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Old August 2nd, 2010, 11:28 AM   #1
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Where do you guys get your clients? I need side jobs

Sorry if off topic. I use premiere cs4 and AE - I also do simple graphic design. I work for a non-profit org so all my work is for them. I would like to start doing small projects outside of work. I placed ads on craigslist but all i seem to get is spam replies. productionhub seems slow. How do you guys put yourself out there? I don't really have any connections.
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 11:34 AM   #2
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Thread moved here from Open DV.

I don't know of anyone who uses Craigslist for anything
other than finding a good deal on a used lawnmower.

When I was running a studio, we got all the work we
could handle from a local Yellow Pages ad. But that
was back in the '90's.
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 12:01 PM   #3
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The best option is to get to know a lot of freelancers (editors, cameramen, producers). They'll need an assistant once in a while - be the assistant, and next time they'll have a better job for you.
Freelancers often need more people to do projects, and they call somebody they know, and if this person can't do it, they will call somebody they know, and so on...
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 03:05 PM   #4
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Craigslist has always been a monumental waste of time for me. People expect Industrial Light and Magic quality, but get offended when you won't take a 6 pack of Miller Lite as fair and just compensation.

What kinds of projects are you hoping to find? Graphic Design? Motion Graphics?

No matter what you're looking for, you'll need a portfolio or some online presence in order to show off your skills and give potential clients an idea to what you're capable of. Also, get yourself some inexpensive business cards that you can hand out. When I say inexpensive, I mean go through gotprint.com or Vista Print. Don't get those awful perforated do-it-yourself things from Office Max.

Look for local meet-ups or small events in your area where designers get together for a few beers and complain about clien-... er, let off some steam. You might also try your local chamber of commerce.

You'll need to do some mingling and let people know who you are, what you do (what you'd like to do), and show that you'd be a good person to work/ get along with.
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 09:17 PM   #5
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Those "..awful perforated do-it-yourself things..." have actually gotten a lot better recently and now they separate with really clean edges. I find that the ones I do myself actually look and feel reasonably good.
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 11:24 PM   #6
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That may be the case, but I would still avoid them. Having worked with an awesome Graphic Designer for 2 years that knew his stuff when it came to printing, I learned to spot "homemade" inkjet business cards a mile away. I also find it a little off-putting when I inadvertently smudge someone's card and get ink all over my thumb. If I can't read the number or name on the card, it goes right into the round file.

In the grand scheme of things, business cards are so inexpensive, it's just worth it to have them professionally produced. In an industry where we're the ones creating images for others, I find that it screams "amateur" when I come across someone who couldn't be bothered to fork over $60 for 1000 quality business cards.

Of course, your experiences may be different. If you get by with them, that's awesome. That's just my opinion though...
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 12:22 AM   #7
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Actually I have used a good printer several times. And you're right - they don't cost much. The problem I always used to run into (which is admittedly a bit uncommon in the US) was that I needed to mix English and Japanese on my cards so usually I wound up having to do the layout and make the masters myself anyhow and the printer just photoreduced and printed them.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 05:40 PM   #8
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I must step in a little.

I just had a decent paying "reality show" (youtube only thus far but pay is pay) recently, and have found a handful of decent jobs from that site since I've been looking. Never from placing MY ad, but rather in looking through the crew/creative/tv-film-radio and art-media-design sections for job ads others have placed.

Yes, it's true there's very little on there worth investigating, especially if you're a 25-year vet charing $1000/day or something, but for me it works out every once in a while.

Another good site is Mandy.com. They have a more professional caliber of gig offerings, but still very few things worth applying to, for me.

Some of this has to do with my experience level or the gear I own or software I am or am not familiar with. Most folks want HD now, and I still work with an XL2, but since I don't shoot that often, there is no reason to upgrade for me.

I also found a slew of sites like elance, freelancer.com, etc., that mostly cater to post production work, where people bid on projects rather than being told exactly what the pay scale is. Some of these seem ridiculous beyond ridiculous ($100 for a fully shot/edited video, including location shooting, talent, etc.), some seem more realistic ($1500+ for same). All depends on your rate structure and experience level (I fall on the cheaper side for my market).

At least in Texas there are also the Houston and TExas Film Commission sites that have paid positions on indie films, for some jobs. Though what that pay is may be totally unacceptable.

There are a few sites where you PAY to subscribe to them and there job ads (TVjobs.com, and a few others). I'm certainly not doing this, but feel free to if you think you'll benefit

And lastly, let us not forget the oft-mocked sites like Turnhere (and there are quite a few) that hire people in different cities to shoot edit little promotional videos for local businesses for $200 or so a pop.

Point is, there is a way to find this work online, but unfortunately most of it is, sigh, from networking/word of mouth. As a shy dude and terrible salesman, this super sucks for me.

The easy answer is. . .there is no easy answer. I've heard of things like putting yourselves in the meeting places of your desired client base and networking there is a way to go (for instance, you want to work for oil/gas folks, you find energy-conventions and attend and talk around and hand out info, etc.)

I don't know if it's the cards (from vistaprint) or the people I've handed them to, but I don't think I've ever gotten a call from someone to whom I've randomly handed out a card.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 03:59 PM   #9
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I've advertised on Craigslist (although it's been some time since I have) and I was able to get work upwards of $100/hr. You can't do a "generalist" add and you have to link to demos and a website. You need to post an ad targeting with a specialty and include some details to show that you've got experience.

That means at the point they contact you they know your capable and like your work. At that point you can talk price and within seconds they'll determine whether there's value to that.

I'll mention that my rates are good but won't mention a price in the ad. They need to know when they send that email to me that I when include a price in my response back that, based on my experience and skills my price is good.

When I advertised that I did local cable spots I'd include the media buy price of a typical local channel 30 second spot.

If I advertised daily I'd get two to eight jobs a month in MY price range. That isn't going to pay all your bills but that extra work is good and they then spread word of mouth.

You keep the total price low by keeping the hours low on the job. A 10 hour job for $100/hr is $1000. You can shoot a local cable spot in 4 hours and edit it in 6 to 8 hours. This ain't art but it's still better than the local cable company does. Then you get 15% on the media buy. One of the local cable companies actually asked for my reel so they could refer their clients to me if they wanted something better than they could do.

Craigslist works if you understanding only a small number of the inquiries will result in paying work at YOUR rate but that's a reasonable return for taking one minute a day to place an ad.

Key is knowing how to write an ad that gets you something other than just bottom feeders.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 08:54 PM   #10
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Very informative, Craig. Thanks a lot!
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Old August 8th, 2010, 10:52 PM   #11
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Charities and public events...

The best advertising is word of mouth and networking.

Find a small and/or local charity you beleive in, or a event you think would look good on video, and do some pro-bono (free) work. Most welcome the exposure.

Don't ask for a dime, but treat it like a high paying job.

It will add to your portfolio, and likely add to your circle of supporters. The payoff might not be immediate, but with some smart work it should eventually. You never know who will see your work.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 06:10 AM   #12
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I just got one-way-vision signwriting on my car window, and so far it's proved to be the best marketing I've done so far.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 10:08 AM   #13
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Excellent advice Jason.
One of the BIGGEST newbie mistakes is to give away their service to "for profit" businesses. On the other hand, helping a charity is GREAT marketing. Not only do you get something for your reel, the people who donate to the charity see you as a fellow supporter of a good cause and those folks have money and they may lean towards hiring you over another business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Sovey View Post
Charities and public events...

The best advertising is word of mouth and networking.

Find a small and/or local charity you beleive in, or a event you think would look good on video, and do some pro-bono (free) work. Most welcome the exposure.

Don't ask for a dime, but treat it like a high paying job.

It will add to your portfolio, and likely add to your circle of supporters. The payoff might not be immediate, but with some smart work it should eventually. You never know who will see your work.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 09:13 PM   #14
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I'm actually looking to interview some of y'all who have used Craigslist (or similar job board) for production work. I'm interested to hear more of what your experience was and whether you'd recommend it again. I'm working on an article for Videomaker mag about finding jobs online. You can e-mail me off the forum at juliacamenisch(at)gmail(dot)com.

Thanks!

-julia
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 02:42 PM   #15
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There are quite a few online boards and sites that have work on them, particularly if it's shooter work you're after. Based on my experience, some websites are a better grade of project than others. From better to worse (in my opinion):

Filmcrewpro.com
Tends to be low-budget fiction work, but you do get corporate and event gigs on it. Many are paid gigs (and there's a handy key to find them) and some are paid well. I've found that most of the projects I've got through Filmcrewpro have been good and of a professional standard, even if the money varies. There is a paid side to the site for some jobs (usually the better earners) but it's worth it if you have a strong skillset and the reel to prove it.

Talentcircle.org
Free membership. Usually low-paid or expenses only stuff, but there are very few numpties on there and projects are often short with good networking and reel opportunities. There are also several categories for post, design and graphics work too.

Shootingpeople.org
A members only affair you have to pay for (I think it's 30 a year-ish). Is it worth it? If you want to work on low budget fiction, indie projects or network like crazy, then yes. If you do decide to go for it, try signing up and then cancelling the process before paying. You'll usually get sent an email offering a reduced rate or some special deal.

Mandy.com
The main site and the one populated by the largest number of trawlers, nimrods, bull****ters and people who either don't read ads properly or think job roles and locations are somehow unimportant (you place an ad for someone in London, a guy from Kerala, India applies with a CV that doesn't even tell you what job he does!). You have to sift through the tat on this one and read between the lines but there is work here and some of it is paid.

There's also Production Base (apparently quite good, but the vast majority of work seems to be post-based or broadcast and hard-to-get) which is a pay-for-the-year affair. Grapevinejobs have the odd thing on them and there's also the job board of Broadcastnow (or whatever it's calling itself nowadays). I'm from the UK so some of these might not work as well (or at all) in the US but Filmcrewpro, Talentcircle and Mandy all have world entries. I've found you need to scavenge for work regularly if you don't want to miss the boat- trawling the job boards every couple of days- and make sure you fill out your profile on the sites because the site will always point employers there.
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