I've been freelancing for about 4 years now and I'm looking to take things up a notch. Over the years I've produced all types of video projects from corporate videos, event videography, weddings, music videos etc for large to small business, organizations and individuals.
I continue to get a steady flow of work from all these fields. So i guess my question is, should I market/brand my company as the video company that does it all or should I choose a niche and specialize? OR, should I set up 2 or more companies that each specialize in their given fields?
I imagine that most of you will advise me to specialize, however I don't want to turn away future work from new and existing clients just because I've chosen not to do video work in their field.
In a way, you can do both, thanks to the web and new phone technology. You can have an overall blanket production company identity, and subsidiary identities that specialize. You can thus have a biz media division, an event video division, and a documentary division, etc.
This is a great way to keep separate the wedding business from your corporate stuff, for example. Sites that throw both together next to each other chase away business from both, IMO.
From there it is relatively trivial to set up the phones so that the clients filter in thru one of the subs. Sure you still take ALL the calls, but now you take them as the Wedding guy or the Corporate guy, etc. and you look much more professional.
As far as long term strategy, I am a long time proponent of finding one highly specialized market niche where you can really be distinct and a master, and servicing the hell out of it. It is easier to be a big frog in the smaller pond, and just because a niche is small, doesn't necessarily make it unprofitable.
Your specialty will always be why folks come to you, not the place down the road.
That said, my specialty these days IS a turn-key production as a one man band. While this sounds like a generalist or a jack of all trades, it's not looked at such by folks with a budget who need a video by Friday. My ability to quote a flat fee for that video by friday is now my selling point.
It all depends on your marketing. You can branch off into new areas and expand your business BUT you need to clearly and specifically explain these new areas in all your marketing materials and promotions.
Its good to offer a range of services, because an area you are dabbling in could be a huge part of your business a year from now, this happens a lot with media artists. But again you need to convey it clearly to new clients and especially existing clients.