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Promoting myself for freelance work

Sound Engineer

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Hi chaps,


I've been working as a sound engineer on and off for years now, but it has recently become my full time occupation. I am self-employed and provide my services on a freelance basis.


One of my new years resolutions is to promote myself further, but I'm having difficulties in working out what to say to potential clients in a covering letter.


I am generally pretty good with the written word usually have no problem with writing to potential employers, but I'm a bit stuck with how to sell myself as a freelancer!


Anyone got any tips for me, or have any general sample letters I could take a look at?


Many thanks!

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Its tricky- the only way I have found that works is to be good, keen and dependable on jobs and let word of mouth do the work.


If booking crew I would only trust people I know or were recommended by people I trust.

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It does seem that word of mouth is the best way to get work, and always presenting yourself as professionally as possible at all times, as you never know who's watching you work! (To that end - might be worth filling in a little more on your profile here?)

I always take the approach that I'm happy to do anything, give a brief description on types of work I have done, equipment I'm familiar with and qualifications and insurances I hold. Has done well for me so far...

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The general consensus seems to be that the people you work for and the quality of your work speak for themselves. Anybody can write a nice letter but not all of them can run sound at a busy gig, the latter is the only thing that your potential client is interested in. Note the use of the word 'client' - these people are your clients, not your employers... and must be treated accordingly!

One thing though worth remembering if you have been a casual sound engineer rather than a full time professional, is that you may not know half as much as you need to in order to be good. And too often, you only get one opportunity to prove yourself. The Dunning-Kruger Effect has been mentioned here before, as well as the old phrase "you don't know what you don't know". It's too easy to think you're a fully fledged sound engineer when you're not really aware just how much there is to know.


To these ends, it can be worth, whilst not appearing so attractive... considering your first post as an occupational sound engineer being a full time one. Being a full timer can be a great opportunity to learn in an environment where a lesser ability does not mean you get less work (where in freelancing it almost certainly will). Whilst the big sound hire companies only tend to employ bench techs and prep techs (predominantly warehouse based), a lot of the big event hire companies do hire people in on-site technical roles, plus of course there are always venue roles, cruise ships, etc. The jobs board on this forum is IMO very good and receives a lot of good adverts.


It's never too late to learn but in a competitive industry it's all too easy to burn bridges by trying to jump too high too soon. This is in no way designed to put you down, but just to hopefully make you think about whether you're really good enough to hit up the freelance sound industry yet. I am not a sound engineer but the ones I work with in the freelance world tend to be very high quality, the supply does seem to be greater than the demand and the competition out there is such that inexperienced sound engineers just aren't getting work. If you are up to the grade then I can only wish you well with it all and as I said at the top your work and your attitude will speak for itself. Generally the way it seems to go with freelancing is that the more you do, the more you accumulate. So keep pushing and they will come.

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2 of my best clients were the result of a cold call/email


I always offer to go to their office/unit to introduce myself which always works well.

Name drop people you've worked with, who you know they use and trust in the email. ie "I was working with A . Noiseman and he mentioned you guys were an excellent audio company..." (flattery will get you everywhere)


The key to cold calls is timing. If you know a company is busy then thats your opportunity to get a foot in the door as all their main techs will be booked on other jobs.

Also try and find out who exactly to send the email to.



Remember, you'll not be getting the front of house engineer position on your first gig.


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