Hey everybody my name is Kristen and I am the founder and lead editor at Kosmos Post. I provide video editing for iconic influencers and industry titans. I've been doing this for about five and a half years and at this point the business is making over six figures a year. So just about five years– to six figures. So I graduated from college with a Political Science degree in 2009, which was a difficult time to graduate and try to find a career because not a lot of people were hiring.
I remember talking to one of my friends who was pursuing a career in web design and finding some success there and thinking, you know, I could do that. I taught myself how to build websites and I said, you know let's do this. But I found that web design actually wasn't for me and I did learn a lot about what my client strategy would be moving forward.
As a freelancer, or a sole proprietor, or a business with just one person at this point, make sure that you don't burn out. Make sure that you're working for people that you love to work with. I absolutely work with the best clients in the world. For me, that fuels my ability to do the work.
I wasn't always at this point. I've worked for people who didn't pay me, I've worked for people who didn't respect me it's not always going to be, pretty when you're starting out but as you persevere through those things and find the next opportunity that's better for you, eventually you're going to find yourself with a pocket full of people who are your preferred exact client that you have always dreamed of working for. So persevere, hang in there, and always treat people like you want to be treated.
In order to have the proper amount of motivation to get this hard work done, there has to be a certain amount of desperation baked in. I was a mom with two kids at home and a husband that was working 10 hour days and if you're a mom with little kids, trying to do it basically by yourself, you know how hard that is. I needed something outside of the house to strive for to make me feel like a complete person and to change the situation we were in. We were in a desperate situation, we were in a desperate place. When I was starting my business and even to this day, the support that I have is from my husband who works a full-time job, he provides our insurance, so as a freelancer that's going to be important is that you have a source of insurance and a sense of financial stability. if you don't have a way to consistently pay your bills, cover that first before you try to set out on your own and build something new, because it's going to take some time.
Relationships outside of your households, with people in your field, people that you can associate yourself with and get to know and learn from, those are actually very valuable in building your career, as well. If you can work with somebody or collab with somebody or learn from somebody in one of their classes or have a mentor, if your clients come to you with a question then you can say, hey I don't know the answer to that but I know somebody who would, let me ask them and get back to you. That's just as valuable to them as if they were working with this person that you admire.
A good way to start meeting people is through podcasting. When I started my podcast everybody was like, how does your podcast make money? My podcast didn't make any money at all but what it did is I met a ton of people that were very valuable to me, whose experience I learned from. One of the people that was really valuable to the the blossoming of my business was Kelsey with Premiere Gal and we started working together for her business after I had her on my podcast. Working with Kelsey was very eye-opening for me and I learned a ton working with her and it was an incredible experience.
Lift up your eyes and survey the field around you. Who's doing something in your fields that you admire? How can you connect with them? How can you maybe contribute to something that they're doing? How can you build your reputation in your professional field so that your clients can come to you and know that you are connected enough and knowledgeable enough to always have their back when they have questions?
Clients don't know everything but don't ever let yourself fall into the trap of looking down on your clients because first of all, your clients are paying you. A lot of people think well, I'm going to go into business as a freelancer, work for myself. That is absolutely, fundamentally, untrue. As a freelancer, as a business owner, you are not working for yourself. You are working for your clients. Freelancing is deciding to work, not for one boss but hopefully for many bosses. And trying to juggle all of those responsibilities and also make it feel for each of those clients that they are the only person in the world that matters.
All right video editors, here's the deal. The daily habits that I have every day I turn on my computer and I delete the trash bin. Every day you will delete your downloads folder and then delete your trash bin. Because when you get a bunch of clients, there’s going to be a lot of files and a lot of data and you have to know exactly where it is and dont keep anything that you dont need.
Capacity will always be an issue and you dont want to have to pay for capacity. Set up for yourself a file structure that you will use for every client video and each of your clients will have their own folder with the same file structure inside. Then in Premiere or whatever video editing software you are using, you will have that same file structure. You will always know where everything is, even when the project is completed and it's time to move something from your normal projects folder to the archive, your archive will look exactly the same. Your business will only grow as you have the capacity and professionalism to manage that business.
So next, after compulsively deleting my recycle bin, I always check my email and then I make my checklist for the things that I have to do that day in priority order. Every single day when you sit down at your desk, make your list. And give yourself little checkboxes, so you can check them off and feel like you accomplished something because when you get to a certain point the work might not have a natural ending, you might always feel like the jobs are pressing down on you and there’s more to do. So you want to be able to remind yourself that you are actually getting things done.
The next thing you’re going to do is start on your checklist, item number one and you’re going to clock in. Always track the times you are working for your clients because if you dont know how long your work takes you, you actually dont know how much you’re being paid. The finances are totally different if say, your client pays yousay your client pays you a hundred dollars to do Project A, which took you an hour to do versus if another client pays you a hundred dollars to do Project B, which took you three days. That hundred dollars has a different valuation and you need to be able to track that so that you can give your quotes responsibly.
You always need to preview your exported video before you send it off to clients. Check your video for spelling, if there’s graphics in it make sure that the audio is properly synced after the export. Above all else, communicate with your client. If they send you a new project, make sure you send them an email to let them know that you received it. As much as possible, do what you can to get your projects to your client on time or ahead of time. But sometimes you know, real life happens and sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. Communicate with your client along the way so that they’re not surprised. People understand that real life happens and it’s not the end of the world. So the thing that will burn you is if you dont communicate. So, always communicate with your clients.
Have a way to differentiate yourself from the competition. One way that you can do that is by investing in a piece of technology or a software, or something like that that most people either don’t know about or don’t have the money to be able to do that or just haven’t thought about doing it yet. Get something that makes your result a higher quality than everybody elses because when you provide a higher quality, you can command a higher price. And then market yourself to your ideal clients, we hear that all the time but really think about where you want your career to go, who you want to work for and put that in a tagline on all your social media that really quick, really compact, this is what I do, this is who I work for and then make that a reality.
Watch Kristen's full YouTube video here.
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