To keep your marketing pipeline full with video project leads, you must create and execute a solid marketing strategy.
Now, to some of you, just reading that last sentence raised your blood pressure a couple of notches and your head is starting to hurt.
You don’t need to worry because there are small, incremental steps you can take to drastically improve your marketing efforts that won’t cause you to sleep any less than you already are.
Marketing Tips For Videographers
Whether you are a one-person video production company or a small firm with a few employees, it’s often very difficult to create and implement a consistent marketing strategy.
Most of us think if we are busy with projects, there is no time for marketing.
Then, when there are no more projects, we worry about how to get more work, so we desperately promote our services in an inefficient and often expensive manner.
The problem with this approach is unpredictable cash flow which makes it almost impossible to make intelligent growth decisions for your video production business.
What can you do to be consistent with your marketing no matter how busy you are?
The answer is to pick one marketing tactic and do it!
You must treat this marketing activity the same way you would treat a project paid hourly.
You have to bill hours to get paid. So is it not fair to say that you have to market your video business to get more billable hours? Of course, it’s fair to say that!
Okay, so what options do you have regarding marketing tactics for promoting your company?
Here are two that have worked exceptionally well for me:
1. Attend Chamber and Other Professional Association Networking Meetings
These usually meet over lunch or breakfast for an hour.
Depending on where your office is, plan on this activity taking about two hours out of your day and attend at least two of these per week.
It will be money and time well spent.
It is very important that you expand your network of contacts, and this is the least expensive but most effective way to do so.
The key to being successful with this tactic is that you must attend the meetings.
Work on your 30-second elevator speech and take a lot of business cards to each meeting.
2. Videotape and Edit Short Highlight Videos for Grand Openings or Non-Profit Fundraisers and Post Them On Your Website
This will take a fair amount of time to shoot/edit the videos and post them on your site, but it is well worth the time and effort.
It’s all about establishing longterm relationships.
Show up to grand openings with your camera and shoot the festivities. Interview the business owner and put together a nice 60-90 second package.
Send the link (on Vimeo, for example) to the business owner, the chamber and any other organization that may be interested in seeing the video. This will get your name out there in a hurry.
The same holds true for the non-profit fundraiser events.
Call the event organizers ahead of time and offer to film and post the event video on your website/social media, as well as giving them a file they can post on their website/social media.
Ask if they have any sponsorship opportunities they can give you in exchange for your services. You are now getting headline sponsor exposure at the event, and your name is getting out there every time someone watches the video. If they really like it, they’ll be posting the video all over the place, thus getting you lots of attention and eyeballs on your work.
Also, be sure you put a short top/tail for your company at the beginning of every free video you produce. This can be as simple as your logo at the beginning and end “produced by.” Or you could get more fancy with a full-on video animation at the beginning and end.
Choose One Tactic at a time
There are numerous tactics you can implement in your marketing strategy. If you aren’t used to marketing on a regular basis, I strongly recommend that you choose one tactic and commit to it for a period of six months.
Evaluate your success after a few months. Make adjustments if necessary and go at it for another six months.
Since you are most likely a small company with limited resources, the key is to be consistent with one tactic over a long period.
Attempting several tactics will overwhelm you and won’t give you the results you need to grow your video business.
Choose the tactic that you feel works best for your video production business and do it!
Be consistent, disciplined and remember that slow and steady will eventually win the race. Or in your case, a slow and steady marketing effort will result in a steady and possibly a drastic increase in revenue.
Finding What Really Matters
As entrepreneurs, we are a different breed of human. We take risks when most logical people are feeling fear, yet we push forward with a tenacity paralleled only by some of the world’s greatest athletes, musicians, and warriors.
We are fueled by this passion as we propel ourselves toward a goal and if anyone gets in our way, we will do whatever we have to do to remove that obstacle.
This is an amazing state of mind and one that will surely make us all very successful someday, but there’s only one problem with that way of thinking. What if that person is your spouse? What if it’s your family or closest friends?
Without going into a novel-length dissertation, I’ll keep it to what I think is the most important point.
Family comes first. Period
Don’t let yourself get caught up in the BS that doesn’t matter or the lie of, “I don’t have enough time to do it all.”
If that’s true, then the only thing you have time for is your family.
Find something else to do. Seriously.
I’ve learned over the years that working long hours, many days a week isn’t what bothers my girlfriend/family/friends. It’s when I have had the opportunity to show them that they are my #1 priority but failed to do so. That’s what mattered.
All those times I said, “Yes, we’ll go to the movies on Saturday,” but continued to work myself through Friday night and Saturday morning which left me feeling too exhausted to leave the house.
My point in all this is that there are a lot of things in this world that we cannot control or change.
Here’s what I’ve learned over the years that help me stay focused on what’s important…
1. Avoid Getting Stuck at the Office
There will always be a reason to stay at the office regardless of whether it’s a real reason or one that you’ve fabricated out of worry that if you leave each day at a decent time the world will somehow explode, and the project work you leave right now won’t be there when you return tomorrow.
Decide right now that between X time and Y time, you will work your ass off but that every minute between will be spent making your family, friends, etc. feel like they are all that matters to you.
2. Letting Work Get in the Way of Planned Activities
Do not let work get in the way of planning time or special activities with your family/friends. They will always get the raw end of the deal if you wait to see how the week goes before making weekend plans with them.
I’ve learned that it’s best to make plans that can’t be changed several weeks in advance so that work has to mold around that plan.
For instance, if you want to take your spouse to a concert, book it now and get it on the calendar. If your kids have a soccer game, get it on your calendar and fight like hell to keep work out of its way.
3. Have a Work Cut-Off Point
Put down the laptop, smartphone or tablet if you aren’t disciplined enough to avoid work while in the presence of your family. They are watching you and trust me; people know when you aren’t paying attention to them.
Even if all you are doing is watching a reality TV show, the fact that you are present and not sucked into the smart phone makes a huge difference.
I know these aren’t new principles.
I believe our mission as entrepreneurs is way more than just making a business work. It’s about using our business to create more opportunities for our family to succeed.
I know I’ve jumped around a bit from topic to topic with this article, but I hope you’ve got the main points. All the marketing tips for videographers in the world are not enough if you’re not enjoying your life and structuring it so that you’re available for the people who matter. The people who are there for you no matter what the situation.
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