Early Light Media directors Darren Durlach and David Larson speak with students at Ringling College of Art & Design about the world of freelancing.
- Be Helpful. Every product or service is based on one principal: is it solving a business need.
- Create Favor Equity. Magic happens when you help other creatives in your community: they help you back!
- Cold Calls are fine but the goal is to meet face to face
- Follow Up, follow up, follow up. You will not get the job from one email.
- Be prepared to sell yourself; your brand. You are a product. You'll feel like a fraud when you're new to the workforce and you're trying to sell yourself. Fight that feeling and sell yourself anyway.
- Be prepared to adjust your rate in order to take on an awesome opportunity/ to get the experience/ or just to expand your network. Be careful of being taken advantage of but you won't get anywhere if you're overpriced for your experience level.
- Support and communicate with other freelancers in your area - they will reference you, you will reference them, a full-circle support system. Develop trust and don't be overly concerned with someone stealing your client. If you're talented, helpful and generous, you'll be okay.
- Send updates of your work to companies you have had contact with.
- Be humble and be a good listener. This will keep you getting hired over and over again.
- Your rate is a fluxing scale, what to consider - your location, other freelancer rates, job type, personal benefits, necessity to get paid vs creative fulfillment. But bottom line is that you don't want to be the most expensive or the least expensive.
- Create a list of potential companies you plan to reach out to. Goal: to meet with someone from that company in person (ie: Director, Producer, Creative Director) and continue to follow up with them to the point of annoyance.
- Take advantage of local resources: Your local film office, networking events in your area, join creative professional forums/groups on line (Facebook, Linkedin, etc.)
- GOAL: To be the person that is “top of mind” for a company. When they have a project they need help with, you are the first of the 2 or 3 people they think of to reach out to.
- If an opportunity comes your way TAKE IT, because if you do not answer right away, they will immediately be calling someone else.
- “Be Around” Make yourself available to the companies you have relationships with. They may call you last minute for a job the following day, are you prepared to take that on This is a consistent experience for freelancers. If freelancing is your full time job then the answer to this question, unless you are already working on something, is YES.