In the film business and video production business, collaboration is often a relationship crime. People know each other, trust each other and like each other. Nevertheless, marketing is becoming increasingly important. If you want to optimize your income, there is often no way around it.
First, the importance of marketing yourself increases because you can never have a relationship with all potential clients. Especially not at the beginning of your career. Secondly, because in the digital world, many clients from outside the industry no longer just trust recommendations, but also search the web for suppliers and information.
This article tells you what to look for when marketing yourself or your services.
Optimize income with marketing
The article series on money and film careers at Filmpuls consists of 4 episodes:
The series of articles on money and film careers at Filmpuls consists of 4 topics:
This Part 3 focuses on marketing and self-promotion. How do you make customers hear about you or, no less important, remember you and your performance?
Learnings from part 1 and 2 to optimize income
In the first post, you learned to give proper, basic thought to the parameters within which you operate in the film business. This with a view to the uniqueness, copyability and perceptibility of the customer.
In part 2 of the series we gave you impulses on how to align your services unmistakably in the market and how to optimize them again and again with a view to your margin.
Once you’ve successfully implemented the learnings from parts 1 and 2, there’s still one problem: your customers need to find you! That’s what this is all about: If you want to optimize your income, you have to master this aspect as well.
1How to choose the right audience for income optimization
The basis of any action in the field of marketing is the choice of the right target group. Otherwise, you’re selling refrigerators to Eskimos.
A typical beginner’s mistake is to choose the broadest possible target audience. This is because it allows you to reach as many people as possible at first glance. If you assume that a maximum of 2% to 5% of all people contacted will get in touch with you, that is more contacts for a large group of people than for a small group. Still, you’re almost certainly shooting yourself in the foot with this one.
If you start with a few addresses that you have selected according to a narrow, uniform criterion, you can clearly assign the reactions to an action. Conversely, this analysis is not possible or only with enormous effort. You can only optimize your income if you know which measure works for your customer approach.
An example: You work as a video cameraman and already have some image films in your showreel. If you now contact all possible contacts who work with moving images (film and video) in any way, this spectrum ranges from documentaries to TV shows to recording studios. With this, you can assume that the majority of the people you contact either aren ‘t interested in your offer or are even annoyed by it. Of course you can land the one or other random hit, but do you want to live on coincidences?
Conversely, if you only choose video productions that specialize in image films and the response to your marketing efforts is good, you add the next related segment to your list.
In the example, this would perhaps be the clients or producers of product films or video reports. If you suddenly have a -2% lower response rate with +10% more contacts, your offer will probably only meet with limited approval from this target group. With this simple analysis without much effort, you can consider testing a different audience with more chance of success.
Your right target audience is the one from which you will get the most new business. Positive reactions are the first step towards this. But you’re not paying rent on that yet. If you have good feedback, you still have to convert it into jobs. We’ll explain how that works further down in the article.
2Why you should tell of true heroic deeds
Once you’ve found your target audience, it’s time to “give the monkey some sugar!” At this point, you’ll meet up with an old acquaintance from article 1 of the series.
There we explained why the problem for which you have an ingenious solution must necessarily be a problem that the customer recognizes as such. You also have to take the customer’s point of view into account when it comes to the content of your marketing campaigns. Speak the language of the customer. If you run over a non-technical target audience with technical jargon, your communication will come to nothing. Optimizing income is different.
Speak your customer’s language. Always! And tell the customer how ingeniously you can solve their problem. Detached from the channel you choose to do this (see later), you are very privileged in this regard as a participant in the film industry. Where other industries have to go through the hassle of producing videos for marketing and communications, you can access your moving images for free.
At the center of any action should be your work, must be your showreel. Lyrics are just incidental music. Walk the talk!
If you use videos, even if they are “yours”, without the explicit consent of the client or producer, you can get in big trouble when optimizing your income. There are corporations that punish unlawful use of their videos by suppliers with high penalties, for which the video producer is contractually liable. It doesn’t take much imagination to picture the mood in which a client would come galloping up to you in this situation. This also applies to film clips and photos, even if you have made them and have them on your computer.
As is often the case, ignorance is no excuse.
It’s a small world and the film industry is even smaller. Whatever you communicate must be true.
Don’t succumb to the temptation to make yourself and your accomplishments bigger than they really are. Marketing is about putting your accomplishments in the best light, not making up untrue things.
You never know who knows who. But don’t make yourself smaller than you are either. Tell your audience what problem you solved and how. Many filmmakers share their new videos and blindly assume that recipients will recognize their contribution to the film.
The rule you can put behind your ears is, “Name the steed and rider!” In our context, this means: explain to me how you tamed the wild steed (horse) and rode it to victory over the numerous hurdles on the course. And tell me who you are and what you can do.
3Where the yo-yo effect lurks for you
Successful marketing leads to more orders and therefore you can optimize your income. Conversely, the extra work usually leaves you with no time to continue marketing. So your success indirectly leads you to failure.
You work like hell, making fine money. When you catch your breath, you find that your pipeline is empty for the next few months. So you fall from one extreme to the other. Because you now have no orders but plenty of time, you ramp up your marketing efforts again. Finally, you have new material for your showreel and have proven that you can acquire.
The so-called yo-yo effect describes the effect that results from phased marketing. From a business point of view, this oscillation between extremes costs you more energy, time and money than if you still set aside some time for self-promotion and communication even during extremely demanding work periods.
If you prevent these two extremes, you can once again optimize your income.
4What sequential thinking means for you and your marketing
Marketing is not a leap or a sprint, it’s a hike. You take it one step at a time and take your customers on a journey. Because you want to run your business for a long time, the journey your existing and future customers take you on will take just as long.
What does that mean in concrete terms?
You need to plan ahead. It’s not just about knowing what you’re going to do next. You should also have already thought about your next steps but one. This is the only way to make your marketing actions and messages fit together seamlessly.
What’s more, you can use it to set changing accents in your communication over a longer period of time, which complement each other. At the same time, communication conceived as sequences enables you to use dramaturgical means. In action A you are already announcing action B, in B you are arousing curiosity about C.
If you have a making-of and want to optimize your income, you can, for example, divide it into several clips: Instead of one video of 5 minutes, you now have 5 x 1 minute moving images. At the end of each clip you announce the next episode with a little cliffhanger. All that is needed is a written title that creates excitement for the next part. On social media, headlines like “In episode 3: my biggest challenge” work wonders in terms of interaction.
Sequentially, i.e. in sequences of different measures, you can think horizontally and vertically.
- Horizontal means dividing a topic into actions on a timeline. You could tease the aforementioned making-of ahead of time with photos and finish it off with a clip you shot that isn’t included in the official making-of. As an overarching theme, for example for the next three months, you have chosen “competence”. Everything you communicate during this time pays into this account and demonstrates your competence.
- Vertical means you don’t think on the timeline, but in depth, from “top to bottom”. You have a single clip from the making-of. You now think about how you can deepen this in other places. An example: via YouTube you embed episode 3 into your webpage. In your blog you explain the technical details in addition. You communicate both video and blog article to your customers with a newsletter. Additionally, you link to video and blog with photos on social media.
This way, your self-promotion will be a well-rounded one. The actions work on their own, but when combined, they tell the story of your competence in an even more complex way.
5Which means of transport to choose
Each channel and social media platform has its advantages and disadvantages. If you want to optimize your income with marketing, you can’t avoid dealing with the respective peculiarities. Also because each channel has its own rules of the game. For more information, check out the posts by our guest writer and social media expert Carrie Duvan.
Two questions are at the forefront of your mind:
- First, where does your target audience hang out?
- Second, how many channels does your communication need?
If you know your target audience, you can easily find the right means of transport with a little research.
The rule is simple:
Where your customers are, that’s where you want to be. It’s not your job to lure your customers to new channels. But to address your customers intelligently where they are.
When in doubt, opt for just one channel or means, regardless of whether that’s old-fashioned letter writing (instead of email) or Facebook. Be aware, wherever you start with targeting your customers, you must continue with it. At least for the duration of the A/B testing. And until you can determine the success or failure of your action. That’s why you prefer to use one channel or communication channel to start. We do this consistently and in high quality.
If you have the opportunity, you should always put your own webpage at the center of everything you do. You want to position this as an anchor point. This is where your traffic is supposed to happen and be bundled. All other means are only feeders. Simply because you only have full control over your own webpage. Social media channels are tempting. And for free. But the operator can change the rules of the game at any time. Just like that. Suddenly your range breaks. If you want to optimize your income, you don’t take that risk as a professional.
6How to convert marketing activity into orders
Marketing for new customer acquisition increases your acquisition costs. Therefore, it is always your goal to convert the addressees of your actions into paying customers as efficiently as possible. In a perfect world, your viewer, reader or listener(podcasts have been gaining massive momentum again lately) wants to become your customer. The reality is usually different: You have to help your customers with loving coercion to his happiness.
Look at your marketing actions from five steps away.
Ask yourself if you as a customer understand the message on the one hand and if he can contact you easily on the other hand. You wouldn’t believe how many senders make your own direct approach impossible. If your track record convinces me, I want your phone number and email address – without having to search for them. Here and now. A look. One click. Otherwise, I’m gone.
Making a promise has proven to be the most important conversion measure. In advertising, this is the famous “callto action” (an unambiguous “call to action”). Well-known versions on the web of this are: Learn more now! Order here! Free consultation! Whatever you promise, you must deliver. Ideally, you can even surprise your customer in a positive way. This way you increase customer loyalty, which is also an important factor to optimize your income.
Next episode of the series
In the fourth article of the series, we lay the learnings from episodes 1 to 3 on the table in front of us. And look at what scenarios this will result in for the development of the market with moving images.
This article was automatically translated into English using AI. If you would like to help us improve the quality, we would be happy to hear from you.