What It Takes to Make $100,000 a Year with a Camera

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Four years ago I quit my dream job.

I worked from home, had flexible hours, and worked at a startup with three great friends.

But I wasn’t making as much as I needed to.

My wife and I lived in Southern California (i.e. expensive), she started a wedding photography business (which was not yet profitable), and she had just been through her first round of surgery for her cancer diagnosis (not cheap either).

The only way I could think of to make what we wanted financially, to break through the ceiling of what I was currently making, was to be my own boss. To run my own thing. To take charge.

So I told them I was leaving, without knowing exactly how I was going to replace that paycheck.

I had 7 weeks to figure out how I was going to make ends meet. I didn’t have a pile of money saved we could live off of. I had to make it work.

Here was my master plan...

I made a list of 10 entrepreneurs and startups I’d met over the past few years that might want videos made. I wrote personalized, custom emails to each and every one of them describing the exact videos I could make for them. And then I hoped and waited.

First reply, a no. Another no. Then a third.

I tried not to freak-out. “Calm down, maybe Fizzle will take you back?” I thought.

But then a yes came. And another. Then a few maybes.

Fast forward a couple months and I had started a real business. (Not just the blog I thought was a business but didn’t actually make much money.)

This business making videos for clients immediately started paying me more money than I had ever made in a job before. I was able to invest in the cameras, lighting, and audio equipment I had dreamt of using.

I replaced my paycheck from day one.

Every year since 2014 I’ve made over $100,000 in profit making videos for clients.

So how did I actually build a profitable client business?

It wasn’t a bunch of YouTube subscribers, a fancy website, an amazing portfolio, an award winning demo reel, a Vimeo staff pick, or the perfect Instagram grid.

It was the people I’d put myself in the position to meet, the relationships I developed with them, my ability to pitch myself, land the sale, and do quality work for them.

And I want to share what I’ve learned over the past four years with you so you can do the same.

Without taking a risk on starting my own video business I wouldn’t have:

  • Been paid over $700,000 by clients in the last 48 months.

  • Been able to travel to New Zealand, France, Spain, and Ghana for client projects.

  • Worked with entrepreneurs like Pat Flynn, Amy Porterfield, Melyssa Griffin, John Lee Dumas, Chris Ducker, and Sean McCabe.

  • Worked with startups and brands like ConvertKit, Teachable, MeetEdgar, Minimalist Baker, Nerd Fitness, and Gumroad.

  • Filmed and edited the 9-part documentary series “I Am A Blogger”.

  • A local client on retainer every month.

  • A full-time editor to free up my time.

  • Been able to take a full month off each year to travel internationally.

I’m not trying to brag. I’m just trying to be transparent and share my full story.

What’s not listed above are the not so great things that have happened. The two other cancer surgeries my wife has had, the time I was able to take off to care for her, and the freedom I've had to make more money to pay for those medical bills.

When you take control of your own business and have a handle on your finances, no one else is in charge of how much you can make or how many hours you have to work. You get to make your own rules.

That’s part of what I’m going to share with you in my new Freelance Filmmaker Accelerator Program, which is only open for the next few days to join.

If you resonate with my story, I’d love to have you join me in this inaugural group of students.

Click here to learn more.

Caleb Wojcik