Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › Advertising and finding your first client
- September 5, 2007 at 12:15 PM #42767LaughingDuckParticipant
I put a small advert in local paper and created a website – that has no video samples. I would love to get my own videography business up and running so I can persue it full time. Anyone here able to suggest ways to get my first few clients?
First you should probably look for a few weddings and offer to do them for free. I don’t think anyone on the planet will pay for a videographer who has never shot a wedding. Once you have 1-3 (or so) under your belt, you can use the footage to show what you are capable of, then people will be willing to pay for your services. After that, the best way to advertise (way better than an ad or website) is to get talking. Mention to everyone you meet that you are currently doing wedding videos. Get your friends/relatives to talk about you as well. People like to hire someone they know personally.
Another good option for getting started in the wedding video business is to offer your services to more established wedding videographers. Just about everyone needs a 2nd or 3rd shooter from time to time so it’s a great way to build experience and a reel. If you develop the right kind of relationships, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting copies of your footage so you can at least show people that you can shoot nice images. Just be honest in your intentions. DON’T attempt to promote yourself when working a wedding for another videographer and DON’T attempt to call someone you met at the wedding to pitch your services. That’s bad Karma and it will come back to haunt you!
Since you’ll probably need at least one wedding video to create a demo reel, why not go to your local craigslist page (www.craigslist.org) and post a classified ad in the services section advertising a free wedding video? Explain in the ad that you’re a new service in the area, and say that in exchange for free videography services, you’d like to set out a few business cards and/or brochures at the reception to help you spread your name.
Another great source of leads are Wedding Expos. Expect to pay good money ($300-$800) for a well-established expo, but every larger expo I’ve ever been to, I’ve landed at least a couple customers right there at the expo, and a good handful after the fact.
Those are a few ideas. But like I said, you’ll need to have a demo reel before you can expect anyone to hire you, so you need to seriously consider donating at least your first wedding.
One more thing,
I’ve long since given up on Newspaper advertising. It’s about as useful as throwing fistfuls of money in the air. No, it’s less useful, since eventually someone will probably pick up the money.
I’ve spent thousands on newspapers, and I’ve never had one person find me through that. I’ve had more leads by sticking my business cards up on community bulletin boards.
Anyone can get started in this business. The hard part is getting known.
Bottom line: you’ve got to expose yourself to every aspect of the field. Dive right in and get your hands dirty. Join a video club, volunteer your time producing videos for non-profits, get involved with your local cable access station, take classes, attend conventions and expos.
The best promotional tool you have is the standard of your work. If you make good videos, you will find that people seek you out. Make sure you include your contact details on the end credits and DVD cover! And have business cards ready!