This is my first CC post! I am located in Australia and have been working in the video industry for about 8 years. Recently, due to the economy, I was made redundant. I am trying to get my own Video Production Business off the ground but am finding the hardest part is knowing how to let potential clients know that I exist. Before I worked in video I ran my own Graphic Design business so I understand what is involved in making it on your own.
I would love to hear stories on how others got their companies up and running. How did you source clients? Were there things that you tried that in hindsight were wasting your time? In the graphic design world, nearly everyone needed a graphic designer (mechanics, hairdressers, etc) but not everyone can afford video.
Anything to help me and any others in my position target the right clients would be great. :)
Congratulations on your new venture! The best thing I did to source clients when starting my video business was to network with other professionals at local association meetings. Some of these meetings included the Chamber of Commerce, PRSA (public relations society of america), Ad Federation, BNI (Business Networking International), Manufacturers Association, Safety Association, etc.
I found that the first step to being successful with my video business was to simply get to know as many people as possible and to make sure they had my business card. Then, I'd take the ones I felt could be most beneficial to my success long term and I'd contact them at a later date with the intention of meeting them for coffee or lunch. While at this meeting, I'd get to know them even better and would give them a copy of my demo reel along with any other information about my video production services that they may find useful.
I've since added a step in this process by adding these contacts to my email database so I can stay in touch with them on a regular basis with new service announcements, project case studies, etc.
This effort alone worked to grow my business rapidly in the first 3 years and honestly, continues to be the only strategy that guarantees results. I've tried a lot of marketing strategies like advertising, direct mail, sponsorships, etc...but nothing results in new business better than networking with people who can either hire you or recommend you to someone who has the authority and money to hire you. Good luck and let me know if I can do anything to help you get your video business off the ground. I'm excited for you!
Kris makes an excellent point. Whether you are new to the market or not, you need to let people know you exist. Aside from wedding videos, multimedia production is generally not a Yellow Pages kind of business.
A great website with examples of your work helps, but again, people need to know about it.
Word of mouth can go a long way. In our business, word gets around if you have done some great work for an individual or a large organization.
Do you specialize in a particular kind of production? Trying to be all things to all people can work but get really good at something and become known for it and word will get around. Easier said than done, I know, but you gotta have a goal.
Try to find a niche, convince a few people in that niche to let you do something for them, and that's a start. You want people in your niche area to say, "We need a Pete Brewer treatment for our business. It seems to be working for XYZ Competitor up the road."
Thanks for the info Kris and Mike. The niche part is what I am finding the hardest. I enjoy the drama and music work the best but I don't think that will keep food on the table at the moment. I've had lots of experience making 'teaching' style videos but I couldn't see myself doing that forever. I'd get bored! :) I really need to put more thought into that. The 'niche' seems to be the way to go.