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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old October 17th, 2011, 08:09 PM   #1
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Location: new jersey
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How to survive a move?

i started a wedding video business/hobby a few years ago and it has done fairly well and expanded slowly. Unlike the nationally known wedding videographers out there, other than the 50-100 mile radius around me, no one knows who i am. i don't live off it, but eventually i plan to use it as a summer salary (teacher) So i moved to another state, and i'm back to square one only this time, i'm not new, and i'm not wanting to take several years shooting for nothing or next to nothing to build a reputation. Any ideas? more aggressive adverting?
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Old October 17th, 2011, 10:07 PM   #2
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Re: How to survive a move?

Hi Luke

I had a decent website and advertised on an on-line wedding directory!! That's it!!

You have to go online nowdays...I doubt whether brides even look in printed media anymore!!

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Old October 17th, 2011, 11:46 PM   #3
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Location: Toronto & Montreal
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Re: How to survive a move?

I'll pretty much be in the same situation next year as I'll be leaving my current team to start my own brand. My existing clients know me as part of the company I'm currently working with so I don't really want to be "stealing" their clients since I'm leaving the team on good terms and will still be helping them out for a while.

Right now, all I can think of is participating in upcoming bridal exhibitions and getting my name out there. I'll also be networking with wedding photographers and other people in the industry and see how it goes. And of course, the first thing I'll be doing is working on designing my brand and building a solid website to showcase my portfolio.

Other than that, I can't really think of any good idea for now...

Last edited by Long Truong; October 18th, 2011 at 09:06 AM.
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Old October 18th, 2011, 12:39 AM   #4
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Location: Dallas, TX
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Re: How to survive a move?

I went through the same thing. Moved to Dallas in July of 2010. Set up a great looking booth at the Jan. 2011 bridal show and got 33 weddings from it. Now, a year and a half later, I'm so busy I no longer advertise and only work off referrals. However, I've recently went back into news and continue corporate work so I'm dropping weddings altogether..
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Old October 20th, 2011, 01:19 AM   #5
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Re: How to survive a move?

Luke, first off, you are not back to square one. Square one is "this is how you turn the camera on...." :-)

You need to do everything, any other business person does, namely get your name out there, along with samples of your work. You need the website, the demos, the business cards, the facebook page....everything you needed before.I bridal show would be a good idea and look into bridal vendors meeting to network. Here the promotion company that runs some bridal shows, has monthly get togethers for the vendors to network and to help the promotion company to keep their booths full at the shows.

So you have to do everything you should have been doing before. When you meet with a bride, guess what, she isn't going to know you any more than she will know most of the potential vendors she encounters !!! She is going to be concerned with two things. The first are you going to make her the bestest, most beutifulest, wonderfulest wedding video that's more gorgeouser than anything that ever was produced ??? Second, are you going to take her deposit and then SHOW UP and not skip out on her day ???

She is going to be concerned about these two things when it comes to any videographer she talks to. So to comfort her in regards to your integrity, get plenty of references from those you have already done work for. Now being new to the area you shouldn't try to hide it, but need not dwell heavily on it either. In the "about me" section of your website, a paragraph explaining how you enjoyed being a part of your last community for X years but left to pursue an exciting opportunity to join the XYXZ School system and become a part of the XYZ community. Then the usual sentence or two about your job with the kiddies, and anything else you are involved with at the school or elsewhere in the community.

The key to quell any concern is going to be those references and if necessary, phone numbers so prospective brides can contact them. I wouldn't publish the phone numbers. But don't be afraid to offer them when speaking to some who seems hesitant, it shows you have nothing to hide when it comes to the claims made in the references.

Start doing your market research so you know what your competition is doing and what they are charging for their services. Then with a real critical eyeball, look at your previous work and figure out where it fits in comparison. You also need to sit back and do an honest comparison between your previous market and your new one. Sure your work might be worth $10,000 but if your market won't pay it, you might as well charge $100,000 because the end result will still be the same, ZERO. When I did my market analysis, the magic number that kept coming up was $1500. Now there are lots of people on this board getting a lot more than that. But obviously here in my market, it just isn't happening.

Good luck !!!
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Old October 20th, 2011, 02:24 AM   #6
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
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Re: How to survive a move?

For the absolute fastest way to get your name out using internet, get on The Knot and advertise there.

As has been said:

1. Build a website first with sample on the index page, an absolute must. Have a contact form.

2. Advertise on the Knot, about $150 or so a month. It's effectiveness is directly related to the quality of your website, however.

3. Work on optimizing your site for the search engines.

Do everything Chip says to come up with pricing and packages.
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.
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