5 FREE Tools for Freelance Videographers
What you’ll learn quickly when starting a business, is that the product or service you’re offering is actually a very small part of the big picture. In order to grow successfully and sustainably, you need a good foundation. In this particular case; how you communicate with clients, keep track of agreements, and handle payments. This doesn’t have to be an expensive or confusing process! I’ve been freelancing for over 5 years, and have developed a system that is low cost, and highly effective in keeping a disorganized mess like myself- on track.
AS A SIDE! If you like this blog, be sure to check out “How I made $40,000 on a CHEAP Camera”, where I prove that you DON’T need expensive gear to be a pro ;)
FREE TOOL 1: Custom Submission Forms (the contact page on your website)
It sounds very basic, but I cannot express the importance of a contact page with a customized submission form on your website (YES, you definitely need a website, and NO facebook doesn’t count).
Before I customized my contact form, I got a lot of “hi, are you free and what do you cost?”. I’d have to email back asking “what date, and what do you…want?” It sounds stupid but I got SO MANY INITIAL EMAILS just like that, for projects that ended up being really lucrative, and really fun. It was just a rough beginning. But, there’s hope; customize that contact form.
It saves you time, AND allows you to handle the inquiry more professionally because you have all the info you need to discuss the project in your first reply back. It doesn’t have to be complicated BUT you’ll want to include cells like:
Name, company, tell us about your project, shoot date, budget, how did you hear about us? **that’s a great one for you to keep track of how people are actually finding you.
CASE STUDY (just a tidbit, really): See video above for screenshots My wedding contact form is even more elaborate. I’ve seen massive success in identifying the serious inquiries from the ones that weren’t going to be a good fit.
FREE TOOL #2- WaveApps for Invoicing & Estimates
AFTER a client has inquired and we’ve discussed the project in some capacity- I provide them with an official ESTIMATE or QUOTE. ENTER WAVE. My absolute FAVOURITE invoicing software. It’s actually a full accounting software, but I can admit when I’m just GARBAGE at something and give it to a more knowledgeable human- in this case, my accountant.
This system is easy to use and looks pro. If the client approves the estimate, all I have to do is convert to invoice, and it’s done. The invoice lives at an active link that the client can access anytime to see payment details- especially clients that pay in multiple installments. You can also accept credit card payments through WAVE with a reasonably low fee. I don’t use it often but it’s nice to be able to accommodate your clients if they ask.
FREE TOOL #3- Jot Form for Contracts
See video above for screen shots - GONE are the days of print, sign, scan, and in my case (losing my only copy of something). This is an amazing online contract system. You can create your own contracts from templates and just send it along. Your client just clicks the clause boxes, “signs” and sends it off. It automatically sends a PDF copy to your inbox and theirs.
FREE TOOLS FOR AWESOME PRODUCT DELIVERY - PHOTO & VIDEO
FREE TOOL #4- WeTransfer (free version)
Dropbox is lame. AND for whatever reason no one every knows how to use it. WeTransfer is how file transfer should be- SIMPLE. It also notifies you when the item has been sent, received, and downloaded, so you can keep tabs on the state of your draft reviews and deliveries.
FREE TOOL #5- PixieSet
Probably my FAVOURITE free tool of all- Pixieset; the most beautiful online photo gallery EVER. At this point in my business, I opt for the paid version. However, the free version held me over for a very long time. It’s a simple, professional way of delivering images to your clients, with lots of customization features. Definitely check this one out!
Be sure to check out the video above! It’s packed with lots of helpful screenshots and walk-thrus to help you get the most out of getting started on these free tools.
That’s a wrap ;)