I promised in previous posts that I will write some good recommendations on how to become more successful in your career and earn more money by increasing your income.
Every year more and more large-scale festivals are held, new dance clubs are opened, and the number of musical artists is increasing. It is impossible not to mention the development of technologies and the increasing number of sales of both Chinese LED screens and American video projectors … It is also important to say that the art and entertainment industry does not stand still, there are many new forms through which it is possible to pass your video art to the viewer. This all means that the VJing market is growing and will continue to grow for many more years, and the demand for VJs and media artists who can create video shows will only increase.
In one of the previous articles, we wrote about how much a VJ earns today. From a little analytics of the questionnaire (many thanks to all the VJs who participated), we realized that the average salary of a VJ is about $4,000 per month. Indeed, in different countries in different ways, but if you try to find the total number for the entire planet… it will be about $ 4K 🙂
We at LIME ART GROUP believe that a VJ can earn way more than that, firstly, since we also once provided these services and, understanding all the complexities of the market, earned 4-5 thousands only for VJing at one concert, without producing content… Secondly, having skills in marketing and sales, we realize that there is a huge number of solutions and tools that allow you to increase your income.
Ask yourself a question:
Why will a festival organizer book you for their event?
How are you better than other VJs or what is your strength?
For example, we also once organized some events, and we also needed VJs for additional music scenes. We have seen different things… some VJs are very well versed in the technical component, they are well aware of the smallest details and subtleties, they can perfectly connect, calibrate and set everything up, but when it comes to the video sequence, a fiasco begins there…
Or vice versa, a person creates a nice picture, but due to his human skills, he is a little choleric, which causes some difficulties for a director of a show and a team.
Let’s list a few recommendations that can increase your income and develop your career, which will inevitably lead to an increase in the number of orders.
01. Technical skills are a #musthave
You must know how everything works, where and how to connect LED screens, like video projectors. Your personal equipment, computers, media servers should not break during the performance. U must have a reserve equipment, and backup setup. If something is buggy or a black screen turns on, your reputation drops in the eyes of an event team and your customers…
An ideal situation may be when you can even help colleagues from other industries, lightin, sound, directors at an event. Help them set up their switching, or give helpful advice. This will lift you higher in their eyes, and you may be able to get good reviews about you.
When you understand that your success depends not only on a visual image, but in general on the entire technical implementation and production of the event, after which, not only you, but also event producers, event managers and spectators themselves will win, then you will have more chances to work with them in future and receive even more expensive or “luxury” orders from them.
02. Content Library
Each VJ should have a large base of video footage, vj loops, motion backgrounds, blanks and presets in his arsenal. Moreover, we recommend having both a specially prepared video content for a particular show, and a backup database of additional files. It happens very often that the script of the show can change. Directors of the show can come up to you suddenly and ask you to change the visuals. It is urgent to put, for example, a flying eagle against the background of the sun. If you do not have such content, you should know in advance where you can buy or download such a file.
We recommend, somewhere in the cloud, to keep your database of video files immediately rendered by the codec for the desired VJ Software or media server. For example, we have triple storage in our works.
1. On a personal computer.
2. LIME ART GROUP server.
3. Google Drive cloud drive.
It is convenient for our work. If our clients need VJ Loops, we can immediately generate additional access to the content, without additional payments.
03. Video mixing skill
What result do you get on the screen. And now we’re not talking about pre-created video content and playing it with timecode. We mean real VJing. Mixing multiple vj footage, motion backgrounds or reactive presets into one composition, adapting them to stage screens, musical rhythm sense, audience sense and other event effects.
What image do you get as output?
How beautiful is it? How much others like it, or perhaps how well it is done in terms of artistic proportions and composition. Isn’t it sloppy? Are optical illusions created? How much can a VJ listen to music and feel the rhythm. Can the video sequence be reduced to bits exactly with the help of a video console and a midi controller?
And again, if your video sequence is meaningful, has a development of a certain theme, and the result itself has a balanced color composition,
then this is already more than 50% success.
After all, there are different situations, a client can give you a great order, where there will be a beautiful stage, famous headliners, and your composition will look grunge, kitsch or even sloppy.
This paragraph is about what you need to know a sense of proportion. Perhaps an additional, fourth layer of video will be superfluous. Maybe not every footage needs to be mixed with some other, think about it…
For several years of work on the VJ market, our company managed to see a lot of VJs. There is one type of people who have good taste. They are well versed in equipment and can quickly create video content and broadcast a composition on the screen. But unfortunately, such people miss a large number of possible orders, simply because they have not learned to listen to their client. They didn’t learn how to communicate with him. And in some cases, they are rude or disrespectful to their potential customer. He seems like a good VJ, but it is difficult to talk to him, which causes difficulties in work and leads to a bad result.
Recommendation: Try to give your customer more, even if he is not your client yet. Establish trust. Show him that you are ready to help, and it will be easy to work with you. This also applies to more simplified working conditions, as well as a quick conclusion of a contract or invoicing. Try to understand the task from a half-word and offer several implementation options so that your client has a choice. And on the day the event ends, give the client a small gift, thank him for choosing you.
A lot of VJs don’t get orders simply because they can’t argue their point of view, they can’t find the right words. And also because they can be considered conflicting in the VJ environment. Think about what you need to do to make other VJs, lighting artists, contractors of rental companies, event organizers like it, not just as a media artist, but as a person. And what needs to be done, so that your colleagues from related industries say a few good words about you to the general producer of event. If, for example, the organizers invited a very expensive world-famous lighting designer, and he likes working with you and he praises you in the presence of the main event producer, then consider that the work will be provided to you in the future, and you will also get more earnings..
05. Personal style
Ask yourself – Do you have your personal style? A style in which, when you go to a club or a festival and see the visuals on the screens, can you say that this video performance was made by you? What is your main difference? Every VJ has one. Must be. This is a peculiar use of colors and tones, the form of video content, a certain set of effects, presets or transitions. Even if you use a vj footage bought in our vj loops shop, from other artists or stolen from pirated torrents in your video shows, is there something that adds zest to your VJing? Yours personally? And here you really need to answer yourself,
who am I? Am I a VJ, new media artist or a media server operator? Am I programming or am I adding something new at every event?
Can I top my yesterday’s work or will I use just Resolume’s strobe effects the old fashioned way?
And here you can write a few recommendations. The first is to produce your own content in a certain style, and keep it for a long time until you start to be recognized by it … The works of the artist BEEPLE are a good reference. Second, even if you have purchased or downloaded content produced by other studios, you need to try to find your style in creating beautiful compositions by mixing several layers of video footage with the addition of auto-reactive presets or effects of VJ programs. The third one is to work with forms. Choose the orders where there is a form of screens or stage design that you need. If, for example, you have prepared content that has a more spherical shape, then it will look better in stage design where there is a round shape of screens or scenery.
06. Narrow niche
Paradoxically, if you want to work absolutely everywhere, you will lose more time and get fewer orders. One of the keys to success is to become the market leader in a very, very narrow niche… Select for yourself one topic, one niche, for example, a VJ for rock bands, or a video show animation developer for DJs. Or a VJ in a planetarium, or a Touring VJ, or a VJ who works in a theater making very slow animations. A lounge bar VJ, or a VJ with a focus on festivals or virtual shows or holographic shows. Can you name at least one VJ who works in the theater and has an international name or at least fame within the borders of one continent? There aren’t any, and that’s the problem. Everyone does the same thing, and as a result, nobody earns…
07. And here’s some marketing…
How do you get your customers? Do they find you through your website or social media profile? Or are there a few event agencies that sell your services? Here you need to understand firstly where the client comes from and build two-way communication. After all, very often, VJs do not write first to their clients themselves. Very often, clients themselves are looking for those who can create a video show for them… So, what is next? You were invited once, perhaps in 2 months, the client will write to you again … And in the period between orders, do you make attempts to communicate with your clients?
One of the ways to increase your income is the strategy of retaining existing customers. For such purposes, Internet marketing communication is perfect. Create a list of clients and set up automation for your email campaign. 1-2 emails per month is more than enough. Notify customers about what news in the world of technology and VJing become available. This will not only help you keep in the eyes of your customers, but will also give your customers the ground to create new projects. I think not all event producers know what 3D Naked Eye technology is, or that it is possible to do projection mapping on wedding cakes… By informing your customers in this way, you develop them, keep the focus on yourself, and also create a potential opportunity for a large number of orders.
Create a database, automate email newsletters, wish your customers happy holidays, birthdays, New Year or Ramadan…
Another little tip: Try to register in many online ads, forums, social accounts. Tell the world what services you provide. People are always looking for something. Search algorithms are different and constantly changing in search engines. Stake out your additional profiles on the Internet. Here is a good service for this https://knowem.com/
There should be more internet presence of yours! Build doors through which “money” and orders can find you.
08. Charisma and performance
Why do you think many festival organizers, instead of writing your name in capital letters on the poster, simply write VIDEO SHOW. Or at best, the VJ’s name in small letters between a dozen other VJs. How do you stand out from other media artists and fellow VJs? Do you have an active blog? Or maybe you have a very authentic decor for your workplace at the festival. Or maybe you use a mask like Boris Brejcha, or have a futuristic style of clothing? What is your distinction?
In most cases, the most you can get is waving your arms over the fader and stomping your left foot under the beat. But 70% of VJs do this, and they earn only 1000-3000 dollars a month … Want more? Stand out. Take for example any rock band or a DJ, an artist from the big leagues … Everyone has their own zest. In the Korn group, a microphone stand, in Deadmau5 an LED mask and its own form of a DJ stage, in Solomun, calm dance moves and a confident look. What do you have? If you can’t think of anything, then buy at least a T-shirt with an interesting and defiant print…)
09. Raise your price
If you will implement at least 5 of the 8 points described above, without remorse and fear for the future, raise the price of your services. Good work will always come at a cost. This is one of the unshakable canons of our world for at least 2 millennia. Value your work and your life. Value your time. There are plenty of wealthy clients and event planners who definitely won’t book with you because you’re below their level… They have an expensive stage, expensive headliners, expensive guests, so why should they pay for a cheap VJ? As I wrote earlier, give your client a choice. In this sense, we can say: give the market a choice. Offer the world options, as everyone does, from luxury real estate developers to video stocks that sell content on different types of subscriptions. The more choices, the more chances to get more orders. The higher the price of your services, the greater the monthly or final annual income …
10. And the last, a little ideological and sacred reflection.
Ask yourself which God are you praying to? What is your attitude to this world?
Are you creating value for the creative and art industry or are you stealing from it?
Here is a simple example. We at LIME ART GROUP create video content, VJ loops. We put on the scales of life the most precious thing we have – our time. Someone steals and uses this content without a license. In this sense, such a VJ can get a short-term benefit, but in the future he will not be able to earn big money, as he steals other people’s energy. This choice (to steal someone else’s) will return to him through karma in other areas of life. Relatives will start to get sick or a war will start in his country, or something else… Life will line up in such a way that he himself will not have the opportunity to earn more… Sooner or later karma will take its toll… do not doubt, this is already a fact confirmed by many years of experience.
Create goodness. Don’t be afraid to do more good things and give back a lot. Everything is cyclical. The more good you multiply, the more power and energy will return to you, one of these ways is the increase of orders.
I hope this article was helpful to you. Follow the updates of the blog of the LIME ART GROUP company.
Best wishes from Vienna,
Thanks for your attention, faithfully yours,
Alexander Kuiava – Founder & CEO LIME ART GROUP