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Taking Care of Business
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Old May 15th, 2005, 08:38 AM   #1
Regular Crew
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Baxley, Georgia
Posts: 103
Frustrated: How to Market

Hi guys,
I'm starting my second year of doing video work. Primarily events but I'm up for anything and would prefer scripted type work. My weddings are rated top notch by anyone who sees them. I did a United Way Video for free as a self primer. Everyone liked it. I think turned out OK but learned alot and would change a few things if I did it again. All in all I consider myself "advanced intermediate and improving" when rating my work against all the other work I've seen.

Last year I spent about $11,000 on a couple of Sony PD170's, good tripods, a DVRig Pro, a small battery powerd mixing board and good mics, boom, cables etc. Sony Vegas 5 + DVD a 200GB HDD & DVD burner, Lighting equipment, etc, etc. There are a few other things I would like to get to improve but I'm waiting to see where I really need to spend the money.

My problem now is how to market. I don't get much business and I'm not sure how to spend marketing money to improve. In addition I have a real job and have to juggle video work around that because there is no way I'm in any position to quit and try videography as a sole source based on what work I've had thus far. One major problem is that I'm in a very rural area. The town I live near has a population of about 4,500 and the county is probably 25,000. The surrounding counties are about the same. You have to travel 80 miles to get to any serious population centers.

My initial goal was to test the waters, see how I liked videoing, then, if I liked it, build a business to a point I could make a living from it. Well I love doing the videoing and editing but I'm having problems from the business end and how to give it a kick in the butt based on my situation. Does anyone have any helpful suggestions?
Lamar Lamb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15th, 2005, 11:32 AM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Deep South, U.S.
Posts: 1,526
There has been some discussion on these boards about doing funerals including montages of old photos and vid/clips of the deceased' life. Some may find this morbid but there appears to be a market for it. You could get pretty creative if there was a good amount of material to access.

You might get with the local funeral home and see what they think.


Mark Williams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15th, 2005, 12:03 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840

Any business plan should start by looking at similar businesses in your area.

ARE there any? IF so, what do they do? IF not, why not? What do you find when you open your phone book to "Video". Anything?

The wedding video guys will have specific info on brochures, and 'bridal faires', and conferences you can attend. You can make your marketing dollar stretch further by hooking up with ancillary services. Contact the caterers, DJ's, Florists and still photographers who work in the area. Offer to split ad costs to cross promote.

Contact your local television station, and see what sort of free-lance work they might hand out.

And finally, take a long hard look at the most important element of any business.

Location location location.

Some businesses need a busy intersection, some need a nearby freight terminal, some need a big enough market ... you might have to move, or be willing to travel extensively.

Good luck.
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15th, 2005, 04:14 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Venice, FL
Posts: 850
So many variables against you. You can only work certain hours, sounds like you do not want to travel, and you have very few people living in your area. You have to be clear about WHEN you want to work, WHERE you want to work, and then figure out who potential prospects might be and what they might want. Then figure out how to go tell them about you. But with restricted hours, funerals might not be viable, nor corporate work, nor commercials, nor news coveraage. It all depends on what the answers are to where and when. IF you are doing weddings, then I guess you can work weekends, so maybe you need to just focus on that and expand your geography.
You are either growing or dying.
Bob Costa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15th, 2005, 06:04 PM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 84
a little advertising...

Try your local church news letter, local paper, shops

A little money in advertising can make a good profit!

I also agree on the above answer on looking at your local market and competitors.

I am not going deep here, but a little advertising can be suprisingly effective.

Good luck!
RED ONE #476
Eirik Tyrihjel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15th, 2005, 06:31 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Baxley, Georgia
Posts: 103
I don't think I'm up to the funeral thing. Funny you asked though, I had someone approach me about possibly doing one. Took me completely by surprise. I declined. I don't think that's for me.

Richard & Bob
I had figured weddings would be my area of focus based on my available time. As far as making contacts in the wedding business, I think I've hit up about everyone here that is involved with them; florists, beauticians, wedding planners, the stores where you register, the photographer. I've put business cards in all the places that I can think of. Maybe I need to expand a few counties.

I talked to one local area wedding planner who found me last week. She said there was only one other person for 2 counties around that did professional level videography. When we started talking about the wedding business, she said she did 4 weddings last year. That's how many I did and I thought it was a low number. I think the local area just won't support a dedicated wedding videography business but since weddings are on weekends they are about the only type work I can do without work schedule conflicts. I don't mind travelling within about a 2 hour radius.

I dunno, I guess it's just all this great equipment sitting around and I don't get to use it much. I'd also like to be able to get some more equipment but without much work it's hard to justify. If I thought I could afford it I'd look seriously at going back home to Murfreesboro/Nashville and starting a business there. I imagine there are plenty of videographers in that area already but the range and amount of work would be much better. I know I could be competitive in quality and prices if the work is there.
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