Expanding Your Network Through the Blogosphere

Mar 13, 2024

 Starting my career as a camera operator and colorist, I wanted to work a lot, diligently, and preferably with talented people! But the thought of constantly fitting in some film parties, attending events, being in the spotlight, and networking (in real life) just to get work depressed me. In 2019, I had a comfortable job flow on films and commercials, but I always wanted more. However, even then, I began to conceive an alternative networking plan.

The idea was that I would make connections and find projects through a comfortable environment for me—showcasing my work and methodologies of their implementation in 10-minute videos and articles.

The focus was on interesting people and brands finding me themselves and wanting to work with me or learn something from me. This way, I wouldn't have to spend time offline, forcing myself to be sociable, or actively seeking out opportunities or verbally promoting my skills.

The first art video for YouTube channel


And in 2020, during the quarantine, "Andbery" – the YouTube project was created.

Initially, I uploaded all my portfolio breakdown videos to the channel. I was demonstrating lighting schemes, solutions to enhance the mood of scenes via set design or lighting style, and shared a bit about myself. When the content started gaining popularity and views increased, I began monetizing the videos through the YouTube Partner Program, through referral links with Amazon and Epidemic Sound, as well as selling masterclasses. I reinvested part of the income into creating more complicated and artistic content with dramatic storytelling and good production.

By creating such a project for myself while simultaneously working as a cinematographer, I started receiving messages from numerous brand representatives with collaboration proposals. And now I can proudly say that I have been fortunate to collaborate with: DZOfilm, Nanlite, Godox, Hollyland, Light panels, Musicbed, Epidemic Sound, Zhiyun, Vaxis.

Also, while creating the new content, I felt interest from directors and colleagues, which helped me find new projects and opportunities to work on big set.

And if, like me, you find it difficult to feel confident yourself and find new opportunities through direct communication with people, through social gatherings, and by begging for a spot for a project, then an alternative is to work on your portfolio, accompanying it with stories and details in content format.

In the form of Instagram Reels, TikTok, YouTube videos, articles on websites etc. It can be any form, as long as you enjoy the process of interacting with your target audience on the platform where you post your content. You need to use this tool to present yourself as a personality through content creation. People should get the impression that you are their friend, older brother/sister who is knowledgeable about something cool, while also sharing useful information, helping, and inspiring them.



Many creative guys have a presence on Instagram or Vimeo, LinkedIn, but their content looks something like this:

Here we are shooting something (stories from the set), and here's what we got (stills and video ads).

It's cool to have something to show; it's inspiring anyway, but... it quickly fades away from people mind. Viewers are often captivated by personalities and stories, not just beautiful photos and videos (I definitely know it.

Essentially, platforms like YouTube are where people watch how others live. We evaluate other people, see what they're good at, what they've achieved, get inspired, maybe criticize, or envy. We have emotions towards them, we think about them.

For example, how long would you think about how awesome an Instagram operator did a camera movement on the set? Sometimes I go to my Instagram bookmarks and am surprised at how many cool techniques and videos from operators I've saved, but quickly forget about them. But man, I can spend several days thinking about how talented and cool an artist I met on YouTube is, thinking about his lifestyle, how he works, what he thinks about. I'm talking about @GawxArt (He is amazing).

Because this guy does cool stuff, showing himself, his life, everyday life, sources of inspiration, and surroundings. He makes not just a portfolio; it's a whole universe of a powerful and talented artist that inspires. Some people see the same in my project, if that's worth mentioning :)


Making of the art project for YouTube channel


In general, if you're interested in alternative way to find new people, new contracts, and opportunities beyond traditional offline networking, I suggest you pay attention to these tips:


Start a blog

Whether it's textual, on YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok. It's a long game, and it's not about speed but distance. No one guarantees that someone will watch or read you. No one guarantees fame and big numbers. But it may happen that just one right person or brand sees you – where your life can change. For myself, I see more pros than cons in creating content:

+ There's a chance to meet new like-minded people with whom we can collaborate and create something epic and cool together;
+ There's a chance that brands will notice you and offer products for integration into your projects. A $7000 light or lens from a favorite manufacturer in exchange for integration – isn't that cool? Win-win.
+ When you articulate your endeavors and experiences out loud or in written form, you internalize new material faster. It's an awesome form of learning when you share fresh knowledge with someone else. This form is equivalent to practice – knowledge is absorbed better and faster when you talk about it to someone else.
+ It's your brand, which can grow into a full-fledged project. If people watch you, you can help others, share experiences through master classes, and also share services through consultation. Also, to promote your own or affiliate programs.

As for the cons, the only downside might be that you could spend time without getting any results. But this is more about your willingness to do it without immediate reward. It's important to understand that if the idea of creating content alongside your main activity doesn't resonate with you, that's absolutely fine. In this case, I suggest focusing on offline communication and engaging with any film-related activities and forgetting about the idea of a blog.


 My YouTube channel


Find a platform and target audience that suits you

For example, I deliberately avoid engaging with the TikTok and Instagram Reels audience because statistics show that people on these platforms don't watch most videos for more than 5-7 seconds. Content on such platforms is short-lived and often subject to trends. However, I don't discourage you from using these platforms; you can find a bunch of cool backstage content and lighting setup hacks there. You just need to understand who we're creating content for, who we're entertaining and educating.
I prefer the audience on YouTube more. On average, I manage to hold their attention for 3-4 minutes, which is a gift in our time. In 4 minutes, you can tell a whole story and enrich the video with drama and cool visuals.



Feel free to position yourself in videos as who you want to be or already are and who you want to collaborate with. If you want to work as a director, share this with people, showcase your strengths, share your findings in directing. Are you good at creating story? Demonstrate or teach it. Do you set up lighting amazingly? Show and explain. Are you a pro at drone operation? Show and inspire viewers.

And don't forget why you're creating content – you're selling yourself as an artist, showcasing not only your work but also yourself, your philosophy, and your approach to work. Once I stumbled upon the work of a sound designer for a short film on YouTube. My God... I spent all my last money to have him do the sound for our latest short film. In your blog, ideally, it should be clear what you specialize in, how you position yourself, and what you'd like to work on. This greatly simplifies the search for you from the perspective of future partners.

My first collaboration with Godox


Show yourself "alive"

This is what I strive for and notice in cool people. It's important to show yourself in the moment, at work, in communication, and in contact with people, in stressful and joyful situations. Because the worst thing you can do in your blog is to make everything as linear and directed as possible. A scripted scenario with clearly staged emotions looks fake; such videos resemble cheap talk shows. Try to present each of your videos in the format of a documentary about some event or topic that you would like to explore. And remember that by creating content, we compete on the same level as Netflix because viewers want to spend their precious time watching an interesting story, being entertained, inspired, or learning something new. They are not going to watch shitty acting of bloggers.



Type of content

Think about what kind of content you want to create: are you entertaining/inspiring or educating?

Always remember that people seek content either to be entertained or to learn something. What will you offer the viewer? I often fell into the trap of self-admiration when creating content, making me-me-me show. After posting my work, I would start talking about how brilliant and cool it was. But as it turned out, few people were interested in that. ( isn't it obvious lol :)

People need your support and inspiration. In most cases, viewers are looking for energy that will infect them with positive emotions. And the creator of entertaining and educational content is the conduit for that energy. We love to laugh, experience intense emotions like enjoy an interesting story, and get a dose of motivation from an inspiring story. Some people like to find something useful and valuable for themselves to improve themselves and their lives.



Prepare the ground for collaboration

I believe that an artist should not be hungry and poor, and any activity should be profitable. In the case of a blog, a situation arises where we gather like-minded people around us, persons who are engaged in related industry. And this is a gold mine for company managers.

To implement brand products, companies need just two things:
Skilled hands, those who know how to work and make cool things via this equipment (the blog author).
An audience that will watch someone using this equipment. And I love collaborating with brands because I actively use the products that I showcase in my YouTube videos. I'm a fan of them.

All you need to start is to prepare the ground. Show one or two products and their advantages for testing in your content, work with the equipment, create something beautiful. Your content should convey that you are working with what inspires and interests you.


Try to monetize what you do

If your content helps you meet awesome people and allies, consider it all paid off!!!

After all, the main capital in our community is people. They push us, and we push them. They push us towards movement, work, and creativity. This is very important because, as creative individuals, we need constant inspiration and energy for self-realization.

But besides people, the content that people watch can be monetized. I like this format because monetization helps increase the quality of the video. For example, having a budget of $4000 for a video (via Advertising) allows me to afford hiring a gaffer, actors, and finding a cool location to shoot a small scene for education, collaboration with a brand, or for a portfolio. But sometimes it's quite difficult to allocate these $4000 from your own pocket. In this case, monetization helps me reinvest part of the profit to create new videos.

Here's what I can recommend to you for monetization:

  • Integration of partner products or services for monetary compensation. Decide on the price yourself. It all depends on the popularity and focus of your blog. I've noticed that brand managers are interested in paying you if your content (for example, on YouTube) gets at least 10,000 views per week. 4 minutes of viewing from a target audience of 10 thousand is cool for equipment manufacturers.
  • Selling your own products or services. I love sharing experiences and teaching, structuring knowledge. As a result, I share master classes and paid materials on lighting and set design with my viewers. If you know how and love to convey useful information, you can teach people what you are strong at. Conduct consultations or provide extended materials for subscription on Patreon. Up to you.
  • Referrals from Musicbed, Epidemicsound, and others. Many creators create a decent stable income for themselves by attracting several hundred people who pay for subscriptions to your partners. By receiving a royalty percentage from their subscription, you can have passive income.
  • Affiliate programs. Are you showcasing some cool product in your videos? Great, leave a referral link on Amazon with the product. Anyone who clicks and buys this item or finds something else on Amazon - you will get a percentage of the sale.

My masterclass


Unfortunately, it's possible to be brilliant and talented as an artist, but without knowing how to promote oneself, there's a huge risk of ending up unemployed and unfulfilled.

To make a name for ourselves, we either take part in offline events and parties or create a digital avatar and pump it with content. People choose to work with those they like and know. Seeing you in a blog, viewers get the impression that they now know you. And it is an alternative way to build up a network. The reality is that the market doesn't need new ordinary specialists; there are already many talented and skilled individuals. What the market (people, colleagues) needs are interesting and familiar faces. And we are all interesting to some extent; it's important to show it, share with the world, showcase our talents and work, help, and inspire.




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