Hey Steve,

Do you have any insights on marketing for production services?

I am struggling with approaching people saying “Hey this is what we do, we are awesome at it, let’s work together.”  I don’t want to push things on people, I want people to come to us for what we do, what we can offer and how we do it.

We have been very lucky in our first year that we haven’t have to do ANY marketing, but we are at a point where we should be bringing in more sales!


The dream of any artist is to be recognized for her brilliance, sought after by all, and hired only by a select few with the millions of dollars and requisite good taste that are her due.  The truth, however, is that all artists who want to make a living over time have to work hard for it.  Every single one.

At the same time, most artists don’t like to be pushy. A dilemma, to be sure.  But instead of thinking of marketing as foisting yourself on unwitting victims, think of it as helping people who need what you do.  Now it doesn’t seem as bad, right?

If you’ve been supporting yourself for a year as a video producer (congratulations, btw, a major accomplishment!) I assume you’ve assembled a great portfolio that anyone interested in your work will be excited about.  If you haven’t, you must.

Once you have a killer reel, the simplest way to market your video production business is this: identify your best customers, then try to find more people just like them.

Here’s the step-by-step.  Start up a blank screen and let’s do some brainstorming:

1)  Think about all your favorite customers— the ones you love, and who love you.  Who are cream of the crop?  Make as detailed a list as you can about everything you know about them:  What businesses are they in? What are they like as people? What did they love about you?  Age/sex/geographic location?  Their business or way of looking at the world?

2)  What do they have in common?  Mark all their themes and commonalities so that you have a clear description of who they are– your “ideal customer profile.”  Now you can recognize a great customer when you see one.  And you might have some clues about how to attract them.

3) Once you have an “ideal customer profile” what message or story will excite them– will make them recognize you as a potential partner of value?

4)  Put your skills to work.  Do a kickass video about yourself as seen through that filter.  Your reel might be enough, but why not create a custom 2 minute piece that will make your ideal customer salivate to work with you? It’s easier to pass around, and it’s all about your potential customer’s needs instead of your other customers’ video.

5)  Get the video to them.  In what ways– using your many marketing and web skills and brainstorming and hiring help if you need it–  might you get as many as possible of your ideal types to watch your video?  Be creative. (And don’t forget to just ask your ideal customers to help pass the video around!)

By getting the exact right message to the exact right people in a way that demonstrates your skills, you should be able to attract more of them.


Do you have a question about video?  Of course you do.  I think you should ask it.

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  • stephen vanderpuije says:

    I did the same and gradually its working for me. I started music video 3 years ago and did lots of research online about the ways to grow it. I made cold calls and shot free music video for upcoming artist and business, with my full time job salary, just to build a portfolio. now 3 years on and have more works to convince a client. I feel very confident now when I a approach a costumer with my portfolio…. my name is Stephen vanderpuije from Ghana, production Cosmic Pictures. instagram: cosmic__pictures

  • Liz White says:

    Great tips here. I'm not a fan of cold calling myself as posted by another reviewer, but to each their own. Back to the article, I do love how you focus on your audience here. The suggestions you give speak to the creativity side of the artists you're writing to. How do we find more of the customers we want? Be creative! =)

  • Laura says:

    This is a great article Steve. Thank you for the great tips. I have a list of a couple hundred people from a Bridal Baazar that I would like to connect with and contact. I am preparing an email with a piece of my work to show them the quality, creativity and art that our company has to offer. What advice would you give me as far as the content in the body of the email. I am addressing mainly Brides to be and their wedding planners.

  • blahtido says:

    This is great info. I struggle talking about myself, but making a video about what I do is something I been thinking about. I have been supporting myself doing freelance work for about 6 months now and I'm at the point where I know I need to transition from being the videographer to being the production company.

  • abovethegrapes says:

    Great info! Thank you.

  • kevin says:

    In the real world it doesnt actually work like that because what one customer may like about you another customer might not!

    Heres what to do
    1. start cold calling businesses you want to do videos for
    2. ask for an appointment
    3. go see them, show them what you have done for others and educate them you can do better for them
    4. produce them a video on the assumption, if they dont like it they dont pay for it, yes its wastes your time but reality, no business will have you produce a video AFTER you have had a meeting with them and they like you and not pay for it
    5. finish the video, load it up, market it then invoice them
    6. arrange their next video

    There is no easy answer. Wasting cash on google is a waste.

    • steve says:

      My thoughts in this post were mostly about your point #1, Kevin. I'm not a fan of "cold-calling" without first considering who your best prospects might be. It's a huge world out there. Nobody has the time or money to offer their services to everyone. Who you target has a huge impact on your success.

      RE: your point #4, I am a huge fan of the money-back guarantee. But that's "money back" as opposed to "produce on spec." There's a huge difference in clear contracting and client level of commitment. It looks like you're suggesting making the video before they agree and pay you, which doesn't seem like a good thing to do to me.

      You're right overall, though. There's no substitute for direct client interaction in selling. Thanks for sharing!

  • adamg says:

    Very Cool words. Organized.Helps me slow down too and take note of my assets and how I got here and seeing clearer my role in it and my specific sphere of gravity in talent etc.

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