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January 17, 2012 at 11:00 PM #47465
Greetings. I have been looking for ways to make money with the video skills I learned in college. I came to the conclusion that I could easily shoot real estate photos and videos for agents in the smallcommunityI live in. (I will be getting a Canon D7 in the coming months, so would use that.)
The idea is, going to the major real estate firms out here, I think its only 2. Going to them with the option to contract me as there video/photo guy. Instead of connecting with the countless agents, and working for them. Connecting with the firms itself. so that when any of its many agents needs photos or video, the firm just says “we got a guy for that, we’ll send him out tomorrow.”
Is this a somewhat good business plan for such a venture? And if so, how would Iappropriatelycharge for such a service? a standard by the hour rate? Or on a per visit system? And what would be anappropriate cost for such work? I wanna make money, but I also wanna becompetitivelypriced. I can debate semiotics in film, but was taught NOTHING about video business practices in college lol. So any comments or thoughts are welcomed.
Thank you for your time.
January 18, 2012 at 12:45 PM #195587composite1Member
Unfortunately, that’s the drawback about going to filmschool or getting a degree in broadcast comm’s. Universities are not mandated to teach the practical side if they want to keep their accreditation. So they only teach the theoretical side. If you’re lucky, there will be classes which deal specifically with producing or self-study where you can research the business side on your own. If you’re luckier, you’ll have instructors who know it’s BS not to hit you with some practical aspects and they’ll jam in much as they can.
So in the meantime, you’re first going to have to learn what it’s going to take to start a small business even if you will start out as a freelancer. You can do that by getting with your local SBA (small business administration) office and they’ll break down the info you’ll need to research. Also, tap self-help books like ‘The Idiot’s Guide to Starting a Business’. Lots of great info translated into English on the steps to start up.
In the meantime, continue your research. You may find out there isn’t a need or desire for the services you wish to offer. Problem is these days with digital cameras so readily available and easy to use, everybody figures they can save money by shooting stuff themselves. Your task will be to show them what the sales impact could be by hiring your professional service instead of them ‘happy snapping’ their potential products. You’ll have to convince them with your work that the money spent on you will translate to sales that make the investment worth it.
That’s tough to do. You won’t just be able to walk in, pitch your idea and get the gig. You’ll need sample shots, referrals from other realtors and a basic gear kit to do a good job. To get that, you probably will have to connect with agents and slog it out with their BS, until you can build a reputation for doing good work. Remember, you’re going to have to make a living while building up what you’ll need.
It’s going to take time, but if you do the research and build your portfolio/reel, you’ll be able to take advantage of good opportunities as they come.
January 18, 2012 at 8:37 PM #195588
Thanks so much for the help! I am gonna start looking into it. i have a day job, at nights. so that is doing fine for bringing in the cash, but i wanna venture out to more things of my field. so i can start that research and see where it takes me. thanks a bunch! I reallyappreciateit.
January 18, 2012 at 8:56 PM #195589vid-e-o-manParticipant
franko, what composite1 describes, the business side of Video isn’t part of the usual course of study. Perhaps some business/enterprise courses should be required for any course of study which will end in a business environment. If you research the business of video on this site you will find many threads about pricing, marketing, etc. I remember a thread on the very subject you mentioned- real estate videos. Posters with real life experience in this left some excellent comments. As far as marketing video, we are lucky to have a contributer, EarlC, who has given all of us some sage advice on this aspect. This is a great place to find information about all phases of this industry.
My advice for you would be similar to composite1’s build up a video resume to show to any prospective client. Showing a wide variety of your work, real estate, weddings, birthday parties, sports events, memorials, etc. will showcase your talent and expertise. Shoot, shoot, shoot. Get lots of practice, shoot lots of different projects (paying or not) and as you develop your highlight reel, your confidence in your abilities will blossom.This confidence helps you market yourself, getting jobs and the pay rate that’s appropriate. Keep shooting.
January 18, 2012 at 8:59 PM #195590vid-e-o-manParticipant
P.s. I had to google ‘Semiotics in film’.
January 20, 2012 at 8:39 PM #195591
Thanks Vid-e-o-man. I have always loved videomaker FOR the business tips, as well as its focus on video technology. As both are something we never really studied, just had to research on our own. In the intro to production class, we DID watch videomaker published dvd’s. And wish they would use some of its sources on the business side.
I am probably gonna go back to the university, since im an alum now, and ask about any non degree courses they may offer on businessmanagement, it DOES have a business school.
I am deff gonna look up yoursuggestionof business of video on here. That is gonna be a huge help i imagine.
Marketing wise, im generally set. I took Intro to marketing for non majors as an elective. Which was a wise decision on my part. To take classes that pertain to my industry, but others in my study are not forced to take. I chose to take that one just to add some good bloat to my resume. I am not a pro at it. but, I think based on the small venture I amperusing, in such a smallcommunity. i should be fine.
Thanks for the tips!
ps. I imagine most would have to look up semiotics. I studied it in film theory, which for media arts majors is a 400 level class. Semiotics is dry as hell lol, one of the many things that i learned about, and will probably never use other then to talk film theory with my film nerd friends lol.
January 20, 2012 at 10:34 PM #195592EarlCMember
There’s a LOT to be said for going into the business, jumping in and getting your feet wet, so to speak, especially if you’ve received some degree of education on the application and skills of film/video production. Nothing teaches better than working with a professional in some capacity, or even taking on some personal risks yourself. It has been said that those who can’t, teach. That is not entirely an accurate indictment but it’s not totally off the wall either.
January 23, 2012 at 11:20 PM #195593composite1Member
Since you have a day gig, approaching production as a hobby isn’t a bad idea. As interest and potential clients begin to build, freelancing will give you a clear indication if this is what you really want to do full time.
Earl’s correct in that if you can, link up with someone who does this as their day job. Whether they are crazy successful or just crazy, you can learn what to do and what not from their example. When you think you’re ready to work in production full-time, be prepared to jump into the shark tank. We’ve all said it here many times and will say so many more; starting a business is not for the fainthearted, half-assed or marginally interested.
Running a biz is all day, everyday. All the things you take for granted as an employee (days off, paid vacay’s, etc.) go away a warp speed when you start up. You also better love doing what you do because there is far more about running a biz that sucks than what is cool. You’ll have to come to terms that the few and fleeting ‘cool things’ must outweigh the ‘suckage’ or you won’t be in business long!
The good thing about you having gone to filmschool is the tech side is one less thing you have to learn about. Learning how to run a biz is going to be enough of a heavy lift without adding having to learn the tech from scratch!
January 24, 2012 at 2:15 AM #195594
Thanks everyone for all the great help! love this community for that feature. I will look into others doing that work out here. I dont think anyone does. Thus why i thought it would be a nice thing to try freelancing. i have an “in” cause my family is good friends with a localindependentagent out here. her firms business cards even say wanna work with us in real estate call us. So im gonna get things together on a business plan so to speak. and then talk with her about if this is done. and if not. maybe i can just do it for her real low key. to get my feet wet. Thanks again everyone!
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