Dustin Murphy Case Study Feature Image

How Dustin Murphy Gets Clients as a Freelance Video Creator

June 16, 2021

Dustin Murphy is a freelance filmmaker that made over $10k in one month making freelance films through AudPop. One of the secrets to his success is a formula for great application videos that impress his potential clients with his experience, ideas, and sense of humor.

To get clients, Dustin uses the AudPop platform, which connects businesses with freelance filmmakers. Ice Cream Social, for instance, submitted a brief to AudPop, where filmmakers could find it and apply to work on it using video. Dustin produced this application video that eventually won Ice Cream Social’s business:

This application video is successful because Dustin uses a replicable formula of hooking his audience in at the beginning, keeping them engaged with his experience in the middle, then ending with interesting ideas that address the brief. If you follow his formula, you too can get clients as a freelance filmmaker using AudPop.

Beginning: Start Your Video with a Compelling Hook

Every video needs a hook that piques the audience’s interest. A good hook for your application video will quickly communicate who you are and why the potential client should work with you. Dustin has seen success with two types of hooks that you can emulate.

The Fun Hook

Dustin’s Ice Cream Social application video opens with a fun joke about ice cream that demonstrates an understanding of Ice Cream Social’s fun, irreverent brand voice. This joke allows Dustin to show that he gets Ice Cream Social’s brand and prove that he’s a pretty fun guy to work with — all within 13 seconds.

The “BLUF” Hook

BLUF, or “bottom line up front,” is a communication method where you state the most important details of your message first. While a little dry, Dustin used BLUF to win business with Duda, a website building platform.

In it, he cuts right to his main point: he’s a filmmaker in London with relevant experience. He states everything Duda needs to know about him and his expertise in the first 20 seconds.

Both of these hooks will work well for you if you follow Dustin’s lead: have fun and communicate clearly.

Middle: Use Your Relevant Experience to Showcase Your Strengths

In Dustin’s application videos, you’ll notice that he doesn’t just list off his extensive professional experience. Instead, he mentions specific projects and pulls out relevant information for the client. No matter how much experience you have, this is the best way to demonstrate your strengths and capabilities.

In his Ice Cream Social application video, Dustin specifically states his most relevant experience first: creative marketing for Big Bear Mountain Resort in California. He then explains the tight turnaround time for these videos (within 24 hours), which is an experience Ice Cream Social can benefit from.

By focusing on relevant experience first, Dustin keeps the client engaged while showcasing his biggest strengths. You can do the same even with student and spec work, which Dustin isn’t afraid of mentioning in his videos even with two decades of experience.

End: Refer to the Brief Explicitly

As Dustin’s application video comes to a close, he turns his focus to Ice Cream Social’s brief to explain what he’d like to do and how he’d like to do it. Closing with explicit references to and ideas about the brief gives your potential client something to react to and kickstarts the collaboration.

Ice Cream Social’s brief mentions that they’d like their filmmaker to write a script. Dustin calls this out in the final 30 seconds of his application video, mentioning his relevant narrative filmmaking skills. He then uses this narrative filmmaking experience to state that his goal is to deliver a “high-end ad with a very polished look.”

As you wrap up your video, mention specific aspects of the brief that are relevant to your experience and close with your vision for what you want to accomplish.

Throughout: Express Who You Are

As you watch Dustin’s video, you get a clear idea of who he is, not only as a video creator but also as a person. The goal of your application video, just as with any job interview, is to demonstrate that you are good to work with.

In his application videos, Dustin sits at his desk surrounded by filmmaking posters and tools, which give the impression that you’re chatting with a friendly coworker (who would probably be fun to grab ice cream with).

Also, as he talks about his experience, he spends a lot of time explaining his passion: narrative filmmaking. His excitement and love for his craft are infectious — it’s hard not to smile while he talks about it. You can bet the Ice Cream Social team was smiling along as they watched.

Another example of this infectious love for the craft comes from a different filmmaker who’s seen success with the AudPop platform, Morgann Gicquel. Morgann’s heartfelt application video for What the What revolves entirely around her love for animation.

The final result (which you can see on Kickstarter) speaks for itself as not only a successful collaboration but also an expression of Morgann’s love for her craft.

Place who you are and your love for filmmaking front and center in your application video and you will attract clients.

AudPop Connects Great Filmmakers with Great Clients

The AudPop platform’s unique video application process is key to Dustin’s success. He says,

“Using a method that’s within my skill set is so much better for me as a video creator vs being forced to fill out the traditional dull boring application forms. With an AudPop application, not only do I get to show off my personality and expertise, but these application videos also illustrate my skills to potential clients by giving me room for creativity.” – Dustin Murphy

This unique system is great for businesses too, as they can source and get to know filmmakers from all over the globe. Sign up for AudPop today and start making a career out of freelance video creation by tapping into this growing audience of businesses.


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