in a rut
Hello to all,
I would love to recieve any advice on how you have taken your business from just starting out to getting consistant work. Right now I have been a business owner for 1 1/2 yrs. But I have been doing production and wokr like that for 6 years now. Business has been ok, the wedding season saved me this year. But I would like to know how any of you kinda got to the next step. I am getting to a point where equipment is new and will last me a few years so I don't need to invest money into that as much. But I really need some help on how to bring my business to the next level. One week I am very busy, the next nothing or something that's not due for another week or so. Do I need someone to go out and get sales? Do I take out ads on tv and show what the company can do? please any and all help would be appricated!
[titan3ium] "Do I take out ads on tv and show what the company can do? please any and all help would be appricated!"
Not TV! I would suggest a Google Adwords campaign and learn Flash Video (I mean really learn it!) - there's more work out there for internet video than one can shake a stick at!
Agreed Randall. Flash projects are a huge part of my overall business. "Interactive Flash Sales Tools" are now status quo in the Internet channel/marketing mix.
Bennett Marketing & Media Production, LLC - http://www.bmmp.com
Over the years (I
Sorry all for the double post, but I thought this might help out Chuck.
I went to your Website and checked it out. I strongly suggest that you don
[Bruce Bennett] "Some corporate people/prospects will dismiss you right from the beginning if they see that you do weddings."
Yes you could create separate businesses one for corporate and one for event, I have known people that have done well keeping both under one name though.
One thing though the main page of your website says "Our passion is working with new and different clients who are looking to advertise in new and unique ways." however directly above that is a picture of a wedding.
You are giving mixed signals by doing that.
I would say have a more generic production/info page to start and if you choose to keep both corporate and events under one business name, have a separate page completely devoted to each.
One more thing about your website, it is VARY cookie cutter, give it a little more originality.
Another two cents about the site. How about instead of a category that says "Video Problems" (which implies that the videos you make have problems)- you instead say "Video Support" or similar.
I also second separating the wedding and corporate/web video into two sites. People getting married don't care about the corporate work and vice versa.
I agree with the other comments here - I would definitely avoid mixing corporate and consumer/wedding video within the same site. Couples getting married might not mind, but 99% of companies out there will have a negative reaction to this.
Here's a few other comments:
1. On your home page, it says "Our passion is working with new and different clients." Most production companies (and their clients) thrive on long term relationships and repeat business. This statement seems to conflict with that reality, almost like you are saying you thrive on moving from one client to the next, which has a lot of customer service implications. Also, a lot of business video contracts go to companies that specialize in a particular field since they are familiar with that client's industry and particular needs/challenges. This "new and DIFFERENT clients" statement says that you will shoot anything and have no particular specialty. While you can do fine without specializing, you don't necessarily want to advertise that you thrive on NOT specializing.
2. On your Services page, you list about 11 (...and more!) types of video your company will do. I would go through them carefully and completely nix any that aren't business video related, such as dance recitals, etc.
Businesses want to know you can deliver professional-grade video that will make them look good. Many assume that someone shooting dance recitals isn't going to understand business issues like branding, marketing, customer relations, purchasing psychology etc. since it's a completely different ball game. Anything you can do on your site and in other marketing materials to show that you are capable of handling these things will increase the number of B2B video gigs you get.
Thanks everyone! I appricate all the info. I am going to get going on the sites fixes. Much of what you said made a great deal of sense. Glad to get all this info from pro's instead of a few local guys and my family.
Thanks so much again;
There's a lot of great advice here. No doubt you should make the revisions to your site based on the previous input but I think it's equally important that you make yourself known in your community. You stated that you've been in business less than 2 years. My hunch is that there is a lot of low hanging fruit waiting for you if you'll take the time to network with other professionals in your area.
I suggest that when work is slow, ramp us the time you spend attending business meetings in your area (chamber, etc.) or industry association meetings. (ad federation, PRSA, Manufacturer's Association, etc.) Take a handful of business cards everywhere you go and BE SOCIAL! Hand your card to everyone you come into contact with and be sure to ask for their card as well.
Add their email addresses to your email newsletter list (if you don't have one, create one now) so you can send them updates about your company and share video case studies of your work.
Building momentum can be a long and cumbersome process so you have to start now! The sales cycle for corporate video production can be as long as 18 months so you have to get your name in the hat now.
Here's a nut shell marketing strategy for you:
1. Call every videographer in your area and invite them to lunch. Talk with them about what their needs are and offer to help on a freelance basis. It's important that you position yourself early as an ally and not as a competitor only interested in taking their business. Some videographers won't want to meet with you but most will.
2. Attend your local ad federation and public relations society of america (prsa) meetings and get to know advertising/marketing/pr professionals in your area. Once you've identified prospects at these meetings, invite them to lunch or ask if you can set up a meeting with them to show off your work. Do everything in your power to get face to face meetings. These will get you the best results. Most of these groups will have member directories on their websites. Send your demo and a letter of introduction to everyone on the list. You probably won't get any immediate calls by mailing your demo BUT, they will recognize your name at upcoming meetings. As soon as someone says "Hey, I got your demo the other day" this is the perfect opportunity to ask for a meeting. At the meetings here in Chattanooga, you can pay a couple of dollars to give a shameless plug during the meeting. This is one of the ways the chapter raises money. Take advantage of this sort of thing so you can plug your business.
Another option is to sponsor a meeting. The cost to do so will vary but I've seen it as low as $50 and as high as $500. Meeting sponsors get to have their marketing materials all over the place and the event organizers make a pretty big deal about your company and all the wonderful services you provide. In most cases, you will even have 5 minutes or so to address the audience. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS!
3. Add every email address you can get your hands on to your enewsletter list. You can determine your own threshold for what the definition of SPAM is but my rule of thumb is...if someone gives me their business card and it has an email address on it, I'll add it to my newsletter. Other ways to get them to opt in include putting a link to it on your website, blog, podcast, or whatever so you can drive subscriptions. Then, provide interesting content each month or once per quarter to the members on your list. As your numbers grow, so will your sales. It's the simple law of economic power. The more people you have in your network, the more successful you will be.
The key to making any of these suggestions successful for you lies directly on your shoulders. You can sit at home frustrated because you don't have any work to produce, OR, you can dust off the golf shirt (with logo) or the blazer and slacks and get busy meeting business people in your community.
Good luck! Let me know if I can do anything to help.
Kristopher G. Simmons