• Name: Adam Derstine
  • Creative: Video Creator
  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Description:

    Adam talks about pivoting from “freelancer” to business owner with the systems and strategies he has learned through the Next Level Creators program.


As a freelancer, I've known for several years that I needed to move from billing for my time to billing for my value. But no matter how I've tried to do that, potential clients always want me to break down projects into component pieces that basically amount to time spent. And I've never had the leverage to push back because new business is too valuable to a freelancer who relies on word of mouth. So sure, I can turn down really low rate projects, but that doesn't give me a way of out competing other producers for the projects and the clients that I really want. It's not just that freelancers don't have leverage though. It's that the value of a video to a client is really determined by the quality of that video's distribution. It doesn't matter how good it is if nobody sees it. And if I'm only delivering videos and not distribution, I have no control over the value of the videos I make to my clients, which is a bad place to be in. I've made a lot of good videos that went nearly unwatched and it's hard to get called back in a situation like that. So what NLC means for me is the ability to charge for my value and not just the number of hours I have in a workday as well as a pathway to sell to new clients so I don't have to rely on word of mouth. And that's what I expected and it's totally delivered. But what surprised me is the quality of the community and the support. First of all, there are not endless discussions of camera gear, what lens gives the best [Boca 00:01:20], Canon versus Sony versus whatever. And that's great, because I'm tired of hearing about gear. But the best part is that wherever you are in the course, you can get real support, either in the forum anytime or on a call twice a week. Personally, I did not expect the support to be real, because I've been part of other courses that promise lots of support and never delivered anything. So the great thing is that the help is exact and it's specific and it's fast and wherever you're stuck, you get unstuck. But it also comes with a bit of a push to stay focused and moving forward, which is just as valuable. For me the part that could get better is not the quality or quantity of information, but the organization. Transcripts and indexes to find a passage I've heard and I'm trying to reference and execute on at a later point in time. Sometimes the relevant passage is in a video link to a Google doc in the notes of a module, and I can always find it eventually or ask somebody in the forum. So it's friction, not a roadblock, but just accessing the information is the biggest thing for me. Overall I'm having tons of fun. Thanks Paul and Miranda for all of your work. I'm looking forward to version four. Thanks.
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