For the last ten years, Vitalis Mika has been building up to something big.
Video Camp is an all-inclusive service that offers its clients a formidable package of video production services, online streaming, marketing, and consulting.
Recently, he has watched his business grow from strength to strength, creating content for television with international players such as Netflix.
It all started as a workshop a decade ago
I was always interested in video technology. That’s why I started to make videos myself. But, I also create a lot of other things, I make 3D projections, I am a computer graphics designer, and I love to make things as interactive as possible.
I realized that I had a lot to offer and a lot to teach. So, I started to lead workshops for people who were interested in learning about video technology.
And that’s how the business got started.
I launched some channels on social media to try and get the word out there. In the beginning, I was working with some friends who would go on to become my colleagues in our business.
We would post on Facebook from time-to-time to show people the cool things we were doing, but that was all.
There were a lot more opportunities open to me than I thought
After a while of doing these workshops, I could tell that things were starting to pick up because people started contacting me. They wanted to know if I was available to do this gig or that gig.
It was great, but I didn’t have the infrastructure to take advantage of it all. That was the point where it became a genuine business. I decided that it was time to start a company with my friends.
It wasn’t easy, especially when it came to transforming my business from a small social media enterprise into a legitimate, self-sustaining business. It meant removing the chaos from my business model.
At first, we tried to collect all of our important links and projects and spread them across our social profiles.
But it was obvious that we were not receiving the kind of engagement that we needed for growth.
Everything started to get mixed up. It was getting kind of hard to show clients your portfolio when everything was just different links to different places.
It was putting a strain on the client relationship, especially in the early phases when we were trying to establish trust.
We needed to professionalize the structures that we were using to promote our company in order to move forward.
At that point, we decided to create a website.
That was a while ago and you didn’t have so many options back then.
We were struggling to write the code, and we were not at a stage where we could afford to bring in professional web designers. The website we created was very basic and didn’t feel like it represented the skills we had as videomakers.
We were struggling along with that system for a while, but at some point, I decided to try something else.
It was time to become my own boss
At that point, I made the decision to move to Canada where I became an independent freelance video maker.
It was different out there. For a start, I wasn’t working in a team anymore, and that suited me. I was working by myself and trying to get set up as a freelancer in a new country.
I always needed a website. I realized pretty quickly that I was going to need a new website to advertise myself to clients in a new country where I didn’t have many connections.
It wasn’t enough to have things spread across all of my social media. It was a mess of Facebook, Youtube, and Linkedin. I needed to be able to put everything in one place.
So, I made a new website for my new business in Canada. This time I wanted to learn from the mistakes of the past and I chose a website builder with preset templates.
As a freelancer, you have to present the most up-to-date version of yourself with all of your best work
I launched a website with Squarespace at first, and that didn’t work out for me.
The problem was the sheer amount of different elements. I didn’t really understand how to use it and I was spending hours watching tutorials.
It was just too difficult.
I also tried Wix, but that wasn’t right either. I liked the interface and the templates, but every time I had a problem the customer support could not give me any answers that helped.
And then I found Zyro. I built two websites for two different businesses with it, and I am thinking about starting a third one.
I want to be in charge of the creative process, from start to finish
I am a creative person. With Zyro, I could express myself creatively with the tools on offer. I’m glad that the process is more streamlined. It guides you where you need to go.
But essentially, I chose Zyro because I liked the templates. Honestly, I liked that there were not too many templates.
When you’re new to website building, having so many different options in front of you can be totally overwhelming.
With Zyro, it was easy to see something that I liked, and there was more than enough choice for me to pick different templates for both of my businesses.
The designs were stylish, and it was so easy to build both my websites. I think it only took me one day.
Sure, you’re working with a template, and you know how it’s going to look.
Yet, by the end of the day – once I had added all the things I do and all the information about me – it looked completely different. It still looked great, but it felt genuinely personal to my business.
The support has also been great with Zyro. I just send a message, and they always get back to me within an hour, even if they have to talk to the developers to find an answer.
My clients feel like they know me
Since I published my portfolio website, I have noticed that clients seem to know a lot more about me before they get in contact. It has made my skills more visible.
It is convenient for me as a freelancer because I feel like my name is out there. There is a central place where everyone can see everything.
People already know what they want, and it has made me more efficient and effective in my job.
In the future, I want to start making tutorials and creating some online lessons. It’s exciting because it is a new thing for me.
At the moment, the focus of my website is on my video work. But, I also create 3D projections and other interactive installations for exhibitions. I want people to come to my website and be able to learn something.
I just finished working on a Netflix Originals show called Young Wallander. It was a six-month project, and I was creating computer graphics and also doing some video work.
It was so inspiring to see how far I have come. I can add things like that directly to my portfolio and I know that I am going to continue to go even further.
It isn’t always easy, but it’s definitely worth it
As a freelancer, you never really have anyone else to show you the way. A lot of the time, you have to take matters into your own hands.
My advice for people reading this?
Be that person who isn’t afraid to get things wrong. Your mistakes will become the best lessons.
If I had just stuck with the things that I knew, like only being having my business on social media, I don’t think I would have made it to where I am now.
When I found Zyro, it inspired me to move forward.
I keep challenging myself to do more. These days I am not just a video maker. I am the owner of three different businesses, taking things to the next level every day.