I was asked “do you folks keep a database of freelance Editor” by one of my Twitter followers. The simple answer is no. In today’s world there’s no need to keep a freelancer database. I don’t have time to maintain a database of freelancers, and then call up to ask availability, especially for people I haven’t worked with.
When fulfilling a role, my first port of call is to look through my contacts on my phone. I have tags for animator/camera/editor, so the people I’ve worked with before come up quickly. When they’re not available, I put an ad on a creative recruitment site. There are several, but Production Base is my favoured site. This is a little through habit, since I’ve used them for over 10 years. My experience is that they do have great people, and I get the best response to my ads. They could do with streamlining what I see as an employer logging in, I seem to have to click on each application several times to see more details, but hey. Here are my tips for getting more work from a freelancer database:
Freelancer Database Tips
Join an existing database that many companies use, like Production Base or Talent Manager
Keep your profile up to date
Make sure you have alerts to jobs so you know when a job becomes relevant
When applying for jobs, makes sure you can do that date. Nothing more annoying than an application that says “I can’t do those dates, but I’m available the week after”
When applying, use my covering letter advice
Be sure to point out any projects you’d done or showreel clips that are relevant to the job advertised
Keep draft responses on your phone, so you can reply quickly and accurately
Click here for more great tips for winning work
After I’ve worked with someone, I’ll add them to my address book, making sure I’ve included their job role and a few key words. That way when I want “cameraman” who can do “ob doc”, I can type these into my address book search and see the list of people I know I trust to do the job. To be honest, this is the extent of my freelancer database.
What’s the key lesson? Well, the old system of sending out CVs to be kept ‘on file’ is long gone. If you spend a day emailing your CV to twenty companies, that’s good for about 48 hrs. If they’ve not contacted you by then, I doubt they will. To win work with a new company, it requires polite persistence, and being available for work at the right time. You need to subscribe to one of the big recruitment sites, or you’ll miss countless jobs. Might seem an expensive subscription, but just one job will pay that back.