Are you a full-time broadcast professional waiting for the perfect moment to strike out on your own?
Here’s an email I received recently from a pro looking to make a permanent move as soon as possible.
I’m a television professional with over 20 years in local and network TV. I’m coming up on one of those forks in the road that we all face 2 or 3 times in life and I’m considering seriously leaving TV and spending 100% of my time building my corporate video production business. I’ve made decent money for many years now, helping make share holders rich… but I think it’s time my hard work made me rich. Problem is I’m a video production guy. I know video. But building business relationships and marketing myself in the right directions is something very new. And to be honest, intimidating.
Believe it or not, this person is probably in the best position possible to start his own video production business. Here’s why and how:
If you’ve been in the broadcast industry for any length of time, you know a lot of people in and around the business. Plus, you’ve probably freelanced for other businesses or have friends/colleagues who have. If you are looking to strike out on your own, how can you leverage these contacts? How can you immediately turn these relationships into cash for your new video production business?
Here are some suggestions on what you can do before stepping out on your own:
1. Look in to your employer’s freelance policy.
If they allow you to freelance, start making plans to look for extra video production work on the side. This will enable you to make extra money that can be invested in your video business or saved so you’ll have access to cash after you quit your full time job.
Another benefit to working as a freelancer now is that you’ll make valuable contacts that will result in additional work down the road. This point here is to get as many freelance clients as possible on your list before quitting your full-time job. The more clients you have, the easier it will be to transition from your job to running your own video production business.
2. Assuming your employer allows freelancing, talk to as many people as possible about the video production services you provide on the side as ask them to send any video work they hear about your way.
I’m sure you’ve experienced on many occasions people asking if you can do a video project for them just because they know you work in the industry. When asked these questions, you probably either tell them that you can’t help them or you refer them to a friend or colleague that you know of who can help them.
Your goal should be to make sure every contact you have in the industry knows you provide these video production services on the side and that you’d appreciate their referrals. You can even offer commissions for paying work that they send to you.
3. Once you get a steady stream of freelance work and video projects that are referred to you from friends and colleagues, it will be time to see if there are any possibilities to contract with your current employer.
You must be ready to strike out on your own before having this conversation with your boss. In many cases, telling your employer what your plans are won’t result in any work for your new video production business.
However, I’ve known several people who have been able to secure lucrative short-term contracts with their previous employers because the employer still needed or wanted their services.
Remember these 3 steps to striking out on your own:
1. Pursue freelance work that will help you make extra money and develop numerous client relationships.
2. Tell all of your friends and colleagues in the business that you are offering video production services on the side and that you’d appreciate any/all referrals.
3. When you are ready to go full-time with your video business, talk with your boss about your plans and indicate your interest in contracting with them on a part-time or short-term basis.
Kris Simmons is a successful video business entrepreneur and coach whose purpose is to help videographers around the world learn how to grow, manage and sustain highly profitable video production companies. To date, thousands of videographers internationally have taken advantage of the business-building resources found at http://www.mindyourvideobusiness.com.