3 Epic Ways To Get More Color Grading Projects
Earning More Color Grading Work Is Simple – If You Work Hard Enough!
If you’re anything like me, there really are times during your leisure time or on the weekend when you become a little sluggish and begin to wonder:
‘How can I get more color grading work?’
The reality is, you shouldn’t wait till you’re slow to begin thinking that! That being said, when things slow down, it’s a great moment to put on a hard press in order to obtain new work.
Here’s the thing: in order to acquire more employment, you have to work for it! I know a number of folks in post-production who believe that work will fall from the sky and drop in their palm!
That could happen if you’re super fortunate, but to my knowledge, the amount of new work you get is directly proportional to the amount of effort you put in to try to get it!
Some of you may work in larger locations with dedicated sales personnel. But what if you’re a one-person operation or a freelancer colorist? Is it possible to generate more work without spending a lot of money?
Out-of-the-box, non-conventional sales thinking, in my opinion, maybe as effective as, if not more effective than, traditional sales. In this article, I’d like to come up with some ideas that have lately worked for me, and I hope you’ll use or alter them to get more color grading projects as well.
1. Engage On Social Media
Some see it as a nuisance, while others see it as a novel way of communicating. Whatever your point of view, social media is a crucial tool for not just increasing personal exposure, but also communicating directly with potential clients and sharing information about your job requirements.
The colorist community on Twitter, Facebook, and even Instagram is vibrant and thriving, which is fantastic for obtaining technical answers and seeing other people’s work. But, just like at a coffee break, I’ve realized and found that social media is a wonderful place to engage with DPs, editors, producers, and directors in all kinds of interesting conversations though things can get a little heated! with different opinions coming through.
Social media isn’t just for personal marketing; it’s also helpful for color grading businesses trying to:
- Sharing Work From Recent Projects. Showing potential clients all of your cool work is a good approach to show off your skills and generate publicity about you and your company. While you may not always be able to share images, videos, or even links, noting that you are “working on a fascinating new project with XYZ client might have the same effect.
- Research and development – Social media isn’t just for making statements; it can also be used to ask questions and do research. Asking about cameras, technology developments (such as HDR and Dolby Vision), workflows, and then delivering solutions based on what you learn is an excellent approach for a business to leverage social media.
- Advertise Skill & Capabilities – I’m a huge believer in placing talent (rather than gear) first. Social media is an excellent tool for promoting not only the talent behind the buttons, but also the buttons themselves! Have a new Davinci Resolve Advanced Panel? Tell everyone about it!
- Client Promotion – Do you know what your color grading clients like? When you tell someone how wonderful they are. I frequently try to promote the other work of folks with whom I’ve collaborated.
- Shape the Company Image — On social media, image is essential, and a little may go a long way. Sharing cool pictures or inspirational films sends one message, while connecting to technical white papers and gear gives another, and sharing cheeky comedy sends yet another. It is entirely up to you which image you present.
Just keep in mind that there is a delicate balance to be found with social media, both personally and professionally. Over-posting can make you appear obnoxious, and not leveraging social media to its maximum potential can also be unproductive. Additionally, draw some boundaries or divides in your use of social media.
Some people use Facebook solely for personal and family matters, while others use Twitter for commercial purposes or vice versa. There is also nothing wrong with having numerous accounts on any or all social media platforms — one for business and one for personal use. Finally, while staying on top of social media may appear to be a full-time job (it isn’t), be wary of automating social media posts or employing a corporation to promote you.
The greatest way to use social media is to be genuine and truthful. Social media marketing is something I’m constantly working to better, but in the last year, with more attention and keeping to a strategy, I’ve acquired 10-12 color grading projects, just from relationships and discussions on social media.
Another thing that most colorists lack when it comes to gaining clients and color grading work through social media is a owning website.
You could have the best color grading studio and top talent in the world, but none of that matters unless someone knows what you do or where to reach you.
SEO, or search engine optimization, may appear difficult, but it does not have to be. All of our posts, pages, and other content on FilmmakingTheory.com are powered by a fantastic WordPress plugin called Rank Math SEO for better Google rankings and reach.
This simple application makes it easy to keyword posts and pages, generate custom page descriptions for search engines, and examine search engine statistics. Of course, almost every hosting service and CMS platform (Joomla, SquareSpace, and so on) provide SEO tools – you simply have to use them!
There is a wealth of information available on SEO best practices, but a little goes a long way. The goal should be to raise awareness of who you are and what you do.
Aside from basic SEO, you can invest some money in these efforts to boost your search results, click-throughs, and engagements.
Google Ads is most likely the most effective approach to market yourself and your business. In essence, you can purchase keywords and construct ads that are related to a search. Assume you live in Chicago, for example. You may purchase the keywords Chicago, colorist, and DaVinci Resolve.
Each term is given a value based on its frequency in search results. The cost of keyword Chicago will be much more than colorist. The trick with Google Ads is to find the correct blend of targeted words and a budget. It takes some trial and error, but start small and you’ll notice improvements in a matter of weeks.
We increased our Google Ads budget and changed the keywords we were using, for our color grading portfolio website, and as a consequence of simple Google searches and ensuing calls, we received 4-5 new jobs!
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2. Make Yourself a Community Expert
Have you ever attended a user group meeting or an event hosted by an industry association?
Everyone will tell you that networking at these gatherings is essential and that you should go at least once, twice, or once a month. While I’m not disparaging nice networking chances, in my experience, simply attending these events isn’t a fantastic (or efficient) method to get new work.
Consider this. Why do individuals go to these gatherings?
They’re probably there because they’ve been told (as we all have) that these types of events are a fantastic way to network, but they’re also there to see a speech because the topic of the event is fascinating to them and they’re searching for guidance.
So why don’t you take the lead and give some presentations?
User groups and organization events are always searching for presenters, especially those focusing on craft. Admittedly, these are typically no-pay or low-pay circumstances, but in my experience, giving presentations gives a number of sales-related benefits:
- Increases personal and company brand awareness – Simply stepping up in front of others offers you greater visibility, but having the “courage” to present (particularly if you do it effectively) begins to build your reputation as a professional colorist, and the more you present, the more you develop that reputation.
- Allows you to demonstrate your creative abilities — Button-pushing demos are common at user groups, and most speakers from significant corporations in the field are there to sell people something. Making a presentation about creativity and your color grading techniques can help you stand out from the crowd, and user groups adore innovative presentations!
- Makes visual your technical abilities – Much of what we do as colorists and finishers is really technical. The ability to take highly complex topics, such as ACES or calibration, and explain them in straightforward and simple ways increases trust in you as an individual and your company’s services.
- Allows you to stay up to date on trends and client concerns — Presenting and answering questions from the audience offers you a good notion of the difficulties that potential clients face in the real world. Consider a presentation to be market research that provides you with prospective solutions to difficulties your clients may be experiencing.
When these elements are combined, you have formidable sales tools — expertise and trust.
I would estimate that I acquired 20-25 jobs per year through presentations on average.
Our post-production company has used this strategy to land new work in our individual grading jobs, but I appreciate that public speaking and the courage to do so are not for everyone.
Having said that, practically every colorist, editor, and producer I know is capable of presenting in front of an audience — we do it every day with customers and coworkers! It only takes a little planning and practice to become an excellent presenter. Don’t be afraid to give it a shot!
3. Meet, Greet, and Party
My college experience and friends have taught me that people like to get together, have a few drinks, and simply talk.
The issue I have with more official networking events – open houses, education days, and so on – is that there is pressure from all sides to network, sell, and go away feeling like you have measurable proof that you’ve been successful in networking in some way.
Monthly parties and events are something that we’ve started doing at my post-production studio.
We send out invites or emails to publicize the fun activities, but they’ve gotten so regular that we don’t need to do so anymore. Every month, we have approximately 30-40 individuals come over there are familiar faces, but about 40% are new each time.
The majority of these visitors are industry professionals and friends from around city, but we also have visitors who are friends of friends and have an indirect connection to the job we do — entertainment lawyers, musicians, and so on.
We normally supply some beverages and munchies, but we also ask folks to bring whatever they like. So, how exactly do these joyful hours convert into more work?
- At practically every event, someone on our team ends up demonstrating some cool method or workflow. Furthermore, demonstrating your capabilities to potential clients without the pressure of a paid session generates, you guessed it, trust in your/the color grading facility’s capabilities.
- Creative conversations – The looks of new movies and commercials were just a few of the topics covered during our most recent event. Allowing potential clients to observe your creative process can be a very effective sales strategy. More importantly, when a potential customer realizes how you might approach their job creatively, it helps them create confidence in what you do.
If you are not a party animal or a drinker, you can apply this concept to another social occasion. I’d guess that in the last year, we’ve secured 8-10 huge jobs as a result of contacts struck at these gatherings.
In my opinion, generating new business, particularly in our color grading industry, requires thinking outside the box. While standard cold call sales have their place, non-traditional, more nuanced tactics have proven to be equally or more productive for me.