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Old April 3rd, 2005, 01:20 AM   #1
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Advertising techniques-- Got any?

First off, if there is a thread dedicated to this already, please point me there. I did not find anything after searching.

I'm thinking of doing wedding videos this summer. I have someone interested in being the second cameraman. Only a few more things to buy and I'd be all set for equipment.

My dilemma: How do I get my name out there? I've "interned" at two local production houses, with at least one willing to point customers to me. The problem is that they receive only about five calls for wedding videos a year.

While working at the aforementioned production house, I had to help someone learn how to edit in FCP. This guy knew hardly anything about computers, let alone how to video edit. Now, this guy has a wedding videography business in which he seems to get some business. He told me to get in touch and he may be able to use me for his second cameraman in emergencies. He also may be able to get me some connections from a wedding show he attended.

Besides word of mouth, what are some of the best forms of advertising? Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks,
Skye
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 11:37 AM   #2
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I think the internet is a great place to advertise. I get at least 10 weddings a year from people who search the web in my area. I advertise on both google and overture(add www and com).

We also advertise in local bridal publications, which are considerably more expensive than the web traffic. For example, for one publication it costs $1550 for a year. We also do bridal shows. For example, one bridal show was $600 for one day and another was $900 for two days. The $600 bridal show landed us 4 jobs and the $900 show, which was in feb 2005 landed us 3 jobs already.

A great way to market yourself is to do it through a photographer who doesn't offer video. It doesn't cost anything up front, like most forms of advertising. We have 2 photographers that sell us at their own, we have a set price that we charge the photographer and anything he charges over that point is his to keep. It works very well for us. We also have a couple reception halls that do the same thing.

Word of mouth is definately the best form of advertising. The longer you are around the less advertising you will need, of course, that depends on how much business you would like. One studio in my area does almost 300 weddings a year! I am happy with 50, no more!

Good luck,

Jon
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 09:01 PM   #3
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Bridal shows have worked very well for me for the cost, So far I have done two and each one paid for itself twice over within a day or two.

The website also brings in some people, but what I have noticed is people I meet at the bridal show then browse the website a lot (I can track a spike in hits the days after and the same users typically come back a few times before finally emailing me)

The only other thing I tried was giving some photography studios a cut of my profits if they book through me, but so far I havenít had too many bookings through them.
.
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Old April 4th, 2005, 07:11 AM   #4
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<<< Bridal shows have worked very well for me for the cost, So far I have done two and each one paid for itself twice over within a day or two. >>>

I haven't done any bridal shows yet because the prospects of having them truly pay for themselves seem slim. If you figure the typical show booth costs almost $1000 up front plus a full day or two of your time, you'd have to sell at least ten wedding videos just to bring the overhead cost from the booth down to $100 per video. That doesn't sound like a very effective proposition to me compared to spreading the same $1000 out over a year using things like the internet and Yellow Pages advertising, which are the two main things which have worked for me.

I love how almost everyone selling any form of advertising says the same thing: "if you just make one sale it will pay for itself." No, if I just make one sale I'm working *for free* to pay the advertiser's salary, which is not my idea of a good deal. I could go lie on the beach all day and be better off than that!
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Old April 4th, 2005, 08:09 AM   #5
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I'm officially launching my business at the end of this month, and I have made fliers and business cards that I'll be taking around to all the bridal shops, beauty shops, restraunt business card bulletin boards....any place there will be women! I'm going to more or less subliminally imprint their minds with my existence.

Another thing I am doing is paying $50 bucks for a booth at our local arts and crafts festival. Now, you cant just have a booth advertising your wedding video business, but you CAN use your equipment to make a neat little documentary or movie and sell that, and just so happen to have a wedding demo DVD and fliers and business cards handy and visable, ready to talk yourself up at every opportunity! And if you make your doc/movie pertinent to local history (as I did) you might get a reduced booth rate! At my our fest, a regular booth is $75 without electricity! I paid $25 for the booth, and $25 for juice!

The essense of what I'm saying is, you must get your creative hustle on...take advantage firstly of every freely availble advertising you can get. Put up fliers and business card anywhere someone will let you! Just drive around your area looking for places to ask! Do you have a local radio station you can place a resonably priced ad with? Local paper? Usually in rural areas (And most of South Dakota, which I love, is pretty dang rural!) these types of things are cheaper and easier to pull off, as they are not so saturated with hustlers like the big cities!
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Old April 4th, 2005, 10:05 AM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Kevin Shaw : <<<I haven't done any bridal shows yet because the prospects of having them truly pay for themselves seem slim. If you figure the typical show booth costs almost $1000 up front plus a full day or two of your time, you'd have to sell at least ten wedding videos just to bring the overhead cost from the booth down to $100 per video. -->>>

I would like to mention the two bridal shows in Wisconsin were $300 and $325 respectively. Much easier to pay off. If they were $1000 I would probably not be quite so happy with bridal shows as advertisement.

Another good thing to do is call and let the bridal shows know your willing to go late notice; I booked one a week in advance for 1/4 price; If all their booths arent filled they see any amount of money as better than none.
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Old April 4th, 2005, 12:44 PM   #7
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From what I've read, one of the big 'Guerrilla Marketing Secrets', which several sites are willing to let you know for $25 to $125, is that if you write up an article on your business and include a digital photo, many local newspapers will run it as a 'story' in the business or local interest section.

I guess the theory is if you give them an article in EXCATLY the same style that the newspaper normally runs, the writer for that section can pass your work off as their own and go to the ballpark. So the cost is the time to write and submit the article. Seems like it would also be a good time to take out a recurring ad with the same paper for residuals.
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Old April 4th, 2005, 01:23 PM   #8
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Here's an idea...

A photographer suggested apartment complex offices and health clubs. Makes perfect sense. High concentrations of single folks. It can't hurt. My gym just opened in October, and they have business cards for personal trainers at their front desk. I will ask them I there's room for my brochures.
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Old April 4th, 2005, 01:54 PM   #9
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Re: Here's an idea...

<<<-- Originally posted by Tim Borek : A photographer suggested apartment complex offices and health clubs. Makes perfect sense. High concentrations of single folks. It can't hurt. My gym just opened in October, and they have business cards for personal trainers at their front desk. I will ask them I there's room for my brochures. -->>>

I think thats a mighty fine idea. It also brings to mind another angle.....market not mainly to single folks.....but to married! Bear with me now......it's generally married people that PLAN the wedding! At least from what I have been witnessing. Even for my own wedding, it was primarily my wifes married friend and married friends married mother that did the bulk of our wedding arrangements and setup. Same for the wedding I'm about to shoot, it's mostly the brides married friends, and her married parents that are setting everything up! As a matter of fact, it was the friend that hired me!

Married people have already been there, and have a more full realization of the value of such things, and are often more excited than even the bride about the wedding event, so it just stands to reason, to my mind at least, that they should be the primary (though certainly not only) targets for marketing, as far as public advertisements go. if they see your card sometime near the wedding planning stage, they are quite likely to think "I remember seeing a card for wedding videos when I was at the gym the other day", because they are there working out to keep themselves attractive to their already hooked mates!

There are so many marketing angles to take, I think it wise to cover several bases! I'm very glad you triggered that, Tim...it's giving me a lot to ponder as I strategize!
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Old April 4th, 2005, 03:14 PM   #10
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Another great way to market brides is at a wedding your shooting. We just started doing a wedding day late last year and this year. When time allows we have a short clip we show at the reception. People stand around and watch the short highlight clip from the ceremony. We add a short clip with our name and web address at the beginning. From each wedding that we have done the clip we have received at least 1 phone call from a viewer. Either for a wedding or a photo montage job.

I just take my clips from DVrack or my Firestore and edit really quick in the car ride to the reception. All cameras at the ceremony use Dvrack or a firestore. We capture with dvrack to a usb 2.0 external drive, which is USB powered. Its great. Take all the drives and connect them to your editing laptop and edit. No need to transfer the files!

The wedding day edit is nothing fancy but a 1/2 to 1 hour edit of my three cameras into a 5 minute video. Great marketing tool when you have hundreds of people watching it.

Jon
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Old April 8th, 2005, 03:24 AM   #11
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All good ideas so far. If you have any more post 'em! Thanks.
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Old April 8th, 2005, 01:29 PM   #12
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You would not believe the business I get from craigslist. At least 15 weddings a year. All for free--what a wonderful world!
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Old April 8th, 2005, 03:51 PM   #13
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What is Craigs list?
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Old April 11th, 2005, 02:08 AM   #14
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Don't you have to be pretty cheap to get jobs
through Craig's list?
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Old April 11th, 2005, 02:11 AM   #15
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I would like to mention the two bridal shows in Wisconsin were $300 and $325 respectively. Much easier to pay off. If they were $1000 I would probably not be quite so happy with bridal shows as advertisement.


What type of venues were these? I wouldn't
think they were the Big City affairs that run for
two days.
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