BUSINESS AND MARKETING: Business and Marketing Forum Business and Marketing Articles

New Prod Company-Top small businesses that need video

COW Forums : Business & Marketing

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
beau brotherton
New Prod Company-Top small businesses that need video
on Jun 10, 2008 at 6:27:17 pm

Hello to all,

I am beginning my second year of being own my own and wanted to throw a question out there and see if you guys (and gals) who are smarter and more experienced than I could help guide me. My first year was basically freelancing and trying to get as much work as an editor as possible. Chase Bank hasn't taken my car away so I have been able to pay to the bills!! Small Success!!

Now, I am concentrating for my second year to focus on smaller business here in Houston, Texas that need online video for their website. This is for marketing and training videos.

My target customer is small business that think they can't afford video. I am more interested in getting good experience and working late nights. The lowest package that I'm offering will start at $750 for a one man camera crew (half day) and about 6 hours of editing. This is nothing special and will not win any awards, but hopefully it will get them into the mind set that video is affordable. My next packages are $2000 and $4000 which will be larger crew and outside help for motion graphics, which I am not great with yet. I am trying to get out from behind the camera and computer as fast as possible. I know that these packages need more detail, but that is not the reason for this post. :)

What I need the most help with from you great minds of The Cow, is what businesses did you start out marketing towards when you first started. Or if you started with big clients, maybe some businesses that you sometimes have to turn down b/c their budget is too low. My thoughts would be:

Automotive shops and smaller Dealers
Independent Restaurants
Accountants and other Professional advisors
Martial Arts studios (kind of just popped into my head, weird)

These are some things that I have thought about, maybe there is some other people like me that would think that this could be an interested thread.

So I would love to know The Cow's thoughts on other small businesses that you have had success with "in the beginning".

Thanks for your time and have a great day!





Beau Brotherton
Macbook Pro 2.4GHz, Intel Core 2Duo, 4GB
FCP6
HVX200


Return to posts index

Bob Zelin
Re: New Prod Company-Top small businesses that need video
on Jun 11, 2008 at 1:42:44 am

you are definately in the right direction. So many of "us" on these forums target the same damn clients - advertising agencies, related video production companies, TV stations, etc. for subcontract work, freelance work, etc. (just like you have done getting freelance work). But the real money, and the real success is going after peopel that DO NOT HAVE A CLUE about our business, and will pay whatever they feel the need to pay to have a show, or video, or website, that promotes their businesses. The most successful corporate video companies are the ones that go after Pfiser Drugs, Boeing, and other operations that have NOTHING to do with the video, tv and web business. These are the people that actually pay big money. So your idea of hitting auto repair places, restaurants, shopping centers, etc. is a great idea - perhaps the kind of places that small ad agencies might hit as well - but certainly better that hitting the same video places that everyone that you know is hitting.

As you may know, perserverence is the key. It's takes a lot of "we are not interested" calls to get a couple of good "we'd love to do a video".

Bob Zelin




Return to posts index

Beau Brotherton
Re: New Prod Company-Top small businesses that need video
on Jun 11, 2008 at 2:46:00 pm

Awesome Bob, thanks for your help. It feels good when someone says that your on the track. I haven't finalized my business plan yet, but this signifies that I should further pursue this avenue.

Thanks again, and if anyone else has any comments I would love to hear them.

Best,



Beau Brotherton
Macbook Pro 2.4GHz, Intel Core 2Duo, 4GB
FCP6
HVX200


Return to posts index


Mark Suszko
Re: New Prod Company-Top small businesses that need video
on Jun 12, 2008 at 4:16:53 pm

Here's the thing about that. Who's going to air it?

Gillette made millions giving away razors but charging for the blades.

The money is not in the production, it's in the airtime. This is why it is hard for a new guy like you to get these kinds of businesses you seek, because the local cable company has already been to them. They offer to do the entire production for free if the business buys the air time. Too often, the "free" production looks about what it is worth, but it doesn't seem to matter to the customers.

Point is, you can make a nice spot for Joe's Corner Muffler Shop. But you can't give him a better deal on running it anywhere than an ad agency or cable company can, because they have a discount system that makes outsiders like you automatically cost between ten and twenty percent more for the same product. This is the "agency discount" system. TV stations give recognized agencies a better deal on the airtime than some guy off the street gets. The agencies make their entire profit inside of that discount margin, more or less.

And when Joe finds out he can pay you for your spot but then has to still go to the cable company to make his airtime buy on top of your fee, he'll see that he can just do one-stop-shopping at the cable company and get the entire package for less, and you are out of business. Even if your spots look superior. Same for car lots, karate studios, local mom and pop restoraunts, etc. The bigger chain store operations and franchises get their ads done thru a shared pool, and don't do anything locally except maybe buy airtime, but usually even that is coordinated out of a central office. Which uses an agency, or acts AS the agency.

To beat the system, typically you must join it, and go work for that cable company in the local sales production department.

Or try for more corporate gigs, things like trade shows, training and annual meeting events type things, as well as projects that go on the net like youtube videos and video news releases, that sort of thing. I think no matter how good you are, you're not going to get ahead just trying to make local broadcast promos for the muffler shop.

But maybe making a point of sale video that customers watch in the waiting room of the muffler shop, on how and why Joe's work is superior, a video that upsells Joe's other services and explains technical stuff to non-technical people with clear, well-designed graphics and animation... now THAT is the kind of thing the cable company will not be competing with you on. Though a PR agency might. But that's the kind of custom work that you might want to pursue, because the profit margin is better. Dental offices, eye doctor offices, demo vids to show how a procedure works, there may be some money in that.



Return to posts index

Timothy J. Allen
Re: New Prod Company-Top small businesses that need video
on Jun 12, 2008 at 9:01:28 pm

Beau,
Houston is a great market for corporate video. As Mark said, you don't want to compete against the "free" production that the local stations offer. There is, however a lot of money to be made making videos for small businesses in the area.

I'd advise focusing on producing videos for businesses that employ between say 25 to 500 people. These are large enough to have a real need, but small enough that they don't need full time in-house employees to do what you offer. Your strength is that you can deliver for them "as needed".

Your challenge is educating them on what they need.

This could be anything from safety training for daycare employees to how to install a piece of equipment on the factory floor. it could be short "marketing" videos for everyone from pet food stores to psychoanalysts. The possibilities are endless, but here's a thought to help you target your audience... Go with what you know.

Most of these businesses will not only need your technical services, but they'll need someone who can work with them to best convey the messages. This means that you have another stream of revenue opportunity as a producer/scriptwriter. Having said that, it makes sense to target businesses that are in a line of work that you are already familiar with and that you enjoy being around. You'll need to understand the business's challenges in order to serve them well.


Do you hate doctor's offices, but love motorcycle racing? That's your compass.

Think of yourself as a consultant with an expertise in video production. Teach your clients that it's about more than pushing buttons. This way you won't always be competing for the lowest price.


That may be o.k. starting out, but trust me - it's not how many clients or projects you have that matters, it's how much revenue you pull in once your bills are paid.

Congratulations on surviving the first year, and here's to many more prosperous ones for you!

Tim



Return to posts index

Mick Haensler
Re: New Prod Company-Top small businesses that need video
on Jun 12, 2008 at 11:10:40 pm

I've been in busy for myself only a few months and have had great success with the market you're after. I knew right from the get go that competing with "free" production from the local affiliates and cable companies was a no win situation. Instead, I focused on businesses and non profits needing promotional video. I try to get them to think long term and multi platform. In other words, they might be thinking direct market DVD to a specific demographic. A shoot for that might only be half a day. I sell them on a full day shoot to get as much footage as possible for future projects such as a web video or even a TV spot. The footage is already shot so future costs are mainly post production and packaging. I get a an extra half day shoot fee and they see me as looking out for them and a forward thinker. I just did this with one of the developers I work with. The shoot was mainly still photography testimonial portraits for print ads. Since they were already paying me for my time, I shot a ton of construction stills as well as video. It didn't cost me a dime more and now I'm a hero to the customer. And she took me out to a gourmet lunch to boot!!

This also brings up another topic. Consider offering still photography as well as video. I have a background in still work so this was a natural for me and to date, it's been about 20% of my overall business. It has definitely helped smooth out some rough times. Hope that helps.

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media






Return to posts index


beau brotherton
Re: New Prod Company-Top small businesses that need video
on Jun 12, 2008 at 11:42:58 pm

This is awesome stuff, thanks a lot guys. And Mark, yeah, I didn't have broadcast in mind, I know that I just can't compete. I am mainly focusing on online video for the clients website and training videos.

But I loved you idea about video for waiting rooms in auto shops and medial offices. Also, Tim's advise to focus on companies with 25-500 employees is perfect for what I am needing. And thanks a bunch Mick for telling me about how you advise clients to go with the extra half day to get more footage for future use. I had also thought that I would concentrate more on half days, to save the client money and not to over work myself for these low budgets. But having the relationship with the client to look out for their best interests is something that never occurred to me.

Great stuff again, I love it. THE COW ROCKS!!




Beau Brotherton
Macbook Pro 2.4GHz, Intel Core 2Duo, 4GB
FCP6
HVX200


Return to posts index

Bob Zelin
Re: New Prod Company-Top small businesses that need video
on Jun 14, 2008 at 4:48:24 pm

Beau -
you can compete. In Florida Brighthouse Networks is the local cable company, and they have in house advertising sales production offices that do local spots. But not everyone uses them. Almost every car dealer (for example, and there are plenty of others) uses PRIVATE production companies to do their car spots, which flood the air every day. This is just one example of soliciting the local "non video" guys that will potentially use your services. DO NOT be discouraged. Go out there and fight !

Bob Zelin




Return to posts index

Beau Brotherton
Re: New Prod Company-Top small businesses that need video
on Jun 17, 2008 at 5:15:16 am

Thanks a bunch Bob for the boost of confidence...

You Rock!! :) So does the COW.

I really appreciate everyones input.

Best,







Beau Brotherton
Macbook Pro 2.4GHz, Intel Core 2Duo, 4GB
FCP6
HVX200


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]