DV Info Net

DV Info Net (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/)
-   Wedding / Event Videography Techniques (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/wedding-event-videography-techniques/)
-   -   Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/wedding-event-videography-techniques/521029-selling-your-service-vs-uncle-bob.html)

Robert Benda January 12th, 2014 11:12 AM

Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
I was giving some thought with how to compete with $300 Handycam's and am considering this strategy. I'd love your opinions and ideas:

First, I've posted a 'How to Hire a Videographer' page on my website that shows ideas and options.

Second, I'm considering SHOWING the difference between a single cam and our footage, showing the same wedding's processional, vows, kiss, and recessional. A simple 2 minute video to demonstrate the contrast.

The contrast will be audio and camera angles. So, maybe cutting back and forth (so that it becomes obvious how the Handycam can't hear the vows, or maybe it's one of those with a noisy baby); but also how much better we can show the other moments.

Any thoughts?

Tim Lewis January 12th, 2014 11:28 AM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Robert, I think you need to be careful in defining what you are contrasting. I would not look so much at the value of the camcorder, but at the single viewpoint as a contrast. Many wedding videographers on this site, from what I have been able to determine use $300 camcorders as PART of their wedding setup. GoPros certainly fall into this sort of price range.

Also Uncle Bob may be what we call a CUB here (Cashed Up Bogan) and have a two to three thousand dollar camcorder that he uses to make crap videos and still from only a single viewpoint.

When defining a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) for your business, I think it is best to make sure it reflects the values you wish to convey to your prospective clients.

(My two cents)

Noa Put January 12th, 2014 11:31 AM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Do you really fear competition from Uncle Bob? Couples that decide to let Bob shoot their wedding most likely would never hire you in the first place, unless your charging fee would be 100 dollar. As a photographer though I would fear Uncle Bob more, seen enough guests carrying canon 5dII with them and I have seen enough "friends of the family" that are asked to be the photog of the day, worst kind ever if you ask me as they run all the time in the way.

I used to have a blog on my website where I did have a sample of a camera in back of a church with onboard sound of a camera nearby the couple or altar and then by switching to a microphone that was attached to the groom or to the altar, I removed my blog some time ago but the video was still on my vimeo account, makes things clear enough for the couple.


Tim Lewis January 12th, 2014 11:35 AM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
I didn't understand a word of it Noa, but the video said it all!

Warren Kawamoto January 12th, 2014 12:05 PM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
I don't think you can show the difference between cameras. If you put a $100 camcorder into a professional's hands, there is virtually no difference compared to a $5000 camcorder in the eyes of a customer.

One thing you could do from now on is to have your couple talk to the officiant beforehand. Before the processional starts, have him make an announcement to the guests that no cameras are allowed during the ceremony, and that everyone is welcome to take pictures and videos AFTER the ceremony. Works for me!! Same thing with the reception, have the DJ NOT announce everyone with cameras to come up to the cake for the cutting. Uncle Bob ain't welcome in our house!

Noa Put January 12th, 2014 12:29 PM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Quote:

have the DJ NOT announce everyone with cameras to come up to the cake for the cutting.
2 years back I did a Curdic wedding, EVERYONE had a camera (smartphone and/or small handicam) shooting from the same angles as I did, that was fun :)

Danny O'Neill January 12th, 2014 12:59 PM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
People aren't booking uncle bob because they don't know the difference. They know a pro is better. They are booking him because that's all they can afford. I think your efforts are better spent elsewhere.

Don't think the budget guys are stealing your clients. Unless of-course their work is on par with yours.

Dave Blackhurst January 12th, 2014 03:49 PM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
I'm sure everyone has seen the two photos of the most recent Pope announcements (I think that's what it was, something about the last two Popes anyway...) one photo just a few years ago, and there were a couple cameras (likely actual camera LCD screens of some sort) visible... the latest one was a SEA of screens - phones, tablets, phablets, you get the idea... might even have been a couple "real" cameras in there too...

EVERYONE has a "camera" now, this means EVERYONE, and most fancy themselves to be a "photographer" or "videographer" since now they have the "tool", albeit in the wrong orientation, blurry, and poor quality in low light - these things don't matter, because they are "capturing the moment" themselves. These devices ARE getting better, and can even be used to take some pretty good pix/clips - I have a cousin in law who regularly posts some AWESOME instagram pix - seriously look great in a 2" onscreen display on Facebook, but I'm guessing would sadly lose much in a 10" print...

People "forget" to bring an SLR or even a compact digital, but you can bet they WILL NOT forget their PHONE... which now quite probably has a somewhat passable camera and video camera built in!! I only use mine for "junk" shots, but I'd suspect the next phone I get will be nearly equal to most compact digitals...

Remember the "trendy" thing for while of putting a bunch of disposable cameras around for the guests to use to shoot "candids" at the reception? How many of those came out? A thousand monkeys with typewriters do not produce classic literature, and a thousand monkeys with cameras won't produce much usable either...


It is not about the device or the cost, but about the technical SKILLS - (stable) framing, audio capture, getting decent results in awkward lighting conditions, knowing where to be to get the shots, knowing which shots to get, knowing how to edit out the ones you didn't need to shoot... and so on... and about TALENT - careful here because "uncle Bob" might actually swing a mean camera, if you know what I mean... but if he's never done a wedding, and he's there as a GUEST, he's not going to have those aforementioned SKILLS that one develops. AND he probably doesn't have the specific gear (yeah guys, we know what's in our bags and boxes so we can get "everything" - it ain't pretty... and there's some "cheap" cameras in there that shoot quite good video!) that will get top quality shots/video.


In the end you're selling your artistic talent, your vision, and your ability to capture and memorialize a one time event effectively. Remember you're "selling the sizzle, not the steak" to use an old marketing term. It's all too easy to be all excited about the new "toys" you use, or this or that bit of gear - but the bride cares about whether you capture HER... her emotion... her guests and family... HER DAY, the one she's run through her head since she was a little girl... Uncle Bob "might" get that, or he might not... but if she knows YOU WILL, she won't care WHAT you shot it with.

She likely won't give a hoot about whether she is in glorious 1080 60p or 4K, or even SD... or if you used a slider or a steadycam... although these things can provide a "wow factor" that you can and should make sure are evident in your "show reel", or your sample wedding DVD/BR that you use to "sell the sizzle".

Show your "stuff"... yes... it should be obvious that it's good, or at least better than uncle Bob or whatever YouToob wedding video is currently viral... but most people's eyes glaze right over when you start to "talk tech"... as a "techie", I've watched the effect firsthand plenty of times <wink>.

As the old saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words" - you're shooting 24-60 "pictures" a second AND you've got audio to add even more "sizzle" - make them count when doing your "marketing", and you might make it into the budget (presuming there is one)!


As a final thought, remember that "uncle Bob" is already "family" - you need the bride to want YOU to be part of "the family" for her special day, putting down uncle Bob probably isn't the place to start, even though we like to address his shortcomings here!

James Manford January 12th, 2014 03:58 PM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst (Post 1827512)
As a final thought, remember that "uncle Bob" is already "family" - you need the bride to want YOU to be part of "the family" for her special day, putting down uncle Bob probably isn't the place to start, even though we like to address his shortcomings here!

+1 agreed.

There is no way we can compete against an enthusiastic, serious, family member who's been given the task of filming the wedding. Who then follows through and does a good job because he has a bit of an idea with editing etc.

But some one that's casually filming it for the sake of it ... then the bride would make a mistake not hiring a pro for the job!

But then refer back to Noa's point ... it would usually be due to a lack of funds. So even the pro needs to be charging peanuts to secure that wedding.

Steve Bleasdale January 12th, 2014 04:09 PM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
I am finding simple answers to discount questions are sorry we do not give discount my price is £1495! And do you know what I have booked five that said uncle bob will do it because it's psychological! If it's a quality product you and they will always want it!!! Why because the brain thinks and says I want the best

Robert Benda January 12th, 2014 06:36 PM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
I guess I wasn't necessarily going to even mention 'Uncle Bob' or camcorders per se, just the difference between amateur and professional.

Based on bridal message boards I read, OFTEN, though not always, brides just don't see the value in hiring a professional. I'm hoping to make a short video to illustrate the difference to try and show the value.

Part of the reason is, simply, videography isn't really an automatic, assumed part of the day. IF they want a video, they may think 'oh, it's $1500-$2500 to hire someone, or I my cousin will do it for free!' Yes, a lot of folks CAN'T afford that, but I'm concerned that many just don't see the difference.

Chris Harding January 12th, 2014 07:32 PM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Rob

One thing you never mention is audio. Uncle Bob's camcorder is simply not going to be able to capture the vows without a decent audio system and I doubt whether he has one or will spend $1K getting one simply for his niece's wedding.

Nothing gives a cameraman the Uncle Bob label more than audio from the on camera mic audio!! To me that's what usually makes them Uncle Bob's. You can take a single under $1K camcorder, place it correctly in the aisle and hook up a good wireless lav or recorder on the groom and your video just might be as good as the pro's but drop the audio (as most Uncle Bob's do) and it becomes a guest video only.

As already mentioned, if the couple cannot afford video, then let them have Uncle Bob ...I guess it's better than no video at all and you certainly don't want to do it for almost free just to say you did it!!

I have done three freebies in the last 5 years and they were my nieces and it was their wedding present. My policy is I either do it for free (my family) or my normal prices with no discounts cos they are broke..Uncle Bob is more than welcome to those gigs

Chris

Robert Benda January 12th, 2014 07:52 PM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Harding (Post 1827534)
Rob

One thing you never mention is audio. Uncle Bob's camcorder is simply not going to be able to capture the vows without a decent audio system and I doubt whether he has one or will spend $1K getting one simply for his niece's wedding.

Chris, I thought audio, in particular, would be a big part of it. That's why I'd show the vows. Most of the time, we never hear the vows over the church's mic. If we do, they're is often so much other noise that on camera audio is worthless (baby crying or coughing guy...whatever).

I'm not fighting over cheap or 'can't afford it' brides. I'm going for the education. 15 years ago, as a DJ, I had a big, up hill fight to get paid a decent wage. Our area's normal was $375 ($500 or so in today's dollars). Within two years, after spending the time educating potential clients on the differences, which they had never seen, I was $750 a wedding. That was big. I was willing to spend 20 minutes on a phone call to explain myself.

Now, with video, I don't need to do 20 minute phone calls, and almost no one calls anyway, they email. I thought it wouldn't take much to show the difference. I'm hoping that even just a few couples might be turned into potential clients, just because they didn't realize what they didn't know.

Chris Harding January 12th, 2014 08:28 PM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Hi Rob

Absolutely! All I figure you would need is a nice tight shot with pristine audio of the vows and that should show the bride instantly what pro video is like. Pity you couldn't do a comparison clip ..showing an Uncle Bob vows clip (maybe done from back in the aisles with no zoom up and echoey audio from the Church PA and then your clip with tight shots and clean audio ...and then say "Which one would you like as your special day?" That should educate them pretty well !!

I think we also tend to forget that brides (well most of them anyway) have never done this before so they seldom see comparisons or standards and it's up to us to educate them.

Bear in mind that your "educational" video not only singles out Uncle Bob but also poor quality videographers who charge big prices.. it can only enhance your profile.

Chris

Clive McLaughlin January 13th, 2014 03:56 AM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
I just had an enquiry from a couple and then they came back to me saying that their friend from a media company said they would do it as a one off with two camera operators for like £150 less than me.

I just told them to go with the other guys if they thought it would be good. (Thats the beauty of having another job as steady income).

Even if the couple came back to me offering to pay my full whack - I'd be reluctant - they've already established that I'm stretching their budget and are likely to be very fussy as a result.

Not uncle Bob, I agree, but in general I detest people trying to 'work' me. A person who barters is basically telling you that you aren't worth what you thing you are.

On the contrary, I believe I'm very good value.


My advice to OP - take the clients that want you, and are happy to pay the amount you quote and your working life will be much happier.

Anyone who needs convincing is trouble from the word go.

James Manford January 13th, 2014 04:45 AM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin (Post 1827578)
I just had an enquiry from a couple and then they came back to me saying that their friend from a media company said they would do it as a one off with two camera operators for like £150 less than me.

I just told them to go with the other guys if they thought it would be good. (Thats the beauty of having another job as steady income).

Even if the couple came back to me offering to pay my full whack - I'd be reluctant - they've already established that I'm stretching their budget and are likely to be very fussy as a result.

Not uncle Bob, I agree, but in general I detest people trying to 'work' me. A person who barters is basically telling you that you aren't worth what you thing you are.

On the contrary, I believe I'm very good value.


My advice to OP - take the clients that want you, and are happy to pay the amount you quote and your working life will be much happier.

Anyone who needs convincing is trouble from the word go.

You only have that luxury due to having a steady job elsewhere to supplement your income. Not everyone that's devoted all their time to their wedding / events business has that unfortunately.

Anyway, I have to agree that educating clients, and placing confidence in them is essential. And that comparison video is a good place to start ...

If you do go ahead with it, place a link here as I might do the same if it looks like it's working well for you.

Chris Harding January 13th, 2014 06:38 AM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Hi Clive

I think people who like to barter will even try the trick about XYZ can do it for much less and then hope you will counter the offer. Meanwhile the lower quote probably didn't even exist.

Like you, my prices are my prices and if you don't want to pay me what I'm worth then look elsewhere. If I cannot make a decent profit by dropping my prices then I might as well sit at home at watch TV.

For some cultures bargaining is in their blood and they expect to bargain and expect you to give in to their demands ... within the culture their vendors probably inflate the prices to leave room for the negotiation but luckily I don't undertake those sort of weddings.

Once you capitulate and do a wedding at a grossly undercosted price I can imagine others coming to you and saying "but you gave Fred and Miranda a much lower price than you are giving me" .. That is a downward spiral and you are correct in sticking to your guns! I don't think I would book them either if they came back to me ..just out of principle!!

Chris

Don Bloom January 13th, 2014 07:20 AM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Early early on, when I was actively advertising and pursuing wedding clients I would give deals to get the work. Silly Rabbit!
A very good friend of mine who just happened to be quite wealthy told me once, "when you discount your product or service you are lowering the VALUE of the product or service and if you feel your product or service is only worth the lower price then you should price it there to begin with and hold fast to that price".
I took his advice to heart and while I don't believe anyone should let a deal walk for $100.00, IF you are going to give the client a discount make it for a legitimate reason. I.E.: "well, for that price I can't supply a...(put in something like a 3rd camera at the ceremony even though you might or a 2nd person to cover the reception or you're going to cut bridal prep down to a certain amount of time...whatever to make it sound like IF I do THIS then I HAVE to do THAT to justify the reduction of fees). That's something else also. I NEVER called it a discount it was always a reduction of fees The words you use are part of the believability as well.
After a while I simply stopped doing that and said "that's my fee but since you have someone else who is $150 less than I recommend you book them". I would stand up extend my hand to shake theirs and guess what. Maybe 1 percent would actually have someone lined up. Otherwise for the most part they signed up. No is the hardest word for a salesman/business owner to say to a prospective client but once you do, you find it's not so hard AND you have the power again to decide who you work for and who you don't! It relieves a lot of stress. At least it did for me.

Robert Benda January 13th, 2014 08:13 AM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
We have a wedding on January 24th and I think I'll setup a handycam in the back to use as my comparison footage.

Don, we're relatively new, and in an area that had two videographers just two years ago. There is no market, really. It means we're starting from scratch, so to speak, on effective pricing and packages.

We do have the advantage of selling videography (my wife's job) to my DJ clients. I"m a very established DJ and usually have 32 weddings a year. Last year we got 14 of those couples to also book videography.

One debate for us is whether we'll go out to film just the ceremony. That might be an interesting way to get additional work without lowering prices on a full days work and we could do an email blast to DJ clients offering it discreetly, limiting how many people we would do it for. Now that would be competing with Uncle Bob, really, but it's a start. This is going to be only year 3 of our video business.

We're also working on partnering with a high-end photographer. She'll suggest us directly to her clients. She already does this with me as a DJ.

Chris Harding January 13th, 2014 06:28 PM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Always take words from the master Don seriously..he has probably done more weddings than most of us, even me! and I'm in my 24 year of shooting.

Rob? I would even go as far as asking someone, even a teenager, to hand hold the back camera during the vows at least! That way you will get an accurate rendition of what a poor Uncle Bob would do.

I use a GoPro at my weddings and, obviously don't use the audio (I use it for sync though) and brides seem to LOVE the super wide look so be careful that you don't create something that actually might look quite good and attract the bride ...get you helper to actually walk around at the back or maybe on the side so the footage really looks totally amateur otherwise you might not get enough difference between "good" and "bad"

Chris

Byron Jones January 13th, 2014 09:41 PM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Having them hand hold the handicam is good advice, as that is how it would normally be filmed by a family member. Also make sure they know how to use the zoom rocker... :) Guests love to zoom in and out.

Adrian Tan January 13th, 2014 11:19 PM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
I wonder if it's possible to get hold of authentic Uncle Bob footage, and to put it online with commentary (either onscreen text about what Uncle Bob is doing wrong or voiceover).

If you're creating your own Uncle Bob footage, is that going to be persuasive to a bride? Wouldn't she just think, "They're cheating. They're intentionally creating dodgy footage. This doesn't prove anything. I'm going to hire Uncle Bob"?

Don Bloom January 14th, 2014 06:52 AM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
I’m still not sure why most professionals even need to worry about “Uncle Bob” at all.
First of all possible clients that say they might hire him are so far out of the realm of budget that unless you’re doing your weddings for under $500 or you are desperate for the work IMO if they’re thinking of hiring “Uncle Bob” instead of hiring a pro then there should be some serious misgivings on the pro’s part and honestly, not take the job.
Secondly, if you have to justify your pricing or quality of work to someone who is talking about hiring “Uncle Bob” then again I would have some serious misgivings about taking that job. If I can’t outshoot/outedit “Uncle Bob” than I need to reevaluate my workmanship.
Thirdly (and how I love this one) the couple that says they have a friend that works at the local TV station and said he’d “shoot their wedding for ½ your price.” Seriously?! I shot news and what do I always say here about weddings. “It’s like shooting a breaking news event. It happens fast, it happens once and there are no re-takes” The thing is though, it is not breaking news event.
This statement is true for “Uncle Bob” and anyone else who the couple might be thinking of hiring except a professional.
It’s a wedding…you get to do it once…Why would you hire someone who probably hasn’t shot a single wedding and has no clue as to how to shoot a wedding much less how to produce a complete, coherent story regardless of whether it’s told in documentary style or short form cinematic style. That’s a waste of time, effort and money.
Remember some people know the price of everything and the value of nothing and the sweetness of low price will be forgotten long before the bitterness of poor quality.
Forget “Uncle Bob” he shouldn’t even be in the equation but if he is it’s my opinion you don’t need to show work that might or might not be his to prospective clients. To me that’s petty and in poor taste. Show them your work talk about what you can do for them, paint the picture of their day and how you’re going to capture it and edit it into the most beautiful story for them to enjoy watching for the rest of their lives. SELL YOU! Forget “Uncle Bob”. He should be a guest drinking the free booze and eating the free food making a fool of himself on the dance floor not trying to do something he’s not qualified nor capable of doing.

Chris Harding January 14th, 2014 07:05 AM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Hi Don

Wise words indeed! I must admit I have never worried about Uncle Bob nor other people's pricing either. I cost my weddings to suit my business and make sure I make a profit and if someone wants to do the job for half my price then they are welcome to do so!

I have never had a bride question my costing after I decided to drop ethnic weddings a while back.

I would suppose that the full time worker who does weddings for some extra cash on the weekends might be threatened by DIY videographers but as a full time occupation it shouldn't even be a concern never mind a threat.

All industries have Uncle Bob's ..an oil change at my local workshop costs me $149.00 ..I'm pretty sure that my area alone has many weekend mechanics who can do it for half the price but I'd rather trust the pro as brides should trust us.

Chris

Noa Put January 14th, 2014 07:12 AM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Not trying to look down on photography because I do know it's much more then just pressing a button but it's much easier for uncle Bob to take a great picture at a wedding that might even come close to the professional photographer then it is to make a compelling video with good stable images and clear sound. Just looking at what a typical ceremony means for me in order to get my 2 camera angles, good sound and continuous recordings on 2 tripod's and compare that to how easy the photog has it with his 2 dslr's, gearwise it's like night and day which is why video is technically much more difficult to get right, it's not a snapshot at the right moment, it's 25 snapshots per second for as long as it takes.

Steven Digges January 14th, 2014 11:45 AM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Robert,

I am currently struggling with a marketing plan. I am struggling because after more than twenty years in business I currently need to do something to get some new clients. That is new for me because up until two years ago (the economic turndown) I had all the business I could handle just from my client base and word of mouth referrals. That is not the way it is at the moment.

I am going to say I don’t like your idea at all. I don’t think you will benefit from saying “hire me because I am better than this”. You have to make them want YOU for what YOU offer and who you are as a person. I recently figured out that somehow I need to market myself as a person, not just a product. I have loyal clients that return to me job after job because they like doing business with me. Somehow, I need to figure out how to sell that in my marketing approach. Not sure how yet. But the guys that made the reel below figured it out.

This demo reel showed up in the EA50 forum yesterday. It is the most brilliant reel I have ever seen. The guys images are almost background pieces yet speak for themselves. The reel is all about the man! That is what separates it from every other one I have ever seen. It is truly brilliant. When it is over it makes you want to hire HIM. I hate my own demo reels over the years. I learned something from this one.

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-nex...ml#post1827703

Steve

Dave Blackhurst January 14th, 2014 11:54 AM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
There are a LOT of crap photogs out there too... we've all seen shining examples of 'togs that are clearly able to be terribly disruptive, using "spray and pray" and getting in the way! I'm sure there are some whose final results make "uncle Bob the photog" look good...

Proper equipment for shooting weddings, be it for stills or video is critical, and most "casual shooters" won't have it, and then there's "technique", experience, and of course TALENT.

Hand a pro (or even some amateurs) with a "good eye" a cheap digital camera, and you actually will probably be surprised by the results. It's ALL still about knowing how to capture and frame properly, and edit to effect. This is true whether it's stills or video. Obviously for video, you have to add audio to the mix, but the principles are the same. Of course better equipment (TOOLS) can make for better results, but it's only part of the equation!

In the end, worrying about the "competition" rather than showing your skills/talent/work is a waste of time and energy. Quality shows, and some people will recognize and pay for it, others will not. You're selling a service as well as a product - it's not like a box of laundry soap where "cheap" might be a primary motivational factor.

Mercedes doesn't market by saying "would you rather have a Yugo, or OUR product?", at the most they might cite a SIMILAR quality brand and say where they are superior - there's a reason for that, they KNOW and don't really CARE, because if the buyer is actually considering a Yugo, they probably aren't going to be seriously considering the Mercedes...

To continue the analogy, it's the cheaper brands that will always try to compare to the "big name" brand - they have nothing to lose, and can only gain by name dropping and association.

IMO, you don't ever come out ahead by "comparing down". Be the best you can be at what you do, and aspire to be better, find ways to "positively" market yourself. Let quality speak for itself...

David Barnett January 14th, 2014 12:59 PM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
I think people are starting to sway more towards the nayyy on this, and I am one as well. Couples are having their friend or family do it because it's cheap/free, and their budget is exhausted. We all know video is one thats typically first cut. So you really don't need to make the plea "I'm better than them" moreso than "Quality video will be $$ well spent". Can you make that case? I suppose so, but otoh how much time would you want to invest in this? If it's just a video on your website you email potential clients for DJ/Photog to upsell them to video, well the myb. Just make sure they're pretty well locked into the other service before you try to upsell them. TBH I would be a bit turned off if a DJ kept pushing me to use his video services as well, when I told him I didn't have anymore money left in my budget and I'd look elsewhere for a DJ too. But your in a smaller market than me, so myb there's little others to check into. In addition, what do you expect will come next, a Eureka! moment where a couple unwilling/unable to pay for video suddenly agrees to pay $1000 or whatever for video too? Or do you forsee more bargaining, cheapskating, tirekickers asking for this/not this/we don't need this etc... dwindling it down to $200-$300 to where you question was it really worth it to obtain these people for video in the first place??

Robert Benda January 14th, 2014 01:05 PM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Just to be clear, IF I post the video I described, it will be in my 'how to hire a videographer' page, which is about helping people decide what they are really looking for, and what their options are.

Also, don't forget we are a new business when it comes to videography. I'm taking the same approach to building the business that I did when i first started as my own DJ/MC. The one advantage to videography is that the final product is easily accessible as a show piece to potential clients.

Here is the full rundown:
our area, Eastern North Dakota/Western Minnesota is mostly rural. We have two towns with 80,000 and 150,000 people in them for our metro areas. Everything else is 10,000 or less, for a total market area of 300,000 people spread over hundreds of square miles.

In this huge area, up until two years ago, there were two wedding videographers. They both stunk. This means that, as a DJ/MC who works 30+ weddings a year (at 50% above market average), my DJ clients are mostly exactly the right budget group to be hiring videography and I NEVER saw any for about 10 years except family members.

This means we're helping create a demand from scratch. To do so, I'm using my successful DJ business to sell videography (13 out of 31 weddings took us up). Key word based web surfing shows its still 2 to 1 for DJ versus video.

For the first five years of video, with us entering year 3, we're selling below the price that we hope to be, but we're also not that great. We are at what I'd consider the bottom rung of respectable quality.

So, for now, we continue to sell at a very modest price to generate interest and try and expose ourselves to as many clients as is reasonable to: 1) create a base of clients for referrals and 2) create enough wider exposure that people will (hopefully) start to consider videography as a common part of their wedding plans.

Dave Blackhurst January 14th, 2014 06:54 PM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Robert -

What you're really describing is an "add on" to your DJ services, which is fine, it's added $ for what may not be much more "work", but you do add the need for at east one extra "warm body" to cover the additional service (is my memory right that you've got a wife or girlfriend helping on this?). To some extent, you don't have to offer a whole lot, since as you say, the other options are so bad that no one was interested (I know the types, it's pretty SCARY!!).

Providing a decent tripod under a $300 cam (buy something slightly used, but still quality!) or two might be all it takes, and it stays affordable, which I suspect may be part of your business requirements! It's a different animal trying to service relatively "rural" areas vs. "big city", the budgets are likely to be very different, and if there ARE high budget weddings, there won't be as many. Then again, it also probably thins the herd of "Uncle Bobs" with any sort of current and decent equipment!

I think we all know the "signs" of amateur video - shaky footage, fast pans, bad framing, one static tripod shot, bad lighting (anyone have that old pic that popped up here years ago of the HC3 with a lampshade on it?), bad or distorted audio... and so on...

You say you're at the bottom rung of acceptable? I see some danger in comparisons, but at least you're being honest with where you're at! I would say that you are already "successful" with a 30%+ "conversion rate" of DJ clients purchasing an add-on. IMO, you'd be better to drop into the private area and share and seek places for (hopefully cheap) "upgrades" to your equipment, bump the quality up a notch or two, so you've got a eye popping "show reel", and build that way.

Another approach might be to rephrase the question to: "WHY hire a wedding videographer?" - that's a positive way to strut your stuff and avoid the "so your video doesn't look like this...". although that could be "funny" if done right!

If you're upselling 30%+ already that weren't even looking for video (I'm presuming here), your "low hanging fruit" is the people already in your office or on your phone, hiring you for DJ services. What is it that makes that 30%+ decide to spend extra? You're already doing something right, I'd figure out what is working and fine tune it?

Unless a video is really truly AWFUL, just having a video is a good thing - we've discussed the difference between stills which provide a glimpse of a moment, vs. "being there" (even if it's from the view of drunk uncle Bob) if the video is done reasonably right. You can probably cite the surveys of brides that show they WISH they had video after the wedding was over - that should be enough right there!

Warren Kawamoto January 14th, 2014 07:09 PM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Uncle Bob just got a Canon C100 and 2 Sennheiser wireless mic sets. He has an evil smirk on his face. Now what? This scenario is entirely possible.

Chris Harding January 14th, 2014 07:31 PM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Rob?

You cannot compare DJ services and video services ...you really have to have a DJ/MC but you don't have to have a video. The MC and DJ basically run the wedding and keep things flowing so it's considered an essential by 99% of brides ...video is just an extra service that they can live without if the budget won't stretch far enough so success rate will always be different.

Warren .. I have seen a guest with better gear by far than the photog ! Remember you can also give a monkey a C100 and sometimes I look at fairly wealthy people and wonder where to draw the line. A real pro can make stunning footage from a little handicam .. give an idiot a Digi Betacam and you know what the result will be!

Chris

Robert Benda January 14th, 2014 08:28 PM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
For now, yes, the video is sort of an add-on to the DJ service. We want to move beyond that. My wife is the boss on the video side. I help film the guys getting ready and during the ceremony, then do all the editing. We want to move beyond that, though.

Bottom rung of acceptable is about high standards for ourselves. If we don't get better, we'll never be able to do the video as it's own thing, truly. Our gear is good enough to do really great work - and sometimes we do it, but we need to be more consistent. If anyone wants to see what I think is just 'good enough' I have three wedding films (around 15 minutes each) on our main video page: Wedding Videography | RNB Weddings though my favorite 4 minutes is from "Olivia & Lewis' wedding film' and skip to the 19:15 mark for outtakes.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Warren Kawamoto (Post 1827814)
Uncle Bob just got a Canon C100 and 2 Sennheiser wireless mic sets. He has an evil smirk on his face. Now what? This scenario is entirely possible.

If Uncle Bob spent $6000 for a camera, plus who knows what for lenses, then he can have at it. I'm trying to break the notion that Uncle Bob or Cousin Merle can show up with a Canon T3i with kit lens and film something well. As a DJ I actually saw the look of panic on one B&G's cousin as the lights dimmed for the first dance - I had to lend him a fast prime for the first dance and some extra batteries to get through the rest of the evening... lucky for him I had brought my camera to get a headshot of the B&G for my wedding blog.

Again, not competing with Uncle Bob, but trying to differentiate.

Don Bloom January 14th, 2014 10:58 PM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Alfred Eisenstadt one of the original and greatest photographers for Life magazine (also happened to have more covers than all other combined) used a Lieca II with a 50mm lens virtually all of his fabulous work. (yes I am a fan) To prove a point he took an old (relatively) Kodak box camera (127 film) and shot off a roll. IIRC it was 12 exposures. Compared them to an amature with a high end 35mm camera. I don't know if it was a rangefinder or an SLR but in any case Alfreds photographs were in every way so far superior there was no contest. Not just the technical aspects but the composition. Proved the point he and others were trying to make. The gear doesn't see a damn thing until the person holding it does. It's all in the minds eye. While it's nice to have and use up to date modern gear that in and by itself won't get you a single client or earn you a single dollar. It's the person behind the camera that counts.
Now having said that, I run across a lot of "Uncle Bobs" in my time at the wedding. Some I've had to ask "nicely" to get out of my way and others were polite and reasonable and worked within the bounds of good taste and attitude. Of course that doesn't say anything about the quality of their work but at least they weren't a PITA! ;-)

Tim Lewis January 15th, 2014 02:35 AM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
I have heard what Don is saying summed up as:

"Your camera takes excellent pictures!" (You could substitute video)

"Thanks, I taught it everything it knows."

David Barnett January 15th, 2014 09:40 AM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Blackhurst & Harding bring up good points. Video can be cut, and people are fine with that. Also, you should attempt to upsell your DJ customers. Myb put a video together of what video gives you with regard to dance floor that photographers do not. Take some of your best dance floor footage, and grab a still frame image (a decent one) and show it for 7 seconds. Then, show the actual dancing scene. The Cha Cha Slide, The Cupid Shuffle, the best man taking off his tie & swinging it around to ACDC's You Shook Me All Night Long off their 1980 album Back in Black. People NEED a DJ (for the most part, some might do without), people NEED a Photographer, so to alot of people it comes down to if they WANT or CHOOSE a videography package. If someones hardcore into using just a Friend With Camcorder package, their mind is pretty set and content with that. What you should try is how video works in capturing those memories in ways photography does not. And then if nothing else you can also use the same dance floor footage to promote your DJ business as well:)

Dave Blackhurst January 15th, 2014 04:36 PM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
I suppose if you are using dance floor footage, you could do a "side by side" with a cheap consumer camera that chokes miserably in low light and a "prosumer" cam with better low light performance... of course both would benefit from even a small LED light <wink>!

Again it comes back to trying to sell the benefits of more "pro" gear vs. the "average consumer grade"... I'm not sure most clients will "connect" at that level, I think the eyes will glaze over quickly.

ALL that matters is showing that YOU can get good results that resonate emotionally (keep in mind that a great picture can do this, but a good movie is more effective). By all means "strut your stuff", show that you can get good results in typical wedding conditions, maybe explain that having "the right gear" makes all the difference over what most non-pros will bring to the shoot.

Everyone gets a little frustrated with the blurry, off color, dark, etc. results of the "typical consumer" camera/device - that's why the cell phone mfrs are touting high resolution, good low light performance, etc!!

Show that YOU (more accurately your wife<wink>) get good clear, crisp, color correct (or mostly anyway) footage, well framed and in focus... and of course audio that adds to the moment. I think most people already know what the other "stuff" looks like, thanks to YouToob!

David Barnett January 16th, 2014 09:39 AM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Funny story, I may have posted this before, but a few months ago a guest couple chatted me up in the parking lot, asking how much editing I now have. We joked a bit, I said more than people think, then he asked a question. He told me a story, that for his wedding, rather than hire a videographer, a friend (probably younger & just out of college I would guess) offer to do it for him, if he bought him the camera. Well to him he said it seemed like a fair deal. So he bought him a camera (dunno how much but I'd guess $500 camcorder, tho he reiterated it was "HD" lol). And he said the footage looked terrible, and asked if there's any way to fix that. I said it depends, but possibly. Informed him that believe it or not, tho are eyes are comfortable in reception venue low light, it's actually terribly low for cameras sensitivity, and he probably shot auto bumping up alot of grain and giving it an orangish hue. He kinda was surprised and said "Yeah, it was" tho he added "It was HD tho" as if he thought the HD marketing meant better in every possible standard than previous camcorders. So I said I could possibly color correct it, and there's software out there (Neatvideo) which surprisngly does a great job at de-graining the footage. He seemed surprised it may yet be salvagable, tho his wife was more like "Oh just let it go. It's over" (I think she didn't want to be reminded of the terrible decision they made, and let others know about it). I gave them my card, although I never did hear from them. It's a lesson to be learned for them, and for us to tell as well! The guy chuckled at the end and said "Geez, the least he could do was give me the camera back.".

Nonetheless, disappointing way to be reminded back of your wedding day. If you're gonna do it, do it, but don't cut corners or take shortcuts.

Robert Benda January 16th, 2014 10:06 AM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Harding (Post 1827819)
You cannot compare DJ services and video services ...you really have to have a DJ/MC but you don't have to have a video. The MC and DJ basically run the wedding and keep things flowing so it's considered an essential by 99% of brides ...video is just an extra service that they can live without if the budget won't stretch far enough so success rate will always be different.

I'm not comparing DJ and video in the sense of demand and necessity - though it's nice to see you value a competent MC/DJ. I meant that I'm trying to build the video side of the business in a similar way I did my DJ one. When I began DJ'ing, there was no other higher end DJ who MC'ed and kept the schedule (a big part of why people hire me is that I know everything that is supposed to happen and generally keep things moving, like a day of coordinator). However, before people can ask for something, they have to know it exists.

With the absolute lack of videographers in our region for years, people sort of forgot it was an option. In order to fix that, and the fact that we're just not that experienced and polished, we are focusing on a lower-priced volume rather than getting our price. This will get our work in front of more eyeballs and normalize videography as a bit of an option. Certainly I don't expect 100% of weddings to get videography, but I need it to be more than the 1% that were.

Jeff Harper January 16th, 2014 11:01 AM

Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob
 
Robert, regarding your original post, I believe comparing our service to Uncle Bob demeans our service and is a form of negative advertising. If you notice, it's lower end sites that have tons of explanations and overly-detailed text explaining things to customers.

Emphasize the words professional in your adverstising and put up your best samples. It will be quite clear to anyone with any brains that uncle bob cannot do what you can do.

IMO you could address these topics on your FAQ page, at the top if you want, and be done with it.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:21 AM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2021 The Digital Video Information Network