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Old March 26th, 2011, 12:12 AM   #1
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Having any luck with Mandy or Craigslist?

so, i've been getting email alerts from Indeed.com informing me when DP/Cam Op jobs become available. most are from Mandy and Craigslist. my question is: has anyone had success with these sites? i mean has a project from either of these two websites, offering at best copy/meal/credit, panned out to anything? i've yet to get hired onto one of these projects, maybe a blessing in disguise, and the more i think about it the more i think i'm wasting my time looking for gigs on these two sites. It seems like ProductionHub and Media Match are pretty legitimate websites for finding bona-fide jobs. i'm sure at least the people here in Los Angeles don't want to share what websites they've had success with. so, basically i'm just wondering if anyone has had much luck working on Mandy and/or Craigslist projects. Did any of the projects win any notoriety and did it lead to paying jobs with decent rates?

-Mike
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Old March 26th, 2011, 01:12 PM   #2
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Re: Having any luck with Mandy or Craigslist?

I used to advertise my video services on Craigslist. I got plenty of work paying in the $100/hr range. You have to be picky and stick to your price. Sure many can't afford your price. You simply discard those. There are a few genuine businesses that look for services and Cragislist and if you properly market yourself you'll get those.
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Old March 26th, 2011, 01:39 PM   #3
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Re: Having any luck with Mandy or Craigslist?

Very much so last year... a decent amount of short-term, paying work. The previous year, I found my current biggest client through CL.

This year so far, nothing. Maybe after we're finished with our recoveryless financial recovery...
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Old March 26th, 2011, 02:14 PM   #4
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Re: Having any luck with Mandy or Craigslist?

It's very rare that something paying a decent rate gets posted on CL but it does happen.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 08:21 PM   #5
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Re: Having any luck with Mandy or Craigslist?

I have found one good client through CL and maybe two jobs. I have found a lot of bozos on CL. Sometimes CL is better as a source of entertainment, I a kick out of some of the things people post.
I also have a gmail identity that I only use to correspond with CL people until I know they are legit.
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Old March 29th, 2011, 12:01 AM   #6
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Re: Having any luck with Mandy or Craigslist?

Hmm, as per my above post I'd get a couple of decent jobs every months. Generally they were small but I did get a couple of bigger clients/jobs.

You really need to know how to advertise and know how to eliminate people quickly if you're responding to an ad.

You have to present yourself to reach your target. You do NOT want lots of responses. You want TARGETED responses. Each ad you place should be targeted.

When answering ads you respond with appropriate demo(s) and description of the pay you want and on what terms. If they balk or try to negotiate you're done and you let them know politely and move on.

Personally I'd never use a gmail or equivalent account. I use a business email. I am a business. It lets them know that clearly and upfront. You are a professional expecting a professional rate.

If you think an ad is from a bozo you shouldn't answer it. If your ad is attracting bozos it's not targeting well.

The work I've gotten is small business, corporate and local cable spots or professional (NOT actor) demo reels. Generally avoid anything that has to do with actors, filmmakers, documentaries (IMHO) if your goal is professional paid work.

If you've done any kind of advertising or soliciting for work, viable responses are always low. Craigslist is no different. You don't waste time on something that doesn't meet your standards and expectations.
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Old March 29th, 2011, 09:14 AM   #7
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Re: Having any luck with Mandy or Craigslist?

Hey Craig,

If I could ask, where do you advertise on Craigslist? I have never seen this section.

Thanks
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Old March 29th, 2011, 11:16 AM   #8
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Re: Having any luck with Mandy or Craigslist?

Services/Creative
Generally it's where a small business or serious person might look to hire. Since you can target your ad you can actually get decent response. Since people advertising there are looking for income, you're generally not going to get "can you shoot my film for free" responses to your ad.

Basically you should show that you specialize in something. A business or person really will feel most comfortable hiring you if they know you have a background in what they're looking for.

Examples of specialized ads might be:
Corporate training videos
Shooting Seminars
News Reporter Demo Reels
Cable spots for local businesses
Shooting performance (not music) videos
Weddings

An ad should cover ONE specialty. It should link to a demo specific to the speciality (have one for each that you do) to show the experience is tangible and what kind of quality they can expect. People are much more willing to pay a professional rate when they see that. They feel secure that your experience is genuine and you're not a kid with a camcorder making a claim they can't substantiate.

Keep in mind that businesses/people looking to hire may not be "experienced" clients so hand holding them through expectations and prices when you communicate really helps land the jobs. The budgets will generally be on the low side but that means short, not underpaid work. Sometimes you'll get half day jobs. Never accept less than that (It'll only take an hour). Explain setup and travel time preclude other work so you much charge a minimum. They're not being "cheap" in most cases, they're just inexperienced clients. They don't understand the setup involved and that's what separates you from "the kid with the camcorder." You setup the camera, test audio, possibly light, to ensure good ROI for them. When they ask Price respond ROI (Return on Investment) which is the real value and a term even newbie business folks get.

Like any advertising the number of inquiries that turn into paying work will be relatively small. Don't blame that on Craigslist. That's advertising. If you advertise daily you might pick up a job every week or two. If you have a proper professional rate, you can pick up hundreds of dollars for each half day job and obviously over $1000 for those that extend beyond that.

Don't forget happy clients may become repeat clients and also spread word of mouth to their compatriots who also aren't sure who to hire. That's another important reason to make sure you charge a professional (not undervalued) rate because the repeats and recommendations will expect to pay similar.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 11:15 AM   #9
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Re: Having any luck with Mandy or Craigslist?

Thanks for your reply Craig. I will have a look.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 12:35 PM   #10
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Re: Having any luck with Mandy or Craigslist?

I haven't tried the advertising side, just answering "help wanted" ads...

Apparently I have a new "must do, couldn't hurt"
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Old March 30th, 2011, 01:28 PM   #11
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Re: Having any luck with Mandy or Craigslist?

Yes.

Just did a corporate shoot today in DC via Craigslist. The client said he received over twenty responses in the 24 hours after posting. I'm sure he got many more after that.

I have also bought and sold via Craigslist.

Last edited by Christian Brown; March 30th, 2011 at 02:01 PM.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 11:33 PM   #12
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Re: Having any luck with Mandy or Craigslist?

I recently put a single ad on Craigslist after reading this thread and it has been nothing but spam everyday. People robo-offering SEO or Google ad help etc... Feels like a pebble in ocean.
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Old May 13th, 2011, 09:30 AM   #13
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Re: Having any luck with Mandy or Craigslist?

I've gotten some interesting work from advertising on CL in the past, including a gig with Blackberry at a Black Eyed Peas concert. Mostly, people seemed to find my ad through Google. But for the past year the return has been almost nil, if you rule out all the bozos with "it'll just take an hour" offers and cut-rate wedding gigs.

Now that I'm moving away from private events and small camera gigs to larger corporate and commercial clients, I keep an ad on CL only for form. I get much better results from other venues.

I'll still find the occasional quick cash gig on CL. But as Kevin said, it serves mostly as entertainment nowadays.


J.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 09:20 AM   #14
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Re: Having any luck with Mandy or Craigslist?

Craigslist is very sporadic for me. All my work from CL comes from answering ads looking for someone to do the work. Nothing ever came from ads I posted, so I stopped them.

Two of my best clients that gave me a lot of repeat business came from answering their CraigsList ads, and while shooting for one of them, I handed out a business card to a stranger who later booked me for eleven gigs for him. Now they were all quick, low paying jobs. But they were so quick, they were profitable even at that price point.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 02:07 PM   #15
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Re: Having any luck with Mandy or Craigslist?

I tried a google ad for a month and a half. My budget got maxed out almost every day from the number of clicks, but I got no business and not even a single inquiry from it.
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