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Old January 4th, 2006, 03:21 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: San Diego, CA
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What types of marketing do you use?

I wanted to see what types of marketing people use for thier buisness? Here in San Diego we have annual Bridal Events which are rather expensive. Last I checked it was about $700 to get a table. I have tried paying search sites to get our site posted, went through a church bulletin, and even passed some demos to places like David's Bridal and Tuxedo stores. However, I am still not getting the buisness that I would like to be doing.

I'm still learning this buisness and any help would be benifical.
Dan Wagner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 4th, 2006, 10:26 PM   #2
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Dan, You're most likely going to have a tough time getting this kind of information on a public internet forum. For someone to tell you how they market their videography business would be foolish.......especially if they are remotely close to you by region, and even if they aren't close...its still not too smart because you have competitors closer than you think. Why give them your magic "formula", you have zero to gain from it, actually less than zero.......the next thing, they are booking clients you should be booking.

I will say this because it's pretty much common sense....."word of mouth" will problably be your biggest marketing tool in the wedding videography world. It's hard sometimes, to get the ball rolling, but once you do it's all good.
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Old January 5th, 2006, 08:06 AM   #3
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Location: Worcester, Mass USA
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Word of mouth is the best form of advertizing - nothing beats it! So do the best work you can and gain a good reputation!

2) Business Cards are a must - good for giving out to all different people, and you can usually hang them in some public places(for free).

3) Local church bulletins and local newspapers/flyers. Ok - you pay here - but you can usually find a good deal on rates. In my area we have a business flyer that comes out every week and gets mailed to about 5 towns in my area. The flyer is nothing but local business advertizements and real-estate listings. It's not the best - but it does get noticed and read.

4) Web site - market yourself!

5) Bridal Magazines, etc. . .

Starting out is the hardest because no one knows who you are, so you need to come up with some other creative means to market yourself - or just take in work on the cheep until you get your name out (i.e. be much cheaper than your competition in order to gain jobs and build your reputation).

Hope this helps,
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Old January 5th, 2006, 08:15 AM   #4
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Location: Westfield, IN
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No magic bullet in marketing

Originally Posted by Joe Allen Rosenberger
I will say this because it's pretty much common sense....."word of mouth" will problably be your biggest marketing tool in the wedding videography world.
I recall an EventDV article by industry veteran Steve Yankee saying that "word of mouth" marketing is just a catch-all euphamism for when you don't know how your clients are finding you. In other words, it's dumb luck.
I don't believe in word-of-mouth in this general sense. When I started my business three years ago, word got out on The Knot that I was a new guy on the scene and wasn't charging much (average $600 for a 2-camera shoot). When I gradually started raising my rates to competitive/industry-standard levels, there was no more word-of-mouth -- despite the fact that clients loved my work.

I suspect Joe Rosenberger meant that word-of-mouth *in the right social circles* can make things "all good." If you're not getting the word out to and impressing an affluent clientelle, you'll be labelled a "cheap" videographer and soon realize you're wasting your time. Although I'm not trolling for low-end/price-shopping brides anymore, I'm stuck in the middle-range market (what one videographer likes to call the Dead Man's Zone), and business is much slower. One factor is that fact that my geographic market is now flooded with cheap videographers who are offering three-camera coverage for under $1,000. I can't imagine them making a profit -- unless they don't edit the footage. Anyway, I cannot afford jump into videography full time, so if I do not meet my revenue goal for 2006, I'll probably leave the business. I have two young children, a working wife, and a full-time career in publishing. Time with my family on the weekends is more important than being away from them at weddings. If I can't attract more bookings than last year, it's just not worth the worry and the expense.

Dan, there is no one-size-fits-all marketing approach because of variables in market size and demographics. Then there's the amount of competition you're up against, and the quality of your work versus theirs. It's trial-and-error to some degree. It seems like you're making an honest effort. I'm guessing you haven't been at it for very long. Don't expect instant growth. Be fair to yourself and keep your expectations realistic. Rome wasn't built in a day, and if you're trying to break into a large market, it's going to take time to make a name for yourself. One thing I will recommend -- and it's not a marketing secret by any stretch -- is to get to know as man wedding vendors as you can; not just the bridal shops, but DJs, florists, bakers, caterers, limo drivers, photographers, etc. Having friends in the industry is invaluable. For example, I always hire other wedding videographers when I need camera operators for non-wedding work. Getting to know other videographers has led to freelance shooting for a local university. It's not steady income, but it's income, and it builds professional relationships.

Keep at it.

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Old January 5th, 2006, 08:19 AM   #5
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Location: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
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What has worked for me.

I too am just getting started, and it has been very slow for me as well. However I have been able to book a few from direct calling. I get names from local wedding announcements in the news paper. Look up MOB and brides and call and give them the speal. Offer to send them a demo, meet with them to show your work, give a web site address what ever you have to offer. My 2 cents. hope it helps.
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Old January 5th, 2006, 12:21 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the feedback.

Tim, I'm pretty much in the same situation as you are. I have a full time job, married, and recently had a baby. I like doing wedding videography and not really expecting a huge buisness boom right away. I realize that it does take time to get my name out there and network with other local videographers and vendors.

After thinking about it, its probably best for now to fine tune my shots and editing with a few projects a year. I still have a lot to learn. Although my wife says I'm doing fine, but I think shes a little biased =).
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Old January 10th, 2006, 02:10 AM   #7
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Location: San Antonio, Texas
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Marketing Ourselves

Hey Dan
I see your post is from 2004 I hope you're still around!!! I'm new to this site but here is my take on your query. I am co-owner of a videography company in San Antonio, TX we had tri-fold brochures made up and professionally printed (I feel this is not a place to skimp or be cheap with) this is a potential customers first contact with you. We had a web-site designed and hosted by a company that does STREAMING hosting for your demos. We wasted $800.00 on a web host that knew we were going to have video but they forgot to tell us they could not handle streaming video and when our videos would not load they would not give us our money back. Expensive lesson.

We also do the Bridal shows, there was one on the 8th of this month and there is one on the 15th. They are expensive but the show on the 8th netted us nine contracts and at $400.00 a contract deposit they paid for the fair.

What I hate is when the first words out of the customers mouth is "HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE" instead of tell me about your packages, my first responce is "who are you using for a wedding planner? If they say they aren't using one then my second question is when is your wedding? More than likely I am booked because if price is their only concern they can't afford us!

We offer a 100% MONEY BACK Guarantee that is in the contract:
1)We will always be set up on time as agreed in contract
2)We will always be at your event in a professional capacity.
3)We will always have a backup plan in place should an unlikely equipment failure occur.
4)We will always be responsible and professional.
5)We will always adhere to any special instructions set forth in the contract.
6)We will always conduct ourselves in a courteous and professional manner.

The customers always comment on the guarantee, and we explain it.

But most importantly you need to protect yourself; register your company with your state, get a tax number then once you have that go online and file for an Incorporation (S-Corp) you need two officers, you as President and your wife as Vice President, you have no stocks and will not trade in or sell any stock in your company, by doing it on-line it cost us only $150.00 and we had our incorporation papers the next day. By Incorporating should everything go south on you you can not personally be sued only your company, your personal effects cannot be touched.

My recommendation for marketing is Business cards of course, Brochures, a Great web site because that is the first thing a real customer asks about is your web address and go out and call on anyone that is in your industry. We introduced ourselves to as many photographers as we could find and surprising enough we get a lot of referrals from the wedding photographers. By networking with the photogs two things happen one they can now offer Videography in their package and you get the business and you can offer photography and they get your business. We will not put links on our web site for anyone because if you do it for one you tick off all the other folks you could work with. Event planners are a great acquaintance to have because they are working with the Bride and they recommend you. Everyone you work with is a reciprocal venture, they refer you, you refer them.

Introduce yourself to other established videographers, let them know if they ever get a double date booking and you're free that date have them send the client to you; just yesterday I gave up a potential customer to another videographer because their date was already booked and he has done the same for us. Sometimes a Videographer might need another camera for a large event and he'll call you, you let him know what you'll do it for or what he is willing to pay you and it's shooting and no editing, easy money.

Our marketing has produced a Wedding, Quinceanera, Bar/Bat Mitzvah or Corporate event scheduled for every weekend last year and this year has at least two events scheduled for every month this year. Word-Of-Mouth will help you but you have to get out and make it happen. We do filming for the Make-A-Wish foundation for free because it is normally during the day and during the weekdays and they have referred us to other corporations (NOT FREE) so that is one source of our word-of mouth referral. Mainly, let your competition know you are there for them if they need you and reciprocate if they give you business. We had another video company who was not friendly towards us at all until I sent him some business I couldn't handle and now he is one of our biggest allies, and he even aplolgized for saying bad things about us!!!!! NETWORK-NETWORK-NETWORK.

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