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As a travel videographer, Tom Reissmann gets paid handsomely to take adventures...When I say “travel videographer”, you probably start thinking about travel to faraway places.

And while traveling abroad might be your ultimate goal, you should know that there’s beauty, culture, and more business opportunities than one person can take on right at your doorstep. 

I’ve lived in several countries in the world including England, Germany, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada… and I always started by building my travel video business locally. 

In England I picked a local B&B. In Melbourne, Australia, it was a balloon operator and a sailing company that ran day trips. In Germany, I worked for an operator that organized school trips. And, in Spain, I found a tour that took people out into the desert on quad bikes and beach buggies. 

In New Zealand, I shot footage for a hostel, and, in Canada, I just finished creating a video for a grizzly bear viewing company. 

What all of these examples have in common, is that I didn’t have to travel to get started.

Here are three reasons you should start local as a travel videographer.

1. It’s easy to organize. 

You don’t have to look far to find your first gig as a travel videographer, and working locally makes it easy to organize. It’s much easier to organize a commercial video shoot a few miles away, rather a few thousand miles away. You can drive out and return the same day… or, if you’re working for a local hotel, make a weekend trip out of it. 

The phone works best when it comes to contacting potential clients. Not only is calling someone the most memorable and personable way to make an introduction, but when you start local, you are also in the same time zone.

Introduce yourself and ask about their business and how they get most of their clients. Explain that you are starting your video business and you would love the opportunity to practice your skill by creating a 1-2 minute video for their website. 

Who’s going to say no to that? Be creative with who you contact, it could be a local B&B or a day-trip operator, maybe a fishing boat or a restaurant, perhaps even a doggy day-care company, window-cleaning business, or a bicycle shop. 

2. You get to enjoy your hometown.

I love working locally because it allows me to explore my own backyard and discover restaurants, bars, hotels, and hiking areas I would have never found on my own and to which I can return any time with friends and family. 

It also makes me feel more connected to my immediate surroundings and provides a true sensation for the local culture. 

Naturally go with the companies that excite you the most like a kayak rental company or an evening cruise on the bay. One of my favorite local experiences was a hot air balloon trip over the valley followed by a wine tasting.

 3. One job leads to more jobs…

Once you have shot and edited a video for your first company, even if it was just done on an iPhone, you can show other potential clients what you can do for them and you start charging for your services. Start small, inexpensive and local and you will find that your business starts taking off faster than you had anticipated. 

Word-of-mouth goes a long way in a local area. You usually end up with more than one job if your clients were happy.

Remember every journey starts with the first step… and, after that, it’s just one foot in front of the other that gets you to your goal. 

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