What Is The Best ROI For Freelance Video Production?
I remember being in my college apartment 2 years ago around January 2017, staring at a list of emails I’d sent to companies with zero responses and zero gigs locked in. That list was the result of two days of researching companies and drafting specific emails to appeal to their brand. And the outcome? Nothing.
Return on Investment (ROI) is a crucial factor for resource management. Maximizing your time, money, and resources is fundamental to growing your business. In order to grow your freelance business, you need to be maximizing your ROI — in anything from where you invest your money to where you invest your time. Here’s a few ways to best improve your ROI in the freelance video production business.
Surrounding yourself with likeminded people can be incredibly helpful for anyone in the industry. When these relationships develop, you’ll build a network of people who you can exchange gigs with. When a friend can’t do a gig or wants to hire someone, they might come to you. Then you can go and hire them on another gig.
I hand off anywhere from 30-50% of potential gigs because I may be booked or not able to do it. I also try to hire as many of my industry friends as possible when working on sets, even if it means cutting them a check from my rate. Karma and relationships are more important than money.
Ways to do this:
Instagram (hashtags, location filters, friend following etc)
Go to rental house events
Socialize with any crew if you’re working on events
Reach out to agencies, rental houses, etc. to work more
Find crew calls on any site/platform
Clients: Over-Delivering On Value
I’ve found that this one is hard to justify at times. It also stirs a response in the industry because it relates to our industry value of work. But the principle breaks down to this:
Over-deliver on the value of the video(s) in order to leverage the work and grow your business.
If you can bridge the gap between your current quality standard and the standard you want to set your work at, the result can help fast-track your business to that level. This will more than likely take investment on your end to get there. You might need to scrap profits or supplement your own money, but it’ll pay off with much more work. Ideally, if it’s the right type of client, they’ll also give you much more work in return.
Bottom line is: If you like the client, treat them right and they’ll return tenfold.
The biggest ROI is time because all these things like client relationships, skill, business knowledge, personal development take time to develop. I wish I knew this when I started — but funny enough, that also took me time to understand. But at the same time, working in “sprint-mode” pays off because it gives you an edge on the competitors who spend their weekends relaxing, spending time & money on trips/luxuries, and living above their means. Time is your biggest resource. Use it to your advantage to grow your business/reputation.
When it comes to money, a lot of people shutter and hide from it. Or spend it wildly when they finally have it. You need to take a different approach to achieve the best ROI on your finances. Face finances like a bull and charge at your situation. In order to grow out of it and rise above your financial hurdle, you need to take the time to understand financial literacy as a whole. Spend time day & night to learn the strategies to outsmart your money. Money is just a concept. Once you understand how to make it, the possibilities are limitless.
The time you spend learning financial literacy will pay enormous dividends in the decisions you make, risks you can take, and opportunities available to you in life.
Good Clients vs. Bad Clients (cut them off!!)
I hate to say it, but there’s a lot of bad clients in this industry. Bad clients are poisonous and will waste your time, stiff you on money, and exhaust you physically and emotionally — or even threaten to sue you at any given moment. They’re unpredictable and the best way to deal with them is to avoid them before the process starts.
Before starting a project: Identify the client’s situation, meet with them, and get a read on who they are and their goals. If they’re delusional or have way grandiose visions on a bootstrap budget, then they’ll be very high maintenance. Personal clients are often like this. You don’t want this weight on your shoulders. Understand that video production is a luxury business, not a survival business. Don’t take on clients who are in the Survival Stage of their business. Otherwise, they will push their failures and shortcomings on you. That’s the last thing you want.
Try to work with businesses who have reasonable goals in mind and a corporate structure backing them. This ideally allows for a personal “distancing” from the successes & failures in their business cycle. At the end of the day, this is a business exchange. It should never be life or death circumstances. Avoid spending your time and energy on these clients in order to dedicate your time on longterm growth.
I hope these tips help bring some clarity in how to improve your ROI in freelance video business. This is so far from a “cut-and-dry” business to work in, so understanding different strategies and improving ROI can be really helpful in longterm growth. Drop a comment below if this helps you or if you have any tips of your own.