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Old November 11th, 2010, 07:43 PM   #1
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Location: Sacramento, California
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Need advice about switching from wedding/event work to corporate work

Hey everyone,
for the past 5 years I have done all types of video production work, including alot of weddings and events and some corporate/infomercial type work.

I just recently finished filming a short film with a decent budget on the Canon 5D camera. I believe this camera puts out a stunning image that corporations (even large ones) could use. And I would like to make a switch to doing short films, and really nice tv commercials etc....

Does anyone have any advice as far getting those types of clients? It seems like its mostly random for me when I get them. Weddings are steady every year though!

Check out my website here: Sacramento Wedding & Corporate Videographer | Roseville Folsom Tahoe | Silas's Videography
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Old November 12th, 2010, 08:28 AM   #2
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I made the transition about 3 years ago. I completely quit shooting weddings.

First, you need a separate website for weddings. Don't even mention weddings on your corporate site. I sometimes ask clients who they considered before deciding to use us, and a lot of the time I hear "we considered X, but they're just a wedding videographer."

Second, the jobs are harder to find, but they pay more. We could shoot 30 weddings a year at $1500 (this is a cheap area for wedding video...) but instead we shoot 10-12 corporate videos a year at $4k to $7k each.

Third, you may need to diversify. For us that means offering web development and graphic design, which accounts for more than half of our gross income. For you it may mean continuing to do wedding video or consider offering other services.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 06:26 PM   #3
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Good advice, thank you, a few more questions:

I get quite a bit of work from craigslist, and then some random places, will that work for corporate 4k-7k projects or do I need a new method?

Also, do you have a website I could check out and is a website a big part of getting the right jobs?
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Old December 10th, 2010, 04:34 PM   #4
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Corporate Work

You need a new method to get corporate work.

It''s called 'sales'.

First, you need a Unique Selling Proposition, or UPS. What is unique about what you do? How will that benefit your client. Write it down. Make it short and in plain English. Try it out on your friends until they tell you it sounds compelling.

That becomes the basis for your website. What is unique about what you do. How it will benefit your clients.

Include some sample videos. Perhaps the same shots made with the 5D and a conventional videocamera to illustrate the advantage of your approach.

The website is your online brochure. It won't bring you any business, but you need it to refer prospects to.

Next, make a list of corporations that you think could benefit from your unique approach.

Then do some research. What do they need videos for? Do they have a story that needs telling? Maybe they need training videos because they have to train employees who can't read (don't laugh--a client of mine made millions writing comic books for the military showing illiterates how to run a tank, etc.).

Then pick up the phone and start calling. Call their main number, introduce yourself, and ask for the person who be in charge of commissioning videos. When you get them on the phone, introduce yourself and ask them if they have any need for videos. Give them some ideas of how they would help their business. If you haven't done your research on that particular company, you are not going to be very persuasive. Good questions to ask are 'Do you produce any videos for your company for sales or training purposes?' 'Have you thought about how videos could help your company?'

If they say they have no need for videos, always ask for referrals. 'Do you know anyone who might be interested in having some high quality, reasonably priced videos made for their company?'

If they express an interest, always ask questions. Don't make the #1 mistake of sales reps and talk about how good you are. They are not interested (neither is anyone else). Find out what their problems are. What problems do they need to solve? What have they tried so far?

If it seems they have an itch that you can scratch, ask for an appointment to tour their facility so you can see firsthand what they are struggling with. Always remember that you want them to do the talking. Always dress well and brush and floss your teeth after you have finished your coffee so you don't have bad breath.

Only after you have a good idea of what they need, offer to put together a proposal with costs and a time-frame that you will present at another meeting. Always ask if they are the decision maker. If others are involved in the decision, ask that they be at the meeting as well.

Then make your presentation and answer any questions that they have. Ask when they would like to start.

When the job is done, ask for referrals.

Another way to prospect is to join the local Chamber of Commerce. Attend their meetings and let people know you make videos. Do some free work for the Chamber, like making a video of some charitable work they do.

Sacramento is the center of government for California. You might approach some governmental offices.

Sales is ongoing and never ending if you want to be successful. Remember GOYB and PUTP.

Get Off Your Butt. Pick Up The Phone.

Good luck.
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Old December 11th, 2010, 09:41 AM   #5
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Great post Bob!
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Old December 11th, 2010, 04:58 PM   #6
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Second that, thanks Bob.
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Old December 12th, 2010, 08:58 PM   #7
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Holy Cow, Bob! This is why DVINFO is so great. Thanks a million.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 07:49 AM   #8
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That is a great post Bob...

I am in the same boat as you Silas, except, we are just starting out. We are NOT going to do weddings. Ever. Good luck to you!
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Old December 15th, 2010, 09:45 AM   #9
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Bob - great advice! - sounds like you have a professional sales background. I once worked with the top salesperson at a former company and asked him what his secret was. His answer "Find a need and fill it"
- Art Varga
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Old December 15th, 2010, 02:23 PM   #10
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Great stuff Bob, I'll work on these points!

Thank you!
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Old December 15th, 2010, 09:46 PM   #11
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Only thing is I don't know many companies that employ people who "commision videos". Mostly I deal with Marketing or Communications people who deal with all sorts of media and non broadcast video is just one thing they may want occasionally. The chances of a cold call getting to the right person at a time when they are thinking about doing something is fairly remote. If you can get through to the right person then the most likely response will be that they will ask you to send in a resume and a reel... And there's your problem.

In my experience the main avenue for getting "non broadcast" work is by referral. That is, people who you have done work for in the past passing your name onto someone else, or your own network - friends, family or people you meet.

Also, a lot of getting corporate work involves writing a comprehensive submission that illustrates your understanding of what they want to say, to whom and how you can provide a solution to their communication problem. You will also have to illustrate that you have the team (or skills) that can provide all the things required for a successful production ie scriptwriting, design, filming, editing etc...

So, I would suggest that you use your network to find people who have a need for a video, maybe even do it for nix, some not-for profits would love to have a promotional video but have no or little money. Lots of small business's would love to have a video on there web site but will only want to spend a few hundred dollars.

But basically you have to show examples of your work to get more work. Once you build up your portfolio then put them on your website, get into Adwords, and keep on networking.

Another way of getting into the corporate video area is to get a job at a Production Company and learn a bit about how it works.
Neil McClure
Canon C100, Panasonic GH3, Sony EX1, FCPx, Motion 5.1
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