You want to break into the commercial video production business but it seems that everyone is out shooting television commercials and wedding videos these days. How can you possibly compete with the established players? Well, perhaps you shouldn’t. Maybe you should find the road less traveled and follow it instead.
The obvious problem with joining the crowd is that you’re liable to get trampled, and the popular video markets, such as weddings and commercials, are pretty crowded. When the competition is thick, it’s harder to get noticed because there are more people going after the same projects, some of them better established and with more experience than you.
When the competition is thick, it’s harder to get noticed because there are more people going after the same projects, some of them better established and with more experience than you.
Perhaps the answer is to leave the crowd altogether and focus on a more specific market. Creating a successful business is said to be about finding a need and filling it. How about finding a need that no one else is trying to fill, then becoming the go-to person in that specific area?
Here are a few examples of some niche markets to get your creative juices a’flowin’:
Real Estate Videos
Holding an open house is an important component in getting the sale, and a well-crafted real estate listing video can be a great way to get people there. Some agents shoot their own, but having a professionally produced video with high production values and careful attention to detail will pay off greatly in terms of increased exposure and greater interest.
The opportunity to produce training videos is immense. The internet is filled with videos providing instruction in weight loss, stress relief, automobile repair, learning a new language, business strategies — the list goes on. Sales training programs, for example, can sell for many thousands of dollars. Showing these trainers the benefits of adding your professional touch will ensure your piece of the training video pie.
Content Marketing Videos
While creating the aforementioned training videos, don’t forget to also produce the marketing videos that will drive traffic to the trainer’s website. This is the heart of content marketing; pique the interest of the target audience, engage, then direct them to the website where they can respond to your call-to-action.
For example, an in-home health care company might produce testimonial videos from happy clients who are the recipients of their excellent service. They will also have videos introducing their staff and caregivers in order to put a face to the services they provide. If they are growing, they will have a video that describes the benefits of working in that field and for them in particular.
Manufacturing and distribution companies have hundreds, even thousands, of items in their catalog, many of which could use a great video describing what they are used for, how they are used and why you should own one — now!
For example, Newegg.com has a video center with over a hundred videos showcasing different products they offer. AppliancePartsPros.com includes a Watch Video link below the pricing information of many of their products. A repair technician shows you how to locate and replace that very part on the exact model of appliance it applies to. How cool is that?
Many families and cultures celebrate certain milestones they wish preserved with video. Bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, quinceañeras, school graduations and so on. What milestones take place every day all around you in your area?
Ever hear of Lifetouch? Their name is practically synonymous with school portraits in many areas. Talk about repeat business; they serve the same families year after year after year. How many schools are in your area? Perhaps you can become the go-to person for school graduations, plays and sports events.
Like weddings, funerals bring family members and friends together from far away. Capturing the people, their emotions, the speeches and eulogies will leave a lasting legacy of the departed for the entire family. Further, making a respectfully captured, unobtrusive video of the ceremony available to those who were unable to attend provides a valuable service. Memorial videos to be shown at the ceremony are another way to help a family pay their respects.
Family History Videos
Every family has a history worth documenting. How many times has a family lost an elder member and thought how much they wish they had somehow preserved their stories? Was your parent or grandparent a war veteran, perhaps a POW? Who do you know that was in New York on 9/11? Or, maybe Grandma has a hilarious story about a great aunt that just needs to be recorded for future generations. All these people have unique perspectives on events, and maybe you will be the one to bring them to the world.
And don’t limit yourself to shooting only new footage. One project I did involved digitizing old family vacation and reunion VHS and Hi-8 footage then editing highlights together with old photographs and music onto DVDs. It was so well received and appreciated that several referrals ensued.
Finding Your Niche
Open your eyes to the possibilities all around you and you will find that special niche that is just right for you. Be creative and think of every possible opportunity to produce video and you will find an abundance of work, healthy profit margins, very little competition and a whole lot of fun.
Contributing Editor Mark Holder is a video producer and trainer.