Hi Matt, Just thought I’d

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Hi Matt,

Just thought I’d add a few things here. First off. How’s your 2011 going so far? Did you experience the slow down in business after raising your rates? If so, here’s the deal.

There are so many videographers out there right now willing to work for next to nothing so it’s hard for those wanting to build and run a successful video business. However, the only choice is to either figure out how to beat them or to perish.

Here’s what I’m saying.

When the calls were flooding in at the half off price point, were you staying busy 100% of the time? If so, raise your rates 25% and see what happens. You’ll still get plenty of business but you won’t be behind the computer all day. This gives you more money to work with overall and more time to get out there and market your business.

Secondly, what are you doing to up sell this flood of commercial clients to other services you provide? A client who produces a TV Spot is also a candidate for a web spot or several web videos that they can post on Youtube, Facebook, etc. At the very least, offering to encode their TV spot for the web can generate an additional $100 to $150 per project and about 5 extra minutes of your time. The value in the client’s mind is being able to share the spot with everyone online. It’s worth a hundred or more dollars for them to have that capability.

You won’t get rich with such a small up sell but it can add up to a thousand or more dollars extra per month in sales just because you asked the question.

How many of your TV spot clients are candidates for trade show video loops? If they have a booth at an industry trade show, they need a loop of some kind. Offer to take footage, graphics, etc. that you’ve already created for the spot and repurpose them into something they can display on a large screen at the trade show. Offer to do it all on Bluray and you can generate some real excitement.

The trade show loop videos I create generate anywhere from $900 to $3,500 depending on complexity. The lower price is for clients who already have all or most of their materials in order and the higher price is when I have to go out and shoot some things before putting it all together.

You said you have a partner? Who is responsible for producing work all day and who is responsible for marketing/sales? If both of you are locked down in the edit suite all day or out on shoots all the time, your business won’t grow. Some of the most successful two-man operations I’ve seen have been those who split responsibilities this way.

It doesn’t mean the marketing/sales partner won’t get their fair share of creative work. It just means that you should allocate at least 16 hours (2 days) to marketing and selling each week. Basically, one markets and sells the jobs, manages the account from a producer level and the other partner handles the direction, shooting, editing and delivery. Both partners can handle shoots if it’s more cost effective than hiring a production assistant to help but I think you’d find that the more time one is marketing/selling, the more money the company makes overall. The $150 to $250 a day it would cost to hire an assistant for shoots will pale in comparison to what you’ll bring in with the extra marketing effort.

Overall, the issue with this economy right now is that we can no longer think that growing our businesses will come as a result of charging higher prices. This is a losing strategy. Instead, we must find price points that most clients are willing to pay and figure out how to run our businesses smarter. How can you get more work done in less time? How can you leverage creative templates for lower budget projects that make them look great but won’t take more than a day or so to produce? There are a lot of tricks to the trade out there that can help you develop a great product without blowing your budget.

If you haven’t see it already, you should watch my comments on the state of the video production industry at http://www.thesixfigurevideographer.com/stateofourindustry. It’s a free video and i think it will open your eyes to what’s going on in the marketplace and how to adjust your business plan so you can succeed.

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions. I’d be glad to help any way I can.

Kris

http://www.mindyourvideobusiness.com

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