Video Production Business Tips – Nickels and Dimes Add Up to Thousands of Dollars

I have to admit that I was extremely happy to achieve a point in my career as a video production business owner where I no longer had to chase low dollar jobs just to make ends meet. In fact, when you are able to spend all your time focusing on attracting and winning big-budget video projects, it is easy to make a lot more money which results in having a lot more fun running your business.

However, as the saying goes, “What goes up must come down.” I can tell you from experience that if you are making a ton of money today and have been doing so for a while, the downturn is coming and you must prepare for it. This article isn’t meant to be a buzz kill. It is just to serve as a reminder that every video production business will experience its ups and downs and to offer a few ideas on how to weather the storm until things get good again.

The way I’ve been able to get through the tough times is to remember that “nickels and dimes equal dollars.” What I mean by this is that a handful of jobs worth a few hundred dollars apiece can equal one larger job. Our goal as successful video production business owners should always be to search for and win more of the larger jobs but we are also forced to find ways to survive when the large jobs simply aren’t out there.

I have found that video production opportunities under $500 are the lowest hanging fruit. These are the easiest to propose, sell and finish in the shortest period of time.

Here are some ideas on how you can increase the nickel and dime projects when business is slow:

1. Call clients to ask if they need more copies of their video. Offer a discount if necessary to get them to act now.

2. Call clients to ask if they’d like you to convert their videos to a streaming video file that can go on their website. I provide this service for $150 per video clip and offer volume discounts for multiple files.

3. Call other video production companies in your area to ask if they have the need for a second or third camera operator, sound technician or production assistant. Tell them that you’d appreciate any opportunity to help them regardless of what they need you to do. These jobs will range from $150 per day to $500 per day depending on what you do and what their budget is.

4. Call AV rental companies in your area to ask if they ever have the need for camera operators, production assistants or general grunt work. It’s not always that glamorous but should result in $150 to $400 per day depending on what you do for them.

5. Call in-house production departments at the larger corporations in your area and offer to help any way you can. They’ll usually throw a boring, low-budget work at you. However, money is money when business is slow so don’t be picky.

6. Offer to shoot footage and to edit a short highlight video for local grand-openings, open houses, etc. for less than $500. When business is slow, it’s okay to offer discounted rates. When business is good again, all you’ll have to do is tell people that you can’t offer that price for the same service at this time.

The key is to remember that any money is better than no money when times are tight. Check your ego at the door and remember that the reason some artists are referred to as “starving artists” is because they often refuse to do work that people are willing to pay for.

Have an open mind for any potential revenue generating opportunity no matter how small the budgets are. You’ll find it much easier for your video production business to survive until the market swings back to your direction.

Video Production Business Tips – Questions Every Videographer Should Ask in a Sales Meeting

If you want to get more contracts for your video production business, it all starts with the questions you ask in the sales meeting. The right questions will give you everything you need to know. See below for a list of some of the questions you need to know in order to win more video production contracts.

PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT

Describe the purpose of this project. Why does the client want/need to produce this video?

TARGET AUDIENCE

Who is the client trying to reach with this video/media project? Be as specific as possible.

COMMUNICATION OBJECTIVE

What does the client hope to communicate to the target audience in this video/media project? What does the video/media project need to include in order to influence the target audience?

DISTRIBUTION STRATEGY

How does the client plan to distribute the finished video/media project to their target audience? What are the presentation settings in which the project will be displayed? (one-on-one meetings, lobby/waiting areas, direct mail, trade show displays, trade show giveaways, RFP packages, website, email, etc.)

CONTENT PROVIDED BY CLIENT

What specific content does the client have that needs to be incorporated into the finished presentation? (Footage, Pictures, Graphics, Written Testimonials, etc.) This is content that will not be created by our team either on the shoot date(s) or in the editing process.

PROJECT ELEMENTS PRODUCED BY US

What will we need to create in order to complete the project? Include interviewee types and locations, shot descriptions/locations of b-roll, motion graphic needs, narration needs, music, etc.

PROJECT MASTER(S) AND SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

How will the finished project be delivered to the target audience? (DVD, Loop DVD, Web Video, etc.) Describe special needs regarding creation of media delivery format.

PROJECT MEDIA DUPLICATION NEEDS (QTY & INSTRUCTIONS)

What type of media will be duplicated for this project? How many copies? What type of packaging? Will we design the artwork for the disc face and packaging or will the client provide it?

RETURN ON INVESTMENT ANALYSIS

Based on the client’s want/need to develop this project, at what point will they “break even” in terms of what we are asking them to pay? (i.e. If a client is producing a marketing video and the total production/duplication budget is $7500, how many products/services will they need to sell in order to pay for their project? If we are producing a training video for a client, how much money will they save by using the video to train employees in multiple locations versus them having to travel, etc.? When applicable, include this information in the proposal for the client to review.)

Once you have answers to these questions, you’ll need to use this information when writing your video proposal. Your video proposal will show how you present your video production business to your client. So make sure that you show the details well and explain things clearly to avoid any misunderstandings.

Getting Started With a Food Product Business

I’m in the middle of starting this food product business and still in the journey. I have little to any money to put into this business. However, when you have a great product and you believe you your product then you must put the effort out there to make it available for people to buy. In my case, I’m in the process of putting to market a garlic salsa that tastes amazing! While in the journey, I’m doing plenty of research everyday as to what are the formalities of doing a food product business the right way.

One thing that I learned about the business is that you can’t prepare your product at home and must be prepared in what is called a certified commercial kitchen. This can be a daunting task but there are places out there that rent kitchen space to create food products.

But probably the most cost effective avenue to take is getting your food product outsourced. When you outsource your food product you aren’t burdened with the start up costs that could easily run into the hundreds of thousands to get the machines to create the products that you want to package. Not to mention in addition the packaging materials and shipping still associate with your packaged food product.

As of now, I have located a place where I can get my garlic salsa outsourced and doing some research. Everyday must be a small step forward to get your product off the ground. You must learn something new everyday and apply what you have learned. Especially if it’s something that you’re passionate about.

Right now, in the current economic times is the best time to start a business. It’s more affordable now than ever for many industries to get started. Small business America needs to step up and create opportunities and jobs. We must be innovative. And right now is that time.

The Information Product Business – Time to Stick it to the Man and Make Money

If you want to get into the world of information products, now is better than ever. We are turning the corner from the printed word to the digital world, and the market for information products just gets bigger every year. Read on to find out how you can get your feet wet and start selling info-products.

The biggest advantage of owning an information business is the flexibility it offers. Your business will operate 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world. If you want to update your product, you don’t have to worry about manufacturing issues, all you have to do is change a few words and click a few buttons.

You can start an information product business for free. There are not a lot of businesses out there where this is possible. Literally anyone that has a desire to own their own business can start from nothing and slowly develop an information empire. You will not get rich off of a single product. It’s about creating a family of products with a solid revenue pipeline. Not everything that you create will turn into gold, but once you develop your own style and figure out what you customers are looking for, you can get to a high rate of success.

Your information product will solve a problem that no one else has thought of before. You do not have to reinvent a new market, just improve on a current process by 10%. If your customer niche is large enough, you will start to develop a following of your own. Once you build your own list, you will be able to sell to these customers over and over, providing them with the goods that they want.

You will also learn how to add value to your information product, where you can create audio and video as well, in order to boost the price of your product without having to do a lot of additional work. There are many forms that an information product can take, and by playing around with different styles and delivery methods, you will be able to find the best way to convey exactly the right delivery route to your customers.

If you enter the world of information sales, it is not an easy route like many gurus claim it to be. However, every information empire is started by one product at a time and as you create more content that people are interested in, the more money you will make and the closer you will get to financial freedom.