I probably get 80% of my projects through referrals. The best way to get more work is to capitalize on every opportunity. There can be anywhere from 10 to 50 people on set on any given day. If 50 people see that you did a great job, are working super hard, and you’re professional, that’s going to be a much better marketing tool that cold emailing or calling photographers/producers/directors.
Unlike other industries, there isn’t a bulletin board where jobs are posted. If you belong to the union, you can use that as a resource, but beyond that it will be difficult to seek out specific projects. The way you get asked to be part of the crew when you are starting out is by having relationships with people. This doesn’t mean that you need to schmooze and become best friends with everyone, you just need to start reaching out so that people learn your name and you’re at the front of their mind. It doesn’t hurt to email, and it really doesn’t hurt to ask to go get coffee with someone. It’s all about timing. One photographer/producer/director that you would absolutely love to collaborate with might be swamped at the moment and not even respond. Reach out again 2 months from now. Don’t take it personally and keep at it. The more ready you are to jump on the opportunity as it pops up, the more of an impact it will have to grow your business. People need to see you, they need to learn your name, and they need to remember you. You do this by becoming a linchpin. You become a linchpin without having much experience by outworking everyone and being professional. Those traits hold the most weight and are the most memorable.