This is a tricky question, but the answer is… as much as you plan on making. It’s really up to you, but here are some realistic guidelines:

In starting out, you won’t have many expenses, and you’ll probably be the only employee, so much of your gross income will be profit (not all of it of course, there are always expenses). Even as a beginning videography business, I wouldn’t suggest working for less than $25 an hour; you want to establish your worth right away. If you aren’t afraid to charge what you’re worth for your video production, you can make $25 – $100 an hour right away, and keep about 70% of that as profit. The trick is to believe that your videos are worth the money, and to convey that to your clients. After that it’s just about setting up your business and marketing plan the right way.

Once you video business starts to grow, your expenses will be higher, but so will your clients, value, quality, and presence. Because of this, you’ll be able to charge more, focus on what you enjoy, and take more jobs (if you want to). At this point, the sky is the limit… you can charge as much as $500 – $1000 an hour (if you’ve established a high perceived value) and you can take on as many clients as you want. Some videographers chose to, at this point, simply manage their video business and hire others to do the work… while some videographers love creating videos, and would rather hire someone to manage the company.

If you’re dedicated to your video business and making it successful, you can start making good money right now… and if you commit to doing whatever it takes to meet your goals, you can build a business that fits your lifestyle and allows you to live how you want. Starting a video business can be the start of a great life, as long as you aren’t afraid to get out of your comfort zone.