Video Production Business Tips – Why Wedding Videographers Should Move to Corporate Video

My main focus in the video production business is to figure out how I can use my talents as a video producer to make the most money with the least amount of effort… all while building a business asset that will someday allow me to retire and travel the world while I’m still young enough to actually enjoy it!

My personal income has increased by about 750% since I started my video production business back in 2000 and the gross sales revenue for the company has grown by over 1200% in the same period of time.

I’m not anywhere close to my definition of wealthy but I’m a heck of a lot closer now than I was 9 years ago when i started this journey as a video business owner. The point I’m trying to make in this article is that the turning point for my wealth and the success of my video business was when I decided to stop pursuing wedding video business and to focus 100% of my efforts on selling, producing and delivering corporate video presentations.

The fact of the matter is that when you sell a wedding video, you are asking a family to give you money out of their personal checking account. When you sell a corporate video, you are asking someone to write you a check out of their business checking account.

The difference is that businesses typically have thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions or even billions of dollars they can tap into in order to purchase your services whereas a family (wedding client) usually has to go into debt to purchase your services.

Which group of people do you think provides the most opportunity for your video business?

Based on my experience, I’d vote corporate every time. Assuming you agree or at least that you are interested in exploring it further, here’s some insight on making the transition from wedding videography to corporate video production.

Please keep in mind that I have nothing against wedding videography and I know that many of you choose to produce wedding videos because you do not enjoy corporate video production. This article isn’t for you.

My uncle Grayson, also an entrepreneur, told me when I first started my video production business that I should always try to sell services that would enable me to make the most money possible with the equipment/software I had invested in.

He added that to sell services that were any less than the most your equipment could produce was not good business and would someday lead to trouble. I must admit that at the time I didn’t really understand what he meant. However, after all the lessons I’ve learned by having my feet in the fire, I know without a shadow of doubt that he was and is absolutely right!

Your $5,000 video camera can be used to produce a $2,000 wedding video. It can also be used to produce a $20,000 training video. The same goes for your editing system, software, etc. Assuming you are a fairly competent editor, you can probably edit the wedding video in about 40-60 hours which means if you work a normal work week of say 50 hours, you’ll be able to produce about $10,000 per month in revenue for your business.

And that’s humping it… not leaving you much time to do anything else to build or run your video production business.

You can plan, shoot and edit the training video in the same one month period of time and due to the nature of the training video market segment, you can command anywhere from $4,000 to $20,000 in fees per video. See where I’m going?

Producing corporate videos will generate you anywhere from twice to five times the income in one month than wedding videos will produce and you can do all or most of it with the same production equipment and software you have now.

So, you can dispel the myth that you have to have more gear to produce corporate videos. It simply isn’t true. You can rent what you don’t own and pass the costs through to the client.

Assuming that you are on the same page with what I’ve mentioned above, doesn’t it make sense to start to gradually shift your thinking to figure out how to get any or a lot of the corporate video business in your area? Yes it does!

Even a small share of the corporate market will dramatically increase your revenue and therefore result in a fatter wallet.

I could write a book on moving from weddings to corporate (and some day I probably will!) but for the sake of my time and yours, I’ll limit this article to a small handful of tips.

1. Pay attention to what the families of the bride and groom do for a living.

Expensive weddings usually mean there is someone on either the bride or groom’s side that has money. Many of these people are either executives for major companies or entrepreneurs of some sort. Target the fathers of the bride and groom to chat with when you are standing in line at the buffet and simply ask them what they do.

(The mother of the bride and groom will still be crazy over the details of the wedding/reception so approach them after the dust has settled on the event.)

If they work for a business or own a business, briefly pitch your corporate services and ask if they mind if you contact them after you have delivered the wedding video to further discuss potential opportunities with their business. Don’t think for a second that they will be offended by talking business at their son or daughter’s wedding.

Trust me, they will be dying for a conversation that doesn’t involve decisions related to the wedding. Plus, if they are affluent, odds are good that many of their clients or executive co-workers are at the wedding anyway and you know that they have already been talking shop because that’s what like minded people do… even at their own son or daughter’s wedding!

CAUTION: I don’t suggest this tactic if the target in this case is the groom. As you know, his mind is scrambled and he won’t remember any conversation he has at the wedding. Call him after you deliver the wedding video and set up the meeting to discuss your corporate services then.

2. When the wedding season is over, look for opportunities to cover important civic events in the community that are sponsored by major businesses.

You simply call the organization and offer to produce a short highlight video of the event or gavel-to-gavel coverage (whatever makes sense for the event) in exchange for a high-level sponsorship package. This will put your logo and exposure on the same level as other major businesses. I’ve done this at about 50 events which has resulted in my video production business being exposed to thousands of corporate prospects.

Not every person in the room or who will watch the video are legitimate prospects for you, but the mass exposure will dramatically increase your corporate video production opportunities and it won’t cost you anything other than your time and the cost of distribution (blank media, hosting, etc). I set up a website that has since been taken down that I used to post the community videos we produced. You can always use a free service like YouTube, Facebook or Vimeo if you don’t want to pay anything to host the videos.

This was a great way to keep our brand top of mind. Be careful though, it will be tempting to think you can make more money by monetizing this event coverage service you are providing. Although you can make a little money charging for this service, keep your eye on the prize.

You want to use this free community service to open the door for larger, high paying projects.

3. Promote yourself as a freelance camera operator or production assistant to local/regional corporate video production companies.

This will help you make extra money in the off-season and will also help you learn the dynamics of corporate video production. Be willing to do anything no matter what the pay is to get your foot in the door. Then, as you build your reputation, you’ll be able to steadily increase your rates over time.

Do your best to present yourself as an ally and not as a person trying to compete with them. You don’t want other producers or videographers to think that you will contact their clients once you’ve left the set of their project.

And, no matter how tempting it will be for you to do so. DON’T! It’s unethical and will damage your reputation. It’s not worth it.

There’s plenty of business for you to get without sharking someone else’s waters. What you’ll find by doing great work and by being an ethical freelance videographer, they’ll start throwing scraps your way – the projects that aren’t worth their time but they still want to handle in order to maintain a positive client relationship.

You’ll get the call to produce it under their umbrella. This not only is an outstanding source of revenue, but also a great way to slowly and profitably break your way into the corporate video production business.

When ran properly and when focused on the right target market, wedding videography can be profitable. However, my experience has shown that much more money can be made with less effort in corporate video production.

I hope you’ll consider making the transition in your own video business or at least that you’ll find ways to expand your service offering to represent business video services. Your success rides on it!

How to Sell Products Online Easily

It makes absolutely no difference what products you want to sell with your online business. If you hope to learn how to sell products online, you only need to think about one important thing.

How do you intend to attract new customers to your website?

You see, no matter what products you’re selling, you need to find customers ready to buy whatever it is you promote. You want those customers to come directly to your website and buy your products from you. That’s the whole essence of any successful internet business.

So, how do you find those customers? There are lots of ways you can do this. If you want to learn how to sell products online, you’ll need to work out a strategy that works best for you.

Bring Customers Directly to You

Think about what you would do if you jumped online and looked for information about something you want. Most likely, you’d head over to your favorite search engine and type in a phrase describing what you’re looking for.

Your customers are exactly the same. They’ll go to a search engine and type in what they want. The results they get back from that search will determine which websites they visit. If your website doesn’t appear in those search results, chances are those customers will end up on your competitor’s website instead of yours.

However, if you can learn some simple website optimization tactics you can greatly increase the likelihood of those people finding your site and becoming paying customers.

Targeting the Right Customers

Learning how to sell products online successfully is all about targeting the right types of people to visit your website. After all, if your website is receiving thousands of random visitors a day who really aren’t interested in what you’re selling, those people are no good to you.

But if you attract 100 visitors a day who are all keenly interested in your products, you’re going to make sales. These people are your target audience. You need to learn what they want and what words they type into search engines when they’re ready to buy. If you can target only those people who are interested in your products, you’ll be more successful.

Pay for Customers

Another alternative for finding new customers is to pay for some online advertising. Most online business owners tend to start their enterprises on a shoe-string budget, so you may not have the available cash to do this right away. However, as your business grows you can invest some of your profits back into advertising. If you’re careful with your marketing campaign, you may be able to attract more targeted visitors to your site by advertising directly to them.

Learning how to sell products online isn’t difficult. You only need to understand the tactics behind successful online business to copy that model for yourself.

General Hints On Advertising

In advertising, the psychological effects are of greater importance than the physiological ones – i.e. as the “psychological” has the power to affect the mind generally, the latter, with the impact on the visual, is being merely registered by the eyes and absorbed as “pictorial effects”. These should first and foremost pertain exclusively to the item advertised and not, as sometimes is the case, have nothing or very little to do with, and can therefore be ” a dead loss”, in the effect it is supposed to have. Not to mention, that too many “diverse” pictures detract from the very name of the products advertised. The importance of the psychological effect should be stressed, by not only presenting the whole advertisement in “good taste”, but by making it attractive or appealing, which is something everyone responds to.

It should contain nothing that “distracts” through visual images that put the actual item advertised (and its name) into the background, resulting in a “weaker” impact on the viewer. It should also contain something about its value, its general assets and, if it is of well known long standing – its emphasis on tradition included. “Obviously overdone” emphasis on its effective result (as applicable to some – and mostly aimed at usage for women) – often can have the opposite effect, as every woman is not only reacting to the promise of beauty, but also the quality and health of the product.

It is also worth noting that “beauty” in an advertisement is more appealing to both sexes then the stressing of mechanical performance etc. The simulated speed, in harmony with the right background of a sleek automobile, for instance, has more power of “attraction” than the stress on its mechanical performance or assembly and composition, which is only for some mechanically minded men.

Products for every day needs are the hardest to successfully advertise – so it seems! How about an attractive or appealing sales person holding the product and simply but skilfully stating its merits and advantages, the focus being on the item in the hand and its name, rather then a story telling picture behind a distracting background, both of which detract from the total effects of the item, which can lead to: “by the time advertisement ends and all its contents have been taken notice off”, the name of the product has gone by almost, unnoticed. With spoken words, it should also be taken into consideration, which class of people – if not all – the product for sale is aimed at. The more expensive and luxurious the product, the “higher” or more “educated” should be the accompanying comments, and simpler common place expression for ordinary, everyday items aimed for general consumption to the general public.

In all advertising, as all its advertised items – one motto stands with best results for effect and continuity: HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY!

Video Production Business Tips – The Future of Video Production Businesses

I typically try not to spend a lot of time looking into a crystal ball, but a coaching client of mine asked what I thought the video production business will look like in 5, 10 and 20 years. My insight is based on how I perceive the industry with regard to society, multimedia and technology. Here’s what I have to say.

Regarding the video business in the next 5 years, I think video overall is coming back full-force. Corporate video was very popular in the 80’s but started to die down pretty significantly in the 90’s due to the emergence of CD-ROM authoring and distribution capabilities. This is also when PowerPoint hit the scene heavily in the corporate presentation environment. In my opinion, now is a great time to start a video business and with proper marketing and sales strategies, you’ll be able to really flourish in the coming 5 years.

In 10 years, I believe that bandwidth will finally catch up with High-Definition (HD) camera quality (probably before then but definitely by 10 years). Full-resolution HD videos/films will be accessible on your laptop, phones, in your cars, everywhere! The thing to always remember though is that no matter what the technology is doing, you want to remain highly focused on content creation, or storytelling. There will always be a new technology and a new group of investors willing to dump millions or even billions into the technology.

Let the big boys spend all their money on the technology. Just get real proficient at learning new technologies as they come available. Then, teach your clients how you can help them adapt the new technologies in their communications strategies. I believe that no matter how much technology changes, there will still be a need for good video producers/storytellers. In 10 years, there will be more channels than compelling content.

It will be much easier to start your own television/web network and advertisers will have an unlimited supply of choices on where to run their advertisements. Niche markets/audiences will be the key to success in a decade. If you command a high percentage of a particular market segment, you’ll be able to develop channels with content that serves that market and make a nice income selling advertising space or member subscriptions.

Note:The tools to produce videos will get cheaper and cheaper every year so it is vitally important that you position your video production business and yourself as a producer who understands business/marketing/training communications… not just video production. You will need to focus heavily on the consultation part of the video business instead of just cameras and software. There will be people who buy gear and call themselves “pros” on a daily basis but the companies that stay focused on the “strategy level of thinking” when dealing with clients will prevail.

This has worked for me so I continue to stay positioned in this manner.

In 20 years… who knows? I’m sure that video will still be a profitable business but the technology will probably be out of this world in terms of what it can do. As I’ve stated before, no matter what the technology does, their will only be a small percentage of the population that will understand how to craft a compelling and effective message. Study the technologies over the years and figure out quickly how they apply to the video business and how your clients can use them to improve their communications.

I think in 20 years, video WILL be as common and necessary as having a website or email address is today. Instead of business cards, you’ll have a video card. Instead of a brochure, you’ll have a brochure with tiny chips that can show videos right on the paper.

The above comments were all related to the corporate video industry. How will the consumer video industry fare?

The short and probably best answer is that people will always get married, have birthday parties, and need family history videos. The point is that consumer video needs will never go away. Unlike business, video needs that ebb and flow with the economy, personal video needs are ALWAYS there. There isn’t as much money to be made serving consumers but the demand will always be there.

In fact, I can’t seem to shake the thought process of developing several consumer- related video businesses that serve this unending need. (Weddings, birthdays, college sports reels, etc.) There is a lot more competition in the consumer video industry because the videos are easier to produce and the client doesn’t have the same expectations as to quality as the business customer does. The key is to develop branded products that are easy for the customer to understand and afford. Then, promote them like there is no tomorrow!

I recommend looking at two parallel plans going forward.

Focus primarily on building a video service that develops business videos but also look at serving consumer needs. In the early years of your video production business, the consumer needs often pay the bills when the video business clients go missing in action. Plus, the consumer jobs pay faster.