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Old May 30th, 2012, 11:40 AM   #16
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

Brian,

Thank you for the information, and I agree that networking is basically the best way to get new clients. Also, I totally agree that instead of being a jack of all trades and focuses on one area makes sense.

However, the purpose of this thread was to turn all the google hits I am getting into calls or emails for work. That's why the focus is on the website and demo reel. Just a littler about me too, I am 25, recently switched over to do corporate work instead of weddings, so I have very little past clients that could refer me to commercial work. I do have a few really good samples on my website and would love to hear what you think of my work on there. Thanks again!
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Old May 30th, 2012, 12:18 PM   #17
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

Silas, I think you reel is fine. Other than the fact that it has the "jack of all trades" look to it. If you're looking to get DP gigs, I think it shows that you know your way around getting shots and you might get hired to lens something. But if you're looking to get full-service productions, you'll need more links to full-length productions you've done.

But, again, I think it's delusional to assume that any hits to your website will lead to any qualified calls or emails. By qualified, I mean, someone that is likely to hire you for a project. I've been in video production for almost ten years, and have had ZERO projects come about because of my website or YouTube channel. Plenty of questions, lowballs, "looky-loos", and the like. But good clients just don't select producers via a site or channel, because those say nothing about what it's like to work with you.

I wouldn't spend a moment more tweaking this or that on your site, and just get out there and find clients. And I wouldn't spend a dime on Google, FB, or LinkedIn ads, because they will not lead to any qualified clients, and will continue to erode your bottom line and make you frustrated. Produce something at low or no-cost for an influential organization, and then ask for their referrals. Goodwill goes a LOT further than good websites. I have friends and associates that washed-out of their production businesses because they assumed that their art spoke for itself and didn't work on their networking, sales and people skills. Or assumed that those were secondary. It's the only thing that really matters. Really.
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Old May 30th, 2012, 12:28 PM   #18
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

Interesting.

Over the years I have gotten quite a bit of work through my website, (probably because I have a high google ranking in my area) but I see what your saying. Basically I should try to put my efforts into networking with real people to see how I can help them with their video needs it sounds like...makes sense because I seem to have a lack of work since I am no longer filming weddings.

Thanks again for your input, really appreciate it!
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Old May 30th, 2012, 01:23 PM   #19
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

Hi Silas. You're quite welcome. If you've gotten work with your site, by all means keep growing that asset. But I do think you'll be better-served with really targeting your prospects and networking them face-to-face.

Another avenue is to approach other shooter/producers in your area and collaborate with them. I look at those in my area as peers rather than "competitors", because every pro often brings something to the table that I can use and vice versa, and we rarely go after the same clientele. I often need second shooters, sound people, etc., and the other producers in the region sometimes return the favor to me. I almost PREFER it when I can walk on a set, fire up the camera, shoot, hand them the cards (or tapes) when done, then get paid that day knowing I DON'T have to edit something that night. ;-)
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Old May 30th, 2012, 03:34 PM   #20
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

Points well taken, thanks!
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Old May 30th, 2012, 10:28 PM   #21
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

Right or wrong, I gotta go with Silas on this one.

I myself am a TERRIBLE marketer, self-promoter and networker. On those rare occasions when I try to do it, that is, tell people what I do, hand out biz cards, etc., it has NEVER gotten me anywhere. I have had people tell me right then and there that they need work done and will be calling me shortly. And that call never comes. I also refuse to do that thing, simply 'cause literally EVERY SINGLE PRODUCTION COMPANY, EVER, does it, where I say "Basshole Productions Inc (that isn't my company name, though I wish it were, but I've been advised that could turn a large number of potential clients with more conservative sensibilities away) has been servicing the Houston area for over ten years and is the BEST source for your video production needs. We know how to tell your story. . ." If there are 1 million companies (and there literally might be) in Houston, how can they all be the best?

On the other hand, in the last couple years, I have slowly started to get people coming out of God-knows-where and emailing me about jobs, and those turning into paid work. I'm assuming that this is 'cause of the number of ads I have on all kinds of different sites advertising my services. I won't lie, this doesn't happen regularly, but the fact remains that networking = 0 return for Bass, while having a website, ads linking to that website, and sitting around doing nothing = some minor return for Bass.

So if I can get more of those people to find my Bass shire on the interwebs and get excited, bully for me.

So, to sum up, yay Silas, yay advertising, yay internet!

I WILL say that none of the ads I have up are paid, all free listing on these sites. Google ads cost me money, facebook has always seemed like a dead end.
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Old May 31st, 2012, 04:48 PM   #22
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

Thanks Josh!

I think Brian has some good points as far as in person referrals and actual physical contact with real people. However my website gets me business. I am just looking for more of it and to turn more of those google hits into calls or emails. My previous website was super cluttered and bad layout, the new one looks tons better and i had some friends look at it and they like it - they would tell me if it was bad too. I too, can't tell you how many people have been "referred" to me in front of my nose and I never get the call. The "other" problem with my personal situation is that I am 25 and I don't have alot of contacts or people to refer me. Definitely not enough to make a living off this which is what I am doing currently. Obviously this will depend on each different person, so it might work really great for more established companies with many clients and connections.

I think the better the website and reel the better your clients impression will be and the more likely you will get the job - at least thats how it worked for my wedding business which I am phasing out of now. (Commercials & Infomercials is my focus now).

Thinking about doing some sort of email marketing as well.
Making a list of local businesses that could benefit from video services and email them perhaps....
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Old May 31st, 2012, 09:04 PM   #23
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

Great post, Josh. But don't confuse marketing (cold-calling, handing out cards, etc.) with networking... at least what I'm suggesting: utilizing a network of known quantities, that love your work, and would refer it their peers. At the end of last year, I tallied up a single client of mine as referring over $24k worth of work to me in 2011. She got a bottle of Dom for the Holidays, which was well-received, and she continues to refer me work a few times a month. With a 75-80% conversion rate. Because I'm a "qualified" lead... in networking-speak.

Now, THAT kind of network takes time to build up, granted. But I do prefer intentionally seeking out a client base as opposed to unintentionally having them find me on the Internet. In looking at my own choices and selections, I would just never choose a professional (doctor, lawyer, copy writer, photographer, filmmaker etc.) via their website, no matter how slick it was. But if you're reaping rewards from yours, I certainly wouldn't steer Silas away from putting some energies into it. Just... not too much. ;-)
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Old June 1st, 2012, 12:52 AM   #24
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

I may have been a little aggressive with that initial post.

Here's the thing, I think different things work for different people. I have a friend I work with frequently who is BRILLIANT at chatting up total strangers and getting work. I admire him. I'm jealous. But it ain't me.

When I think of networking, I think of two things:

-handing your card/info to people you work with while on the job ("oh hey, yeah, I shoot and grip too, here's a card"). Often times I am not doing those jobs, am there as, for instance, a teleprompter operator (something I do a lot of). I have done this a few times, but I always feel awkward. I can't help but see it from their perspective as I imagine it---"oh, you're a camera guy are you? Sure. You and the PA over there. Yeah, I'll be throwing this card away as soon as you turn around." I imagine they see it as desperate and pathetic, and so I simply just don't do it most of the time. Same way I don't tell people I'm a "filmmaker" unless it comes up organically. . .it's awkward and seems desperate.

-going to industry events/mixers and simply chatting up everyone, handing out cards, etc. Also just feels weird to me. Not something I'm good at. Period.

Did cold calls a few times, got me a few things, but mostly, yeah, dead end.

All I can really say to sum up is I'm not good at following the advice I often get which is basically, to BS, say yes to anything ("Ever shot HD while skydiving? Think you can do that?"), make yourself sound bigger than you are, etc. etc. I just refuse to do it. I feel it's tacky, corny, possibly dishonest, and just embarrassing if they ever learn you are not a fully staffed production company (many people like to say "we can do this, we can do that". For me, there is no "we". Just Bass in his tiny apartment.).

This is what I consider networking, self-promotion, etc. It ain't me. I'm a plain-spoken, lower double-digit IQ, salt of the earth, very short, but very sexy, bald production freelancer.

On the other hand, again, putting my stuff out there on every site that I can think of with links back to my site has at least gotten me some work. So where my rate of return on talking to people, etc. has been absolutely 0, my rate of return on simply putting the work out there and letting folks find me has been mildly successful.

True, people really in the know have contacts they trust, and get referrals, etc., but there are many who are NOT in the know, and don't know any better than to google "Houston Videographer", etc. That's where Bass shines.

As for the impersonality of looking at video on a site and then hiring someone vs knowing them, knowing their personality, and knowing what it's like to work with them, I have had a few potential clients do the Starbucks/lunch meeting/interview thing, where we get to know each other. That negates at least some of those issues.

Lastly, sigh, yes, my most regular clients have come out of more organic "it's who you know situations," but those things just seem to happen when they happen. I didn't force them when they initially occurred; they just sorta happened, and trying to force more of them never seems to work. So oh well.
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Old June 1st, 2012, 08:30 AM   #25
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

Great stuff and always a learning experience here at the DVinfo business forum.

My take is that your best approach is very dependent upon what service your are selling.

If you are selling full production and finished films, the web might be a stretch for the level of confidence clients need to make a choice. On the other hand, if you are selling more of a commodity service that is very defined, the web might be a lot more effective.

I have a sports video business that has been reasonably well served by the web. People do not know where to find a provider, they find my site and give me a call. Kind of cut and dry. But, I know that the business would be augmented if I used the techniques Brian has mentioned. It all would be better.

So in the end, I think you always have to do both and change the ratio between web and face to face marketing depending upon your work.

I have found cold calling, e-mailing to be good at times and horrible at times. But, when I look back, I have dug up some work by just sending targeted e-mails to high percentage possible clients. The moral to the story is always be doing something.

BTW, this mythical land called Basshire sound like a cool place!
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Old June 1st, 2012, 08:43 AM   #26
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

Yeah, the shire's ok. It costs too much, is tiny, and is constantly invaded by Barf Demons (you humans call them "roaches.")

Anyway, I don't attempt to be (or put myself out there as) a full service production company (concept to final, or even shoot to final product), and mostly try to stay away from post since I'm weak on motion graphics, don't have the setup to really handle this newfangled HD stuff, and most importantly, prefer field work.

Maybe my hook/marketing strategy should be "the guy who won't try to sell you a load of crap."
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Old June 1st, 2012, 07:08 PM   #27
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

@ Tim. That's well said. My projects range toward the longer-form, $3k - $5k range. So, it's more about the relationship and service. Shorter, less-involved work might be better-served with web marketing/ discovery.

@Josh, I like the way you put things. You're a really engaging writer, so very disarming and funny. Yeah, I totally get where you're coming from with selling as NOT being your personality. And it's totally not me, either. Those "type A" B.S.'ers, I can read a mile away. Just being yourself

@Everyone I've read a lot of Seth Godin's books, since you can usually finish one with a few well-planned loo sessions. Although more typically geared toward retailers or widget-sellers, there's some nuggets to glean in his work for service providers like us, as well. "Permission-based Marketing" (vs. Interruption-based), "Small it the new Big", and "All Marketeers Are Liars... Tell Stories" stands out. My all time favorite book is "Blue Ocean Strategy" by Kim/Maubourgne. It's well overdue for a new version, but some amazing insights from one-man-shows all the way up to Fortune 500 companies.
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Old June 1st, 2012, 08:27 PM   #28
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Re: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, New Website and New Demo

Thanks for the book suggestions Brian. I will add them to my list.
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