How to Freelance and make money with After Effects?

One student in my After Effects online courses asked me:

“Can you please advise from your experience, I as an online passionate video editor and media guy what would you recommend could concentrate on to make online money? I got multi skills in photoshop, editing photographs and as media tech guy with over 25 years in video and media I got skills but not much income still. Someone said focus one niche. What has worked from your experience ? (…)

Ok so let me explain from my perspective. I will stick to After Effects in terms of this explanation as this is my area of expertise and my courses topic

IF you want to stick with After Effects

There are a few huge segments, I would not even call them niches, but to the most popular things I will callout:

  • Creating explainer videos
  • Designing templates and packages to sell on or (or similar sites)
  • Video Editing (medium popular, not only done in AE)
  • Intros, Outros, Lower thirds (that’s what I do)

There are many other subniches but in gross general AE is famous for that and these are the easiest (most valuable) things to do. Character animationed explainer videos are cool, and you can work on existing templates.

Working up a portfolio

I had the same issue at the beginning…”damn, I know all the stuff, programs, but how to get clients?” for that I will recommend freelance websites which try to cater the clients for you (at least a few, for the beginning!). I will recommend FIVERR, UpWork and (there are plenty more, like PeoplePerHour, EnvatoStudio etc.)

What I do? How I started?

My specialty is doing animations for various youtube channels. I create intro videos, outro videos, animations, lower thirds, motion elements, accent graphics, transitions and similar small but good looking animations. It’s not that I selected it, I started working on that, got some clients, and then the ball started rolling). In the early days I got the majority of my clients on Fiverr (I’m a top rated seller there), which allowed me to explore After Effects and work more and more with it.

So, what niche do you advise?

What is fun for you to do, to stick with it over several years. Try to promote (paid promotion eventually) yourself on Freelancer / Upwork for at least 2-3 jobs and since then it’s easier, I know it’s hard but YOU have to get first clients, no one will do that for you that’s the hardest part in early online money making stages.

Set a goal, to get 2 jobs you like done, search those jobs on Freelancer and Upwork and think about how these guys who apply get hired, check out their profiles and replicate it’s design, that would be a good start.

I could go on and on how to do that because there are so many details and things to consider or have in mind, but in gross general that would be my advice,


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