couple thousand to his monthly income. It’s safe to say being an online video creator isn’t a side hustle for Peter anymore.

While you won’t likely reach these lofty heights (right away), filmmakers and video pros who know their stuff can make money through instructional videos on YouTube – especially if you manage to cultivate a following.

You’ll need a bit of patience and focus in the beginning as you develop your channel and grow its audience. But don’t be surprised if your popularity starts to snowball after a while. After reaching 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours you can monetize your channel. After that, expect to earn around $3 to $5 per 1,000 views. You can also start charging for in-video ad sponsorship and set your own rates at this point.

That means channel owners with multiple videos pulling down a thousand or so views a day can realistically earn hundreds of dollars every 24 hours. The best part: once your videos are created and posted, it’s completely passive income.

TikTok (and other mobile-only platforms)

If you’re already creating for YouTube — and you have the time — it makes sense to repurpose the videos or create original content posts for mobile-only platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels, or YouTube Shorts. There are a ton of creators who post about #videoproduction or more niche disciplines like video editing or coloring.

These platforms have all started investing in the creator economy (it’s booming BTW). As a video production professional, you have a leg up thanks to your specific skillset and access to pro hardware and software.

Taking content from YouTube and optimizing it for other platforms is actually a pretty lucrative business. It’s how companies like Jellysmack have blown in popularity to empower video content creators.

Blogging

We’ll mention this because it’s close to our hearts here at the MASV blog, where we write articles about all things video production and are always on the lookout for smart video pros who enjoy turning a phrase.

Whether your sweet spot is camera work, video editing, coloring, or even directing, writing articles about video production on the internet can be a great way to show off your knowledge while earning extra cash as a side hustle. Just ask our friend Jay Soriano. Many websites will pay you to impart your wisdom for articles on the latest techniques, tips, and tricks that could help other video pros get better at their jobs.

Getting your name on the byline of a well-crafted piece can also help elevate your profile in the industry, earning you some well-deserved thought leadership points in the process. The only catch? You need to be able to write at least semi-coherently.

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Take on Freelance Projects

Have you heard about this thing called the gig economy? Of course you have – it grew 33 percent in 2020 and hasn’t stopped since. While mainstream media coverage often equates this economic phenomenon with ride-sharing and food delivery services, it’s much bigger than that.

Indeed, research firm Statista says around half the U.S. population will have done some gig work by 2027, and career advice firm Zippia estimates there are nearly 30,000 freelance video editors in the U.S.

Freelancer writes down creative ideas in his notebook

So why not jump on board yourself? Video freelancing can help keep things fresh, your skills sharp, and allows you to work with clients and on projects you want to work with.

Plenty of side hustles for video production professionals exist on freelancing sites such as Fiverr and Upwork. Just be aware that freelance matchmaking sites take a healthy cut of whatever you earn (the amount of competition on these sites also puts downward pressure on rates).

My advice (from one freelancer to another): work your network first to land freelance gigs that way, if you can. Many of the best opportunities aren’t advertised on freelance marketplaces. You may also be able to charge more for your service, and your margins will almost certainly be higher.

Create and Sell Video Templates

A video production professional browsers video templates online

Video pros can sell pre-made creative assets such as video editing templates and preset looks like lookup tables (LUTs) for color grading.

Video pros who buy these templates save time by not having to set up their own LUTs, motion packages, FX, and other settings. Buying creative assets is also attractive to marketers and other pros who aren’t as video-savvy but want to make professional-looking videos.

Just like the world of freelancing, you have some options here: you can design your own templates and sell them yourself through networking and social media, or use similar marketplace-style websites for selling LUTs and other presets:

  • Envato supports several applications (including DaVinci Resolve, After Effects, and Premiere Pro) and sells customizable video templates, including broadcast packages, elements, logo stings, and openers. Info on becoming an Envato author can be found here.
  • Filtergrade allows you to sell video editing templates including elements, LUTs, and FX; Premiere Pro presets and transitions; and animated motion graphics, transitions, and effects for Final Cut Pro. Here are some tips if you’re thinking of applying to sell on Filtergrade.
  • Motion Array provides templates, presets, motion graphics, plugins, sound effects, and other creative assets. Have a look here for some tips for video pros thinking of applying.

The above websites are just examples and certainly not an exhaustive list. Here’s an article detailing how one filmmaker and photographer makes six figures selling LUTs and Lightroom presets on another site, Sellfy.

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Rent Your Equipment

Owners of expensive cameras and other video gear can rent it to other filmmakers. This is especially profitable as many video pros work on a per-project basis. Rather than outright buy equipment themselves, filmmakers can pay to rent something for an extended period of time. Be it a camera, a certain lens, a gimbal or stabilizer, or even lighting equipment.

A woman uses a panasonic cinema camera she rented from a video production professional

I know the thought of loaning out your expensive cinematic camera makes you want to pass out. Just remember, the equipment is not doing you any good sitting on a shelf in your basement. If this option is of interest, marketplace websites for video equipment rentals, such as Sharegrid, can help through partnerships with insurance companies. Sharegrid is partnered with Athos Insurance and offers short-term insurance for one-off projects.

However, keep in mind it may be expensive to insure yourself as an individual owner-renter.

Join an Affiliate Program (Like MASV’s!)

A content creator publishes videos on YouTube

One of the easiest and most effective ways to earn extra income as a video production professional is through affiliate programs.

Plenty of filmmakers with blogs or online video content are affiliate sellers for Amazon, for example, which allows them to earn up to 10 percent commission when purchases are made based on views of their content.

You can also join MASV’s affiliate program and earn money for referring customers. In fact, MASV’s affiliate program is catered towards video pros. You earn income on every GB downloaded from someone you referred. That means taking a cut from the transfer of all those big, beautiful high-resolution video files that clock in at hundreds of gigabytes. Maybe even a couple of terabytes.

You also don’t have to create content in order to earn off your affiliate links. If you don’t have the time or interest to start a blog or a YouTube channel, that’s okay. By recommending MASV within your existing network, you earn passive income as files get downloaded. It’s hassle-free so join today!

There are plenty of other good reasons to join the MASV affiliate program too:

  • Better commissions: You can earn 15 percent commission on earned sales for a full year, and we feature a 90-day cookie window to ensure you never miss out on a sale.
  • Dedicated support: The MASV affiliate support team provides real-time, 1:1 support.
  • Global reach and recurring revenue: Our customers are global and continuously send and receive large video files, allowing you to generate passive recurring revenue.

Monetize Your Skills

Whether you are a video editor, a colorist, a motion designer, or even a sound designer, being a video production professional means you have a treasure trove of knowledge to earn money off of. You can apply that knowledge and:

  • Become a content creator to educate and entertain audiences.
  • Take up a freelance gig off sites like Fiverr or Upwork.
  • Sell video templates like LUTs, animations, and sounds on online marketplaces.
  • Rent out any video equipment you’re not using.
  • Join an affiliate program like MASV’s, which pays affiliates for every GB transferred.

MASV is a simple, fast, and easy to use platform that allows video production professionals to transfer large, time-critical media files faster than ever.

You can use MASV to send a video project to a client, integrate it as a company-wide data transfer solution at your production company, or share footage between teammates for further editing and post-production work. Sign up today and send up to 100GB for free in minutes.

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