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Marketing! To cold call, walk in, email, or send a letter/proposal pkg

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james parker
Marketing! To cold call, walk in, email, or send a letter/proposal pkg
on May 19, 2011 at 12:15:57 pm

First off, Hello. I am a recent graduate in Media/video production. I got an HMC 150 along with a tripod, dolly, bag, light extra batteries. I have a mic & stand and xlr cables. I am starting up a production company(out of my home while i continue to deliver pizzas :D) with an end goal of producing documentaries.
I have a bunch of small creative projects that i plan to pursue but these projects arent the ones that will pay the bills because i will work on them for cheap and possibly free because they are fun!

So i will be marketing myself as a wedding/recital videographer initially.

I have four choices that i know of to market myself cheap!
Cold call
Walk injust walk in and say hello.
Sales letter/pkgincluding business cards not like a sale paper but a letter introducing my company
Email same as above just in email format.

So i thought well maybe do a cold call, letter, and email. or replace cold call with walk in. But i dont want to aggravate my possible clients.

Here the message i want to send.
With recitals I would contact. Dance studios and other similar businesses.
Weddings i would contact. Everything connected with a wedding. the local venue's, dress shops, tux shops, flower shops, wedding planners, photographers(assuming they dont shoot video) possibly even caterers.

What works best for you?
Should i attempt multiple all at the same time? or try one then another then another?
or just stick with one?

Wishing you the best,
James Parker

Always looking for some critiques on my work... bored?
take a look!
http://www.vimeo.com/parkerproductions


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Richard Herd
Re: Marketing! To cold call, walk in, email, or send a letter/proposal pkg
on May 19, 2011 at 5:46:35 pm

It's also important to establish relationships. Instead of just walking in and passing out your card to the dance studio, perhaps attend the performance.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Marketing! To cold call, walk in, email, or send a letter/proposal pkg
on May 20, 2011 at 1:14:11 am

Overt marketing is frowned upon these days. Networking is how you'll make it. You have to volunteer and work with others who will pass your name on to others by word of mouth in order to establish yourself.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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james parker
Re: Marketing! To cold call, walk in, email, or send a letter/proposal pkg
on May 20, 2011 at 6:47:25 am

I hate that this type of marketing is not key. It's twice as hard the other way. not that im scared of hard work. I just need to make money to pay bills. I appreciate the comment. Another idea i had was to offer an incentive for anyone who finds me a paying customer. Say 50 bucks? Im not sure. It worked when i sold cars haha.
I am attempting networking. I shot a wedding recently and have connected with a photographer and wedding planner. both were happy with my work. I am also working on a free project for a local charitable organization with a local and national celebrity.
So i am networking. but you are completely against traditional marketing? is there another way that i havent thought of that creates more immediate results?

Thanks again!


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Mike Cohen
Re: Marketing! To cold call, walk in, email, or send a letter/proposal pkg
on May 20, 2011 at 2:02:31 pm

[james parker] "I hate that this type of marketing is not key. It's twice as hard the other way. not that im scared of hard work. I just need to make money to pay bills."

Never say "this is hard work" - that's why it's called work. You're not digging ditches or breaking rocks, but you are working just as hard to get clients, do great work and most importantly keep clients.

Good for you for seeking out advice on this forum, and for being smart enough to (hopefully) heed the advice. We see a lot of people who ask a question, then when they don't like the answer they push back because it wasn't the answer they were looking for. Don't do that.

As Bob Zelin said - life is hard. Get ready to work your tail off every day.

[james parker] "I just need to make money to pay bills."

Yeah, desperation can make you think there must be a magic bullet solution. If there were, we'd all be doing it.

You mentioned weddings, dance recitals and delivering pizzas. Where's your demo reel showing your mad wedding, dance and pizza video skills? You have no links on this page:
http://my.creativecow.net/james-parker2/about

Got a Vimeo, YouTube or Creative COW reels page?

Take your expensive camera and show the world what you've got. Shoot a documentary about your pizza shop and make it look like more than a used car commercial. There are a million people shooting weddings - if you want to compete with them go for it. But people plan weddings 6 to 18 months out.

Good luck, and be sure to return to this thread to let us know what else you are doing to promote yourself.

Mike Cohen


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james parker
Re: Marketing! To cold call, walk in, email, or send a letter/proposal pkg
on May 20, 2011 at 10:39:16 pm

Thanks for your advice!
I have a vimeo page up. And i recently created a facebook page. Im working toward getting a website. And i have created a doc and am in the process of completing a full legnth doc that im submitting to pbs and mpb. My demo reel is on vimeo along with a wedding video and other projects.
http://www.vimeo.com/parkerproductions


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Marketing! To cold call, walk in, email, or send a letter/proposal pkg
on May 20, 2011 at 9:53:34 pm

[james parker] "I hate that this type of marketing is not key. It's twice as hard the other way."

It's not a traditional business that trades a traditional commodity. Your talent is the sole commodity of your business, and the only way to establish your talent is to perform over and over again until your talent is recognized by enough paying clients to cover your bills.

It takes time, because every single competitor of yours sells almost exactly the same thing, and many have been doing it a lot longer than you have. Why should someone hire you over all the other recent college grads doing exactly what you do? Or for that matter, why should they hire you when there are people and companies with expertise and experience that you can't possibly have at this point?

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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james parker
Re: Marketing! To cold call, walk in, email, or send a letter/proposal pkg
on May 20, 2011 at 10:44:12 pm

You make a good point. The only answer i could give to why choose me is that im an Emmy Nominee haha. And my work speaks for its self. Its no where near perfect and i know its not the best in the world. But it's better than anyone i went to school with by a lot!


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Marketing! To cold call, walk in, email, or send a letter/proposal pkg
on May 20, 2011 at 11:18:19 pm

[james parker] "it's better than anyone i went to school with by a lot!"

That, and all the things above as well, should be more than enough for your own satisfaction, and that's what will keep you going for the next ______ years.

If all that keeps you motivated is money and recognition from others, you'll never last long enough to make it in this business. It's your belief in yourself that carries you onward toward the finish line.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Marketing! To cold call, walk in, email, or send a letter/proposal pkg
on May 20, 2011 at 1:21:03 am

James -
first, I suggest that you get a job (not delivering pizza). Even if you get paid zero, get a job, and see how it's done. You can't open up a pizza store, if you have never worked in a pizza store, to see what it's like to order the cheese, manage employees (like the pizza delivery guy), take orders, get screwed on pizza's you made, and they never got picked up, etc. You need to WORK somewhere first.

Then, when you get out on your own, you do EVERYTHING. And guess what - when you finally start to get work, you will continue to do this FOREVER - that means that you will market yourself FOREVER, with post cards, emails, cold calls, showing up, networking yourself, meeting people, etc. etc. All the friends that you have that are not in your business circle will slowly start to fade away, and your new friends (who you will take out to dinner, and socialize with - even get drunk with) - are the ones that are getting you work. And you will get busier, and busier, and have no time to do antyhing else, because you are working, shooting these jobs, editing these jobs, and marketing yourself constantly - even when you are busy - so that you STAY busy. And it will be exhausting. The only reward is that you are making money.

If this all sounds terrible, and that you have no time for yourself anymore, then I strongly suggest forgetting about business, and getting a job somewhere. The day that you stop marketing yourself, is the day that your "one big client" disappears, and you are now unemployed.


Bob Zelin



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james parker
Re: Marketing! To cold call, walk in, email, or send a letter/proposal pkg
on May 20, 2011 at 6:58:08 am

Thank you for your comment. I agree 100%, and i am currently looking for a position anywhere! The problem is i live in a small city of less than 100,000 people. There is a local broadcast station and im attempting work with them, as well as several churches. I want to stay away from local production company's because i want to freelance on the side. Also... there work is not as good as mine. Not that mine is the greatest, theirs is just dated...
I know that i dont know everything. Im just learning as much as fast as i can. Thats why im posting questions in forums looking for help. Im working on pricing and contracts. Looking for freelance editing gigs. anything to keep me going.
Finally that doesnt sound bad at all...


Thanks again for your help
James


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Scott Carnegie
Re: Marketing! To cold call, walk in, email, or send a letter/proposal pkg
on May 24, 2011 at 6:43:05 pm

" I want to stay away from local production company's because i want to freelance on the side."

This is a mistake.

If you are fresh out of school the first thing to do, rather than set-up a freelance business, is to work for several years with a broadcaster, production company or with someone established.

Get on with a local production company, learn everything you can while getting paid a decent wage, you will work with other professioanls that will get you gigs later on when you are freelance and have them as contacts.

You will learn more being around experienced people than you will scraping by by youself thinking everything you do is great when you need someone to show you what your mistakes are and how to improve. You need mentorship, you don't get that being a lone freelancer right out of school.

http://www.MediaCircus.TV
Media Production Services
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


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Malcolm Matusky
Re: Marketing! To cold call, walk in, email, or send a letter/proposal pkg
on May 26, 2011 at 1:20:46 am

"Their work is dated"

It may be that the clients are "dated." When you make films for clients, not yourself, you have to subject your ideas of what makes a great or appropriate film, to those of the client. Push on every project to get them "up to date" but they are paying the bills...so they do have the last word as to what they will accept.

You cannot make corporate videos/training/promotions the same way you would make skate board videos, reality tv or other types of programming. Watch what others are doing in your area and learn what sells, each market is different to some extent and you have to respect that. The clients vanity causes me the most grief, they don't look like movie stars, and never will, yet they all want to look 10x better than they do. I finished one medical film and the head of the clinic refused to use the film because she looked "too fat." When you are 5' tall and weigh over 250 lbs, that's' what you look like! She was not selling weight loss services, and she was personable on camera, too bad the entire production was destroyed because of vanity. If you think getting started is hard, having a production derailed by vanity is hard to take, even after 25 years in business for me.

Malcolm
http://www.malcolmproductions.com


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