What should I be doing now if I want to be a full-time freelancer in 18-24mo? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Taking Care of Business

Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 19th, 2009, 04:58 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 773
What should I be doing now if I want to be a full-time freelancer in 18-24mo?

Currently: Working a day job. Paying off student loans.

What I want to do: Travel the world. Work as an international field producer on documentaries, direct my own documentary projects.

What do I need to be doing -now- (other than saving) to prepare for a life as a freelancer 18-24 mo from now?
__________________
Equip: Panny GH1, Canon HG20, Juicedlink, AT897, Sennh. EW/GW100, Zoom H2, Vegas 8.1
Brian Boyko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 20th, 2009, 06:26 AM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Princeton, NJ
Posts: 65
Brian,

Best of luck of you endeavors. Everyone's situation is different, but a few things I personally did to prepare were:

#1 - In addition to saving lots of $$$, go out and get the biggest line of credit you can possibly secure (within reason). You will need operating cash to cover cash flow and it's much easier to get a loan (HELOC, credit card, whatever) when you still have a "real" job. Most banks/lenders won't consider your freelance income until you've been doing it for at least two years. Until then they just consider you unemployed.

#2 - Do all the marketing essentials now in your spare time so they're ready to go when you start freelancing. Website, biz cards, logos, demo reel, all that rot. You don't want to be spending time on this when you should be looking for projects.

#3 - If you've already done #2 then know you know what you want to do and offer as services. Now figure out what you want to charge for those services. Come up with an estimate or proposal template.

#4 - Start building a prospect list. Potential clients, sources of revenue, possibly other freelancers and prod. co's you could offer your services to.

#5 - Depending where you live, take care of all that govt stuff (filing biz name, get a tax id, open a biz checking account, etc.)

#6 - DON'T go out and spend a bunch of money on non-essential gear until you absolutely need it. So many people I've know who decide to freelance go out and drop a wad of dough on computers and cameras, etc thinking they can't be in business without it. Rent gear when need it and only buy when you can really justify it. This advice varies of course depending on what you plan to do (e.g. I expect most freelance camera, sound folks to have some gear).

That's just off the top of my head. I'm sure others will have some suggestions as well.
Adam Bauser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 22nd, 2009, 11:57 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, TX
Posts: 2,230
Adam has some good points, here are a few that I would like to share:

Try to become an expert at what you want to do. The less you have to "learn on the job" the more success you will have.

If you want to edit your own stuff learn about computers etc... Anything that you will come across you need to be an expert these days because your competition does know about this stuff.

I caution the idea of renting when you need it.

I would not suggest renting pro gear with ever having used it or having little experience. You will be learing the equipment on your job, not a good situation. Rental houses are busy and the feeling I get is they want you to know what you are doing.

Renting is a double edged sword. You get access to higher levels of gear, but I have always found it adds stress to jobs as you have to go pick it up, return it, hope all of the stuff is in the box from the last rental...

Just some thoughts. I prefer to buy, own and get to know my cameras. Lighting lends itself a little better to the rental model imho.
Tim Polster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 22nd, 2009, 03:37 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 773
Well, I just got some news from my job - and there's an outside chance that I may be looking to do freelance work a lot sooner than I was planning. We'll see. I'm a pessimist by nature, so everything could be fine... but, still.
__________________
Equip: Panny GH1, Canon HG20, Juicedlink, AT897, Sennh. EW/GW100, Zoom H2, Vegas 8.1
Brian Boyko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 26th, 2009, 12:52 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia (formerly Winnipeg, Manitoba) Canada
Posts: 4,087
Brian, reading between the lines, I would suggest IMMEDIATELY following Adam's above #1 and get credit while you still can. Don't use it unless you need to but as an "unproven" business, you won't have as much latitude later...
__________________
Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster
www.roaddogmedia.ca Blog: http://roaddogmedia.wordpress.com/
Shaun Roemich is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Taking Care of Business

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:59 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network