We recently had the opportunity to talk to Kevin Chin, owner of Northshore Media Productions. The company has been ranked #1 in music and audio production in Austin for four years in a row and has since expanded into photography and video production as well.
During the interview, Kevin gave us an insider’s view of what it is like to be a successful music and video producer. He also provided some helpful tips on entrepreneurship and what to look for when choosing a videographer or producer for your project.
Here’s a transcript of our conversation (edited for clarity):
ME: Can you tell me a little about you and your business?
KEVIN: I am the sole proprietor of a company called Northshore Media Productions, and I consider myself a multimedia producer of all aspects of media production, from audio, music, video, and podcasts to photography. So anything to do with media. I have contractors that I use, but for the most part I can function in all aspects of the job, whether it’s recording or filming or photography and all the editing.
ME: What does it look like for you to go through a week of running your business?
KEVIN: My passion is music actually, so I have a recording studio. I also have an office in Round Rock that does video production and voiceovers for like radio, audio books, and podcasts. So I’m going between those two locations with three or four music recording sessions with artists in a given week. Sometimes there’s a photography session, or I might do a video livestream for a client. And there’s video production.
ME: How do you manage everything?
KEVIN: I used to be in a corporate role as a project engineer and manager and in the oil and gas industry, so when it comes to multitasking and project management, I’m pretty on top of things. I schedule things out with enough time to meet deliverables.
ME: What are some differences between working for someone else and running your own business?
KEVIN: I would say my job now, even though I’m wearing a lot more hats, is a lot more flexible and lax than the nine to five constraints. I can take off a Wednesday if I need to or work on a bunch of stuff, accomplish things, and then just chill out.
ME: Where do you find most of your clients?
KEVIN: There are a lot of meetups that I go to. Also, I was affiliated with this incubator called Media Tech Ventures and became known as the guy to go to or the company to go to for any type of media need in Austin. That helped significantly with building a list of consistent clients since I was dealing with startups receiving funding.
ME: That’s great. How did you get into that?
KEVIN: I met one of their founders at an afterparty. And he saw my capabilities as a music producer and audio producer, as well as someone who works the Austin Film Society. I’m pretty well-versed in all aspects of video production, music production, audio, and photography, and having all these skillsets directly correlated with this. I guess my title would be Chief Media Producer or Chief Media Director within that organization. I kind of molded the role over the last seven years of running Northshore Media. It used to be just music and part-time back when I was in Chicago. But after moving to Austin, I made it my full-time gig and developed my video skills to the point where I can produce TV commercials.
ME: It sounds like networking is where you get most of your clients and also industry information. Is that right?
KEVIN: Yeah, I would say that most of my business is B2B, so this type of structure and networking is probably the best way for me at this point. But I do know that LinkedIn would be a great asset to reach out to marketing directors and companies. But I haven’t really used it. I’m not the type that likes to fish around and spam people.
ME: So, we’re running out of time. I have one last question for you. What would you recommend to someone who’s looking for a videographer or a producer? What would you recommend they look for?
KEVIN: I would recommend them to find someone who’s going to be upfront about costs. Sometimes someone that is new to hiring a videographer or video production company might not know about all the associated post-production costs and all the costs associated with insurance and hiring additional talent or additional labor as needed. And sometimes that’s not communicated.
I also think there are a lot of really creative video producers, but they can’t organize a project and complete it from start to finish. They can lay it out in their heads but they can’t execute within the budget, and they can’t execute the actual production and post-production. You know, they’re more like dreamers than doers.
When I send out a quote or bid, I never deviate from it. I can give an accurate rate based on my past experience. And I think that’s that’s what’s kept me pretty busy. I’m honest and able to get it done.
To see Kevin’s work or contact him, visit his website at https://www.northshoremediaproductions.com/.
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