Your technical abilities will probably only play a supporting role in helping you develop your first customer base, whether you're an experienced video editor who recently chose to go freelance or a novice seeking to transform a pastime into a job.
The truth is that you really need a strong set of soft skills that will enable you to attract new clients, manage your relationship with them, and leave a lasting impression on them so they will become devoted, dependable clients of yours. All of this is equally crucial to understanding when to cut and why.
How to Get Your First Paid Job
Before you even try to reach out to potential clients, especially if you're just starting out, you need to develop your own personality. Practically speaking, this entails creating a showreel that highlights your artistic qualities, or even better, a portfolio of works that might pique the interest of clients. Join forces with classmates from nearby film schools if you don't have any footage to work with.
It's time to share what you're proud of with the world once you have it. As professionals would advise, you can get started by compiling the phone numbers and addresses of local companies and even production houses. Yes, taking a localized approach can help you expand more quickly. Try emailing these groups first, but don't be afraid to follow up with a polite phone call if you don't hear back within a few days. Gaining the confidence of five leads is sufficient to create a reliable clientele.
1. Communication As The Special Ingredient:
According to most experts, communication is the key component of the ideal recipe for creating a reliable, lasting relationship with a client. Start off on the right foot by being upfront and transparent about any contractual terms. For instance, come to an agreement on the maximum number of modifications that can be included. You can concentrate on your creative process later if you finish the paperwork first.
Then, as you begin to create your edit through a succession of technical and artistic decisions, it is imperative that you clearly explain the justifications for your choices while also paying close attention to your client's input and criticism along the way. Additionally, be sure to follow up on every verbal or written conversation so you have documentation in case things get complicated.
2. Never leave a customer empty-handed:
Depending on how difficult the process is, it could take you days or even weeks to go from the initial rough cut to the finished edit. Naturally, you will need some time to yourself to consider various creative options, but it is vitally crucial that you never let the conversation with your client lapse.
Practitioners in the industry recommend meeting them in person, even if only to go through the initial draught. Many experts claim that you will find this is the best technique and has the greatest benefits. This enables the client to understand your direction in the edit, and they'll feel like they're also involved artistically.
To constantly share the development of your work, you can also utilize any digital platform of your choosing (technologies like Frame.io, Digital Pigeon, DropBox, YouTube, or Vimeo can be used). In the end, clients trust you with their money; therefore, they're continuously curious to find out what they're paying for.
3. Handling Uncomfortable Feedback
What happens, though, if your client's response to your previews isn't quite — shall we say — energizing? So you'll have to figure out how to feel at ease in unpleasant situations. And in a circumstance like this, the first thing to do is to make an effort to create a constructive dialogue environment while still keeping critical input in check.
In his online course, Learn Everything with Premiere Pro, Digby breaks down this procedure into three sections. Begin by demonstrating to your client that you are willing to take the initiative to fix the edits they feel still need work. After that, ask them what they found admirable about your work to direct their attention to its good aspects. To finish, separate the edit into sections and collectively go through each one. Feedback is improved in this manner and becomes more consistent. A review of all the adjustments that have been made should also be shared before you return to work.
Your presentation should be memorable.
It's time to start laying the groundwork for your next paid job once your client is satisfied with the finished product and the image has been locked. Remember to include a call to action to keep the momentum going, whether you decide to send over the information digitally or physically. Invite your clients out for coffee or call them up for a casual conversation. Show them that you are really interested in learning about their lives and projects.
Due to their likely hectic schedules, your clients can easily "oblivion-you" with their daily work and meetings. Even after files have been sent and your payment has been paid, try to maintain contact. Repeat business is good business, is loyal business, and is the kind of work that allows you to grow, to quote Digby.
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