Videography is the natural evolution of the photography business. Videographers will record special moments, such as a wedding, so that they are preserved for posterity. It’s a tough business because most potential clients are going to want television-ready quality for a fraction of the price of that quality. Business can be overwhelming some weeks and then your calendar could be open for several weeks afterward.
This means the first thing you’ll want to do is determine how many services you’ll want to provide within the context of your business. You might offer to film school events, training seminars, or even documentaries for people in addition to weddings. Videographers often provide editing services to help make ends meet as well. This is a regional business instead of a local one, so make sure you know your competition as well.
1. Focus Your Plan
Make sure that you have a complete grasp on all of your costs. Fees can be associated with your business license, your office equipment, or even your utilities. Once you secure your location, even if that happens to be a home office at first, it is important to have a full rundown of the costs you’ll face. This will give you an idea of the revenues you’ll need to make every month to break even and guide you toward service pricing.
2. Know Your Stuff
Customers who want something from the service industry will only settle for the very best. You’ll need to make sure your skills are sharpened and honed so that you’re better than the competition. Better pricing might get you a customer here or there, but quality results from timely projects are going to provide you with the most impact per customer. If that means you need to go to workshops or enroll in community college classes, then do it. Do some volunteer work at your local public or community access channel to get some extra exposure.
3. Branding Matters
People will associate your brand with the quality of your work. Make sure that your logo, business name, and portfolio are all consistent with each and communicate the same message. If your business name is not your own legal name, then it will need to be registered with your local jurisdiction and this may have a fee associated with it. Consider structuring your business as a limited liability company to protect your personal assets.
4. Get Insured
As a videographer, you will be out and about in your community frequently. If you’re filming a wedding and accidentally knock over the $10,000 cake, do you want to pay for that out of pocket? Of course not. Having a comprehensive insurance policy that includes specific riders for the services you plan to provide will help to protect your finances. Make sure to shop around so that you get the best quote possible.
5. Know the Law
Many communities are not zoned for videography services. Many people mistakenly assume they can film on their property because it is “theirs.” You may have city zoning issues, noise regulations, parking restrictions, and other legal issues that prevent you from filming at home. Most homes allow for a home office, but won’t allow for customers to come visit.
6. Put Yourself Out There
The easiest way to market yourself as a videographer is to put your portfolio up for display. This may mean taking some time to record images while you’re off the clock so that people can see the quality you’re able to provide. Make sure you have the right equipment to produce the best video possible, which may include lighting assistance, an HD camera, and other items. It’s the cost of the equipment, in fact, that often requires the most money to get a videography business up off the ground.
7. Mingle With the Crowd
Joining the local Chamber of Commerce is an easy way to get noticed. You can ask permission to film Chamber events. Then you can show people your skills in a tangible way. When you’re networking with other business owners or representatives and filming at the same time, then you’ve got an easy way to get noticed.
Knowing how to start a videography business isn’t very complicated, but it does take some hard work an equipment investment. Follow these steps and you’ll create the foundation of a potentially successful venture.
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