There's a trend among videographers that will either define a career or put you in a place that you don't want to be in. I've almost fell victim to that and let me tell you, it's not a good feeling. What is it you may ask? It's simple really and anyone can fall into it's trap because you don't know you're doing it.
The most dangerous thing a videographer can do, especially when you're starting out, is copying who inspires you. There's nothing wrong with using those who inspire you to guide you down the path you want to go, but when you flat out just copy everything they do, it makes you nothing more than a cheap copycat. Yeah, I said it, cheap copycat. The reason I say that is because I've seen tons of people come and go with their video business and they come up with the attitude that says, "Yeah, I can do everything you can do, but I can do it better and cheaper..." and they end up closing up shop by the end of the year. There's one thing in this business that you never stop seeing and that is there will always be someone new coming in the game.
Now, I'm not talking about anyone in specific, I'm just generalizing this for everyone's benefit. It doesn't just go for videographers, it goes for photographers, DJ's and anyone else that is trying to start in a field where the competition can be fierce.
Attitude is another dangerous trait to acquire early on in your career. The attitude that some people get can land them out of their dream job if they're not careful. One thing that clients (especially commercial clients) hate is when you immediately try to ask who have the talked to before and you instantly try to undermine their judgement because they want to go with another business instead of yours. Clients want to know what you can do for them and how much effort you're willing to put into their project that they've considered you for. If at all possible, just talk about you and your business, not what other business are doing wrong.
Another dangerous habit to fall into is trying to copy someone else's editing style. Yeah, some people's final video look really good and you may want to try to copy the way they did things the next time you have something going on, but you shouldn't do that. You are you're own business and what is going to separate you're business from everyone else is being able to tell that you are the one that did it. Let's look at YouTube for a second. How many videos do you see on YouTube where the director is consistently doing rack focusing shots (those are shots where one specific item in the frame is in focus and everything else in the shot is blurry in case you didn't know), color flashes, camera shakes and dramatic shots with an actor walking in front of a beach or in the woods? There are literally millions of those kinds of videos. If you try to copy how they do things, what makes you think someone is going to remember your video? It's going to be so saturated with everything else, it's going to end up being a blur to someone or worse yet, forgotten. You don't want that do you? You want to stand out above the rest. Find your own style and stick with it.
With all that being said, the last thing you want to do is get set in you're editing ways. One thing that allows you to continue a career in any field is being able to adapt with the times. There is always going to be something new coming out and someone with a new way to do things, so don't get too comfortable when you find something that works for you. Eventually, someone will say, "Yeah, that was cool like 3 years ago, but these guys do an amazing job". That will get you so deep in the feels you'll feel like you did something wrong. I'm not saying to go get new stuff every 3 years and get yourself in debt, all I'm saying is know what you got and know how to use it. Always try to raise your own bar. Never settle for substandard and never think that you are better than someone.
Hopefully you look at this list and be inspired to make your business stand out. Don't look at this as if I have a chip on my shoulder. I see people come and go all the time and try to give them some advice on how to stick around. Some people listen and some people don't. Always remember, slow and steady wins the race. Don't try to hurry up and get everything right now because you may only use a piece of equipment once and end up selling it for a lot less than you bought it for. Keep that in mind next time you say, "Oh I wonder if i can do that..."