Are You Putting Too Many Videos Online?

by Ron Dawson10 Comments

There's a terrible condition that's spreading among filmmakers and videographers all over the world. I call it video creep, and if you suffer from it, chances are you could be hurting your business.

What is video creep?

What is video creep you ask? It's a term I totally made up. It was inspired by a term I learned while working in the software industry: feature creep. That's the process of adding more and more features to a program, making the code bloated and extending the release date. Ergo, video creep is the process of adding more and more videos to your Vimeo or YouTube account or portfolio, just because you have them. Maybe it's because you think the more videos you have online, the more important or “busy” you'll look. If clients see you do a lot of work, naturally they'll think “Wow, this guy/gal is busy! They must be really popular.” Here's the problem. There's a good chance not all of those videos are ones you should be showing potential clients. If you're honest, you'd agree that some of them really are not your best work. In fact, some of them may actually be pretty bad in comparison to what you know you could do (maybe it was a client who didn't have the budget to do what you're normally known for). Whatever the case, you need to be very intentional about which videos you put online, anywhere.

Whenever deciding to post a video online, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this the kind of project I want to sell?
  • Is it representative of my brand? (e.g. If I shoot somebody's wedding, I will not add the video to my company's online portfolio because that's not what we do.)
  • Is the quality commensurate with what I want to be known for?

If you cannot answer “yes” to ALL of these questions, don't make the video public. In fact, as your skill progresses, you should make a point to go back to all your old videos and take down the ones which at the time might have been all “yes'es” but now would garner a “no” or two.

You never know how a potential client might come across a video you have posted. First impressions are everything. Do really want the first impression they get of you to be something anything less than your best?

Ron's cliche director image.Ron Dawson is an award-winning filmmaker, blogger, podcaster, husband and father. He writes about the art and business of filmmaking and photography at

(cover photo credit: snap from logos)


    1. Author

      So glad you liked the article Tracey. I need to go through my own set of videos online and do some spring cleaning.

      Glad and honored to be contributing Mitch. 🙂

  1. This is great advice and one I’ll heed. Time for some New Years cleaning. I will say I am NOT one of those that has sample footage loaded to my site. Although it’s nice to see what your new camera is capable of, it’s a total waste of bandwidth to depict shots of your computer, coffee cups, trash can, front yard, you get the picture.

  2. Excellent advise Ron! In the eyes of potential clients, you are potentially only as good as your weakest video sample. Deciding what gets included in a reel can be painful for the creator. “Killing babies” as editors sometimes say. That’s why it’s a good idea to get feedback on these decisions from more objective individuals that you trust – like a good editor.

    1. Author

      Getting feedback from trusted colleagues is definitely worthwhile. And you’re right, it can be hard not putting up (or in some cases taking down) some work which you really love but others may have said isn’t your best. I’ve been in that situation with my wife as the the feedbacker. 🙂

  3. Ron you made me think about it and tomorrow I’m doing a purge. Thx. Videos fom 5 years ago are not me now .

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