I'm fairly new to the entertainment biz - about a year. I interned under successful production company as an editor. I was able to work on many projects including Americas Most Wanted, HGTV, numerous DR spots and so on. Now that I'm done with that I'm freelancing and a local CBS news affiliate and trying to build my own freelance post company. Is there anyone out there that can offer me some good advice in how to prospect new clinets and work being so "fresh" in the biz? I've advertised in almost every way I know, exhausted all my contacts and resources they dont seem to be doing anything either. I have a solid demo and resume. Besides 5+ years experience that everyone seems to want, what could I be lacking? I have a passion for editing and continue everyday to try different solutions to finding work. I've been on my own now for about 3 months, I don't expect to much being new but it seems like nothing is happening. Maybe being in this part of Florida is a dead spot, anyway any advice is greatly appreciated.
the answer to freelancing is simple. Solicit yourself, and keep doing it. The most successful companies all have one thing in common - they keep selling themselves, over and over and over and over. Selling yourself is the definition of business. If you have one big client, this is called a JOB.
You must contact EVERYONE, and constantly remind people that you exist, and are available for editing. I used to send out postcards in NY a long time ago. You get about 1 response out of 100 post cards. Too much work, you say ? Then get a job, and forget freelancing.
One advantage of participating in these forums for so many years is I'm able to quote myself. In 2001 in response to a similar question, mostly about sending out demos I write:
Personally I don't believe in blindly mailing out demos with an introductory cover letter. Getting a video cassette in the mail was novel in the early 80's. Getting a DVD was novel in the 90's. Now it's an everyday occurrence. Call first, qualify, send the tape then follow-up, follow-up, follow-up.
As a suggestion, if you're sending a reel to someone who gets lots of them, ask when they review new reels. Right away you're making it seem like you have some regard for them and their processes. Granted you'll most likely get the response that they have no specific time, but you've begun building an informal verbal contract: "I am sending you a reel based on this conversation and you, by informally allowing me to send it are agreeing that you will view it." Also be sure to ask permission to call back and ask when to call back. WHY permission? Because by doing so you are showing respect and, on a subtle level forming another verbal contract: "If I call back at the time you set, you agree to talk to me." Does this always work? Of course not, but it's better than not doing it.
Hope these Sales 101 thoughts add to the discourse.
This is pretty good advice, but I would disagree on the point of being "like" your client. Certainly you want to form a relationship with them based on commonalities, but no one respects a person who trades their identity for cash. At some point, those little "lies," pretending to be just like them, will catch up to you at the slightest hint they weren't true. Your integrity and honesty will be called into question, two vital components in any successful business relationship.
It has also been said that when two people agree on everything, one of them is no longer necessary. Sure, find common ground and exploit it, but just about everyone can appreciate and respect your unique differences, it's what makes any form of relationship interesting and worthwhile. If they can't respect your differences, you probably don't want anything to do with them, at any price.