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Old August 31st, 2009, 03:26 PM   #1
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How did you get your first corporate client?

Greetings & Salutations,

I did a fairly extensive search and couldn't find a similar thread, so here I am asking with the standard, "Apologies if this has been done to death" disclaimer.

I am planning a move from weddings to corporate work, and have spent the afternoon doing some planning re: marketing. I thought that it would be interesting to ask how those who do corporate work got your first paying client.

Did you make cold calls?

Take advantage of a friend or family connection?


Advertising in Yellow Pages, newspaper, etc?

Lucky enough to have a client find your website with a Google?

Stand in the middle of a busy intersection and yell, "I make video!"

If you have any interesting related stories, I (and I'm sure others) would appreciate your sharing.
Matthew Craggs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 31st, 2009, 04:55 PM   #2
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when I started back in the early 80s there was no internet to google me with so it was doing what I did to get my still photography business going 12 years before that. I called people, knocked on doors and talked to everyone to let them know who I was and what I did. Come to think of it, I still do the same thing. Regardless of the type of work I'm looking to do.
Today a lot of work does come thru the net but honestly I'm old school and prefer the face to face approach. To me the net is just too impersonal but I know a lot of companies at least start the process that way.

I have to say though that one of my best clients came from a wedding when the owner of a business asked me about doing video work for him. I had that client for 16 years, made a lot of money from his company, made a bunch of contacts, traveled with them, did jobs around the country for him and made a great friend. We're still friends today even though he sold the business and I no longer do any kind of work for him.
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 12:37 AM   #3
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In one word...networking. Start with your friends and family. Do they work for any companies that might require video? Do those companies have an internal database of preferred vendors? If so, find out how to get on it. Otherwise, make sure your friends have your business card on them (ideally) to remind them of your services. Your biz card should be professional and business oriented. If you do weddings/events....have a separate card for that...or keep it generic enough for both purposes.

Once you've exhausted your 'local' network, try a local chamber of commerce. Volunteer for a non-profit (or a cause you believe in). If nothing else, it will build a demo and garner you some good karma.

Go to your local hotel and ask if they have a conference/seminar videographer who is available for advance notice or last-minute requests. Doubtful that they do and chances are high that they get the inquiries.

If you put in 1 or 2 marketing hours a day, you'll soon see the rewards. Best of luck to you.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 05:51 AM   #4
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I'm moving in the same direction - I've started by offering freebies to a couple of businesses. to tie in with the wedding business I'm doing a couple of promos for reception locations. That means I have a coporate client and my logo is on their website when brides visit. Another is a retirement village, I'm doing a promo for their website for free (They've allready agreed to pay to have that promo put on DVD so they can send to clients.

I'll start networking and actively pursuing corporate work when I have some quality stuff to show people. I can claim these as corporate clients and use that as a base to work from.
Cheers - Paul M.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 07:53 AM   #5
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You just need to let the word out that you're available for that kind of work. My first corporate job was from a friend who saw a few of my videos in church (I have been volunteering to produce videos for our church for many years.) The second corporate client was the total opposite - a company from Israel needed a short segment produced on a model aquaculture facility 40 miles from me. They just found me through Google.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 03:14 PM   #6
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Friends and colleagues only. I have never, not once, received a client (or even VALID request for proposal/budget/estimate) from my web presence. I use my website as a conversation starter after handing out a business card: "rather than having me explain what I do and where I've done it, check out the website and let me know what you think..."

Never advertised EXCEPT for a web ad I put up on Kijiji once that netted me ZERO discussion even though I was offering a significant discount on the labour component IF they mentioned they saw it on Kijiji. Oh, and qualified clients only, deposit required blah blah blah...
Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster Blog:
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Old September 1st, 2009, 08:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Matthew Craggs View Post
Lucky enough to have a client find your website with a Google?
Google FTW! I have a very highly indexed google site (once per day give or take) and the customer found me after doing some searching.

That is the same way that over 95% of my clients found me. Pretty much all other avenues of advertising have been a bust.
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