Every wedding and video shoot has its own unique challenges and forces us to learn and re-adapt. Today’s post and lesson, BE OPEN TO NEW GIGS!
It's not just weddings for Best Made Videos, that's too seasonal of a business. In an attempt to prevent my business from feeling like "feast or famine" between the summer months and the off-peak wedding season, I take on all sorts of video projects. Whether it's a kickstarter video for a gentleman looking to launch a new chain of fast food restaurants, or like today, I'm paid to shoot raw video of a real estate convention, you never really know where your next paycheck will come from.
This sort of approach opens yourself up to interesting challenges however, as you need to differentiate which projects will result in actual pay checks, and which ones are pure speculation. I've had conversations with my fiancé lately about a common trend I see with lots of film makers and other video producers lately, which is "shoot now, get paid later." I wrote the other day about using craigslist as a way to generate leads and although it's usually decent, it amazes me how many of these projects are "come along for the ride" endeavors. It might be a good idea in theory to get in with a little startup company or entertainer early in their growth and then ride that wave of momentum to a big paycheck. In my opinion however, I would say 99% of these projects fizzle out long before any monetary reward is gained. So although the gamble might pay off in huge rewards if you get set up with the next Macklemore, it's way to big of a risk/reward or time sink to make it a way to actually run your business day to day.
Most of the time now I tell new clients who have lofty ideas or goals, "I need to get paid now." I don't care if it's $50 or $500, but I need something in my pocket to keep the lights on and the batteries charged. I would rather take $200 now and know that I have something to put in my bank account, than keep my fingers crossed for $500 2 months from now. I may be missing a diamond in the rough, a big time act that I can ride to a nationwide tour. In my opinion however, these acts are too few and far between and the landscape is too murky to really put any real faith behind it.