It’s 7.30pm Friday evening. We’ve just about to have family dinner and chill out after a busy week juggling work and half term with the kids.
And then an email lands via my website. It’s a potential new client … in distress.
They are a company I’ve heard of and follow, but not done any work with. One of their tutors has gone down, and they need someone to run workshops this Monday and Tuesday and want to know if I am available? I have a choice. It’s the weekend after all and I know the next few weeks are busy.
I don’t need to reply straight away, or even until Monday morning …
But I can’t help myself. I think it’s the TV production manager in me. Someone gives me a challenging problem, the adrenaline starts pumping, and all I want to do is solve it, quickly.
I check my diary for the beginning of the week. I reckon I can fit it in at a squeeze and send a quick reply saying I’m interested, and I’d love to know more.
We set up a quick zoom for Saturday morning. And it’s apparent quickly it’s a good fit. The workshop content they want is content I deliver regularly – freelancing and the screen industries.
I put a short proposal together and send it over after the call and by Saturday afternoon it’s all agreed. Now, it’s the small task of pulling the decks together for the workshops after a quick chat with one of the tutors on the programme helped along by buckets of tea!
It transpires it’s an interesting audience for the workshops – and one I wouldn’t easily get in front of. The UK training company who I’m talking to, is delivering a programme of workshops for the Saudi Film Office as part of their investment to develop the local film industry.
I’m pretty buzzed to be involved, the project sounds really exciting, but I know it’s going to be a mental few days. I will be zooming all over the globe – from Coventry to Saudi Arabia, then back to the New Forest and then finally to Norfolk on Wednesday evening!
Do I love it? Of course, I do. It feels great to solve other people’s problems. And I always relish a new opportunity with a new client.
There’s something about delivering a great job for a client, when it’s a distress purchase that builds loyalty and trust, in a way that a more traditional sale just doesn’t.
Being a distress purchaser is super stressful. I’ve had my fair share of distress purchasing on productions over the years. It’s that moment when you have to call, or email, a freelancer you’ve never met and say, “we’re in the sh*t and we need your help….” And, it’s apparent from their first reaction whether they are up for the challenge or not.
I know how much I’ve appreciated freelancers over the years who’ve dropped everything to help my production out of a predicament. This weekend it was my turn to help.