Let's break down the top five most common customers in corporate video production and examine how you can prepare for your set and post production needs.
Building productive relationships with customers is one of my favorite aspects of working in corporate video production. Because while a lot of corporate work can be fairly straightforward and even boring, solid customer relationships can actually make projects more exciting and satisfying.
Investing in your customers makes it easier to turn them into partners (and even friends) with whom you can work as if you were on the same team. In fact, I would say that anyone interested in the production of corporate videos should make it a serious goal to get this "same team" mentality with their customers. After all, as you say, the best customer is the one who keeps coming back to you.
Let's take a look at five prototypical customers I met during my company video tour. We will look for the best ways to find them, meet their needs and make them long-term partners.
1. One-off productions
When you start film and video for the first time, many customer requests for one-off appearances are with a role. These are your standard gigs "We need a videographer for two hours in this place". Or: "We need someone to cut a video out of footage that we shot a year ago."
You can find these customers in all your job boards, industry-specific forums or even by word-of-mouth recommendations. Take these projects if you can, but always try to turn them into bigger roles in the future.
These one-off projects are often the least lucrative. Customers know what they're looking for, so they remove production quantities to simply pay by the hour. Ultimately, however, this probably means that these customers are doing more work than they prefer.
My advice is to show yourself, do a great job, be positive, and try to speak to the highest level stakeholders you can find. From there, offer suggestions on how you can optimize the entire project either yourself or with your own team. If they are receptive, you can eventually transform a one-time appearance with a role into a more consistent client like the one described below.
2. Event and live streamers
When you work in corporate video production, you work at corporate events, conferences, and symposia. Yes, these are by far the most boring – and often logistically demanding – video projects that you may be asked to produce. They can also be the most enduring and lucrative.
Any company, large or small, will hold meetings. You will have professional development days. They will hold conferences where they can interact with their own potential customers. If you are in contact with a company that is looking for videos for its events or at least considering the option, you can actually offer a lot.
My advice for this type of customer is to work early and often to make your video services an integral part of their events. Even today, many companies do not understand exactly what videos are capable of or how extensive reporting can be.
For example, if a client is looking for live stream services, you can offer additional video projects. Here are some of my add-ons:
- Promotional videos to promote the event
- At the beginning of the event, a sizzle roll of the company is shown
- Any live stream reporting you may need
- A final video that highlights the success of the event (and can be used to promote the next event).
3. Social media marketers
You can build a robust customer list by working with companies and agencies that use social media videos for their marketing efforts.
It has been reported that over 78% of people watch videos online every week and 72% of customers prefer to learn about products or services via video. (Hot tip: share these stats with your customers NOW!)
As a result, many of the corporate video opportunities you'll find in the future will focus specifically on social media video content.
If you are really future-oriented, I would highly recommend taking this into account, profiling yourself as a social media friendly professional, and keeping up with the latest platforms, specifications, and trends. Work to find and impress customers by creating engaging, eye-catching content that you can share on your own social media channels. Here are some great resources to get you started:
4. In-house production support
I have used this "trick" several times, both as a freelancer and on behalf of video production companies that I have worked with. If you want to work with a large customer who does a lot of video work, try to get them to hire you as an extension of their internal resources.
It's no secret that companies create a lot of video content up and down the Fortune 500. However, the idea that their internal resources include enough people, equipment, and time to meet all of their video needs is naive.
A solid point of contact in the marketing or production department of a large company can quickly become your best customer. If you do a good job and make their lives easier, call them when they need more help.
My advice for this approach is to network like crazy. Get to know the employees of the large companies with whom you would like to work. Ask for introductions, show off your skills, and highlight the positive aspects of using your business as "additional support" if needed. When this first call arrives, push it hard and always stay open and ready to help.
5. The creative branding partners
This could be the best customer of all. You should work towards ensuring that every one of your previous customers sees you and your company in this way. At the end of the day, customers will come back to you because they have video needs, but also because they like you, respect your work, and trust that you deliver a quality product.
The goal is to nurture relationships so that your customers see you as a full partner for brand growth, rather than someone who simply offers a service.
Work hard, be sincere, really strive to understand your customers and find solutions. If you can reach this level of partnership with a customer, you can use the relationship to find new customers and build a really successful video production company.
Other tips and tricks for working with corporate videos:
Cover picture by Kzenon.