Starting a video production company? Whether you’re just starting out in video production, or if you already have a video production company, I’ve put together a series of guides that will help put you on the path to running a successful and profitable video production business.
Starting a Video Production Company: What these guides can do for you?
Having your own video business is fantastic.
Imagine this: You wake up at 9am, without the sound of an alarm clock. You open your eyes and dwell on the reassuring thought of not having to deal with an annoying boss who looks over your shoulder all day whilst you trudge away in a drab office cubicle.
No commute to work. No childish office politics.
You get out of bed, make yourself something to eat and shower whilst your coffee brews. You grab your brew and sit calmly in front of the computer. You work for an hour on some video editing work, catching up exactly where you left it on your computer screen the day before.
At lunchtime, you decide to chillout and go meet a friend at the local cinema to watch a movie. Why? You needed a break, but, more to the point, you wanted to.
You’re working for yourself. You plan for shoots when you want, you edit around your own schedule, and you meet clients when you want to.
This is the life I lead day in and day out. I take vacations when I want to. I get paid to travel all over the country and even overseas to shoot video projects for clients. I get to immerse myself in awesome cultures, meet fantastic people and live life on my terms.
Is this the life you want?
Having a video business is very achievable these days, and this guide seeks to lay down a foundation, a blueprint if you will, for starting out in business for yourself as a freelancer specializing in video production.
This site began in 2011 and was originally a place where I wrote mindset articles and kinda experimented with building a strong mindset for my career ahead. At the time, I was going through lots of changes in my life and building towards starting my own video production business.
Since then, I found great success by starting and growing my video business into a very successful company in the UK. I travel a lot and have great links in the USA, where I went to university for a while.
Lots of the early posts on the site are almost me kind of willing myself on to success. I have left them in-tact (mostly unedited) for all to see, because I feel they’re an important part of my journey and they could be great signposts for others plotting a similar course.
Enjoying some downtime.
A Little About These Guides to Starting a Video Production Company
So I hope you take this journey with me and follow along with the guides I’ve included on this site.
My hope is that they can help many more people out there achieve the kind of freedom and fulfillment I experience everyday from being out there doing something I love.
I’ll be adding to these guides and improving them day-by-day. My aim for them to be a launching point that people point interested parties towards.
As well the guides, I’ll continue posting all sorts of business and filmmaking related posts on the site. You can expect hardcore business and filmmaking posts, as well as practical, hands-on walkthroughs of technical tasks (like setting up a website for your business or starting a Google Adwords campaign).
Time To Get Started And Take Action!
In the video company growing guides that follow, I’ll include case-studies and back up my findings with hard evidence and screenshots where possible.
These guides and the plan laid out in them work, whether you’re looking at starting a video production company, or if you’re already established and looking for some pointers. But it requires action on your part. I’m not going to talk nonsense and say that you can get rich quick. This isn’t some scheme where you wake up one day and you’re rich. You need to take consistent action in order to make your video business take off.
With that said, take a look around, get used to your surroundings, and then knuckle down for some hardcore business building!
PS, before we kick things off with the guides on starting your video production company, here’s a great video from Jordan Anderson (of Valley Films) on the first 100 days of your production company:
Sound good so far? Before reading further, pop your details in the box below and I’ll send you a free eBook on Getting Your First Video Client.
One of the biggest issues I hear again and again from people wanting to start their own video company is how to get clients. There are 3 main ways to get clients flooding towards you, and I cover them all.
THE Guide To Video Business
Getting Started – The Quick Start Guide
I’d really appreciate it if you start this journey with this article and read through in the order I’ve laid everything out. It’s in your best interest, as the guides are set-up in an order that takes you from the start of setting up a video production business, right on through to more advanced topics.
Not only that, but it gives me an opportunity to explain to the reasons for a site like this and what I hope you can achieve from taking the time to go through the information here.
These guides will take you from initial beginnings in video business, walking you by the hand through to a more intermediate understanding and will finish with more advanced concepts towards the end.
I understand that you might be starting from a complete beginners perspective. Either you have no idea about business or you have no idea what equipment you’ll need to get started.
I wish I had an easy to use guide to getting started when I first begun my business. I just wanted to know step-by-step what to do, but I couldn’t find that information anywhere.
This section will cover everything, so that you can get started with minimal complications and distractions.
You’ve probably heard about concepts like “marketing,” “sales,” “scalability,” etc etc, and wondered what on Earth they’re all about. I’m going to turn the business language down a notch for this Quick Start Guide and just tell you what you need to know.
Here are some key principles to bear in mind. These will give you the right focus on your video business journey:
- Simplicity is your greatest asset.
- Spend as little as possible until you need to.
- Ensure you keep your hands (and your money) in your pockets.
- Do what you need to for free.
- You are your business.
- Embrace your business and it will embrace you back.
Now we need to talk about the whole getting work done thing.
So you understand how to market yourself and you know what kind of business you want to run. Now let’s talk about actually getting clients and doing the work.
We’ve talked about ways to get your first clients – leveraging your current network by asking friends and family, and working for free in order to build a Portfolio.
Further on in these guides, we’re going to talk a lot more about marketing yourself and your brand. We’re going to talk in detail about really getting yourself out there to your potential clients.
But, for the purposes of the Quick Start Guide, I want to address…
Now you’re well on your way to starting a video production company! One of the best parts about working for yourself is getting paid. In fact, one of the best parts of doing any kind of work is getting paid. We all appreciate getting money for putting our time and effort into a task.
Let it be known that money isn’t the be-all-end-all, and sometimes doing projects for free when we don’t have to (like charity projects when we’re well established, for example) is sometimes the right decision.
Still, this is a business guide for capitalists. Whilst I’ll address other types of project and how you can give back to your local community and further afield, this guide will focus on the kind of work that involves you cashing cheques, swiping cards, or otherwise having money appear in your bank account.
We’ve discussed some ideas about marketing, sales and doing the work, and we’ve laid a strong foundation in the Quick Start Guide for how we want our video businesses to be.
It’s important to strengthen that foundation with a solid mindset. Like anything in life that allows great reward, business requires a strong approach.
Once we get our mind right, success can follow. So we need to know what mental edge and thinking patterns we need to best enable us to produce great work, crush the competition and have clients banging on our doors wanting to work with us (that comes in a little bit!)
Continuing where we left off in the previous part of the 16 Mindsets For a Fantastically Successful Video Business, here are the final eight mindsets.
In this part, we’re going to cover a range of mindsets and answer lots of questions, including What Exactly Is Success?, How To Focus on The Future, How To Cover The Marketing Code, Why Money Is All Around Us, and more.
It’s time to knuckle down and really set a strong foundation, so that we can continue with the rest of the guides knowing that we have a solid mindset that will keep us pushing forward even when the chips are down.
Marketing & Selling Your Services
We’re going to jump straight into the marketing section and start answering all the question you might have about the often overly complicated topic. Make sure you have your mindset sorted (from the previous section) and let’s jump in…
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.
Let’s continue where we left off in Part I and continue our journey to getting more clients than you can handle.
We’re going to be handling all sorts of marketing topics and clearing up a lot of issues created by the worlds of business and marketing, who often make things fair more complex than they need to be.
We’re going to go in deep with really understanding who you want to work with and we’ll do a number of exercises to get to know who that person is, what they do and where to find them.
It’s time to start working on the message we want to communicate to our market. As we have already discovered, once we know our market and the services we want to provide to that market, we need a powerful marketing message to present to that market.
From here on out, we’re really going to be engaging our creativity. It’s time to start crafting our message.
Now that we know who our target market is, we know all about them, and we’ve even put a name to a face by writing an Ideal Client Profile, it’s time to drill down and research even more in order to learn absolutely everything we can about them.
If you’re following along with the process from the beginning, it’s now time to form our Penetrating Promise, as we move along with crafting our message.
All great business relationships are based on trust and honesty. Just like romanic or friend relationships.
In order to be trustworthy and honest, we need to make promises. Without promises (of the business variety) your clients won’t want to work with you. They need trust and honesty and they need to know they’re in steady hands.
Ask yourself: what can I promise they will receive from working with me?
We’re diving into more depth with creating the message you will use in your marketing.
As always, if you haven’t yet started at the beginning of the guides, you can find them here. The first part of Crafting Your Message is here.
There’s lots of important stuff we’re going to go through in this part, including lots of online considerations like a website and a social media presence.
This is the most detailed part of the Crafting Your Message section, so be prepared to take some notes.
We’ve talked about marketing, positioning and crafting the message that you want your target audience to hear. At this point, you’ve been marketing yourself and getting Initial Meetings with clients.
But how do you convert those Initial Meetings into clients that want to pay you for your video services?
That’s what this section of the guides are all about. The How To Close The Sale, Everytime section is spread over two parts because there’s a lot of information to take in.
Get a hot beverage of your choice ready and let’s dig in!
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.
Let’s dive into this all important part of the system, as we learn how to sell our video services, receive awesome testimonials and create clients who love spreading the word about us.
Getting Work Done & Getting Paid
In this section, I want to talk about some different and more advanced methods of taking your business to the next level.
I have lots of great tips on productivity, time management and ways to maximize your success.
What we need to first do is workout three things. These three things will help skyrocket our productivity and what we think is possible for our video businesses.
Let’s break them down…
We’ve covered lots of tips for how to maximize your success already, including how to increase motivation and avoid the classic stumbling blocks, as well as how to find mentors and create a Mastermind Groups.
In this part of Working To Maximize Your Success, we’re going to look at managing your time, avoiding procrastination and certain strategies that will improve your time management and have you working like a well oiled machine!
Let’s dive in.
If you’re dealing with people as a freelance filmmaker/videography, then you’re going to have to work with people. And when you work with people, there’s always a chance that you might meet a Nightmare Client.
What we can do, however, is minimize the chances of ever encountering one of these awful clients.
It’s all about setting boundaries and becoming acutely aware of the potential for these nightmare clients to rear their ugly heads. In so doing, we eliminate the bad clients that we’re already working with and make our freelance lives so much easier.
So, where to start? How do you handle clients wanting to give feedback?
We need to have a serious chat about something that’s going to be a central component and distinction in everything that we do in our business lives.
This is a concept that will literally change your results overnight if you embrace it in the correct way. It’s something that will move mountains if you understand and focus the armies of your mind on this quality.
Yes, we’re going to talk about value and, more specifically, what it means to us and the people we do business with. Quality business.
Quality is what this is about. Once you understand this concept you can tweak everything that you do technique wise and view anything you do through the magnifying glass of this core distinction.
Without further ago, I want to introduce you to Value.
One of the questions I get asked most at Filmmaking Lifestyle is about wealth and money. Lots of people ask how I maintain my lifestyle and a question that often comes up is filmmaker finances. This article will give you solid tips on how you can best deal with money, maximize the money you earn and overall how to be richer.
The goal here is to be a richer person this time next year.
Freedom is something that can’t be taken for granted. In fact, it’s your destiny. Something that people really don’t talk about is videographer or filmmaker finances. Money is one thing, but being financially free is where it’s at. Here are two very important questions to ask yourself:
- Why do you want to be wealthy?
- What does being wealthy mean to you?
As we draw to a conclusion on this journey, I believe every guide must eventually say: over to you, reader!
I want to finish this series of guides with some concluding thoughts and takeaways. I certainly encourage you to go through these guides multiple times. Not every detail and nuance can be gleaned the first reading through, and most people who are taking action on this will want to follow the guide through bit by bit whilst they take action on each segment.
Speaking of action…