The best place to find advice, analysis, and information on demo reel services Los Angeles, whether for actors, singers, dancers, journalists, or anyone else with an interest in promoting themselves.

5 Unconventional Ways to Find Videography Gigs

Video Editing Services

Finding new clients is one of the hardest parts of launching a videography business. I know from experience — for the first few years I lived in LA, I had a hard time making a living as a freelancer. I tried the usual routes — a website, college alumni groups, networking events. Nothing seemed to work. I’d send out my resume to ads on craigslist and …. never …. hear …. back.

It was a competitive market, and I just didn’t have the experience, skills, or equipment to stand out from the crowd. But then I came across some unconventional ways to find clients — and since then I’ve had a steady stream of videography and editing gigs.

This is in spite of the fact that I don’t have a “reel”. I don’t have a dedicated video production page on my website. I don’t spend too much time marketing my videography skills, or post many of my videos online. In fact, I’m trying to transition out of the field altogether!

Since moving to Portland, I’ve landed a handful of gigs, none of which I came across through the “conventional” job search process.

Here are a few of my favorite tricks:

1. TaskRabbit

If you’re not leveraging the “sharing” or “gig” economy to find work, you’re missing out on a bunch of clients. While your competitors are spending their time on craigslist, you can be tapping into a whole new marketplace. It’s true that TaskRabbit gigs may not pay as well as other outlets, but you can rest easy knowing that you will get paid: the site handles payments directly, so you don’t have to worry about following up on invoices.

I found dozens of production and editing gigs on TaskRabbit when I lived in LA, some of which turned into long-term clients who still send me work here in Portland. Plus, keeping a profile on TaskRabbit means that clients can find you directly. I was offered a gig out of the blue just last week, based solely on my TaskRabbit profile and reviews from previous customers.

2. Twitter

I’m an active Twitter user, and in many cases it’s been the perfect tool for reaching out to local businesses. Some businesses will Tweet job leads to their followers before placing a traditional ad, or may give preference to applications who reach out on social media.

After finding an ad for a small business that needed a videographer, I sent in my resume, and then quickly followed up on Twitter. It dramatically sped up the interview process, and within a few of days I was meeting up with the owners at a coffeeshop. I had the chance to shoot a few demo scenes and get to know the business owners before they started meeting other applications.

Camera Lens

3. Groups

If you’ve made any attempt to promote your business in person, then chances are you’ve already been to several Meetup events. But which events? If you’re only going to “freelancing” or “networking” meetups, then most likely you’re going to meet people just like you — unemployed, out-of-work, and potentially competing for the same clients.

Instead, go to events that interest you for other reasons. Maybe a food or drink related meetup, or a hiking group. You’ll get to meet people who aren’t entrenched in the same line of work as you, and without the added pressure that networking events can involve. Here in Portland, I signed on to shoot some videos for a relationship-based Meetup group looking to recruit new members. If you’re feeling ambitious, start your own event for a non-work-related hobby or activity.

4. Blogging and e-mail lists

I already mentioned that I don’t actively promote my videography work on my website. But I discuss my projects in e-books and blog posts — like this one. That lets people know that video production is one of my skills, even if it’s not my primary focus. And when people who read my blog for other reasons — say, they like my posts about Burning Man — need a video made, we already have shared interests and a prior connection.


I recently went to an event where a writer/blogger was looking for an intro video to her site. I told her that I did that kind of work, and gave her my business card. “Wait a minute,” she said. “I know you!” It turned out that she’d already come across my site and was familiar with some of my posts and e-books. Instead of being a random videographer she’d just met, she already had an idea of my business style and personality. If you can build up a reputation in some other field — via a blog or an e-mail list — you’ll make it that much easier for clients to find and connect with you.

5. A handwritten letter

Don’t forget snail mail! While it’s great to reach out to businesses via the latest platforms, it can be just as effective to connect the old-fashioned way. When I heard that Airbnb had opened a new office in Portland, I Googled their address and sent them a letter, letting them know that I’d been active user of their site and would love to work with them. A few days later, I got an e-mail inviting me an employee picnic to interview some of the local crew and cut together a short video. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get to meet the CEO!

If you’re looking for work — in any field! — don’t pass up your chance to get in touch or follow up in unconventional ways . If you sit and wait, you might get overlooked. But if you stay engaged on Twitter or other social media platforms, your chances of an interview will increase. Make it clear that if they don’t hire you soon, someone else will!


How about you? Have you ever reached out to clients in an unconventional way? Let us know if these ideas work for you! For more tips, check out Saul’s e-book The Lateral Freelancer, available for $2.99 on Amazon. Or follow him at @saulofhearts.

LA Advice: A Different Path to Success In the City of Angels

Here’s The First Thing You Should Do When You Move to LA


Whether you’re a college grad moving out to LA for the first time, or an acting veteran looking to break into a new corner of the industry, you’re going to receive a lot of conflicting advice on how to get your foot in the door.

Maybe you’ll do what your college recommends and get an unpaid internship. Maybe you’ll sign up for a highly-rated acting class with a world-renowned teacher. Maybe you’ll pull all of your friends together and max out your credit cards on an independent web series.

Those ideas have worked for some people, and maybe they’ll work for you. But if you really want to guarantee yourself an ongoing chance at success — not just a one-time gamble — here’s the first thing you should do: Start a business.

Why a business? Why not just a “project”?

When I moved out to LA in 2008, I was a naive film school grad with no idea how to make a living in the industry. My college had taught me how to load a camera and cut film on an old-fashioned editing machine, but they hadn’t shown me how to apply those skills to make a living. In fact, many of those skills were already obsolete.

I sunk a lot of time and money into projects that I thought would bring me success at film festivals or on Youtube, and after my first year in LA, I was flat broke.

If I wasn’t going to get my big break, I thought, I could do the next best thing and become a freelancer. I had a camera and a copy of Final Cut Pro — how hard could it be?

What I didn’t realize was that making a living wasn’t as simple as having the required skills and equipment. There was a whole business side of things — marketing, invoicing, even just getting a website together — that I hadn’t considered.

Five years later, I’ve turned my freelancing career into a business -- complete with an online mailing list and e-books for sale -- and every day I kick myself for not starting sooner.

Save yourself the trouble, and brush up on these skills before you get to LA. Bring a copy of The Personal MBA or The Lateral Freelancer on your cross-country road-trip or your flight to LAX.

But I’m a creative person, not a businessman!

Starting a business doesn’t mean that you’ll be putting aside your creative life — it means you’ll have more opportunities to invest in it. Instead of working a low-paying day job, or a full-time position on somebody else’s project, take control of your time and finances.

Many big-name actors and filmmakers are also businessmen, from Ashton Kutcher, who’s become a savvy tech investor, to Francis Ford Coppola, who owns a winery in Napa Valley. If you’re serious about building your acting or film career, you’ll want to be just as serious about developing an income stream to help fund it.

A few years ago, Darwin embarked on a feature-length project that took over a year to shoot. Without any investors or a side business to depend on, he had to rely on his day job — or rather, night job — to pay his actors and for other expenses.

He would spend weekday afternoons in pre-production, head off to his editing gig until midnight, and shoot two or three scenes every weekend. Imagine how much easier it would have been if he’d had a side-business to help cover those expenses!

With First Class Reels, he has exactly that: a business that allows him to hone his skills, connect with other creative folk, and even act as a launching pad for a new project.

Your small business doesn’t have to require a big up-front investment or time commitment. Check out The $100 Startup for some low-cost business ideas, or The Four-Hour Workweek for ways to cut down on the amount of time you spend running your business.

What kind of business? It doesn’t matter.

Whenever my one of my friends tell me that they want to make a documentary or shoot a short film, I always ask them how they’re going to fund it. Grants, they might say. Or Kickstarter.

Why not tie it into a business instead? If your goal is to write and direct horror films, for example, consider starting a horror podcast or subscription box service.

My friends at LootCrate started up a “geek and gamer” subscription box with very little up-front cost. They now have thousands of subscribers, and each month, they put out an original Youtube video related to that month’s theme.

A built-in fan base + steady revenue = creative freedom.

Capitalize on all of your skills

If your first business idea doesn’t take off, try something new. The more ideas you have on the table, the more chances you have of your business becoming a success.

Start a blog. Design T-shirts. Sell prints of your photos.  Run a Patreon campaign.

Over at AppSumo, Noah Kagan challenged himself to make $1,000 in 24-hours by starting a jerky delivery business. This Instagram photographer made over $15,000 in a single day selling prints to his followers. Dustin makes science videos for YouTube and earns $3,000 every time he puts up a new one. Your business can be as simple or complex as you want it to be.

Stop waiting for someone else to greenlight your project. Be proactive about building a revenue stream, and you'll never have to depend on industry insiders again.


How about you? Have you tried starting a small business or side-hustle? For more ideas, check out Saul’s e-book, The Lateral Freelancer, which contains dozens of resources for freelancers and entrepreneurs.