September’s featured freelancer is Greg Jeske: a digital media professional with over 10 years of experience. He is a passionate, non-fiction storyteller who has generated and executed campaigns for Fortune 100 brands as well as highly recognized news outlets such as the New York Times, PBS NewsHour and more.
We took some time to ask him a few questions about his experience as a freelancer and love his perspective, check it out below.
To start, what do you do?
I specialize in producing visual content that is optimized for organic and programmatic distribution across social, O&O and linear television. I work fluidly in a variety of formats, whether producing short documentaries for GMC, influencer endorsements for Lysol, Photos Essays for AirBnB, Facebook ads for Mattel, Illustrated GIFs for Dewars, or DIY videos for the Science Channel.
In addition to operational leadership and business acumen, I’m an agile creative, personally responding to over 350 RFPs, and oversaw production of 200+ branded videos, and 500+ editorial videos in just 30 months. My hard production skills include directing, producing, development, non-fiction script writing, story producing, production coordination and project management, process/workflows, creative direction, video editing, videography, and leading a team more talented than myself.
What is your “exit” story? Why did you decide to freelance?
For me, freelancing originally was a way for me to switch careers. I bartended on the side to make ends meet, slowly building my portfolio until 2012 when I dove headlong into video production after securing an annual contract with a foreign news agency.
I used a springboard to meet other contractors and soon was freelancing for some of the most respected outlets in media. That ended up earning me a leadership position at a small start-up media site where I cut my chops building a team, process, protocols ad managing 2M dollar budget.
Having recently relocated to North Carolina to support my wife’s career, I decided that the best way to get to know the media landscape here in the southeast was to freelance.
Share how freelancing has been great and/or how it has been hard.
One of the most rewarding things about freelancing is getting to know how different companies work. From process and best practices to management and team culture. It’s a privilege to peek behind the curtain and see how so many talented people work.
One of the most challenging things as a freelancer is the amount of time spent going after new business, writing proposals, or pitching ideas because it is rarely offset by the number of billable hours you are invoicing. If you are a small business you are not only charging for labor, but there is a mark up for administrative costs + profit margin. It’s important for freelancers to factor that in when considering their own hourly rates. How much does it truly cost in order to obtain and complete one billable hour?
Ultimately, this was the value proposition that Uncompany offered. They remove some of that cost of chasing new business by introducing you to real clients with specific needs.
What is some advice you would share with clients on how to best work with freelancers?
Remember that building relationships with reliable freelancers, paying them on time, and making sure they are happy, will help you grow your business as you scale. When you are ready to take your company to the next level, you want the best and brightest to line up behind you.
If you don’t know what you want, be honest about that and know that there are talented freelancers at Uncompany that can not only help you create deliverables but can also help you decide what deliverables will map toward your strategic business goals. Yes, this is a plug for me 🙂
Greg is just one of many exceptional freelancers we have in our network. Freelancers like Greg are the reason that Uncompany exists and why we can provide UNRIVALED talent to our list of growing and amazing clients.