Last month I announced that I was going to conduct a new 30 day trial: I wanted to make an offer to someone every day. “Offer” meant commercial or non-commercial offers that would likely have a positive effect on my career.
The idea was that creating and delivering content was not enough to build a business: If you want to sell something and earn money, you need to make offers.
So that’s what I did for 24 days. All in all I made 28 offers in this time frame. Why I broke off the trial before I reached 30 days, I will explain to you later. At first, I want to tell you about what kind of offers I made.
I mostly concentrated on my music career. At first, I also wanted to make offers as an actress and as an voice-over artist but I didn’t have the right material for that. As an actress I need professional photos and a demoreel. And as a voice-over artist I need to have demo recordings, a good microphone and a high quality recording setting. I just didn’t have the time to get all those things ready.
That doesn’t mean that I didn’t offer my acting skills at all – however, most of the time I just concentrated on my composing skills.
These are things I did most of the time:
- I uploaded my music on audio stock websites and on youtube (with a link to my portfolio)
- I made announcement posts in various film and game forums, offering my composing skills and showcasing my demoreel
- I applied for film and game projects that were in need of actors or a composer
- I wrote mails to people who worked in the game or film industry, telling them about my music
Most of the projects I applied for were non-commercial. The reason for this is that I didn’t find commercial projects I could apply for every day.
When I started the trial I only knew a handful of places where I could offer my skills for money or references. So the first thing I did was to search for new places where other creative people hang out. I made a list of forums and websites where I would go every day and check for updates. In the end I had 16 websites on the list. That was enough to find something to do every day.
Most of the time, the process of scanning websites, finding opportunities and writing mails didn’t take more than 30 minutes a day. It only took longer when I applied for more than one project or started searching for even more resources. Registering at the different forums and creating profiles also took some time.
Most often, I received positive reactions. A lot of people told me they liked my music and told me they wanted to work with me. So this trial really boosted my confidence about my music.
I did receive a few rejections. However they weren’t a big deal. And not once was someone rude to me. (You could expect that because this trial was basically a self-promotion experiment; and some people are allergic to self-promotion.)
My music portfolio website, which is brand new, got about 80 unique visitors in this period of time (the counter started on July, 9th). That’s not bad if you think about the fact that zero visitors came from Google and that I didn’t mention it on my social network websites at all (or any other of my websites).
So, what did the trial get me? After quite a few people wanted to work with me, only a few projects got started so far. I’m not surprised by that. I’ve already made the experience that non-commercial projects are not the most reliable projects.
However, a few things did start/happen:
- I earned about 25$ from the new audio stock tracks
- I got a paid composing job for an image film. This brings in 300€, which is good money for me (my rent is about 400€).
- I participated in the Creatathon – a creative marathon sponsored by G-technology where 12 creatives (I was one of them) created a short film in 12 hours. The first great thing about that was that I was being able to meet other creative people there and show them my skills. The second great thing: The movie has been published now (with my name in the credits), a friend of mine saw it, liked it and asked me to create the music for another short film, which he’s producing right now.
- All the music I composed in this process was non-exclusive. That means I can sell it to other people, too (for example by uploading it on audio stock websites). That way I make money even from the non-commercial projects.
- I made lots of new promising contacts in the creative industry – I’m sure that some of them will lead to new projects and jobs in the long term (a few people I contacted told me that they might need me in the future). Basically, I have been sowing seeds with this trial.
So, why didn’t I do the whole 30 days? Why do I stop now? The reason is that I’m loaded with work right now. I’m still working on the image film. Next week I got to do the other short film. Besides that I’m still working as a journalist (since May) and I got my own projects that I want to see some progress on (for example Follow the Red Queen ).
So at the moment I just don’t need to make any more offers. I couldn’t deliver more work anyway.
However, as soon as I see that my workload drops, I now know that I can go back to making offers anytime.
It was nice to see how much progress you can make in a very short time and with only a little effort (sending out a few emails doesn’t really require a lot of work).
Before the trial I wasn’t even aware about how many opportunities there are for composers on the internet.
The whole time it felt great to send my offers into the world because I got a lot of appreciation in return. Of course, at times it required one or two steps out of my comfort zone (for example when I went to the Creatathon) – but all in all it was a very easy and pleasant experience.
So, although I won’t keep making offers every day, I now have a new important tool in my toolbox of building my business. I’m really curious what’s going to happen next and whether there will be more positive consequences in the future.