Combining Two Passions In One Business: An Interview with Nick Kyriakides
We talk to Nick Kyriakides about his post-production company NK Films and his online course for freelancers.
Tiffany studied Language and Economics, and now likes to write about business topics and conduct interviews with interesting people. She spends her free time looking after her plants and with her dog.
Nick Kyriakides was clear from the beginning about what he wanted to achieve: to combine his passions for creativity and helping people. For this reason, he founded NK Films, a post-production company that, until now, has allowed him to succeed in what he set out to do. In fact, he became an award winning senior-level freelancer thanks to his talent. But this goes further, he wants to share his experience and contribute to the world by launching an online course for freelancers. Today, Mailbutler has the chance to get to know more about him and his job as well as the plans for this new course!
Hi Nick! We are so glad to have you as a part of our #Mailbutlerstories. As we know, you set up NK Films, a post-production company that offers freelance and studio services. Could you describe it a little bit and tell us why you decided to found this kind of company?
Absolutely, it all started with really understanding my values and what I really love to do. I had a passion for being creative and visuals, and later in my career learnt that I really have a passion for helping people, which is why I also certified as a professional coach and NLP Master Practitioner.
Developing my creative skills over the years, as well as understanding how to help businesses helped me to combine two passions in one venture. As we know people are behind every business.
I’m the founder of NK Films and I’m also a post-production artist. I work with clients such as Adidas, Pepe Jeans, Huawei, Dove, Jack Daniels, ATP, Samsung and many others creating videos for their brands. I’m so fortunate to work with these renowned brands and to also work within a variety of genres such as commercials, films, music videos, promos, social media content and many more.
The way I do this is I offer services as a post-production artist which include editing, visual effects, animation, grading and retouching. This can be anything from editing a commercial for Hilton, grading a Bentley commercial, adding animated graphics to a social campaign or even adding explosions and light-sabres into a film!
I’ll be launching a course to help freelancers get to the position I’m in now.
That is impressive! So, essentially, you focus on producing videos for other companies. Therefore, a video is very important for you. In fact, on your website it is written that the video is the company’s brand identity, a shifting conversation with its audience. Do you recommend to post a promotional video instead of a text? Or should there be a balance between both of them?
It’s a really great question, I would certainly always relate back to your intention, what is the purpose of what you’re really trying to say. I’m sure many would agree that in the digital age, our attention spans are shorter and our tolerance is thinner. We all want to be communicated with differently and we all want content that is tailored to us. Because we live in a noisy world, to filter through the noise, you have to think of the conversation between you and your client. You then must ask yourself, how would I like to be communicated to? Would text or video serve my message best?
For example, a really common video request we get is to create a promotional video showcasing a brand new exciting product with tons of features. You could show a list of bullet-point KSP’s (Key Selling Points) in text. For this, text is a great way to lure the audience to imagine what it will be like. However as humans, we’re sensory beings, so we want to be able to see, hear, feel and almost taste and smell the product. Nothing is more powerful than a video in which you can really sense what a product, brand or company is really about. This is the power of film.
Yeah, you are right, a video is very powerful and could have a great impact on customers. I have to say that your job seems to be so creative and interesting! What has been so far the most special piece of work that you have worked on? A piece of work that you are especially proud of!
It’s a tough one as each project always offers something unique. Some of them challenge my creativity, other bring value to the world, others are a cause I believe in and some are just simply a very cool brand or product. One project that stood out recently was working on Adidas’s Stella McCartney collaboration to creating sustainable clothing. It was creative, it was seen by millions on social media and online and is a wonderful cause that betters the world.
Oh, it sounds great! I’m sure all your projects are fantastic. In fact, you won a lot of awards because of your excellent work. What would you say is your secret to differentiate yourself from others?
It’s a fantastic question, I suppose we’re always wondering about others that we admire, what is it that makes them different and stand out. For me, I really believe it has to come down to intention and relationships. I’ve always wanted to do ‘great work’ and have a legacy I was proud of. I’ve always wanted to do work with integrity and honesty and work with people that I loved collaborating with. This intention, along with building strong relationships with clients, agencies, co-workers and fellow artists was what people recognised when giving me feedback. If it wasn’t for the relationships I built over the years, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I imagine it was not an easy thing to get there. What were the greatest challenges you faced as a freelancer?
I think the greatest challenge all freelancers face and especially myself is, how to get work and meet the right clients. I came fresh out of University with a B/A honours without a single job in the creative industry to my name. So I had the challenge of figuring out 3 things: where do I find clients? How can I add value to them? And how can I win them over?
There are many extremely talented freelancers out there. The distinguishing factor I found of successful freelancers that were continually booked up is that they were simply great with people. That was what I honed in on with coaching courses and personal development books and that propelled my career.
And is there a special do/don’t advise you would give to every freelancer, as you have now experience on that?
I think I can talk about this topic all day! I’m currently writing a course on this very subject, this highlights all of the steps in great detail and gives real examples of what I’ve been through personally. I would say some of the main do’s/don’ts would be to:
- Add value – your prime focus and intention should always be, how can you help whoever you’re interacting with? What problem can you solve with your skillset? And always offer value before asking for anything in return. This also ties into the law of reciprocity, of giving without the intention of getting something in return.
- I would also recommend never to chase money, chase your dreams instead. Unless it’s in the short-term only, never sell-out for finances, you should always follow what you love doing and you will get there. The more energy you put into anything, it’ll grow. So working away each day on your portfolio, your relationships and your skills will get you closer to where you want to be.
- I would also highlight that the most talented people in the world aren’t necessarily the most ‘successful’. Believing in yourself and understanding your WHY (your values, beliefs and motivators) is a great way to stay on course.
They all are really good tips, thanks!
Getting back to your job, I saw that you offer not only post-production services to other companies, but also courses so that freelancers could learn from your experience. In fact, you have already mentioned that. Why did you decide to put into practice this initiative?
I’m a big believer in giving back and contributing to the world. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have the career of freedom, autonomy and creativity that I’ve always wanted and now it’s time to share this.
I’ve always had a passion for helping others. When I worked for Apple as a trainer, teaching customers how to use Apple devices and software, I lit up when I was teaching and helping others achieve what they found challenging. I suppose it all comes down to what Stanley Kubrick said, “Creativity is problem-solving”. I learnt the hard way going through traditional education and not having the tools and techniques to build rapport with clients, streamline my workflow, how to build a business and how to structure my working day. So I was compelled to create a course that solved this problem. As it’s the course I wish I had 12 years ago.
Oh, you can help a lot of people! Could you tell us what this new course you are working on now will be about? What could people learn from it?
Absolutely, it’s our first official online course. Previously we taught editing courses in person using Apple Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere. This is the first in-depth freelancer’s mastery course.
The course is named Freelance Mastery – HOW To Discover, Influence And Win Clients. It’s the first in the series focused around the best ways to find clients, build rapport with them, price yourself, position your value and close the deal. I go through my process and techniques I’ve been using for many years to find clients effectively, the psychology of why clients hire freelancers, how to write compelling e-mails and winning profiles to stand out. Also I teach how to manage and keep track of of clients and go through how to pitch and win the project.
It sounds really helpful. Is the course aimed at any special freelancer branch or can anyone attend it no matter what industry they’re working in?
It’s a great point, the course is aimed at creative freelancers mainly in video. The fundamentals and processes do, however, apply to any freelancer no matter what industry they’re in.
Then, why should freelancers attend your course?
I really believe people will benefit from the course if they struggle with getting clients or want the freelance lifestyle of freedom and autonomy.
Unlike traditional education, this is a course that is taught by someone that has lived and breathed freelancing everyday for over a decade and has gone through the pain to find all the shortcuts, best practices, workflows and techniques to help them to get to where they want to be.
I think the best way to learn something is from the experience of professionals. So your course will be very useful!
For the last question I would like to know what the connection between freelancers and Mailbutler is. How would you say it is the best way to integrate Mailbutler into a freelancer life?
E-mail has been the core of my business when connecting with clients. Being able to streamline and optimise my workflow as much as possible is really key when managing a busy business. You want your clients to feel they are well looked after and using an incredible tool like Mailbutler has really enabled me to enhance my workflow and connect with my clients much more effectively.
I would highly recommend it for anyone who, like me, works with international clients or has a flexible schedule. The go-to feature for me is scheduling e-mails with the brilliant send later tool. Being able to work with clients in New York from our office in Barcelona or London, allows me to compile my e-mails and pitches in advance, and schedule the e-mail to send first thing NYC time.
The message templates are a real time-saver when you send out multiple cover letters and job applications a day, you can quickly use a pre-composed e-mail with Mailbutler’s handy message template feature.
Tracking e-mails and tracking links has also been a real game-changer for me. I combine this feature with notes, tasks and follow-up. This allows me to send my showreel and links to a client, track when and if they opened the e-mail and also set follow up notifications and alerts to chase the client with a response, so that I’m always on the forefront of the clients mind. Having notes and tasks combined with this is really powerful, as you can save time going through e-mail threads with key information and add it into the handy Mailbutler notes and tasks sidebar.
I’m so grateful for a tool like Mailbutler, I use it daily and wouldn’t be half as effective without it.
Wow!!! We are so glad that you enjoy Mailbutler the way you do, thanks for the words! 🙂 It has been a pleasure talking to you today. We have learnt a lot from your experience, it was very interesting. And I wish you continue being as successful as you are now in your career, and I am sure your course will be successful too!
To join NK Films Course: Freelance Mastery – HOW To Discover, Influence And Win Clients. Click here.
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