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Old April 6th, 2008, 04:18 PM   #1
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What's there a market for?

Hi,

I've been trying to get my video business off the ground for a couple years now. It's (thankfully) a side business for now, as I'm also a full time producer at a TV station.

Does anyone have any tips/advice on how to find what type of video there's a market for in an area? I've been concentrating on weddings mostly so far, but after 2 years of advertising, effort, exertion, wedding shows, running around, networking and more advertsing, I've basically broken even. There are many wedding videographers around here, but I find the biggest problem is Uncle Charlie with his camcorder: most brides here just don't want to shell out any significant, or any, dough for a wedding video. That's really fine by me, as I enjoy other types of productions much more anyway. I've been focusing on weddings simply because I THOUGHT there was a market for them around here, and that I had at least some idea on how to market to brides.

Now I'm thinking of what other video sectors to focus on, and could really use some help in just knowing how to determine that. Some of the things I'm considering are training videos, legal/depositions, inventors, real estate, estates for insurance purposes, etc. I'm not sure how to find out what the demand is in the market, and I know every market will be different. There are also a whole lot of small video production companies in this area... big ones too.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old April 6th, 2008, 04:21 PM   #2
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All I can say is to knock on as many door as you can!
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Old April 6th, 2008, 07:33 PM   #3
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buy yourself some DSLRs and focus on photography. More money
less time.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 08:31 PM   #4
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Mark,

I feel your pain. I'm pretty much done with putting in any effort towards getting weddings. Some people thrive on that kind of business and I say more power to them. I've made some bucks doing them but that type of customer (in my area, I'm talking) is a total waste of time for me. Too much effort, not enough money. I'll still do one if the B&G have the bucks to spend that justifies the time I have to put into it and the BS I have to put up with.

I focus now on training and marketing video productions.

One niche that I don't really see anyone talking about here is video business cards or CD business cards as they are also called. There's a big market out there. You just have to pursue it. I'm aggressively promoting these in my area and will soon be expanding my coverage. I don't choose to divulge all the techniques I use for marketing these but I will tell you it's a numbers game. The more you market yourself, the more business you get.

You don't need a great deal of gear. A pro-look camera, one decent stand light, a decent still camera, the proper editing and duplication equipment, and software to put it all together. The other things you need are creativity, confidence, perseverance, and a burning desire to succeed.

Although the video business card has been around for a while, many business people are still unaware of them. And those who have heard of them don't realize just how powerful of a marketing tool this can be for them until you show them.

I had a past client who called me the other day for some duplication needs. While I had them on the phone, I told them about the card. They were hesitant so I offered to do a mock-up of one for them at no charge. It took me all of an hour or so of spare time to do the mock-up. I dropped it off to them and told them to let me know if they like it. They watched it and discussed it at their management meeting the next day. By the end of that day, they called me to tell me they wanted to hire me to produce their company video business cards and wanted at least 50 copies. We'll be getting together this week to start designing it.

It's a great gig. You've just got to apply yourself.

I would also suggest reading an old book called "Think and Grow Rich". It is available FREE for download from the following site.

http://www.selfstartersweeklytips.com/tagr.htm

Good Luck To You.

Jeff
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Old April 6th, 2008, 09:49 PM   #5
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thanks, Jeff! I'll look into that in my market here. Yes, I know the majority is bst (blood, sweat, tears)! Sounds like the wedding market is the same in both our markets.

cheers
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Old April 10th, 2008, 04:44 PM   #6
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Why not just do the kind of video work you love doing, and find a way to generate income through that as opposed to trying to find what has the best market (doing things you really don't care about) and ending up jumping from ship to ship because things don't work out like you planned??
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Old April 12th, 2008, 08:52 AM   #7
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Why not just do the kind of video work you love doing, and find a way to generate income through that as opposed to trying to find what has the best market (doing things you really don't care about) and ending up jumping from ship to ship because things don't work out like you planned??
I would say because alot of the time the video you love doing is a niche market (trust me I know lol)...

I have spent four years chasing this reasoning and am finding unless you get really lucky it is very, very hard.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 09:29 AM   #8
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Why not just do the kind of video work you love doing, and find a way to generate income through that as opposed to trying to find what has the best market (doing things you really don't care about) and ending up jumping from ship to ship because things don't work out like you planned??
plus, because I'm looking to make a living doing what I like, not just doing what I like! I really enjoy making videos of my wife and I's vacations, but I don't foresee anybody wanting to buy them... unless... say, how much you wanna pay me?? lol
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Old April 12th, 2008, 11:57 AM   #9
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This is a question I would certainly like to get answered for future use with my equipment. Without putting any thought into the idea, I initially thought weddings would prosper. But you're right, no one wants to dish out extra money, enough money to make it worth our time, to film their wedding. So how can we solicit our business to the market of videography?
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Old April 12th, 2008, 02:17 PM   #10
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There are two classes of video production companies.

The first are really camera operators for hire who specialize in niche markets like weddings or depositions etc. If one runs this kind of company one puts oneself at the mercy of those with program ideas or needs (e.g. brides, lawyers etc.). Without a client one is stuck. Outside very large markets, it can be a difficult way to make a living, esp. as a one-person band. When one goes to websites of these companies one finds equipment and software lists presented as qualifications.

The second class of video production companies focus on the creation, development, and production of original program ideas. Look at Original Productions -- http://www.origprod.com/ -- for example. These are the kind of companies that make very good incomes from their work because they control the intellectual property they produce. These firms often hire the best of the first class of production companies located in established production centers like LA, NY, Miami etc. When one goes to the websites of these kinds of companies one finds lists of completed programs presented as qualifications. Go to "the company" link at Original Productions and you won't find a camera, video format, or piece of software mentioned.

It's better to be the second class of company than the first.

If I were living in Madison, I'd be asking myself what kinds of stories or information would members of the UnivMadison community like to see and then what kinds of advertisers would like to reach that audience and then develop a program idea or two for distribution on the net that could be sold to those advertisers.

Unfortunately, with the economy entering a recession, wedding videos are not very likely to be seen as wedding essentials in the way that a reception, a cake and a dress are. My guess is the video would be among the first things to be cut. I think it's going to be very hard going in that market for awhile anywhere except among the very well to do.

Last edited by Peter Wiley; April 12th, 2008 at 02:27 PM. Reason: moronic proofreadng
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Old April 12th, 2008, 03:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Chris Burgess View Post
I would say because alot of the time the video you love doing is a niche market (trust me I know lol)...

I have spent four years chasing this reasoning and am finding unless you get really lucky it is very, very hard.
But couldn't you take that niche market and find a way to market it effectively enough to make a profit off it?
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Old April 12th, 2008, 03:46 PM   #12
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plus, because I'm looking to make a living doing what I like, not just doing what I like! I really enjoy making videos of my wife and I's vacations, but I don't foresee anybody wanting to buy them... unless... say, how much you wanna pay me?? lol
What about the Travel Channel? If you came up with a gimmick and traveled to different places around the world, why couldn't you shop that to different TV networks? Look at those guys that did that MTV show "Jackass". They were just doing all the stupid stuff they liked doing and found a gimmick to market it and made a ton of money.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 01:52 AM   #13
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What about the Travel Channel? If you came up with a gimmick and traveled to different places around the world, why couldn't you shop that to different TV networks? Look at those guys that did that MTV show "Jackass". They were just doing all the stupid stuff they liked doing and found a gimmick to market it and made a ton of money.
This is very true, but you can't depend on luck. I'm not going to just sit around and wait till I hit the lotto.

The people who have these TV shows didn't start out with a few dollars in their pockets. Bam Margera had become a professional skateboarder prior to any of this pop culture fame that he has attracted. Bam already had a camera crew fallowing him around and filming him on tours. When he did the stuff that you see on the CKY videos, it was just him doing what he does. When these videos were sold to the public, people loved it and now he is famous for it.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 04:48 AM   #14
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Old April 13th, 2008, 09:43 AM   #15
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But couldn't you take that niche market and find a way to market it effectively enough to make a profit off it?
You could yes, but (and this is a large BUT lol) I guess it all depends on your definition of profit. If you do this as a side gig then what you consider profitable is alot different than someone who does it full time (sometimes I miss those side gig days lol).

For myself, right now profitable means a decent profit margin on contract work, doing better than break even on my own projects, supporting a wife and two kids, paying my bills, and turning any extra profit into merchandising, advertising, equipment dollars.

Its all very subjective I guess...
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