How to Make a Great Sizzle Reel That Wins Your Clients

Posted on: Nov. 16, 2021
This post is also available in:Español

A great sizzle reel uses video, audio, refined texts to highlight your expertise in a niche and effectively pitches your ideas to clients, investors, executives, and wins them over to hire you to join their business project.

So, whether you are about to attend an audition before a casting director or present your photography or videography portfolio to an advertising executive, making a gripping sizzle reel can be a stepping stone to get the part.

In this post, we will walk you through what makes a great sizzle reel and how to use a free online sizzle reel editor and its sizzle reel templates and royalty-free stock assets to make a winning sizzle reel in minutes.

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Here is what you will learn:

What Is a Sizzle Reel

A sizzle reel, also known as a demo reel, a promo video, a video pitch, a video portfolio, or a teaser, is a highly-crystalized 2-5 min video that uses videos, music, photos, and carefully-planned words to display your know-how, experience or plans to win the favor of a client, an investor, an executive or a director and successfully join their project.

Make a sizzle reel to win your clients

Make a sizzle reel to win your clients

Who Needs to Make a Sizzle Reel:

  • Actors or actresses can make a sizzle reel to prove their on-camera performance.
  • Photographers, videographers and advertisers, dancers, etc. can use a sizzle reel to showcase their award-winning works and cooperations with the current big brands.
  • Individuals like a Vlogger, a filmmaker, etc. create a sizzle reel to pitch their ideas and win the prospect of an investment from the executives of a TV network, etc.
  • YouTubers, bloggers, Instagrammers, etc, make a sizzle reel and upload it to your channel and homepage as a branding video for viewers and potential leads to know you and your services.
  • Sizzle Reels VS Demo Reels VS Trailers
    Compared with a demo reel which mainly serves as a video portfolio of an actor or videographer, a sizzle reel has wider application, including fundraising and corporate image video and website video, presentations, etc. While a trailer often refers to a preview or an ad of an upcoming movie or TV series.

    What Makes a Great Sizzle Reel

    Although using a sizzle reel is a proven way to impress your clients and investors with your brand and expertise, an ill-made sizzle reel may also cause irreversible damage to your spotless reputation. So, before we come to the editing of your sizzles, let’s check out these 6 essentials for making a great sizzle reel.

    Ingredients for making a great sizzle reel

    Ingredients for making a great sizzle reel

    1. Know Your Target Audience

    A sizzle reel is never made for self-enjoyment or bragging. You need to consider what your clients, investors, and executives’ taste and aesthetics are and what your experience and skills they need for their project.

    You may check the branding videos, previous works on their official websites, or their business partners and consult friends in the field to get a rough idea of their tastes and expectation. And then prepare the video footage and edit accordingly.

    Besides, never use the same sizzle reel for different clients.

    2. Craft the Content

    Though a typical sizzle reel only lasts a couple of minutes, you can’t be too careful when shaping an engaging sizzle. Storytelling is a great way to grab one’s attention. Draw a storyboard to find your narrative thread and combine video and music to add pace and rhythm to your sizzle reel.

    Make your sizzle reel sizzle

    Make your sizzle reel sizzle

    Make sure some key moments hit on certain music beats or sound effects. And only high-definition and high-res video footage and photos, and audio assets for making a sizzle reel.

    If your job is part of a big project, use subtitles to clearly spot your efforts and contribution to the whole team. Check 4 great ways to add subtitles to a video.

    3. Avoid Unwanted Troubles

    A sizzle reel is a public relations video, mostly published online. So, you certainly don’t wanna have copyright issues. In this case, it’s better to use non-copyrighted video assets.

    If you can’t afford to hire a professional camera crew to shoot a sizzle reel for you and the time to google random low-quality video and photo assets online, a great solution is to use FlexClip, a free and versatile online sizzle reel editor, where you can access to its 4M+ royalty-free stock assets, including videos, photos, and audio and tons of handy video tools to edit your sizzle reels in one place.

    Use FlexClip’s vast royalty-free video assets

    In the later part of the article, we will walk you through how to create a compelling sizzle reel with FlexClip’s free sizzle reel video templates and video assets. So, do stay tuned.

    4. Cut to the Chase

    With so many candidates to gauge, executives won’t have the patience to watch a lengthy and mundane sizzle reel. 1-2 minutes would be the best duration for a compelling sizzle reel.

    If the first 30 secs of your sizzle can’t impress your clients, the prospect of getting the offer would be drastically diminished. So, if your finished sizzle reel is more than 5 minutes, do sit down and discuss with your friends and revise.

    Remember, a sizzle reel never means to show the whole package but only highlights your capacity, vision, and style for your clients.

    5. Use Strong CTA

    As a lightweight promo video, a sizzle reel should end with a pure display of your skills and experience. Otherwise, people will easily forget who you are and have no way to reach you.

    Use strong call-to-action words to guide the viewers

    Use strong call-to-action words to guide the viewers

    To create a winning sizzle reel, do add clear and strong call-to-action words or elements in the video. It could be previous client’s testimonials, a search bar animation with your website’s URL, or your email address, or clear next-step instructions like “call me now to discuss your project or role”, etc.

    6. Put the Icing on the Cake

    Apart from having great content, you need to add the icing on the cake.

    If you post the sizzle reel on YouTube, don’t forget to make a custom thumbnail and write great copywriting; if you present the sizzle reel to your clients in-person via a USB, do pack it up as a precious gift. This will show your deep respect for the clients and sincerity for this cooperation opportunity. Make YouTube videos with templates.

    For posting your sizzle reels on your home page, you may design a new layout or template for the video, etc.

    How to Make a Winning Sizzle Reel by FlexClip

    For most start-up companies or freelancers, hiring a professional camera crew to film and edit your sizzle reel is not a practical option. So, FlexClip, a free and powerful in-browser sizzle reel editor will save you lots of time and offer you a hassle-free editing experience.

    Why You Will Love Using FlexClip Sizzle Reel Editor

    FlexClip, an all-in-one sizzle reel editor

    FlexClip, an all-in-one sizzle reel editor

  • 4M+ royalty-free high-definite and high-res videos, music, sound effects, photos
  • Thousands of designer-made video templates and dynamic elements across many fields, including video, resumes, promo videos, corporate, YouTube intro/outro, beauty, and fashion, sales, etc.
  • Fine integration with GIPHY’s trending GIF assets
  • Tons of user-friendly tools like text animations, picture-in-picture effects, speed changers, GIF maker, color-grading, transitions, trimmer, etc.
  • Watermark-free and intuitive interface, with storyboard and timeline editing modes for everyone
  • No software to download and install
  • Here is how to use FlexClip’s sizzle reel templates to create a winning sizzle reel in minutes:

    Step 1
    Select a Sizzle Reel Template and Kickstart the Your Project

    Access FlexClip’s video editor> go to the “Template” tab on the left sidebar > enter keywords “resume” in the search bar > pick an ideal template, preview, and add it to the storyboard.

    Select a sizzle reel template and add it to the storyboard

    Select a sizzle reel template and add it to the storyboard

    Step 2
    Swap Premade Videos and Photos with Yours

    Upload your video assets to the media library > drag and drop it to replace the pre-made videos, photos.

    Replace premade photos and videos with yours

    Replace premade photos and videos with yours

    Step 3
    Customize Texts Animations and Elements

    Head to the “Text” tab on the left sidebar > select a readymade text animation like a lower third, social media, minimal titles, profiles, callout titles, search bar, etc., and customize the text animations.

    Customize the text animations, its style and add dynamic elements imaginable

    Customize the text animations, its style and add dynamic elements imaginable

    All the fonts, color scheme, style, motion, alignment, and duration are fully-customizable. Or you may head to the “Elements” tab and spice up your sizzle reel with trendy dynamic elements, like call-to-action email animation, etc.

    Step 4
    Bring Your Sizzle Reel to Life with Music

    Head to the “Music” tab > add a BGM or sound effects to add rhythm and climax to your sizzle. You may add multiple music or sound effects and adjust the audio to match a particular frame.

    Add music and sound effects to your sizzle reel

    Add music and sound effects to your sizzle reel

    Step 5
    Preview and Export the Video

    You may directly download the sizzle reel to your local PC or share it to your YouTube channel or save it to Dropbox. Or even convert it to an animated GIF. Pretty helpful.

    Now, It’s Your Move

    Hopefully, you can benefit from our expert tips to make a winning sizzle reel and enjoy editing sizzle reel with FlexClip’s free video templates and royalty-free stock assets. So, start making your first sizzle reel by FlexClip, now.

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