From building a candy empire to becoming a videographer: Alex Chandler’s Freedom Creators story
Alex got his start hustling candy sales — and used that momentum to grow his freelance career. Over the years he has fine tuned his work/life balance and perfected the art of building a client pipeline. Read more about his journey below!
How and why did you get into freelancing?
When I was growing up I sold candy to supplement my allowance, and grew that into a sizable business. Despite all the pressure to close shop, I continued and grew bigger — nothing could stop my candy empire!
At that point I realized I had a knack for business and went to study Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University. When coming up on my final year, I knew it was time to take my multi-year hobby and turn it into a business. That is when I became a professional freelance videographer.
Becoming a professional videographer took a little more work. While in Arizona I crafted promo videos for free, mostly for CRU, a Christian group on campus. This allowed me to grow my portfolio. When I started my business I had the benefit of already winning awards at film festivals, which made it a lot easier to get clients for someone with only a couple of reviews.
What’s been your proudest personal moment so far?
This past year has been my proudest moment. When I first started and after just a year in business I decided to pick up a stable job to support my family. For the last two and a half years I only did a few projects professionally. A few months ago I started the process of rebuilding my business, my brand, and I left that stable job.
Building up a safety net has given my family peace of mind, and allowed for me to work without fear of bills. It allowed me to focus on the art and enjoyment of my job in a way I never could before.
How do you stay motivated and productive when flying solo?
Coming from a business management background gives me a unique advantage, I like to say that if you feel disorganized it’s because you need a process. What I did was build processes for every aspect of my business; mileage logs, client database, expense and revenue reports, tax calculator, etc.
This keeps me productive, but what keeps me organized is my daily planner and monthly calendar. I use a physical planner as it allows me to talk to a client on the phone and look at my calendar directly. My daily planner allows me to write down what I need to get done that day, and I check it off when I am done.
Motivation varies from person to person. For me, I’m motivated to get everything I can done before my wife gets home from work. That way she and I can go to the store, hang out, and enjoy the rest of the day. I also try to take 2 leisurely days a week when I work but only as much as I need to. Replying to clients, and getting simple things done, like a batch of photo edits.
What’s the hardest part about being an indie worker?
Waiting on clients to respond can feel like a drag. For myself, I like to get a project done and move on to the next, especially the easy ones. I find doing more than 5 projects at a time can be overwhelming, and I freelance to enjoy the art in every project.
My advice is if you are having this issue, establish a clear timeline. For instance, last month I was waiting on a file from a client’s vendor to finish the job. Nothing else left to do, so I informed my client and told them I would be in touch in a week. Marked my calendar, followed up with the vendor on that date, and thought nothing else of it until then.
What advice would you have for others taking the leap?
Don’t jump in until you are ready. If you can, try to get a few clients while doing your current job to build a portfolio. If you don’t have the experience yet, start by looking through free training, or even paid training. There are a lot of high quality tutorials that can help give you a lead in the industry.
If you are specifically looking at videography, half of my business is weddings. This is my staple, and I knew nothing about weddings when I started. The reason I am so good at weddings is because I paid a couple hundred dollars for an online class that taught me years of experience from an industry pro.
Where can we find you?
You can connect with me through my CloudPeeps profile!
If you’d like to share your Freedom Creator story, submit your responses for review here. 👊