Breaking into the AV industry is tricky. As new technicians and programmers you must demonstrate your experience and prove you’re reputable, even though you don’t have extensive experience and references yet. Don’t we all love catch 22s?
Luckily the answer to breaking in isn’t nearly as complicated. As a new AV professional, you must employ best practices to optimize marketing yourself to potential clients. Check out below for seven best practices to start building your job search arsenal!
1. Offer Your AV Skills as a Freelancer
A lot of technical AV professionals these days are freelancers because of the gig economy and AV companies’ demanding work schedules. Many AV project managers are on the lookout for freelancers because they require extra, skilled manpower. Managers also can’t always access their go-to team of AV talent year-long, meaning they need to stretch resources thin to avoid slow seasons.
Freelance might seem a precarious choice at first, but in truth there are many ways to secure steady work these days. Which brings us to our next best practice—
2. Utilize an AV Freelance Platform
You need to be laser-focused when it comes to breaking into a specific industry, which means strategically narrowing your job search. Privileging an AV industry-centric platform where you can host a profile as a freelancer can get you more work opportunities, faster.
The reasons for this are obvious. For one thing, on an AV freelance platform, you’re visible to an audience of interested buyers. Secondly, you can access many AV industry job postings, of which many short-term ones are looking specifically for new talent.
3. Display Your Certifications Proudly
As a new AV professional, it’s imperative that you show that you’ve done your due diligence in becoming one. Don’t neglect to show off the certifications you worked so hard to achieve. It might take a bit of work upfront to properly scan and format your paper certifications and degrees, but it’s worth the attention you’ll attract from potential buyers.
There’s also an easy-to-use upload function for certifications on AV freelance platforms. Wherever you host your job profile, make sure to spruce it up with your proven skills!
4. Display Your Digital Certifications, Too
Nowadays there are programs like install microcredentials, which offer you digital badges when you complete any courses. If you have in fact earned a microcredential for skills offered, like pulling cable for example, make sure you display your badge on your job profile and perhaps in your professional e-mail signature as well.
Since these digital badges are offered by a globally-acknowledged AV company like InfoComm, AV project managers will take these badges as one-glance verifications of practical experience.
5. Have a Thorough Legal Contract Ready
Unfortunately, you cannot account for all uncertainties regarding reputable clients when you’re an AV freelancer. You’re simply too new to know all the signs of an untrustworthy client. That’s why even the most cautious freelancers should have a legal contract.
Know your rights as a freelancer and don’t be afraid to include essential clauses for a “kill fee”, AKA the amount the client is bound to pay you if they terminate your contract prematurely, and for scope creep.
6. Be Meticulous about Invoicing
While generating invoices as a freelancer will take some getting used to, you must invoice on-time to be paid on-time. In addition to ensuring your paycheck, invoicing late can really damage your ability to build a solid reputation. Learn proper invoicing procedures—your clients will appreciate your professionalism.
7. Build a Social Media Presence
Be active on social media and engage with other industry pros. Generating buzz by demonstrating your knowledge and staying current with industry news will help attract the notice of clients. You might find that some of your freelance gigs are garnered through your twitter!
We hope you take stock of these seven best practices and use them to break into the AV industry!