Just want to share a few things that work for me before, during and after a depressed economy. Much of this I've shared before in one form or another but regardless of the redundancy it's well-worth repeating. Whether you're an established video production professional, amateur, hobbyist, or just now considering video as an income or extra money generator, something here might just help get you up and running.
Some will agree with the following, others not. Some will already know much or most of what I share, others not. I like to think, however, that we can all use gentle reminders or new (for us) information so I'm inclined to share the following:
MARKETING IS KEY! EVERYTHING hinges on marketing your services and/or products. How you market isn't as important as the fact that you DO market. There are "smart marketing" efforts and some that will cost you more money than you can ever hope to regain in R.O.I.
KEY marketing words or phrases include: referrals, word-of-mouth, self-promotion, direct-mail campaigns, social networking, relationship building, interlinking, linkbacks, reciprocal linking, promotion and paid advertising.
KEY ELEMENTS of marketing include, though it might go without saying: a professionally designed business card using quality materials and printing; Consistent and persistent direct-mail strategies, during bountiful or lean business cycles, also using quality design concepts, informative content and a call to action "BUY NOW!" or "CALL NOW!" are two of the more familiar; ALWAYS ON personality, even if you THINK you're becoming a bit of a bore, ALWAYS be ready to talk about your business and its focus ... anywhere, anytime with anybody.
It is easy to get the impression that some folks on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social or business networks get fed up, tired, bored and bothered by your constant marketing salvos and to an extent this is true. However, there ARE ways to keep your business, services and products in the minds of your community-at-large without turning them completely off. Work on ways to engage your followers or friends or business connections ... the BEST way to engage others is to become engaged. Share with them when they post their interests.
I know, I know, you couldn't care less about the latest CUTE thing their cat, kid, wife or neighbor said or did. BUT, if you want THEM to respond/react to your endless self-promotion, you'd well better offer them up a little attention to their boring, mundane, narcissistic content as well. :-)
So, even though you might have all the referrals you need at present, if you've been in business long enough you've discovered that referrals will develop, build then diminish in cycles.
The BEST way to constantly develop and sustain new, renewable or referral business resources is to maintain an ongoing marketing strategy that includes meets and greets, direct-mail with postcards, followed by letters, followed by demo DVDs, asking for leads from friends, former clients, even family, those with whom you correspond on your social networks and even on the street.
Be excited. Be energetic. Be enthusiastic when talking about your business, what you do, the services and products you provide. ALWAYS have DVD demos or samples with you in your case or car, and ALWAYS have business cards on hand. ALWAYS!
In addition to all the above, I also have a few GREAT t-shirts that act as billboards, with provocative statements on them that usually always generate a response from people I come into contact with during my daily routine. One I am especially fond of not only works in my promotion of my business program and marketing and branding plan, Video StoryTellers! but would be applicable to ANY video related service or product: It simply says: "What's YOUR Story?" on the front, with my website on the back, just in case people who see it, read it and smile, but don't always respond, DO turn around and read the back.
Another, more specific to VST says "Immortality begins with Video StoryTellers!" and yet another reads, "EVERYBODY has a Story! What's Yours?"
It's easy to get caught up in the one, or two or five current projects on the "to be edited" shelf, to overlook the need for continued marketing because things are going GREAT at the moment, phone ringing off the wall and too much business to handle. It is a great truth, however, that nothing lasts forever, or for long for that matter, so just know that the MORE you put into keeping your nose to the grindstone or delay marketing because you'd prefer to diffuse a bomb or balance your checkbook, the sooner you're going to run into a downturn in business. The phone quits ringing and e-mail inquiries dry up, then you have to start your new marketing campaign from virtual scratch and start all over again.
If you market, you will make it! Earl Chessher