Lost Army Boy to Professional Videographer
If you ask me 3 years ago what I want to do with my life, I wouldn’t be able to answer that question.
All I knew was I want to make more money and I have to take up the mantle of responsibility for my family. Having a full-time job helped was just barely able to cover the bill. That’s where I knew I need to find ways to make more, that’s where my story of side hustling on Carousell first started.
The Lost 23-Year-Old Boy to Men
I lost my mom when I was 13, my dad was the sole breadwinner of the family and I know the struggle my dad face at work.
In order to pay rent and support my education, my dad had to constantly work overtime and was never home for most part of the time. However, I am grateful for his unique way of showing affection for me by making breakfast and leaving some dollar bills on the dining table before rushing back to work.
When the time was called for me to serve my Nation, I was proud and happy to tell my dad I can finally take care of myself. I had enough for myself to enjoy and also do what I love, videography.
After saving up for a few months, I finally could afford a Sony A64000. My passion for videography caught the attention of my CO(Chief Officer) and I became the Army’s main videographer.
I had the best time serving NS(National Service) as both a medic and a videographer. However, as everyone was counting down to the last few days of their service. All I was thinking is where can I go from here?
I was lost.
The only thing I had left for myself was $1,000 saved up and a basic camera to take video.
The Struggle to Make Something Out of Nothing
What can I do for myself? What can I do for others?
Those were the questions I repeatedly asked myself every night before sleeping on my bunk bed. With nothing much to show for in skill and experience, all I could do was list myself out as a videographer on Carousell.
I priced myself at $50 for filming and editing because I wanted to gain exposure and learn as much as I could about what the market wanted. But then again, who would pay $50 for someone to take random videos of a kid?
Life rewards Hardwork and Determination
At that point after NS, I was only making $150 a month from my gig on Carousell. I knew if I wanted to make a name for myself, I need to get my camera skill to the next level. So I brought together my group of friends and we made a short story video.⏬
This video was a success on my Carousell. Thank it, I was gaining organic traction about my business and many individuals started contacting me on Carousell asking for similar work.
My effort resonated with Elizabeth Chan founder of KHJ through word of mouth from my friend.
She was keen to take me under her wing. Even though I just had one camera with me, she was willing to take the risk and give me a chance.
We started out with a few projects and she paid me $100 for every completed video. I was now able to afford more for myself and was able to buy new gear for myself.
Ups and Down
Needless to say the money every penny I earned I invested into my equipment.
Everything was going well for me, my Carousell listing was gaining more traction, I got a full-time videographer job, and even my friends started recommending my work to others.
That was when the pandemic hit, I lost my job and had to sell off most of my camera gear just to put food on the table. The only thing I kept for myself was my trusty camera.
It really felt at that point that being a videographer wasn’t a good full-time job
The demand for videographers had almost instantly vanished. It was demoralizing to see other videographers I respected started hanging their camera or selling them away too. It was some depressing times, I started doing Grab to earn money and hoped to reignite my passion for filming even when it looked like all hope was lost.
Coming back stronger than ever
As the Covid lockdown was lifted and jobs were starting to rehire, I started to advertise my services again. This time, I wasn’t starting from ground zero, I had taken the time to continuously hone my craft to become a better videographer.
Slowly but surely, after that, my leads started to generate through word of mouth, and my listings blew up. At that time small businesses approached me for their soft launch, and I got exposed to different influencers who to this day still would ask me to shoot for them for commercials etc.
I even met up with Edmund Chong; Founder of HustleVenture, a side hustle newsletter that has a wide array of other entrepreneurs out there. As my name was moving around, they were keen to help me improve and grow my business. I started setting up multiple pages on my Carousell, helping other videographers in the field, and even renting out some of my equipment.
Over the years, my leads have proven invaluable in driving my revenue to make over $3,000 a month. Thanks to all the referrals I had and the recurring income from the business, I made a total of $40,000 in 2022.
While I can’t claim that it was all meticulously planned, maintaining consistency and actively promoting myself as I encountered new individuals have played a crucial role in building the network necessary for my current success.
What is life like now?
So you may be wondering, what am I doing now?
Currently, I am working full-time as a multimedia specialist while also providing my freelancing services to 6 different SME companies.
On top of that, I also make passive income from renting out my camera gear for others to use. Because of that, I am now closer to my own financial independence while also able to support my family.
I’m now coming into my sixth year as a professional videographer with more skills and experience to back myself up. You can check out my most recent video below!⏬
Lessons I’ve learned
I picked up this quote from one of my bosses in my current workplace, “People Mastery”.People Mastery is the ability to create purposeful, meaningful relationships.
It includes awareness of others’ feelings, needs, and concerns. By being mindful of people’s needs and wants, I’ve developed the skill to push for the right approach to help people and build connections.
So are you looking to build connections and to be on video, then be sure to head down to my Carousell service below?