How to land your first paid gig…

So you have skill. You gotta have that.

It might’ve started as a hobby, but now you’re starting to wonder… can I really make this my life… can a make a living with my passion?

First of all… yes. Yes, you can.

A lot of just don’t know where to begin.

I, myself, spent a couple years making videos for people for free to get to a skill level that was just acceptable.

Fundamentally, you have to be good and skilled at your craft. But that's just half the battle.

To make your first sale you gotta be confident in your abilities and what value you can bring. Sometimes that takes time. It did for me. 

Looking back, here are some tips to land your first paid gig…

Define the kind of work you want to do.

When I first started I was doing only wedding videos on the side. 

Until recently, I decided to only do work with influencers and pro athletes

Look within your current network. Bring value.

If you’re still in school, connect with faculty / staff / other students that you can channel your work/services through. If you’re a photographer/videographer, help them promote their project.

Talk to your friends and family. Do they know someone who would benefit from your services?

I spent my first couple of years working only with friends and family for dirt cheap (free)... now they know if they're serious about some work they are going to have to pay what I'm worth.

Here's a rough template/outline you can use when reaching out....

Hey [INSERT NAME],

I saw that you were working on ________. Your recent post about ______ really stood out to me and I want to help.

I'm currently building my portfolio for [insert services] and wondering if you'd be interested in working together on your upcoming project.

Interested?

Gather testimonials

As you start doing a great job for your internal network, ask them to give you a testimonial.

Here's an article about the getting testimonials.

If you helped them reach a goal and dedicated your time/effort/production, they will have no problem giving you props.

Use those testimonials to promote your services and add social proof. Create a testimonials page on your website to add credibility about the work you do.

Study the market...

 How are your competitors pricing their services?
Why can they charge that much?
What do you need to do in order to get beyond that level?

Collaborate with your “competitors”…
In my eyes everyone wins when you take care of each other.
Build relationships with other people in your field and work together.

It’s an abundant world.
There’s enough work for everyone.

One of the best ways to learn about the industry is to work under someone who has loads of experience. Don’t let your ego prevent you from asking for help… it could save you years of mistakes.

The bottomline… 

  • Things take time. 
  • You gotta be great at would you do. 
  • Define the clients you want to serve.
  • Look within your network and bring value to those people (underpromise... overdeliver)
  • You gotta care for your clients (even if it’s for free, because you never know where it’ll lead you) 
  • Gather testimonials and success stories to promote your services
  • Learn what others are charging and reverse engineer why they are able to charge that price.

Alright, that's it for today!

Keep grindin' and growin'
Michael