I get a lot of email asking what certain terms that I use in articles mean. Most visitors to the site are familiar with the filmmaking and video production terms used (because they’re from this industry), but struggle with certain business or freelancing terms.

Yes, Google is an ever-ready source of assistance in determining what something means.

Still, it’s good to have everything in one place, which is why I’ve made this page of definitions to common terms used on Filmmaking Lifestyle:

Clients, Prospects, Customers – These words are used throughout and interchangeably. Clients are the people who you want to find and offer your video production services to.

Marketing – What you use to promote your services. This can come in the form of advertising, materials like flyers and websites, social media, etc. People often associate marketing with branding, and they are pretty closely linked. As an example, some well known brands out there are Nike’s swoosh logo, and Coca Cola’s vintage coke bottle design.

Sales – Selling is everything you do once you have attracted a prospective client with your marketing.

Closing – A way of finalizing a sale in your video production business and ensuring that a client signs a contract.

Contract – The legally binding agreement about what work is to be performed, when the work is to be performed, how the work is to be performed and more details. Sometimes I’ll use different terms to describe the same thing.

Freelancer – A freelancer or freelance worker is a term commonly used for a person who is self-employed and is not necessarily committed to a particular employer long-term. You may work as a freelancer in the filmmaking or video production industries. You might also employ freelancers to work with you doing a range of tasks – whether it be shooting, editing, website design, search engine optimization, etc.

Outsourcing – In business, outsourcing involves the contracting out of a business process to another party. The concept “outsourcing” came from American Glossary ‘outside resourcing’ and it dates back to at least 1981.

Outsourcing sometimes involves transferring employees and assets from one firm to another, but not always. Outsourcing is also the practice of handing over control of public services to for-profit corporations.

You might outsource certain work in your video business to ‘freelancers.’ You might also take on outsourced work for other companies.

Consultant – A consultant is a professional who provides expert advice in a specialized field. A consultant is usually an expert or an experienced professional in a specific field and has a wide knowledge of the subject matter.

Domain Name – A domain name is the website address that someone types in to find a place on the internet. So, for this site, www.filmlifestyle.com is the domain.

I highly recommend Namecheap as a quality supplier of domains. It’s where I get all my domain names for my various projects from.

Website Hosting – Website hosting (sometimes simply called ‘web hosting’) is the infrastructure that you need to ‘house’ your website. Our video production company’s websites need a form of web hosting in order to be available on the Internet and seen by prospects.

A good web hosting service that I personally use is Siteground.

Search Engine Optimization – Often shortened as SEO, Search Engine Optimization is the science behind improving a website’s rank on search engines, most notably the Google search engine.

In SEO, many aspects are considered in order to improve that website’s standing in the search engines. Things like ‘on-page factors’ (what you can control on your website) and ‘off-page factors’ (the amount of links coming to your site, among other aspects) are looked at.

Entrepreneurship – Entrepreneurship is the process of designing, launching and running a new business, i.e. a startup company offering a product, process or service. It has been defined as the “…capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit.”

The entrepreneur is “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.”

Prospecting  This is a term for going out there and finding new potential leads. By ‘prospecting,’ like in the old gold rush days, you’re searching through something in order to find what you want. In modern terms, this is often done digitally, whether through lists of online leads, through sites like LinkedIn, or by calling phone numbers or sending emails.

Inbound Marketing – This is promoting a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, enewsletters, whitepapers, SEO, physical products, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to attract customers through the different stages of the purchase funnel.

Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects’ attention. Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found, and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content.

Outbound Marketing – In contrast to Inbound Marketing above, Outbound Marketing involves buying attention, cold-calling, direct paper mail, radio, TV advertisements, sales flyers, spam, telemarketing and traditional advertising are considered “outbound marketing”.

Most forms of marketing in the pre-Internet days was outbound. It wasn’t until the Internet came along that a he move towards Inbound Marketing (see above) came about.

Portfolio  A listing of samples of your best work, aimed for the eyes of your prospects. A portfolio can come in many forms  in years past, it was something that would be shown in-person to potential clients. Nowadays, most commonly, a portfolio is an online entity  something that potential clients can easily find on your website.

Cold Calling  The process of calling up prospects on the phone who have never heard from you before. This is becoming a bit of a relic of “old fashioned marketing” in a lot of ways, but is still pretty popular (and cost effective) in a lot of industries.

The idea is that you (or someone you’ve outsourced the work to) call up a list of potential clients and you attempt to either i) sell them on your services, or ii) set up a meeting to eventually sell your services.


I’ll keep on updating this list of video production terms to keep it relevant.