How to build a demo reel that gets clients [9 quick tips]

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What is a demo reel?

A Demo reel is a short video presentation of your best video work. Its purpose is to make a client contact and hire you for a project.

As a video professional, your demo reel is your “sales person”, who will constantly bring you new clients.

If it is done right.

So how to build a good demo reel?

First start with the client in mind

Your client wants to find the right candidate for his job.

The harsh reality: 

He is tired, he has already seen 100 other demo reels, most of them look the same, most of them are boring.

This is a realistic number, as there are a lot of people offering there services as motion designers or video editors.

The client is not even looking at the entire video,the majority of demo reels get 7 seconds at most of his attention.

When he sees something that he does not like, he closes the video.

The good news

-The client wants to find the right candidate for the job.

-You can ignore 80% of your competitors,
most of their demo reels look the same: psychedelic dreams, techno music, un-useful stuff

-You can prepare your demo reel exactly with the tired and impatient client in mind.
Your work will stand out, but only if you plan the video right.


Action Plan

1. Start with your best stuff

You have to stand out, and get noticed in a positive way.

Impress the client in the first 7 seconds.

2. Show useful examples

no circles , or kaleidoscopes, most clients want you to create business videos for them, not sparks and psychedelic dreams

I don’t have anything against these, they sure look cool, but they have their own place and it is NOT in your demo reel for business videos.

3. Edit the music,

select a good track with a nice rhythm.

Don’t try to be too hip, not all clients are into crazy techno music.

4. Only show your best stuff
Remember, your client will close the video when he sees low quality work.

5. It is great to show in your demo reel brands that you worked for.

Don’t have brand name clients? Invent a video, create your own “commercials”, Like we did on the Logo Supercharger template here.

Clients want to see what you could create for them, so your examples have to be practical and usable.

6. Keep your demo reel video  under 2 minutes (1:30 is best)

7. Don’t repeat the same shot

8. Don’t try to look like a big studio -If you are not.
Clients more often search for talented individuals who they can have a direct contact with, and not for a creative studio.

8. End with your contact info and call to action.
Make it personal, like “call me” or “email me”

9. Add a picture with you, at the end.
A picture of you will help clients connect with you, it will make your demo reel stand out and be remembered.


After Effects Academy Member Extra

Access your ‘Build A Demo Reel That Gets Clients’ course in the After Effects Academy.

Learn how to use the AIDA sales formula on your demo reels, how to price your service and even how to negotiate with clients.

Click here to access the “Build A Demo Reel That Gets Clients” course

Not an AE Academy member?
Click here to learn more about the After Effects Academy

Remus Hosu

Remus Hosu

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