Grow your business, with real advice
Alright. So if you are a videographer or if you're a photographer, if you're a freelance videographer/photographer, I wanna help you get more business. I think it is incredibly interesting to me how difficult it can be to find a freelancer or a videographer or an editor. So whether you're an editor, a videographer, a film person or somebody who just loves creating with a camera, or whether you wanna do this commercially or if you wanna do it for a hobby, whatever it is, one of the main problems you have is getting found.
And I think I know why.
Now a little bit of background. I started out as a financial planner about six years ago now and out of that I ended up finding out there's all this need for people to get bookkeeping, accounting and tax services. So I started a tax firm with a good buddy of mine and another guy. Grew that up to be really successful, hit the pavement, myself actually doing lunch and learns at real estate agencies and going in and just trying to find ways to get appointments with people to share what we did and then we would provide kinda bookkeeping, accounting, taxes. Grew that from zero to about a hundred and fifty small businesses towards the end there.
And then out of that birthed Feedbackwrench, which is where I help small businesses go from good to great by making the web their best employee. That's kinda my catch phrase. And really what we do is we help you establish a great web presence, and that's your website, your social media footprints, all so that you can be found and not only can you be found but that your marketing clearly communicates to your end user. And then I do technical SEO. We do business planning SEO I guess is probably the best way to say it but I do lots of Google Adwords, Google My Business optimization. We do remarketing, retargeting, on Facebook, Instagram and Google Display, Youtube. We do lots of stuff!
And here's what I found out. We've had work for videographers which has caused me to go down the rabbit trail of how do you find video production companies? And there's a huge miss here, guys. If you're looking to get started in this, here's the foundation of what you need to do. The first thing you need to do is find people to create for. You probably need to do it in person and the best way to do that is to come up with an idea of a type of thing that you can do for somebody, whether that's shooting a commercial, doing some interviews, and then you should head out to the Chambers of Commerce, to the BNI meetings and probably just hit up a lot of your small entrepreneurs, it could be insurance agencies, it could be trades people, painters, masonry, concrete, bricklaying, H-vac, that kinda thing.
And you should pretty much give it away up front. And the reason why you wanna charge very little is you need to go out and prove that you can actually do what it is that you're gonna say that you do, right? So you go out, you get some success, but all you do is execute and out of that what that's gonna allow you to do is allow you to get some reviews. So even if it was inexpensive or free, go out, do it for a couple of people and then open up a Google My Business account and your number one goal is to add value to businesses doing what you love and then to get Google reviews, okay?
The foundations of your business as a videographer, video production professional, needs to be creating good work? Yes. But then you need to make it very easy for your local people to find you and the way you're gonna do that is with Google My Business, 'kay? So Google.com/Business. Go there, open up your profile and get very active on it. You need to fill out your services.
Here's something I want you to think about. You're gonna go onto your Google My Business and fill our your services section on there and then you should also create a website. I'm sure you have this idea of how a website should look, you wanna tell stories, it needs to be engaging. But it needs to be able to be found and indexed by Google. So here's some key things.
First off, think of your core commercial keywords. I talk about this all the time. Your core commercial keywords are gonna be things like, "Video production," "Video companies," "Film companies," and, "Videographers." That's kinda your core video and then photography, you have video agencies, things like that. Jump into Google, actually search those keywords and go scroll all the way down to the bottom and you'll see some of the suggested keywords and what will happen there is you'll be able to find out what people are actually searching.
Now there's a lot more you can do there. We can use a tool like Keyword tool .io, we'll put a description in the video here to do some research or you can use another tool called ahrefs, A-H-R-E-F-S dot com, to find out the search volume. What you wanna find is there's usually about three or four core keywords that a users gonna jump into Google or Bing and search in order to find your service and it's usually, "Video production," "Video companies," "Videographer," right? "Freelance video," "Profession video," that type of thing.
With each one of those core keywords, what you're gonna wanna do is you should just start out by opening a word doc or a Google doc and section off and start writing about what it is you're gonna do. So you'll have your header, right? Video production. And then it might be, "Video production by John Anderson Co." And then you might have the three distinct promises or your approaches to video production, "Telling great stories on a budget with the best equipment," whatever that is.
Think of some different promises you can make. Think about your story. Think of how you'll wanna tell that. But first do it in writing and what your goal should be is that you're gonna write about a page in a half for each one of these core commercial keywords or they're kinda your services that you're gonna offer, right?
Once you get that I want you to go back in your Google My Business account, which you verified, and I want you to upload those into the services section so you have a bunch of text concerning your actual video services. Then I want you to go onto your website and you should have your home page and then you should have a very simple site structure where each one of those services have their own page. On those pages you wanna have, in some way, shape or form, that text, that actual information should be on the website.
Now the ultimate judge of a website is the user experience and Google is working diligently so that it's algorithm rewards great user interfaces rather than manipulation for the search engines. So you need to think about the user first but you also need to have the words and the text of your relevant search queries is really what it is.
Now once you've done that I would highly recommend just hustling your buns off connecting with all of the different sectors that you can get in touch with. Just go to Google and search, "Concrete companies near me," "Home remodelers near me," remodeling is a great one. Painting, that's another great one. Home builders? That's amazing.
The reason why those are interesting is because there's a visual aspect to what they do. Now that work might sound really boring for you but you know what? When you can service a business that actually makes money you're gonna have an opportunity to charge more for it. Now you don't wanna be in the position where you're convincing people why it's a great investment. You wanna get in front of people that want your services. I'm telling you, anybody who has a before and after: so that would be gyms; could be training, like health coach training or fitness training; remodeling; concrete, where they're taking out old steps and redoing a new one; anytime somebody's doing roofing, siding, those types of services where there's a before and after.
Just start thinking before and after, there's opportunity for you to tell a great story. Might not be very interesting to you but I'm telling you it has utility to it. Utility tied to a decent ROI.
So just jump into Google and start searching those companies. Once you find them, don't sheepishly jump through the contact form on the website. Call them and be frank. "Hey, what's up John? Giving you a call, I don't know, have you ever thought about doing video and maybe doing some video advertisements on Facebook or on YouTube or maybe creating a commercial? I'm a videographer and a film production guy out of our town here and I'd love to buy you a coffee. Could I could connect with you some time?" "No, I don't want to." Or, "Yeah, I think that'd be alright." And then just diligently follow up.
Your goal in everything should be to have meetings with people, right? I think getting in front of some of the remodelers is probably one of the best opportunities that videographers and film people can have because there's some simple work there that you don't often think about.
Then there's story and every company needs to tell their story and you can get that. But here's the core thing guys. Your Google My Business page with a bunch of reviews, get your website, flesh it out, make sure that your images are not huge, right? Your images should be under 300 kilobytes each. I would go with Squarespace, Wordpress or, now, Webflow is a great tool. If you're doing Wordpress, I would recommend doing Beaverbuilder for your theme. It's very easy to use but it has schema markup so that it's super smooth.
And put together a basic set of pricing for what you're willing to do. Start thinking about, "What does it take for me to earn a day in order to feed?" So are you willing to do work as long as you're making $250 a day? $500 a day? $800 a day? Just focus on a day rate. If you're gonna go out and film, just say, "Hey guys, you know, when we go out there I have my equipment, I've got all my lighting and I've got my time and my skills and that's $500 a day and that's a five hour block, $100 an hour," whatever that is. And stick to that. Feel confident about it.
Now on the other end, you need to make sure that your work is good and that you can produce a decent product. I'm okay at it. My business partners are much better at it than I am. But if you wanna make it in the videography business, your work needs to be great, absolutely, but you need to do the common sense things of having your services listed in the places that are easiest to find and I'm telling you Google My Business is the place to do it. Tied to your website. Because Google's gonna digest those two things together to reward you with search engine results.
Now here's a little cheat that you can do. If you build out ... you should make it your goal over about a year in a half to have more reviews on your Google My Business page than anybody else. Don't do it on Facebook. Facebook? Don't go there. I wouldn't do Upwork, I wouldn't do LinkedIn, or any of these other places.
Go to Google, go to Google My Business and try and get as many reviews from people, and it could be people that you've done high end work for, basic work, could be character testimonials, but get reviews. Follow up with people. Actually call the people you've worked for, plant the seed with them early, do the work for them, let them know, "Hey, I'd love to earn a review from ya," and afterwards call them and say, "Hey, things have been great. I really need your help. I'm trying to build my business. I wanna show people that I'm not crazy. I wanna show people that I do what I claim I do. Would you people give me a review?" And then text them the link to your review. All you do is you Google your name, not your website but your name, there's a little share button there and share that.
You wanna do that to everybody that you work with and diligently follow up. There's gonna people who say they will and then they won't but if you diligently follow up, text them a link, follow up with them, "Hey, did the link work?" Most of them are gonna review you. And if you can outrun the bear when it comes to reviews and just have more reviews than all the people around you, your gonna win.
But, if you build that up you get more reviews, then you open up an Ads.Google.com. That's Google Adwords, right? Ads.Google.com, you can create an ad. Do this in about a ten mile circle around your home office, right? You can create Google Adwords ads and then you can add what's called a site link or a location extension and that location extension is gonna tether your Google My Business profile to your Google ad. Now you'll have to pay to have your ad show up. You may pay anywhere between $1 and $15 a click. You might have to commit a couple hundred dollars to it to have that up.
But I'm telling you, it works. If you link your Google My Business by using a location extension on a Google ad, which check out my website, we explain how to do that in some YouTube videos as well, if you do that you're gonna get more traffic to your site. You're gonna be easier for people to find and that's the key. Too many video professionals are hard to find.
Alright. So get your website, get your Google My Business, try that Google ads with the location extension on your Google ad, you have to get the ad right. Then here'd be my last tip is that you need to install the Facebook pixel, the Google analytics code and the Google Adwords tracking code on the head of your website. You wanna install that code so that you can track the people that visit your website.
Here's a dirty little secret that nobody knows. People that go to your website get created as audience members on Facebook and in Google, that you can then serve up ads to, right? So basically people come to your website and if you have these pieces of code on there you're gonna be able to install a cookie and they get added as an audience in Facebook and in Google and what happens there is you can serve up an ad or you can make what's called a look alike audience and that look alike audience with Facebook is ... the algorithm's gonna look at all the commonalities of the people that have been to your website and then you can say, "Make up a giant list across the nation of people that are just like that.' It comes up with this giant list and then you can target all those people that it thinks are like your core user in a particular area.
So you might say, "Here's the big list. I wanna hit everybody in Minneapolis." So what is happening is your site is going to be the tool that teaches Facebook and then Google, on YouTube or Google Display or even Google search, it's gonna teach Google and Facebook who your core user is. If you don't install those on your website and turn on the tracking, your not gonna have an opportunity to have some of the cheapest advertising you could possibly do by targeting: A, the people who have previous been to your website and B, the look alike audiences from those.
So I'm Rob Satrom, hopefully that helps you get your video business off the ground and rocking and rolling. If you'd like, help give us a shout. We love you guys.