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Creative Futures: Follow Films, small business, big passion, With Graham Cooper & Hollie Harmsworth

Creative Futures: Follow Films, small business, big passion, With Graham Cooper & Hollie Harmsworth

By Kyle Sutherland, egwyl editor.

One of the best parts of Creative Futures week is definitely the variety, from web design to graphic novels and fine art, all for us to enjoy and pick the brains of working professionals. So today we were treated to a guest lecture from two Glyndwr graduates, Graham Cooper and Hollie Harmsworth discussing what it’s like to run their own video production company Follow Films and to give some tips for prospective freelancers summarised here.

First off is establishing your companies identity, how you present your company, its name and its image is directly linked to what kind of clients you attract. Promote a corporate image and you attract corporate clients, Graham and Hollie advise to promote an image attracted the kind of work you want to get and never present yourself as something you’re not. In fact they changed their own company’s name a year ago as they felt it would better reflect who they are.

Next is building and maintaining positive relationships with your clients, learn about them and show a genuine interest in what you client does and what they are passionate about, not only does this help to secure further work with them but also increases the chance that they will recommend your company to others.

Marketing is a massive consideration, Follow Films relies to a large extent on word of mouth between clients and of course as we should all know social media is a brilliant marketing tool.

Be wary of placing too much faith in Facebook though, it’s a good way to reach a lot of people, but not always the ones you want, Graham and Hollie see better results through Twitter. Also remember that social media for a company is a full time job in and of itself, you need to have regular posts as this shows prospective clients that you’re busy and if you’re busy you must be good.

Graham and Hollie work from home due to the costs of an office, but if you’re going to do this you need to work hard to maintain your motivation. Making sure that you’re up early and matching working hours with your clients, you don’t want to be emailing them late at night or on weekends and should use days with no scheduled work to focus on marketing.

Don’t work for free, as clients get much more out of this than you do and by the time you get to this point you should already have a portfolio of work, not be trying to build one after graduating.

Know your worth and work on an hourly rate, then adding your expenses on top, it’s good to quote at top rate and then negotiate if possible, and never be afraid to say no to a job if the terms aren’t right.

This is a hard industry to work in, especially as a freelancer, the important thing is to be patient and as Graham and Hollie say “don’t be disheartened if it doesn’t happen in the first 5 minutes”.

Followfilms.co.uk

@followfilmsuk

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