HANDCRAFTED FILMS

Marketing is crucial to any business, but especially to home-grown entrepreneurial businesses that have a need to find a specific clientele. Wedding filmmaking is a niche. It’s a specialized service targeting very specific clients – brides + grooms. The great thing is you know who you’re looking for, but sometimes, the hardest part is knowing where to look!

Marketing often times gets a bad rap because many people think of sales pitches, sleazy gimmicks, or having to pay thousands of dollars for a tiny ad in a magazine. BUT, it doesn’t have to be that way! 

Would you believe me if I told you Ty and I have never spent money on “traditional” advertising or marketing? Except for that one time in college when Ty paid for an account on The Knot…but he never saw one single lead come from it and quickly shut it down. Since then, we’ve focused on marketing in a different way.

Our way.

Over the past five years of working together, we’ve been able to generate consistent leads, consistently book weddings and consistently raise our prices without ever spending money on expensive magazine ads or attending bridal shows.

And it all comes down to one thing – our onlyness factor.

Niofer Merchant in her book, “The Power of Onlyness,” she says:

“Onlyness is a term I coined back in 2011 to capture an economic shift I was observing. It points to how value creation happens today: you stand in a spot in the world ONLY you stand in, a function of your distinct history and experience, visions and hopes. From this spot, you have fresh takes and ideas. And, now that you can scale and realize ideas in connectedNESS with others who care about the same thing, you have the power to dent the world. Hence: onlyness.”

Our onlyness factor is simply – us.

Ty and I are the only “us” and we market our business with our image as our brand. The number one reason that people book us over and over again is because of us and the experience that only we can provide.

Figuring out your onlyness factor will drastically change your business for the better because no longer will you be speaking to the masses hoping that someone bites at what you’re putting out. But, you will be speaking to one specific client looking for the specific thing that you have to offer. 

Now, you might be thinking – what in the world could my “onlyness” factor be? Well for some it might the way they use storytelling techniques throughout their films that infiltrate through every other piece of their business. For another filmmaker it may be that they are also a musician and handwrite and record the tracks for each of the films they create. And for another it may be that they have honed their brand to be “destination” focused. So if you’re a bride living in California but hoping to get married in Italy, you may resonate with their brand. 

Determining your onlyness factor is important because not only does it give purpose to your business, but it also provides a direction for you to move into. And, you can judge every other area of your business by this one thing. Does your language, website copy, and email messaging line up with this one thing. Does your image, social media presence, brand convey this same message? And so on! Once you have determined your “onlyness factor,” you can move in to the next phase of putting your marketing skills to work! 

 Ty and I hopped on Facebook Live Tuesday night to dive in deeper about this topic. You can watch the full replay here if you’d like! 

Evaluate your online presence

Often times, a client is first interacting with us on social media or finding us through our website. SO, it is important that these two spheres of influence are up to date! Remember, perception is everything! You only get one chance to make a first impression. Ensure that no matter how they stumble upon you first, that each piece speaks positively to who you are, what makes you unique, and what you have to offer!

Things to think about:

  • Does your business look dead online?
  • Is the last thing you posted dated October 2017?
  • Update your work, review your copy + language, and make sure that every piece is pointing back to the ideal client that you’re trying to reach.
  • Are you speaking directly to them?
  • Does your social media platforms relay the same message that your website does?
  • Remember, you’ll be judged by your worst work. So only put out the best of the best!

Repurposing your content

We know that it’s the “off season”, but potential brides + grooms might not! If a potential client shows up to your website and the last thing you have posted is dated October 2017, they might think your business has died or that you aren’t doing this anymore! And you don’t want that! Especially if you’re still 100% in business and seeking to book clients! Repurposing the content that you already have can change this! Even if you only shot a handful of weddings over the past year, you can continue to make yourself look busy and in demand by curating what you show and when you show it.

Things to think about:

  • Highlight your favorite moments of the weddings that you have that point towards your onlyness factor, create a film and post it online
  • Make a montage of “the best first looks of 2017” or “the one moment you’ll always remember from 2017”. Add some audio or music to it and post it on Instagram.
  • Then, do one better by blogging about! Make it searchable with keywords – like the venue name (Pippin Hill), what the film is showing (best first look), or your ideal audience you’re trying to reach (southern bride).

Networking

This is by far our favorite way to market our business. And, our favorite way to do it is by SHOWING UP. And the best place we’ve found to show up at is  Tuesday Together meetings hosted by The Rising Tide Society. This is the most diverse group of creatives we’ve been able to find! Which makes the networking side of it so much fun (because not everyone is working in the same roles on an event)! Other vendors are more likely to refer you when they know you. And most often, they won’t deem “following you on social media” as knowing you well enough to refer you. So make a point to show up in person. And don’t be shy! You’re the face of your business and no one is going to talk about it better than you. So, show up looking to connect!

Things to think about:

  • Think about who is already working in your ideal niche – venues, wedding planners, etc. Write them down and make a plan on how to connect with them.
  • Offer before asking anything of anyone! Show them your value, don’t just except something from them. 
  • Find your local Tuesdays Together meet up and commit to going to build connections with other creatives! 

There you have it! Marketing your business can be fun! It can be personal and a direct reflection of you and what you hope for your business to be! It doesn’t have to stiff and impersonal. 

We’ll be back next week with another Facebook Live on our business page all about “Facebook for Filmmakers.” This is a hot topic across the wedding filmmaker world as we’re all looking for ways to get our work out there to as many people as possible as fast as possible! You can join us live by liking our business page and turning on notifications to be notified when we go live!

Meet Ashley

A true sweetheart from Southwestern VA, Ash spent many Sundays after church sitting around the table with her grandparents, listening to stories about the “good ‘ole days”. A talented visionary with a true heart for people, she’s likely to be found reading, writing, and planning away.

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