After securing access to equipment in exchange for a discount freelance rate I started pulling in video work with my friends video production company. I helped with his marketing (redesigned his website, got him on the first page of google, helped with his promotions), but the thing I realized is that he had no real "plan" for his business. I tried to help him figure out his target market and idea prospect and his lifetime value of a customer. Most of these things fell on deaf ears for the first 6-7 months. To boot, I only got paid when he had something for me, so I found myself on the short end of the stick every month. I started doing some agressive online marketing for us (facebook, email, craigslist) and pulled in some video work here and there.
I attempted to incorporate video marketing into his list of services, but he didn't really get it nor was interested in selling it. I made a few sales on my own and gave him a percentage for using his equipment.
I also tried to sell website design on my own, but I only know the basics of wordpress. I sold about 5 simple wordpress sites through word of mouth.
At the same time I learned about lead generation via video marketing and decided to give that a try. I earned a commission on several leads I generated for him so I know that it works. I plan on expanding on that, but that's for another post.
I also set up my own business to do direct mail (bob ross method) when I realized that I suck at cold calling and walk in sales. I am terrible at talking to business owners. I would get so nervous I would get sick to my stomach. I eventually got better but never secured enough advertisers to pull it off before my car troubles. (I am actually very good at dealing with clients in my video business, they come to me and I feel confident because I know that I know how to provide what they need. Confidence in your product is key, I learned that lesson.)
Between trying to finish video jobs and car troubles that left me bumming rides I had to put my prospecting on hold. My friend was not very supportive of me attempting to strike out on my own. He was very negative and wanted me to help with his business as he started to see his revenue drying up. I had started to build a clientele who came for my video work and were starting to come to me for marketing advice as well. Some people thought I ran the place and that didn't sit well with him. I do have a take charge attitude about my work. He also resented that I kept telling him "how to run his business" or as I like to call it, sharing basic marketing and business advice. Now mind you we have been friends for about 15 years, but he majored in video production and I majored in business (computer information systems, with mostly a focus on business). So I approach things from a business point of view.
The final straw came when my friend bungled several deals that I would have been essential in pulling off (meaning I would get paid the lions share as I was doing most of the work and they were asking for me personally). I was down to my last dollar after getting my car fixed and one of the producers on the bungled deal asked me if I knew any editors because they were hiring. I decided to go for it. It's entry level, and it's where I was 10 years ago, but anything is better than starving, it will at least keep a roof over my head and they are flexible about my hours.
So now I am in debt up to my eyebrows. I have a low paying entry level job and amazingly, my buddy has a fair bit of freelance work for me. The plan is to get back on my feet financially, pay off my debts. Work on my lead generation site, video marketing services and direct mail co-op advertising in 2013.
I've been reading these threads and I think this guy knows the score.
You have to want it. I'm not giving up, I'm just dealing with a setback. I know all of these things can and do work and that I can build a viable business, but sometimes you reach a point where you have to regroup.