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jerniganbrandon
Videography Business: Advertising Help
on Sep 11, 2005 at 3:35:18 pm

Hi, my name is Brandon Jernigan and I just recently started a videography business (Video Concepts). I didn't take the right steps in starting a full blown business mainly because of the limitations with me being only 17 and still in high school; however, I am committed to my business and go about it very professionally when dealing with clients. About what I offer: I shoot with 2 Sony HDR-FX1's; Professional level wireless microphone system and the "usual" that comes in this business. I would like to know the best ways to advertise my new developing business into something that I may rely on as income to pay various bills and get me through college and on to a more advanced career. My main focus now is on wedding videography. I have completed two weddings and both couples love their videos. So really my question is what is something that I could do to promote my business fast as well as effectively? I do know going to bridal shows are key, but what else is there to really promote my business. I also know that word of mouth is the best source of advertising, but I can't have a word of mouth unless I do some more clients. Thanks for any input with this post. I look forward to hearing your advice.

-Brandon Jernigan


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velma
Re: Videography Business: Advertising Help
on Sep 12, 2005 at 2:40:14 am

Do you have a website? If not, get one. Then get yourself listed on some freebie (or some for pay) wedding websites. Do a Google search for wedding videography in your area. You'll see a ton of wedding websites advertising videographers on your area. Just go to those websites and get yourself listed there.

I've never really advertised (pay advertising) except for doing bridal shows. Just keep schmoozing with other wedding vendors, including videographers, in your area. You'll need referrals from these other wedding vendors.

good luck,
velma


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jerniganbrandon
Re: Videography Business: Advertising Help
on Sep 12, 2005 at 2:46:21 am

Velma, I don't have a website just yet, I'm planning on getting one soon when I get some spare time. Many people in my area don't use the internet to search for videographers. There is only one other videographer in this area and I'm helping him out as well as him helping me out. I actually checked on those sites that list videographers and there wasn't any that I recalled for Mississippi... lol if you can imagin that... Thanks for the advice!
-Brandon


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Jeff Carpenter
Re: Videography Business: Advertising Help
on Sep 12, 2005 at 3:02:03 am

If the 'net isn't big in your area find out if there are local bridal shows and just attend one by paying to get in. Walk around picking up whatever is handed to you. You'll soon have a big bag full of flyers and magazines.

When you get home, take a look at whatever's in your bag that contains advertising and call them up and place an ad in it! If you can afford to put yourself in the next show, great, but getting in the local bride magazines is a great start.

If you do get a web page check out http://www.theknot.com as a place to put a paid ad. I've gotten a fair amount of response from my ad there, although people around here do a lot of internet research. If you don't think it will help you where you are, don't waste money on it.


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Bruce I
Re: Videography Business: Advertising Help
on Sep 13, 2005 at 5:23:08 pm

I actually checked on those sites that list videographers and there wasn't any that I recalled for Mississippi... lol if you can imagin that...

There are quite a few videographers in Mississippi and many in the Jackson/Brandon area. Don't be fooled by the lack of sites, they do business by word of mouth and reputation. I am from that area and have done work with many of them, some really good and talented guys.



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jerniganbrandon
Re: Videography Business: Advertising Help
on Sep 13, 2005 at 8:26:41 pm

Bruce, you are right about those videographers in Mississippi. My area which is the central area of Mississippi isn't that many. Maybe a few here and there. I guess I shouldn't have said flat out there wasn't any, but maybe not as many as other states. Mississippi isn't exactly a big sell I guess you could say.


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Doug Graham
Re: Videography Business: Advertising Help
on Sep 12, 2005 at 2:52:21 pm

You're getting plenty of good advice about the advertising, so let me talk a bit about something else you said:

"I didn't take the right steps in starting a full blown business mainly because of the limitations with me being only 17 and still in high school"

Nope, not an excuse. However, it's EASY to start a business (and it can be part time; doesn't have to be full time, with a studio and all). Go down to your local county or city government offices. Ask them there what you will need to start a business. You should get all the info you need.

Some things that WILL be required (not by law, but by the needs of any business):
- A business type (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, LLC, etc.) Most small businesses are sole proprietorships.
- A business name.
- A business "identity" -- business cards, a logo, stationery, flyers, etc. One of the neat things about computers is that they make it so easy to do this. You don't have to spend a ton of cash at the printer's.
- A business bank account. Most banks will set this up for you as easily as opening a personal checking account. You may need to have your parent or guardian help out, due to your tender years.
- A business plan. This is your report to yourself, about what you plan to do with your business, when you plan to do it, and what obstacles you will face. There's software to help with this, but you can do it yourself with a pencil, some paper, some thought, and a little research. A business plan is REQUIRED by a lending institution if you're looking for a loan. Take a hint from that; make a plan, even if you aren't seeking financing.
- Record keeping. Keep track of all your expenditures, and all your income. You'll need this when tax time comes around.

Some things that MAY be required, depending on where you live:
- A zoning variance to allow you to run a business out of your home
- A "Doing Business As" or fictitious business name announcement in the paper's Classified Ads section.
- A tax ID number
- Collection and reporting of sales tax, on part or all of your sales.

And something that's not required, but a good idea:
- Insurance on your equipment
- Liability insurance

The main thing is simply to treat your business AS A BUSINESS. I felt very strange the first few times I talked to people about my little video business, Panda Productions. It felt like I was pretending. But if you act like you're running a business, people will take you at face value.



Regards,
Doug Graham


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Skipno
Re: Videography Business: Advertising Help
on Sep 12, 2005 at 9:06:04 pm

Yup, I agree with Doug. I got my business set up in ONE day. It took about 200 miles of driving, but ONE day. This included everything previously listed, except the setup time needed for my domain name to clear. It's actually pretty easy, as long as you get all your ducks in a row.

On top of that, it only cost me less than $200. Of course, this also depends on your location...

Hope this encourages you to set a day or two aside to set up your business the right way.

Andrew


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jerniganbrandon
Re: Videography Business: Advertising Help
on Sep 13, 2005 at 12:59:44 am

Thanks, very good advice. I'm glad you laid out all the points in starting a small business. I will get right to it especially before I start advertising as a business. I'm planning on having a booth at the next bridal show hosted by a local TV station. The cost is $700 to be in it. I think for $3,300 a year I could get advertising, my listing on their "bridal hotline" as well as the booth at the show. Not going to take it that far with advertising but who knows it may pay for itself in the long run. I already took out a loan to start so I guess that's a step. Again, Thanks!

-Brandon


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Luke Duncan
Re: Videography Business: Advertising Help
on Sep 19, 2005 at 4:07:39 am

Brandon,
We work out of Oxford, been at it for about 8 months. Most of the weddings we book are in or near Jackson, so you're in a good area, and shooting HDV will be a great selling point. In fact, we'll be in Jackson in early October on a job. Email me if you need help getting going in Mississippi. We've not been at it for a long time, but I think we've made a good start.
-LD

lrduncan222 [-at-] yah00


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