This is Part 2 of the section of the video production business guides about How To Close The Sale. As always, if you haven’t read the other part, it’s here. I’d recommend you start at the beginning of the guides if you haven’t already.
It’s time to talk about developing selling systems and what to do once you’ve got the close and made the sale. We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s jump in and start selling our services!
Develop Systems And People For Everything In Your Video Business
I just want to touch on this slightly. The more success you have with your video business, the more you’ll come to understand the importance of having solid and effective systems.
Set up systems for everything – your marketing, your sales strategy and your workflow once you have the work.
Figure out what you will do daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly so that you too can go from being undisciplined with not enough clients, to disciplined with a full client list.
As you get more advanced on your journey, you will probably start to consider having people ‘on your books’ as employees. This isn’t a road you have to go down. It’s simply an option that many people find themselves taking once they start getting much busier.
At first, you’ll most likely start having people working for you on a freelance basis. From there, as you get busier, you might even consider actually having employees – first on a part-time basis, and later on a full-time basis.
Employee law is outside the scope of this course. You should, naturally, consult all the laws and tax issues pertaining to your location.
Some examples of people that you might have in your business helping with your business systems:
An accountant handles all the books so that all of your finances are balanced, especially at the end of the tax year.This is most likely someone who you will employ just around tax time. But, as your business scales, a full-time accountant might become a necessity.
An intern can help with various tasks. I often get approached by college students who want experience working on shoots, editing, or doing business tasks of all kinds. You can find help through interns. Just ensure you treat them well and don’t just have them as a “slave” doing all the tasks you don’t want to do.
A Personal Assistant
This is one that you’ll probably encounter a necessity for first. As discussed earlier in the course, so many businesses are now outsourcing through online Virtual Assistants. These are people all over the world who can perform any number of tasks for you.
The great thing is, they can be working away on the other side of the world whilst you’re sleeping. Need some task performed ready for a meeting first thing the next morning, just set your Virtual Assistant (or VA) the task and have them do it overnight whilst you sleep. It’s a wonderful thing to wake up and find work done for you!
Whether you go with an in-person assistant or a Virtual Assistant, shop away to find the right fit for you. You should interview everyone who works for your business one way or another (even if they’re working remotely online). Make sure they’re a great fit for your personality and your business.
Finding an exceptional assistant who’s great at what they do and who gels well with your personality can be tough. When you find one, make sure you treat them well and hold onto them!
A Second Shooter
This is another position that might come up sooner than later. This is someone who has camera skills already who you have come along with you on projects to act as a “second camera.”
Depending on skill level, this might be someone who captures b-roll (less crucial shots that establish a scene) or it could be someone who you even send out on projects on their own.
In a lot of partnership based video businesses, the “second shooter” is essentially the other partner in the business.If you find a great second shooter who works hard and really knows what they’re doing, hold onto them. Pay them what they deserve and keep them around, because finding a really good one can be like finding a needle in a haystack!
This is quite self-explanatory. Like with a second shooter, as your business gets busier and busier, you might find the need for an additional editor (assuming you’re doing all the video editing work when you first start your business).
Video editing is a very time consuming process and you’ll find that you can’t be everywhere wearing every hat at once. If you need to be out on a shoot, it might pay to have someone editing what you shoot whilst the project is going on. This way, you’re free to run the business and shoot the footage. This is especially true if deadlines are looming.
Like with all people in your business, you should do your due diligence and interview any prospective video editor that you bring into your business. Great editors are hard to find.
As you scale and get bigger, you might consider the need for legal counsel on any number of things.Whether it’s copyright issues with images or sound effects, or perhaps a legal dispute with a client (hopefully not!), finding a trusted legal guide will be in your best interests as you grow.
Just a final note on this section
There’s also always the risk of someone learning what they need to from you and then going out on their own as a freelancer themselves. This is a risk inherent in all kinds of businesses and is just a part of a natural process that you cannot (and should not) interfere with.
Treat your people well and pay them what they’re worth. That’s all you can do.
Remember to always have systems and scaling in your mind as your business grows. You are the captain of your ship and your leadership is what will keep the ship afloat.
No matter how big you get and how many employees you eventually have working for you (if you want to!), you should always be aware of where you’re going.
Ask yourself, “Is what I am doing right now growing and advancing my business?” Honestly knowing the answer to that question will hold you in good standing.
1. As your business grows, ensure that you have enough hours in the day to meet the needs of your clients.
2. If you find yourself lacking in time or resources, consider hiring people to help you solve your time or resources issue.
3. Do the due diligence on anyone who you hire in your business. Where have they worked before? What’s their background? Are they referred to you by someone you know?
4. Interview anyone who will be working within your business. What is their personality like? What are their communication skills like? Do you think they would be a good fit within your business?
5. Employ people when you need them to solve a problem in your business, but not before. Treat people the way you’d like to be treated if you were an employee.
6. If you hire interns, don’t give them the jobs you don’t want to do. Treat them fairly and give them an insight into your video business.
Actually Doing The Work
Once you have a client, it’s time to actually do the work.
Once again, I don’t intend this course to be a technical manual. So if you need resources on how to do the work (shooting, editing, exporting, etc) there are plenty of great resources out there for that. Drop me a line using the Contact page here and I’d be happy to give you my recommendations.
I could also talk all day about workflow and how I’ve mastered a process from sale through to delivery of the finished product. However, that’s outside the scope of this course
I will say that time and efficiency is everything in this business.
Great communication with your clients is paramount. You’ll benefit your business massively if you seek out productivity tips and tricks wherever possible and gradually streamline your workflow and your business. Time is money, as they say.
WORKING WITH CLIENTS – DEADLINES, EXPECTATIONS & COMMUNICATION
If you’re not set a deadline by the client, set one for yourself.
Not a soft deadline, like a “I might get it done between the 4th and the 7th.” Make it a hard deadline, for example: “This video will be uploaded to Vimeo and an email sent to the client to let him know where it’s located by 4pm Friday.”
Always enter a project knowing what the exact requirements are for both you and the client. As discussed earlier in the course, you should be drafting out a proposal document and indicate exactly what you expect from the client as early as possible.
For instance, does she have to give you images for use in the videos? Let her know politely that this needs to be with you by x-date.
You should also always be letting the client know what is possible and not possible. You should never try to do something that you know is not possible (or that you physically can’t do!) just to satisfy a client.
You should, instead, be upfront and honest. They’ll respect you more and it also avoids the horrible situation where something goes wrong and you then need to explain what happened to the client.
At that point, the client won’t remember that you did it just to satisfy their whims. You’ll be trying to explain things from a “Why on earth did you do that!?!?” position.
If you are upfront and honest from the beginning about all things, you won’t ever need to try and justify why you did something to satisfy the client’s whims.
Always keep the client informed. Setbacks and delays will happen in this business. That’s a natural part of the territory. As long as you set expectations, the client will always know where you both stand, you will not disappoint and projects will be completed to client satisfaction.
And most of all: deliver above and beyond what you promise. It’s better to promise something reasonable and over-deliver, than to promise the earth and under-deliver.
It’s all about providing the client with the best possible video production service they can get and then asking them to write you an awesome testimonial, which, in turn, helps you get more clients.
Here’s marketing maestro Michael Port on how to work effectively with clients so that they give you awesome testimonials, and then how to actually ask for said testimonial:
If you follow the pointers in this section, you’ll soon have a steady stream of clients wanting to work with you time and time again. They’ll be banging your door down to work with you.
Great things happen when you communicate effectively, set expectations with your client and deliver above and beyond what you promise.