Student Success Story with Max Zoghbi

By Max Zoghbi

We’re continuing to share a different story each week of how a past student has been able to significantly grow their freelance business by applying the concepts they learned from Double Your Freelancing (check out last week’s with Josh Crews). 

If you feel your story would be a good fit, share why.

Screenshot 2015-08-06 at 10.46.37 AM

Max Zoghbi is one of the men behind Loupe Theory Studios, a filmmaking and production house, that’s been in business full-time for going on three years now.

A year before that, Max was a part-time ‘freelancer,’ busy uncovering the company’s core competencies, developing the brand and learning how to get the startup off the ground.

After taking Double Your Freelancing Rate and implementing what he’s learned, the company is on track to increase their revenue by 10-15% this year.

What got you into freelancing? Was it what you expected?

Passion, like most of us.

I was so bent on finding meaningful stories and loved traveling and being behind a camera, that I didn’t really have expectations, nor did I call myself a freelancer. More just a hobby, turned passion, turned career!

What’s been most challenging thus far?

I think the thing or pattern that drives me to moments of despair (i.e. wanting to quit and look to be employed by someone other than myself!) is when I forget that I don’t have to wear all the hats. Sure, you can be a jack of all trades and master of none if you want to have a brand that doesn’t grow and if you want to be good at everything and master nothing.

Who wants that? It was not until I started embracing my strengths and taking a microscope to my weakness that I knew what to delegate and what to embrace.  That leads to true collaboration, which is what filmmaking is all about and what yields the best work for everyone, by far.

Did you ever want to quit or give up? Please expand.

Being a 50/50 left and right brainer is a challenge, because I’m gifted at both business and creative endeavors. Trying to be extremely creative and come up with distinct visuals and copy, while trying to decipher what is a cost saving function vs. a revenue generating function and needing to get back to clients, run payroll, scout locations, call back my accountant, rent gear, edit, etc…. can be overwhelming at times.

It is in these moments when it all piles up, that I want to quit. This seems to be happening more often lately, and can be very hard.

I think though, that I am moving more toward pitching myself as a brand/asset rather than running a company, which will be very nice as I can explore more things like consulting, speaking, traveling, writing and other revenue streams. Things that fill me and our bank account.

What were you struggling the most with when you ran into Double Your Freelancing Rate?

Having ‘leaks’ in my process/pipeline and not having enough business in it! Things have been slow lately, but, as mentioned above, I still feel overwhelmed.

I just need to get in front of the right clients. The ones I know will be lifelong friends, who will care enough to invest in visceral, human, distinct and powerfully beautiful film as a means to advance their message and brand.

I guess I still struggle the most with finding the right clients, consistently.

What are some big successes you’ve had recently?

I had a documentary called, Wildflower/A Proposal go viral on YouTube. It’s at almost a million views!

I would have liked to have been better prepared to capture that audience and move them from one-time fans into an active, interactive growing fanbase. On the flip side, it’s helped us increase our instagram following and engagement in the past six months by over 1000% which is awesome!

What are some specific strategies, tactics or pieces of advice that helped you grow?

How to qualify leads immediately, how to think about bringing value instead of collecting a paycheck, how to really respect and nurture a client and get more out of two brief meetings than weeks of emails and meetings.

Also, just really setting myself apart in simple things like the NDA, leveraging value and getting paid to come up with proposals!

What are you most excited about for your business in 2015?


Our next chapter.

Being married for a year now, my wife and I have combined our visions into one brand: Adventure Us.  You can explore more at

I cannot wait to get this off the ground this fall!

Processed with VSCOcam with q7 presetMax Zoghbi is a filmmaker, photographer, consultant + inspiration junkie with roots in Louisiana + The Middle East. With a pioneering approach to filmmaking, Max is unrelentingly led by passion. He is driven by finding, writing or curating story with compelling brands + inspirational individuals. This innate draw to visceral, cinematic story lends Max to visuals that purvey beauty, challenge truth and invite audiences to wonder. 

Equal parts right and left brained, Max also has extensive experience in building successful brands and loves helping others do so as well through consulting and business development. His directorial hope is that he will continue to work with friends who intuitively value vulnerable collaboration, and that each film he makes will look and feel more like they do in his heart and mind.