Josep Hernandez is an video maker from Barcelona, Spain.
- Hi Josep, tell me who you are and what do you do as a freelancer?
I’m a 28 years old Barcelona’s guy. And I work as a video maker, that means I shoot and edit all kind of videos, lately I’m doing more director of photography stuff in order to be more focused with what I love, the light.
- How long have you been working as a freelancer now?
I’ve been freelance for about seven years.
- Why did you decide to become a freelancer? Did you think about it for a long time or did your decision come suddenly?
In my case is absolutely a matter of the job market, in this field (the video area) is very rare to find a unique job where you can work during a ‘normal’ schedule and earn enough to live. The main job opportunities are by projects of months, weeks or even days (the most common are these ones). So in somehow, the market makes you enter to the freelancing world.
Although, I like this way of working for different reasons: in theory you are more free to choose your schedule, the kind of projects you want to do, and you are independent of a company of big boss, what make you rule your path in somehow. But not always is like this, because sometimes to be competitive you have to take job you wouldn’t or have crazy schedules which any company would force you to do. Even that, you do feel freer anyway.
- What is your competitive advantage, which makes your clients hire you?
I think I’m resolutive and I can do different kind of roles, which makes me more complete as candidate. After seven years in the field, I’m kind of getting my own style in my productions that could makes the difference as well. Also, I think they are happy with the past works so that’s why they call me again.
- Who are your competitors? What do they have that you don’t?
The big ones have more experience, more equipment and better contacts. That’s the clue in this field, the contacts.
- Are there a lot of freelancers in your business?
Almost everyone, some of them maybe just work for a production company, but most of them are freelancers who works for more than one client.
- What do your clients expect from you?
A good finished project that satisfy their expectations about quality, audio-visual rhythm and it would be useful for their purposes.
- Who are your typical clients?
Production companies, and other field companies which needs a video to show their services, sell a product or resume an event. Such as music festivals, bands, industry companies, automotive companies, etc.
- How has your business changed over time?
The biggest change in the last 15 years is that the competition has multiplied so much, since is easier to everyone to make a video. So maybe it’s more difficult to stand out between the see of video makers. But the important thing is to have good quality projects and get good contacts in order to be their most reliable option to bring their projects to the reality.
- How did you gain your first customers?
The first company for what I worked was a production company that one of the partners know me as worker before, so they hire me for several projects, actually they still call me sometimes. The rest of the customers has appeared from random different reasons: more contacts, linked in, Facebook, seen my work, etc.
- John Wanamaker said: Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I do not know which half. Do you gain your clients by advertising or in another way?
No, this is not the way I would get customers. But is good to be your own marketing department, having a site to upload your works, showing your best works on social networks, keep in touch with -and show works as well to- potential customers or people could recommend you to someone who could became your next customer.
- Do you hire outsourcing service providers for services, which you believe are a waste of your time?
No I don’t. At least not yet.
- How does your typical working day look like? What do you do when you are not working? How many hours/days per week are you working?
I normally go to the office, or work from home. And combine that with shooting days, where the schedule and location could be several different. Normally my working days are from Monday to Friday eight hours per day, but it’s true usually it gets ten or twelve hours, I bring stuff to do to home, and some weekends you end working sometimes. But I still try to fit the work their hours, in order to valuate more my own time and enjoy the free time.
- Which books do you recommend to freelancers?
Not know so much about the freelancing theory field.
- What is your current inspiration that drives you in the business?
Get bigger projects, and be recognized as a good option to choose for the biggest production companies.
- What would you do differently if you would start again?
I would try to study abroad, maybe in the US.
- What would you advise someone who has an idea, but no money?
Make a dossier or paper project of it and go to find people who has the money to persuade them to invest.
- What was the best business advice you received?
Don’t think about what big project you want to do, think about the next step you should do to reach it. (very typical advice but it’s true, sometimes we overwhelm ourselves trying to do everything, and we should focus in the small things to get what we want).
- Top 3 mobile apps on your smartphone?
Sun survey (a sun path app), Clock, Instagram.
- What do you do in your free time?
Cycling through the city, as a transfer and as a hobby. Watch movies. And sometimes work…
- Your last vacation?
Last summer, in Portugal travelling around.
- Business plans for the future?
Grow up as professional, improving and looking for better opportunities.
- Your plans for the future?
Have a home, car, dog, wife and children. No. Better, an interesting and comfortable job situation and I leave everything else to chance.