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Author Topic: Freelancing Y/N? (sorta long!)  (Read 1705 times)

rvdsm

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Freelancing Y/N? (sorta long!)
« on: October 08, 2004, 05:34:50 pm »

I've got a question and I didn't know where else to post it since it really doesn't have anything to do with equipment, engineering, artists, sales, etc. I'm really looking for some sort of guidance and I guess this would be the best place to post my pleas.

I've been hanging around this forum for a couple of years and I always believed that I would start my own studio one day. As time goes on I really have been getting into the video side of the A/V coin. I currently shoot and edit commercials for local businesses in my area and make pretty decent money doing it, but I still yearn to record for a living.

Right now I make I make modest wages working for the man at this video gig. I could just as easily get some equipment of my own, start getting clients myself and make much more than I'm making now. I have to contend with the fact that as a freelance production company I don't have an outlet for the product I'm trying to sell. The company I work for sells production time and airtime, so they have a slight advantage. Not to mention I don't have to sell anything, I just do the production work. So here's one question and it's kind of a naive one; How much of your job consists of wearing the salesman hat?

In the business I'm in (at least in my neck of the woods) the client doesn't care about quality, hence they aren't going to pay you more because you're work blows away the other production outfits. Being a successful engineer or producer probably has just as much to do with making great records as it does with what records your name appears on. For the amount my company charges for production I couldn't compete financially. Acting as a freelance agent to mulitple network and cable providers I would have to not only sell my time, but their time as well. I think in the long run I would end up jumping through too many hoops for television companies and burning out. Not to mention I would definitely be doing way more sales work than I would production work. Which brings me to my next question: Do any of you who freelance your services take on a partner to handle the sales end? (agent, manager, etc.)

Probably the main reason I want to strike out on my own is due to my boss. He's a real pain in the ass because he doesn't know shit about advertising and A/V production, yet he forcefully directs all production. Occassionally I'll get to take the helm of production, but only after a long, unecessary battle. I would like to control production, but as long as I work at this company I will be slave to someone else's ideas. I probably wouldn't even care if my boss was calling the shots if it weren't for the fact that he doesn't know how to make a commercial. Credit for my best work is stripped from me by my boss, which he proudly wears as a badge of accomplishment. I'm just a nameless, faceless slug. I don't care about fame, I just want to know that my talent is not making someone who isn't me money. I'm sure that being freelance you have to bend to the will of the client and in audio the client has expectations that have to be met. Where I work the client is just happy to see themselves on tv. It's easy money, but there are a lot of if's.

Man I sure have typed a lot of stuff. I'm trying to find focus in my life. I don't want to work for someone else my whole life when I know I can do for myself and be happier. At the same time I'm paralized with the fear that I could fail miserable and lose the only job that allowed me to be even somewhat creative. My final question is simple: Is it worth it to go freelance?
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analog Tom

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Re: Freelancing Y/N? (sorta long!)
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2004, 06:51:32 pm »

Quote:

"I'm trying to find focus in my life."
 

I think that this is important.  You have both a lot of confusion and apparently some internal anger to work with.  

From the problems with a boss who doesn't know anything, to clients who don't care about quality, to solving problems by grabbing a piece of wood to knock that "bitch" down, you presnt a picture of someone who might have some difficulty getting clients to want to continue working with you.  

I'd address that quality-doesn't-matter idea, right off the top.  If you're going to be selling your services, you want to sell them as good services.  You want your clients to believe that they are choosing you because they have the taste and business sense to see that you will offer them something better.  Starting out by saying that quality doesn't matter to them is both insulting and counterproductive - it takes away the prime reason for getting them to hire you.  

That boss who doesn't know anything seems to know enough to make the money, and grab the credit for your good work. Apparently, he knows good work when he sees it.  

Why not figure out what you are good at, and market that?  Are you good at designing ads or directing the shoots, or editing them into the final product?  If you can design and/or direct, your overhead will be minimal.  But your schmooze time will go up, since a lot of that work involves networking and building relationships.  

If you're a good shooter or editor, you either have to have your own gear, or good relations with people who do have the gear.  

If you're really as good as you think, then get out and sell YOUR CURRENT BOSS'S company.  Start building your network and reputation by building a customer list which thinks of you as a key part of their success in working with HIS company.  Then, when you are ready to go out on your own, you have a book of customers to entice, who are already familiar with your work.  

this process might also help you develop a sense of respect for the customers who seem, right now, only to enjoy your distain.  

As well, having more customer contact would expose you to a better base of information about what recording needs there are actually in your "neck of the woods", and thus, a better idea of whether there is a market to support the kind of place you wish you could open.  

What do you mean by "go freelance"?  Is there work available for wnat you want to do?  Why isn't it coming into your current place of employment?  How can you change that (back to the idea of building your own networking and contacts)?  How your current boss take it if you brought in some of that business to him?  (How do you know?)  

Cordially,
Tom
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rvdsm

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Re: Freelancing Y/N? (sorta long!)
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2004, 01:15:18 am »

analog Tom wrote on Sat, 09 October 2004 17:51

Quote:

"I'm trying to find focus in my life."
 

I think that this is important.  You have both a lot of confusion and apparently some internal anger to work with.  

From the problems with a boss who doesn't know anything, to clients who don't care about quality, to solving problems by grabbing a piece of wood to knock that "bitch" down, you presnt a picture of someone who might have some difficulty getting clients to want to continue working with you.  

I'd address that quality-doesn't-matter idea, right off the top.  If you're going to be selling your services, you want to sell them as good services.  You want your clients to believe that they are choosing you because they have the taste and business sense to see that you will offer them something better.  Starting out by saying that quality doesn't matter to them is both insulting and counterproductive - it takes away the prime reason for getting them to hire you.  

That boss who doesn't know anything seems to know enough to make the money, and grab the credit for your good work. Apparently, he knows good work when he sees it.  

Why not figure out what you are good at, and market that?  Are you good at designing ads or directing the shoots, or editing them into the final product?  If you can design and/or direct, your overhead will be minimal.  But your schmooze time will go up, since a lot of that work involves networking and building relationships.  

If you're a good shooter or editor, you either have to have your own gear, or good relations with people who do have the gear.  

If you're really as good as you think, then get out and sell YOUR CURRENT BOSS'S company.  Start building your network and reputation by building a customer list which thinks of you as a key part of their success in working with HIS company.  Then, when you are ready to go out on your own, you have a book of customers to entice, who are already familiar with your work.  

this process might also help you develop a sense of respect for the customers who seem, right now, only to enjoy your distain.  

As well, having more customer contact would expose you to a better base of information about what recording needs there are actually in your "neck of the woods", and thus, a better idea of whether there is a market to support the kind of place you wish you could open.  

What do you mean by "go freelance"?  Is there work available for wnat you want to do?  Why isn't it coming into your current place of employment?  How can you change that (back to the idea of building your own networking and contacts)?  How your current boss take it if you brought in some of that business to him?  (How do you know?)  

Cordially,
Tom



While I appreciate your advice on how to become a better salesman, I don't appreciate your armchair analysis of my personality or sense of professionalism. Personally, I would have preferred if you had simply answered my questions. If you could not answer them, then do me the favor of not responding at all.

What I take from your post is that indeed being a salesman is  a very integral component to operating independently. However, all of your perceptions of this regions media needs, perceptions of quality, my company, my boss and myself are incorrect.

I don't tell clients that quality doesn't matter. In fact, I'm the only person at my company who believes quality matters and I am the only one at my company pushing to make better quality commercials. Quality matters to me as it should to the client, however I have seen time and time again that clients do not see a difference. Perhaps with my continued efforts there will one day be a change. By the same token if I am able to invoke this kind of change in the marketplace and it proves to be worth something, wouldn't it make more sense to pioneer this movement on my own so I can reap the bigger portion of the monetary rewards?

My boss is a salesman through and through. He makes money for the company by being a salesman, not being a judge of quality. This reflects back to the demands of the customers. I'm sure if their was a demand for a certain grade of quality, my boss would be the first one to start addressing it. Is there a raise in my future if the company turns more profit? Who knows. What I do know is that the salary I make and the quality of work I provide don't equal out. As long as I'm working for someone else they never will.

I assume you were joking about how I resolve my issues by beating people with sticks, however in an attempt to avoid future misinterpretation I will explain. My signature is the first verse of the song "Watch Me Kill" by G.G. Allin. If anyone wishes to further psychoanalyze me as to why I would choose that as my signature, then by all means continue. The results should be pretty funny.

Your post, as positive as you may believe it is, actually can be perceived as quite negative and derogatory. Expressing your assumptions about who I am and how I handle my business affairs has resulted in me rendering your post pretty much useless to me. Which goes back to one of my earlier points; If you don't have any answers to my questions, then don't respond at all.

I used the word "focus" inappropriately. I should have said I'm looking for the balls it's going to take to go out on my own and make my mark. I have focus and determination, at the same time I have made mistakes in my life for allowing that same focus and determination to blindside me by not assessing the situation properly.

Since I am not a salesman and never intend to be one, I am looking for alternatives. I'm trying to find out if there are other people out there who are doing for themselves, but like me are not salesmen. Is there anyone out there who made their freelance gig work without having to be a salesman themselves? If so, I'd like to hear your story. I'd like to hear what you have to say and how you made it work.

In closing (damn, another long post!), I'm not angry and I'm not upset with analog Tom for posting his diatribe. Sure he could have presented his idea in a much better fashion, but I'm not going to tell him how to live. I don't assume he meant any malice, I just find it hard to ingest advice from someone when they preface their ideas with unfounded assumption. I would still like to hear about peoples personal experiences with freelancing. I want to take a bold step toward change, but I need lots of information before I can make a decision. Thanks...
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analog Tom

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Re: Freelancing Y/N? (sorta long!)
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2004, 12:30:15 pm »

Quote:

"While I appreciate your advice on how to become a better salesman, I don't appreciate your armchair analysis of my personality or sense of professionalism. Personally, I would have preferred if you had simply answered my questions. If you could not answer them, then do me the favor of not responding at all.

What I take from your post is that indeed being a salesman is a very integral component to operating independently. However, all of your perceptions of this regions media needs, perceptions of quality, my company, my boss and myself are incorrect.

I don't tell clients that quality doesn't matter. In fact, I'm the only person at my company who believes quality matters and I am the only one at my company pushing to make better quality commercials. Quality matters to me as it should to the client, however I have seen time and time again that clients do not see a difference. Perhaps with my continued efforts there will one day be a change. By the same token if I am able to invoke this kind of change in the marketplace and it proves to be worth something, wouldn't it make more sense to pioneer this movement on my own so I can reap the bigger portion of the monetary rewards?

My boss is a salesman through and through. He makes money for the company by being a salesman, not being a judge of quality. This reflects back to the demands of the customers. I'm sure if their was a demand for a certain grade of quality, my boss would be the first one to start addressing it. Is there a raise in my future if the company turns more profit? Who knows. What I do know is that the salary I make and the quality of work I provide don't equal out. As long as I'm working for someone else they never will.

I assume you were joking about how I resolve my issues by beating people with sticks, however in an attempt to avoid future misinterpretation I will explain. My signature is the first verse of the song "Watch Me Kill" by G.G. Allin. If anyone wishes to further psychoanalyze me as to why I would choose that as my signature, then by all means continue. The results should be pretty funny."
 

If you actually have skills, and an interest in quality work, it's too bad that they risk getting overshadowed by that big chip on your shoulder.  

Rather than ranting at me for what I didn't say, you might spend some time going back over what I DID say.  

You don't want to be a salesman, but you want the income that successful sales provide.  Reconcile that.  

As to analyzing you, you have posted a variety of things on the boards, not just your signature line.  The variety of material does have a consistency in tone which helps understand your mind set.  Reality bites sometime.

Cordially,
Tom
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rvdsm

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Re: Freelancing Y/N? (sorta long!)
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2004, 03:28:59 pm »

Analog Tom, I'm not going to engage you in a debate on how you perceive me. I've been very cordial up to this point with you and frankly do not understand why you have chosen to get hostile. Did I do something to offend you? If so, I apologize. Like I've said before in other posts, I'm not here to make enemies.
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djui5

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Re: Freelancing Y/N? (sorta long!)
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2004, 12:46:19 pm »

rvdsm wrote on Fri, 08 October 2004 15:34

I've got a question and I didn't know where else to post it since it really doesn't have anything to do with equipment, engineering, artists, sales, etc. I'm really looking for some sort of guidance and I guess this would be the best place to post my pleas.

I've been hanging around this forum for a couple of years and I always believed that I would start my own studio one day. As time goes on I really have been getting into the video side of the A/V coin. I currently shoot and edit commercials for local businesses in my area and make pretty decent money doing it, but I still yearn to record for a living.

My final question is simple: Is it worth it to go freelance?


Quote:


I think that this is important. You have both a lot of confusion and apparently some internal anger to work with.

From the problems with a boss who doesn't know anything, to clients who don't care about quality, to solving problems by grabbing a piece of wood to knock that "bitch" down, you presnt a picture of someone who might have some difficulty getting clients to want to continue working with you.

I'd address that quality-doesn't-matter idea, right off the top. If you're going to be selling your services, you want to sell them as good services. You want your clients to believe that they are choosing you because they have the taste and business sense to see that you will offer them something better. Starting out by saying that quality doesn't matter to them is both insulting and counterproductive - it takes away the prime reason for getting them to hire you.



Quote:


While I appreciate your advice on how to become a better salesman, I don't appreciate your armchair analysis of my personality or sense of professionalism. Personally, I would have preferred if you had simply answered my questions. If you could not answer them, then do me the favor of not responding at all.

What I take from your post is that indeed being a salesman is a very integral component to operating independently. However, all of your perceptions of this regions media needs, perceptions of quality, my company, my boss and myself are incorrect.



Quote:



If you actually have skills, and an interest in quality work, it's too bad that they risk getting overshadowed by that big chip on your shoulder.

Rather than ranting at me for what I didn't say, you might spend some time going back over what I DID say.

You don't want to be a salesman, but you want the income that successful sales provide. Reconcile that.


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