How to Get More Clients as a Freelancer with a Video CV
At yesterday’s monthly KREW Meeting in The Hague, I met a photographer from Israel. It was his first time at one of our meetings (I organise them) and I ended up being in a mastermind group together with him and three others.
During our masterminds, entrepreneurs get a chance to pose a question about one of their current challenges. The photographer from Israel asked us the following question:
“I am trying to get more clients in The Netherlands, but don’t speak fluent English nor Dutch. When I send potential clients an offer via email, I believe they often don’t take me seriously due to the spelling errors I made. What would you advise me to do?”
Based on my own experiences, I advised him to consider making a video CV.
Why not a regular CV or portfolio? 🤔
When you’re trying to find new clients or collaborations as a freelancer, you need to be able to gain people’s trust somehow.
They need to trust that you’ll be able to do the job.
In other words: they need to believe you have the right skills. Not just in terms of what you get paid for, but also in terms of mindset, collaboration and communication.
Originally, this is what you put into a CV: all your skills, in written format, on a 2-page PDF. While it’s still very common to do that, nowadays your “CV” can also be your LinkedIn profile or a portfolio page on your website.
But it can be very hard to differentiate yourself this way.
For example, if you’re a photographer and you send your portfolio to a potential client with a bunch of nice photos, the potential client would probably think: “hm, nice photos”. Then they look at another portfolio of another photographer, and another one. And in most of them they think: “hm, nice photos”. Then they (hopefully) come back to your portfolio and think: “now why would I go with this person over the others?”.
In other words: you need to stand out beyond just your skills or your portfolio. Beyond just a written description of who you are and why you think this could be a great collaboration. You need to give people the idea that you have something others don’t. That you’re irreplaceable somehow.
One of my favourite ways to get that message across before I actually know someone other is through video.
The value of using video 🎥
When sending a video CV, you create the possibility to show more of yourself and emphasise certain aspects that your potential client or collaborator might’ve missed in a written format.
Plus, you’re likely one of the few to send such a video, which makes you stand out already, regardless of the actual content in it.
To give you an idea of what it could look like, here is my latest video CV:
As you can tell, it’s an unscripted, simple screen recording. Nothing special. I opened up a bunch of tabs on my laptop, launched QuickTime Player on my Mac and pressed ‘Record’. This was even my first take.
And you know what? That’s the point of a video CV. It should be fast to make, because you might need to update it every so often. When you finished a new that you want to showcase, for example. Or when you received an amazing review from a previous client.
Just make sure that your video CV is tailored to whomever you’re sending it to.
In my case, the video CV above is meant for agencies that create learning content or platforms for big clients. When I reach out to clients in need of an online course themselves, I share fewer details about my skills and focus more on how I can help them create the most amazing online course.
Whatever you do, do you 🙃
To me, video is a great way to create a more three-dimensional image of myself when comparing it to a more generic portfolio or written CV. It allows me to get personal from the start, which makes it easier to get to the next step: an actual discussion on how we can collaborate.
How you make your video CV, however, is totally up to you.
You can be creative.
Film yourself talking. Show your art. Give a tour of your house. Show a few short client testimonials of people you worked with. In case of the Israeli photographer: share why you being from Israel is actually a major benefit instead of a disadvantage.
Do whatever you feel is important to share with your potential clients.
Don’t fall into the trap of sending them a written email with an offer or your CV, just because that’s what everybody is used to. Have the guts to do something different and stand out in your own way.
You’ll see that it pays off.