How to advertise?
I wanted to start my own events videography business for a while now, but my strength is more in the technical stuff than in the marketing area. So far I've done three weddings, the last of which I'm finishing during these days. The customers were very happy with my service for the other two, so I can say I'm pretty decent at what I do, but the problem is that if I send my card and a description of my services to wedding planners, my lack of experience (even though I know what I'm doing) might make them not even bother with me when they probably have other videographers with more experience. So far I've advertised in Craigslist twice a week for months and I got only one customer months ago and that was it.
So what I would like advice on is, how do you convince wedding planners or companies in need of videography services that you are good at what you do even if your business is new? What do freelance videographers normally do to advertise their services? Do they send a presentation letter to wedding planners, companies and schools advertising themselves? If so, is there a template online that I can take as a reference?
Just hit the local wedding events/trade shows and advertise in the directories that will yield you the most bang for the buck. To this day, the yellow pages are still the best for wedding dudes.
Ensure your price point doens't handicap you. I see lots of youngans offer $5k wedding video packages for a tenth of the price. This makes brides run, looking for folks with better quality as they see quality and price going hand in hand.
... just like the video production industry.
Craigslist is not going to get you quality gigs or clients. I heard a while back that the web site called "The Knot" is the real popular one for wedding stuff. Check that out.
Wedding/event video is a business that thrives on relationships and word of mouth and REFERRALS. Your happy customers and ministers, hotel admins and etc. are your best salesmen. Give them plenty of your business cards. See if you can get them to write you notes or let you tape their comments on how they liked your video. Put that stuff on your web page and in your brochure.
Send out well-edited demos to wedding planners or at least send them very nice invites on wedding type stationary which will get their attention to go see your online web portfolio.
Do attend one of the local bridal fairs and set up a demo table, at least once.
Here's an advanced trick I would suggest to you if you really want to make a splash. Talk to the local popular morning radio show for the market you want to reach which is brides-to-be and their MOMs. Talk to their ad sales rep. You don't necessarily want to run regular radio ads. What you want to do is get interviewed by the morning happy talk team for a few minutes. The station can run a call-in or write-in contest for "funniest wedding anecdote" from listeners, and the winning entry gets your services for the ceremony, highlights of which will be posted to the radio station's web page. Or, they can go another way: run a remote broadcast out at the mall or at the bridal fair, and have a bouquet-tossing contest, or a carry-the-wedding-cake-without-toppling-it-relay race contest, and YOU shoot that and post it on the radio station's web page. Add subtle lower-thirds and other mentions on the web page to connect that this well-shot footage is all by your company. This puts you top-of-mind in the minds of the target market in a way that ads cannot. When they get to thinking about a wedding video, your name will come up: "hey, we could get THAT guy..."
Bridal shows are a good start. You'll get in front of a lot of brides and also get a list of contacts.
Join your local videographer's association, attend local bridal association meetings, etc.
It takes time and dedication. We all have the technical skills but many videographer's lack in the sales area. Attend sales or motivational seminars not related to videography.
I found that building relationships is the best way for any business. It's amazing that if people just like you, they'll send you business, even if they've never seen your video. If your good, you can close sales without ever showing a video sample. That being said, you need to have a good demo and a good website.
Get your website SEO placement on the first page. You can pay Google Ad Words to advertise via pay per click so people can find your site.
Meet as many people in the business as possible, don't bug them, but send them a thank you, Christmas card, birthday card, etc.
Get a facebook page.
I could write 10 pages of stuff. Just dedicate as much time as possible to promoting yourself and your business.
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