If you are a beginner in the video production industry and have just successfully set up your own studio, finding your first client is the most challenging part of this business. Am I right?
Yes, you most probably possess the necessary skills required to create a great project and you’ve set up a pretty good recording studio at your home. BUT you need to find someone who is willing to hire you.
Potential clients may know you are a beginner, in the sense that it’s your first prospective job and you are working in your own establishment. But then, they can’t really tell how competent you are. Or not!
How Do You Impress Your First Customer?
First of all, if you aim to start off on a good foot in the video production industry, you need to impress your very first client. It’s like . . . “make or break” . . . well sort of. It’s good to know that he/she/they may be the key to other openings. Their experience with you, if great, may help you get repeat jobs and good referrals for future jobs.
10 film-making lessons I learned the hard way
Remember the saying “first impressions count?” . . . It’s so true if you want to impress your first client. And you must do your best to keep the tempo on through the entire process of the video production job.
Related topic: Videography: How to Choose a Camcorder If You Are a Beginner
This is your first money-earning project so with that in mind, here is how to impress your client.
- Good preparation is vital for video production so plan well ahead. Yes, this is pretty obvious, but careful and thoughtful preparation is very important if you want your client to have confidence in you and your capabilities as a videographer.
- Place value on time. It's important that you prove this to your client because it shows the qualities of an efficient professional. They’ll be impressed. So, keep strictly to timed meetings and ensure you show up well prepared.
- Plan out video your shoots well ahead of time so as to reduce down time. You must give your client a realistic timeline for the project, and you MUST adhere to it.
- Never ever promise what you know (or feel) you cannot deliver. Come clean and let your new client know this. You’ll be respected for being forthright.
- Listen attentively and be open to your client's likes/dislikes. Don’t be one of those video professionals that disregard incorporating a client's thoughts into a project. If your prospect feels like sharing a preconceived idea about his/her project, lend an attentive ear and take note of their desires. They almost always like this; they feel carried along with the production.
- If need be, point out carefully (in a nice tone of voice and good attitude) why you think their idea may or may not work. Even though the client is the boss you want to make happy, you still need to carefully consider any idea suggested, as long as it doesn’t impact the video production process in an nonconstructive manner.
- A good tip on how to quickly to impress a prospect is to attempt to implement some of their ideas, maybe with slight modifications of course. It’s funny, but as your client base expands, you will soon notice that one thing prospects have in common is the likelihood of getting a speedy final approval if they feel like they have their ideas woven into the final production. They love the idea of having their own stamp on the work of their video producer, no matter how small it may be.
10 tips for shooting live events
A Video Producer Must Have an Aspect of Surprise
A professional video producer must “leave some tricks in the bag”, so learn and adopt this skill now as a beginner. For instance if you have a great idea to really enhance this video project, suppress the urge to “scream it to the world”! It’s always good to keep a trick or two up your sleeve, make it something you client least expects.
But it must be good and it must have a “WOW” factor. Certainly, they’ll be impressed with this.
Don’t divulge this 'ace up your sleeve' because once you've told the client about this one “hot” idea of yours, their expectations become over-blown, and they’ll expect some ‘magic’ of sorts in the final production.
Surprising them with a few brilliant ideas when they view your product can put their reaction “over the top”.
If possible, be accessible to your first client(s) at all times; it will pay off eventually . . . remember, patience and perseverance pays off in the long run. See this approach as an investment. The time will come when you’ll have a number of clients at a time, and this may require that you do some “juggling”. It’s okay!
The secret to referrals or repeat business in video production is to always be receptive to your clients. For example, if a client calls you, or sends you an email, if you have been so busy as to miss the call, or didn’t read your mail in good time, as soon as you realise this, you must get back to them ASAP.
So to wrap it up, as a producer, if you make yourself easily accessible, approachable, open and honest, you’ll find that you will have very happy clients.