1. Get the Word Out The business decides that you are going to work as a freelancer or once you decide, you have to become visible. Calling every TV station or production company in town if there’s work available, and asking will get you nowhere, except to annoy the person answering the telephone. They end up in the garbage. The simplest and easiest thing to do is media. Com (Media-Match is a pay site, the others have free standard listings) not only helps to give you a place to show your stuff, in addition, but it also validates you. Your profile on these websites holds more weight than a paper resume, you are given stars by it, so to speak. Plus it gets out your name on types in your name comes up and the internet in a searchable format-when someone hops on Google. 2. Being Paid-What Method? I know this seems weird to be number two, but before you take your first freelance gig you must decide how you are going to be compensated. You have to be flexible, if you get a freelance job in a TV station, then they will set you on the payroll as a worker. However, what if you get a gig writing a script for a non-profit? How will you be paid by them? The best thing to do would be to sit down with an accountant and discuss your choices. And an accountant can help you determine what purchases you may utilize as write-offs to your work. I cannot stress enough, that having your payment strategy set up a beforehand and speaking with an accountant, will save you from owing and despair thousands of cash. 3. Being Paid-How Much? And what about Cash Flow? This is the hot button topic around my workplace. So you think, well when I was editing for this TV station I used to be paid X amount, so that is how much I will ask for a freelancer. I wish it were that simple. Rates fluctuate but there are thresholds that line producers use. The best thing to do is to talk to others and ask, “What do you charge?” And be honest, if you’re in the process of getting your first freelance gig and the manufacturer asks, “what’s your day rate?” Cash flow is a huge problem with gigs or whenever you run a business. Don’t only accept gigs from corporations. Why? They are slow to pay. And this is not because they are trying to stiff you or play with the stock market with your corporations have a system of check and balances for payment to outside vendors. It may take 90 days in some cases to be paid. So you must pepper your gigs on jobs where you know you can get paid in 30 days or less. 4. Online job boards Online job boards like Craigslist.com, Production Hub, TV JOBS, and many more out there are an excellent way to find gigs. And they are also teeming with seekers of labor. I cannot count how many ads I have seen like the following: Seeking crew with their own equipment for a TV pilot, web series or Music Video that will be the thing. It’s been composed by the Hollywood individuals and has Hollywood stars/Director attached. Don’t miss out on this. Please send your resume, a link to an online reel and a total list of all of your equipment. There are valid gigs on Craiglist. Just, go after them. 5. Managing Clients Well if you are booked and it is going to happen, then you are booked. You really have to weigh your options if you are booked on a gig and you get a call for another gig on the day that is going to pay a bit more money to you or has networking opportunities. You truly have to think hard about canceling on somebody. How will it affect your relationship with that person or that company? This industry is very small, in the event, you don’t honor commitments and word spreads fast. 6. Insurance Do you have to get a manufacturing liability insurance policy? Not unless you are going to be creating the whole production, hiring the crew, renting gear, etc.. Then you are responsible for the creation and it is needed by you. You get on some locations without it or even can not pull the license. But if you are simply being hired to be on the production group the production company will be responsible. And adequate employees insurance if something happens to you should be carried by the production company. It’s a gray area, but volunteers shoots can be covered under employees insurance. Check this website for plugins and effects: FCPX