So we’ve learnt about the 16 Mindsets that we need to grow a successful video business. Next, we come to a section that a lot of people were probably looking forward to: how to get clients!
We’re going to start from the beginning and go piece by piece through a tried-and-tested process for getting clients.
You won’t wake up tomorrow and suddenly have a swarm of eager clients outside your place (although that would be nice!) Instead, we’re going to make gradual changes that make an incremental difference to your client getting abilities.
This is the best way I know to get clients knocking your door down.
Make Client Attraction a Priority
Having learnt which mindsets create maximum success whilst we’re getting our video production business off the ground, let’s now focus on practical steps that you can take to grow your business quickly.
Without clients, we don’t have a video production business. Let’s get that right out there first of all.
Clients, however tiresome they can sometimes be (not always!), are what makes our business tick. With video production, you’re going to find most of your work by being hired in as a freelancer to complete a certain video production task.
The range of potential clients is as wide-ranging as the number of potential different tasks. We already talked in the last section about deciding on a segment of the video production industry that you want to target. It’s unlikely that you’ll be trying to fulfil every segment of the potential market.
You can, of course, be open to anything that comes your way. That has always been my approach. I originally marketed myself to two different segments of the potential video business market:
- brides seeking bohemian wedding videography, and
- business-people selling high-end products/services without any online video
As you can see, two vastly different types of clients. One of the most important things I did was to have separate website for each service. After all, a bride isn’t going to be interested in seeing samples of promo videos if she’s looking for a wedding video. And, likewise, a business owner looking for help with promo videos would have been turned off by seeing wedding videos on my website.
The important thing was that I was open to other video production work coming my way. Like I say, I marketed myself primarily to those two types of clients, but I was ready to take on music video work, documentary projects, real estate promo videos, etc.
The options really are endless.
Here’s our first key point: If you don’t make the time for your Client Attraction, then you’re simply not going to attract all the clients you need.
Clear The Decks And Get Rid Of The “Leaks” In Your Day
What are the things which really drain your time each day?
Texting your friends?
All that time spent in front of the TV?
I recommend that you spend up to 2 hours on marketing per day for the first 6 months to a year in business, or whenever you need a new boost of clients.
Of course, if you’re starting out as a freelancer who’s doing this part-time, your numbers will be different. Try for 4 hours of marketing per week.
Many people gasp at that number when I first share it with them, because they usually spend no more than 1 hour per week, if that.
Remember, it’s much more difficult to attract new clients when you’re not out there sharing with people what you do – networking, writing newsletters, articles, following up with potential clients, asking current clients for referrals, etc.
There are only 2 things you should be working on:
- Client work – doing work for clients, the stuff that makes you money.
- Client Attraction and Marketing – the stuff that gets you clients.
Everything else has to go or can wait until after 5 P.M. I know, this is pretty drastic to some, but it can be something you strive for, at least for the short term.
When you start seeing consistent results in your Client Attraction, you’ll be able to decrease the number of hours you spend on marketing each day and reinstate some of the things you enjoyed doing beforehand but had to put on pause for awhile.
1. Clear the decks. If you know that you need 4 hours of marketing per week (I scheduled 6 hours per week to healthily fill out my client list in the early days of my video business) then you’ve simply got to make room for it. Your business-and livelihood depends on it.
2. Make a commitment to eliminate the things (for the short-term) that eat up major amounts of time each day and week.
3. Now, don’t give me that sad face. Remember, this is not forever; it’s just for right now, a few months, until you get all the clients you need. Then you can slowly start adding things back in.
I recommend clustering your appointments for efficient use of time, leaving you plenty to use on marketing to new prospects, networking, writing, or preparing shoots/edits.
Here’s how to do it:
Agree that, at first, you’ll work with specific clients on certain days, let’s say, Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, using the remaining work days for marketing and other things.
The client doesn’t have to know that you’re doing this. You may just want to tell them that you have appointments available only on those days and times this week.
I work with clients only 12 days a month. Yes, only 12 days a month. That’s 4 days per week (taking every Friday off), and just the first 3 weeks of the month, leaving each 4th week of the month completely blank.
Those days off can either be your marketing days… or vacation days.
I recommend using them as your marketing days until you have a full client list, and then taking half of them as downtime days when you no longer need to work so hard to get clients.
On my days off I either go to the beach, work on other business projects, or hangout with friends and chill.
I tell my clients that those are my writing/chillout days and that I’m not available for video work/meetings of any kind.
They respect that and it gives me time either to work on my business or enjoy life away from business. Or else it allows me just to enjoy life knowing that I’m not making any less money by living the kind of life I want.
Focus on Results and Remarkable Advantages
The key is, it’s got to be about them, and that’s what draws people to you.
The more you can talk about them, their problems and what solutions are out there for them, the more you’ll start really getting attention from prospects.
Better yet, the more clients you’ll have wanting to work with you.
Get specific about what you can really do for clients: The results.
When talking about what they do for clients, most people end up talking about the process of what they do, not what they really do for clients.
You’ve got to talk about benefits.
- How would your video production service improve the business of a client?
- How would your skills benefit a prospects company?
- How could your promo videos boost sales?
- What great reaction would the bride’s family have to her wedding video when she shows them?
- How will your music video improve the number of gigs a band gets locally?
You have to start thinking in this way if you want to make a business of your video work. Sure, passion projects and things you do with friends on the side is fine, but if you want to make this is a business, then you’ll need to start thinking this way.
Create a series of statements from these benefits and solutions simple enough for a 6-year old child to understand and repeat.
From there, combine them into a captivating 3 or 4 sentence statement that you’ll use in all your marketing communications and every time you meet someone new.
Focus on the Massive Motivators
People, all people, are strongly motivated by a number of key aspects. Sure, there will be variables and certain people that a few of these don’t apply to. But for the most part, we can assume that the average person is motivated by certain issues/challenges that are daily life struggles or goals.
We call these Massive Motivators. These are the things that people wake up in the morning thinking about, and go to bed thinking about them, also.
Below, I’m going to list the most powerful Massive Motivators that people think about everyday. All businesses that know what they’re doing, use a number of these in their business and marketing. Some types of businesses use more, some less. You should be able to link at least 4 of these to the service you offer potential clients:
How people can…
- Make money
- Save money
- Save time
- Avoid effort
- Get more comfort
- Achieve greater security
- Attain better health
- Escape physical pain
- Gain praise
- Be popular
Not every one of these fits your business model. Most likely, yours fall into the top 4 motivators, which are the most common in the majority of industries you will pitch your video production services to.
So, how about some examples?
A business looking for your video service – make money, save time, gain praise, be popular.
A bride seeking out wedding video services – get more comfort, gain praise, be popular.
Who Are Your Competitors, Really?
Another way to phrase this is: Who might you lose business to?
A simple way to find this out is to run Google searches for “your local area + video production.”
That should give you a number of search results to look through.
Checkout what your rivals are doing, what they’re saying and how they’re positioning themselves.
For instance, if you’d like to make videos for local jewelery shops – try searching Google for those video production businesses who are aiming their services at the jewelery industry.
Look at your competitors websites and ask yourself the following questions:
- What market(s) are they aiming their services at?
- How are they targeting themselves?
- What tools are they using? Social media? An email newsletter?
- What kind of engagement do they have with their market?
- How can you target yourself at your chosen market in a better way?
This will help us with the next step, which is about differentiating yourself so much that someone can’t help but want to work with you as opposed to the competition.
Know What Sets You Apart
At this point, you should have analyzed your local competitors and really drilled down into what they’re offering and how.
Next, you’re going to create what’s called a Unique Selling Proposition.
Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) answers these questions:
1. Of all the video businesses going after my target market, what do I do that others do not?
2. What features of my video business set me apart from others?
3. What benefits can I promise that others do not?
4. Why should a prospective client work with me as opposed to someone else?
Make Yourself Stand Out
Find out what you can offer that no one else can. Stand out and be different.
When it comes to video businesses, services are most often sold on value, not as a commodity (like supermarket food is).
By finding the difference that makes the difference, you set yourself apart and will be well on your way to having clients eagerly banging at your door.
As Seth Godin says in his seminal work, The Purple Cow: “Cows, after you’ve seen one or two or ten, are boring. A Purple Cow though…now that would be something.”
Here’s Seth himself on the concept on standing out:
What is your compelling story around your business?
What brought you to do what you’re doing today with such passion?
When starting out, it’s important to have this in the back of your mind, ready to use in later marketing materials.
A good example of this is the Introduction I wrote for this course. Can you sense the passion I have for teaching this material?
Sprinkle your Compelling Story in your marketing materials, in meetings and in general conversation with people you meet.
Having passion is so important in this business. To get the kind of clients you really want, you will need to demonstrate that you’re the kind of person that a client would want to work with.
This is demonstrated throughout your marketing materials and in every interaction with a potential client, especially during the Initial Meeting.
It’s a little bit like a job interview, but you’ll find yourself having to do quite a few of these ‘interviews’ before you become established.
If there’s a choice between a number of options, a potential client will be looking for that spark, that special sauce, if you will. If all things are equal in skill and what you can bring to the table as a finished product, then the working experience becomes incredibly important.
How can you make working with you an awesome and unforgettable experience? How can you present your passion in the work you do for potential clients?