This freelancer credits his success to strategic networking and customer referrals and shares his wisdom.
Freelance film and commercial director Blake Larson has a gift for transforming his clients’ marketing strategies into visually stunning, audience-connecting content. But along the way, he’s learned that his skills and creativity will only get him so far. To be successful in one of the toughest industries out there, he needs to make a lasting, positive impression on everyone he works with.
Larson has been obsessed with filmmaking since childhood. That passion drove him to enroll in Hofstra University to pursue a degree in film production, following in the footsteps of businessman and director Avi Arad, founder of Marvel Studios, and award-winning director Francis Ford Coppola.
While attending school, Larson began working as a freelance film and commercial director, harnessing his love of telling compelling stories to create commercials, music videos and corporate content that resonates with viewers and drives sales. When asked why he opted for self-employment, Larson says, “Working as a freelancer gives me the unique opportunity to work with businesses that span the gamut from small to large, in fields that range from banking to technology.”
Filmmaking is a notoriously difficult career path, but outside of a mile-wide creative streak, Larson also possesses an unparalleled ability to connect with his clients. He utilizes this talent to build his business up, networking with peers and forging relationships with the businesses and individuals he works with. “I’ve found that seeking out networking opportunities and introductions from existing connections helps to expand your presence, and giving your attention and respect to every new connection helps cement those relationships.”
“The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is that you never know where your next gig will come from. And for that reason, you have to give your time and respect to everyone you meet. I recently got a referral from someone who had kept my business card after an interaction we had two years prior. So, being friendly and personable can pay dividends to your business down the line.”
Larson also notes how important it is to treat his team members with the same level of esteem and attention as he does his clients, saying, “Ensuring that I give every member of my team respect and autonomy to make suggestions has become a cornerstone of my approach to management.”
As he moves forward, his goals center on helping smaller businesses tell the same relatable stories as big-name brands. “I want to start showing clients the power of storytelling in business. All of the big brands these days—Amazon, Apple, Nike—understand the power that telling the right story can have on consumers. I want to bring this same methodology to the smaller businesses that I work with.”
Check out Larson’s extensive portfolio and thoughtfully-written blog at www.blakezlarson.com.