Best way to advertise?
Has anyone doing corporate video tried print advertising? If so, how did it work out? What type of literature did you advertise in?
Also, what has everyone found to be the most effective means to reach and bring in new clients? Web pay per clicks, cold calls, networking, print ads, etc?
Wear the other's shoes for a day. Say you are a company looking for video production. How would you start looking? What would make you choose a company or person to do work for you. Do this and I think you will answer your own question. What works for one may not work for you. Follow your instincts and go with it.
I know some people will read Tom's response and think that he hasn't answered the question but he has. If there were an easy and automatic way to get clients -- like web ads, newspaper ads, etc. -- then everyone would be doing it. They aren't. Why? It doesn't really work, not really. Oh, there's the odd exception but the general rule is that "Successful people do the things that unsuccessful people won't."
It's far more work to really think out what is it that you are trying to do and then strategize your own efforts to get it in front of those who would have an interest in it. Then taking it a step further to "put yourself in the other guy's shoes" as Tom said, and present your ideas within that framework.
My best clients I have worked with over the years were those whom I built the relationship with and that included deciding what I wanted to do with them for a particular reason; then setting myself to get to know their business and what they were trying to achieve; seeing where they were succeeding or not; creating a presentation based around that -- and voila, many times they bite. They usually never shop you around for price either. ;o)
On the other hand, those whom I have gotten from running phone book ads, etc., were usually flake calls like the 200+ calls I got over the years from people wanting to know if I could record their rental DVDs "...because it's all scrambley and stuff when I try to record it." Sheesh, not only did I have to pay for the privilege but after a number of years, Kathlyn and I decided that it wasn't even worth the cost of the ad to run it -- so we don't.
Once you begin "picking your clients," then as you serve them successfully, their friends and associates often become referrals to you. Birds of a feather do flock together. Most times, the referrals are just as great to work with as the companies you have nurtured over time. The phone book tended to be people looking for low-ball prices and "I need this done yesterday" schedules.
As Tom says, use your instincts and combine it with some perspiration and you will be far happier for it all.
It's a chicken-and-egg proposition. When a company or individual gets a really neat high-profile or award-winning project, they flog the heck out of it in industry related magazines, on their web site, etc. Then people looking to hire see that and say "well, I want that guy, or a reasonable facsimile". And "that guy" gets a bunch of new calls and inquiries. he becomes more in demand, and that feeds more demand, since there must be something to his mojo. The loop feeds on itself. If you can't get That Guy, then you start looking for anybody that looks similar. So you tend to see a lot of trends in demo reels and advertising from season to season, it's mimmickry of whatever is hot right now.
So my mantra is that doing the work is advertising the work; that a superior product and word of mouth from satisfied customers beats any other method. I've worked twenty-odd years for a very small production outfit that has never had to advertise it's services: it has to sometimes turn work away because the pipeline is full of repeat customers and clients that saw or heard about what we'd done for another customer. Granted, for a lot of them, we were the only game in town, but a number of them had the opportunity to go to an outside competitor and usually stuck with us or returned after not being as satisfied.
I guess the relative reputation of the media that covers your work also has something to do with it. The advertising spiral strategy can get tired if overplayed. I long ago stopped reading POST magazine because instead of any kind of discussion about editing theory, practice, or technique, it was all about what company merged with what company this week, the shop owner's socializing, two or three glamor shots of a newly remodeled edit room that concentrated on the kitschy themed decor and not the equipment, or some huge file photos from a film or TV special's standard press kit with a tiny article that at first seemed to claim XYZ company did this whole movie... then you read further and it turns out they did something very very distantly related to the blockbuster movie, like cater one of the ADR sessions for the "making of" DVD bonus track.
Many of the larger ads in it were placed suspiciously close to the articles about the same company, and the ads worked at hyping expectations to unrealistic levels. It seemed like everybody was taking way more credit for everything than they deserved, and promising way more than they could truly deliver, and I got disillusioned by the whole thing and never renewed that magazine.
i'm new to the cow, at a loss for where this question may be appropriate... what does ECU refer to in shooters acquisition of footage? " ... plenty of ECU's...
can you direct me to the answer please?
Extreme close up. For terms and acronymns, you can google or wiki search and get a faster answer. IMDB.com also has a glossary of terms that may help.
And that, fellow bovines, is why Nick Griffin is a legend. Thanks for the great insights. Bob says Hi.
OK . . . I'm glad this thread came up, because I asked this question several times in the past.
What I've been doing is just great, attentitive work for my current clients, and because of this more clients have been coming through word of mouth. It's been working great for me this way. I've also been scouring Mandy, DesignInMotion, etc. for people who I would like to work with and then I would just send them a reel, and this approach has been pretty sucessful as well.
Other than that, I'm still looking for that big, grand holy grail that attracts new clients. To be honest, I think it's partly having the right approach, and also a big part being in the right place at the right time.
I used to use some pretty conventional means of marketing...we really never "advertised". We did high profile non-profit work, we issued press releases every time we got some new piece of statuary...we stayed visible.
That worked OK for local work.
Now days, I've turned in my 10 person staff for a one-man band/special project kind of thing and I operate more regionally and nationally. I'm more expensive now and I find a network has to be in place for this kind of thing...and an agent doesn't hurt either. I don't have one now, but I think I'm leaning more and more in that direction...
...I'm busier than I have a right to be at the moment and I don't even have a listing (much less an ad) in the phone book anymore as my only phone number is my cel phone. In 1997 I think we did a count and including all numbers in the office hunt group, fax and dial up internet, pagers and cel phones and off-site voicemail, I think we had possession of 35 phone numbers...
Important note: This is after 20 years in the business, so there is some dues paid and some marketing/sales efforts made over the years to get to this point...
Creative Cow Host,
Probably shouldn't but I'm going to stick my two centavos in, just for giggles. I have been in the business of hawking wares for other businesses on the tube since the mid seventies. Last April I decided to 'give it a go, so to speak', because I was given several thousand dollars worth of computere/software equipment by a rich relative. Why not? Ya teh hey? I've added the stuff to go out and shoot but that's not the point, is it? The point is marketing what you do and that means deciding to whom you want to do business with, right? I decided on lawyers at first since it was a lawyer that founded my operation... I created a brochure, business card and did some 'phone book' mailings in a hundred mile radius. As it turned out, the very next day from one of these mailings the phone rang and it was a lawyer, over a hundred miles away, that bought what I was selling. Go figure. Then I did a wedding and got calls for more. I have worked with the local school system on a video and, if I ever get my money, I will probably never do it again! If I didn't absolutely love what I do I could go back to JC Penney's and wipe the drool from my tie while ringing up orders. Point is, mareketing yourself begins with what you do and who you want to market to. Corporate? Commercial? Weddings? If you have an established clientel, no problemo, hombre! If not, hit the pavement, the printers, the media, etc. until you discover what is you want to do with your life. Me, I'd be happy as a swine in feces to be on an island shooting mom, dad and the brats while they rolicked in the surf on their vacation; "would you like to supersize that with a DVD for grandma Bessie and the twins?"