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Old July 8th, 2011, 07:18 AM   #16
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re: Marketing advice

There are a number of vendors that serve the wedding market - florists, bakers, caterers, hotels & other venues, bridal shops, etc. Usually their slow time is early mid-week. The way to get started is to drop in to say "Hello" and introduce yourself. Don't ask for anything and don't offer anything. Compliment them on their work if they have something on display. You want to establish a relationship that will pay off later in exchange of sales leads. If they offer to let you leave business cards go ahead and do so but ask for a few of theirs to reciprocate.

You can expand this later by forming a group of vendors into a marketing event (bridal show) and include those vendors with whom you have developed a good relationship. Personal relationships, whether with your clients or other vendors, are important to your business and are not something you develop over the Internet. You need face time. Spend less time on Internet marketing and more on developing your local resources.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastian Alvarez View Post
That's mostly the problem. I have no idea how to do that. I can send a letter introducing myself to production companies, but I don't have a good reel to show them, so how do I get any of those production companies to hire me? And as far as networking, sure, that works when you already have a bunch of acquaintances in the same field, but I have none. What I'm trying to say is, I don't really know where to start to do what you say: "Get out there and show what you can do and make some contacts." That's what I meant when I said I don't have talent for marketing. I know it may sound negative, but it's the truth.

Last edited by Jim Michael; July 8th, 2011 at 08:58 AM. Reason: sp
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Old July 8th, 2011, 08:19 AM   #17
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re: Marketing advice

Getting a booth or even going as an attendee to a bridal expo could be a good way to meet some new clients and even some of your piers in the area.

Bridal Shows Raleigh Durham NC. Raleigh Durham Wedding Planning with our Wedding Shows
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Old July 8th, 2011, 11:29 AM   #18
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re: Marketing advice

I just want to share, how I build my market. When I started shooting weddings in Toronto, I targeted the Filipino market. I advertised on the local community paper for $ 40/month. I was able to generate business right away, shooting weddings & birthdays, I remember I did 10 my first year.

I then wanted to go mainstream, I had 1500 flyers printed & basically combed the neighbouring Banquet Halls & asked permission to put some flyers in their reception area. I started getting calls to do Portugese, Indian , etc, weddings from my flyers. I then partnered up with a florist, photographer & a DJ.

I had since then stopped advertsing in the local paper. I do had an AD at Bride.ca but I found most of the business I get are from referrals from previous clients, DJs, photogs & the florist.

Right now average 25-30 weddings per year, plus the odd freelance work I get from other studios

my .02
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Old July 14th, 2011, 11:47 PM   #19
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re: Marketing advice

Just want to say thanks everybody for your very useful advice. For now I'm redesigning my website, which is frustrating enough because website design is terribly complicated, so I design in Photoshop, export in slices and then make some changes in Dreamweaver. Hopefully some day I'll make good enough money to hire a pro for that.

But besides the technical part, unless you can afford two different websites and company names, it's really hard to design a website that will be attractive to both brides and corporations. I have looked at many videography websites and haven't found one that is good for both types. Problem is, I don't want to do just weddings. I'm capable of offering lots of different video services, if I cater only to brides and grooms I'd be missing on a lot of opportunities.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 08:52 AM   #20
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re: Marketing advice

Sebastian, my advice is to focus the website on what your core bread and butter work is most likely to be at the moment in your area, but make a single separate page on your site outlining say your corporate business and rates and purchase a separate domain that points to that page. A separate, non hosted domain will cause you like $15 a year, and you can simply redirect that URL directly to the URL for your corporate stuff on your main webpage. Simple, and you don't have to build an entirely different site - just 1 separate page.

Also you don't need a fancy page to get basic corporate work - corporate companies aren't going to call you up out of the blue like a bride is, because chances are if they need a video company more than once they are going to get someone they stick with.

At the moment there are HUGE opportunities to sell people into corporate video/video as sales tools - The internet is the obvious one, but the bigger less obvious one is in making videos for iPads.

Sales people LOVE iPads - if they can take all their marketing materials around on an iPad and show potential clients their product they will.

A very cost effective way to market yourself is to do cold calling in the form of market research. Call companies up and ask to speak to their sales or marketing manager. Tell them who you are, that you are a growing videography business doing market research, and ask that person if their sales teams have iPads, and if they have considered using videos on their iPads.

(Obviously, you might need to buy an iPad to make this pitch work, and do a mock sample to show people - but you don't need a huge reel, because it's the killer app aspect of using video on the iPad that sales and marketing people will get you in the door at the moment for someone who is thinking about going that route, or just looking for an excuse for their company to buy them an iPad.)

If they say no to using iPads for video and are disinterested in that follow up with the 'are you using video for web?' question.

You get three things out of this -
1) You introduce yourself to local companies as a potential supplier of video services.
2) You find out how much interest in your services there currently is in your local market place.
3) You plant the seeds in those companies heads about the potential to use video on iPads and the Web, which are both far more effective sales tools than DVD or Blu-ray

Don't make it a hard sell, don't push yourself and the product, don't sound like a tele marketer with a script - simply call companies up, ask to speak to the sales and marketing manager, explain that you are a videographer and you are personally doing market research on local business and if they have a moment to talk.

This is an honest, non pushy and very viable step to generate leads for your business.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 11:52 AM   #21
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re: Marketing advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastian Alvarez View Post
That's mostly the problem. I have no idea how to do that. I can send a letter introducing myself to production companies, but I don't have a good reel to show them, so how do I get any of those production companies to hire me? And as far as networking, sure, that works when you already have a bunch of acquaintances in the same field, but I have none. What I'm trying to say is, I don't really know where to start to do what you say: "Get out there and show what you can do and make some contacts." That's what I meant when I said I don't have talent for marketing. I know it may sound negative, but it's the truth.
Check the professional directories and find out in what neighborhood the ad agencies, broadcasters, media companies, etc tend to cluster in Raleigh. Cruise those neighborhoods looking for the nicer bars, not hard drinking bars or dance clubs but the sort you might expect a creative to drop into for a glass of wine before dinner. Pick a few and hang out there after work. Talk to people.
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Old July 20th, 2011, 10:44 PM   #22
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re: Marketing advice

Tried to look at your page but got this......
Attached Thumbnails
Marketing advice-warn.jpg  
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Old July 21st, 2011, 11:29 AM   #23
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re: Marketing advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Slade View Post
Tried to look at your page but got this......
Mark, apparently they changed it to safe, at least when I check from this page: Trend Micro Site Safety Center

Could you please do me a favor and visit the website, and see if the warning still appears?

Last edited by Sebastian Alvarez; July 21st, 2011 at 02:01 PM.
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Old July 22nd, 2011, 07:05 AM   #24
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re: Marketing advice

It's just a typical, technical, bureaucratic problem from the increasingly complex world we live in. You weren't singled out. When you notified the proper people, they promptly corrected the problem.

When you're in business, you'll catch a lot more customers with honey than with vinegar. If you post caustic comments against large corporations on open forums like this one, Google and the other search engines will show them to the world. Fuming online won't help your business. Overreacting to a problem will tend to hurt your business. In fact, overreacting to problems isn't good for your health either.

Just be glad that your site is now listed as safe. And hope that none of your potential clients come across your harsh posts when they Google you. They may suspect if you are rude to people on the help lines that you are rude in general. Hopefully, they'll be mature enough to realize you were just stressed and overreacted.

Finally, remember, being polite and professional in ALL your communications is a major part of marketing your business, to get back to your original post in this thread. We are in the communications business.
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Last edited by Roger Van Duyn; July 22nd, 2011 at 07:09 AM. Reason: typos
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Old July 22nd, 2011, 01:14 PM   #25
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re: Marketing advice

"Finally, remember, being polite and professional in ALL your communications is a major part of marketing your business, to get back to your original post in this thread. We are in the communications business. "

Bravo Roger, absolutely key! Even when you don't feel like being nice, be nice. That's how real pros work.
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Old July 22nd, 2011, 02:06 PM   #26
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re: Marketing advice

I see your point about how my reaction can be hurtful for my business, and I certainly appreciate that you gave me your opinion without any acid or sarcastic remarks. That seems to be the way most people talk in forums nowadays judging by the responses I got to this same topic on legal forums.
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Old July 22nd, 2011, 04:06 PM   #27
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re: Marketing advice

Well, I think I understand how you feel. If I'm not mistaken, I think it might have been one of the Marx Brothers who said something like "I've worked myself up from nothing to the level of extreme poverty."

August 1st is the two year anniversary of the startup of my business. I've managed to work myself up to about the level of a full time minimum wage job (without benefits). But that's normal, or even better than normal for a startup business. Most new businesses fail within the first year.

If things go according to plan, in 3 more years I'll be back to making what I was making in my old job. When starting up a business, all the research I did pretty much agreed that it takes around 5 years to really get a business established, if you manage to succeed at all.

So, lot's of beanie wienies and mac and cheese at my house ;)

Actually, it's a lot like when I went through college long, long, ago on a wing and a prayer. Some of the things my friends and I did to make it through.

Now, here I am in my fifties having some of the same adventure I had in my early twenties again. I was shooting from the roof of a parking garage last Monday morning, enjoying the out of doors, the fresh air, the sights and sounds. The thought occurred to me what I probably would have been doing at my old job in the lab. I'd have probably been called up front to help draw blood samples. Or maybe I'd have been drowning in urinalysis. (think Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory). Yech!!!

Sure, I was getting paid much, much, more than I'm currently bringing in from my business. But, thirty years was enough. Don't get me wrong, it was a good career, but it was past time for a change of careers. Change for the better usually involves risk. It was a risk going to college long ago. It paid off about six years later. Hopefully, the risk I'm taking now will also pay off in another few years.

Sebastian, just be patient and keep working on your business. Network, Network, Network. Making customers is a lot like making friends. I watched those Pharmaceutical Reps for thirty years!
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Last edited by Roger Van Duyn; July 22nd, 2011 at 04:18 PM. Reason: typos
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Old July 24th, 2011, 09:30 PM   #28
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re: Marketing advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastian Alvarez View Post
Mark, apparently they changed it to safe, at least when I check from this page: Trend Micro Site Safety Center

Could you please do me a favor and visit the website, and see if the warning still appears?
Answered this a few days ago.....don't know what happened to it. Shows as clean now.....so you can relax....

Mark
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