Graham Allsopp is a video producer with 6 years’ experience, specialising in corporate videos, documentaries, case study videos and live events. Founder of Solar Flare Video Production, he is passionate about visual marketing.
In my first role as a freelancer, I was effectively working full time at the minimum wage, with none of the benefits an employee would receive.
Having applied successfully for a freelance role at a video production company, I began working full time for the client upon graduation. It was a low paid role (£6 an hour), but as a student seeking work I initially saw it as a foot in the door!
Within a short space of time, my responsibilities increased substantially, to the point where I was essentially running the business single-handedly. With outdated equipment limiting my work, I was overstrained and underpaid.
A year into the role, I sat down with my client to address the issue, informing him of my concerns. I requested that either my hours were reduced, or my rates were increased to reflect my workload.
Six months later, the situation hadn’t changed, so I informed the client that I was no longer prepared to work for the company. Leaving the role meant that I was effectively starting from scratch, with no portfolio to show and no other clients.
However, this was a vital first step in my journey to building my own video production business. Two years later, I now have a regular client base and my own team of freelancers.
My early experiences were tough, but they made me understand my worth and value my time. I am now confident dealing with clients, and negotiating on equal footing for new projects.
It also reinforced my beliefs that you should treat everyone fairly. The experience has made me a better boss; I pay my freelancers fair rates, show them respect, and settle their invoices on time.