10,000 clients sitting in the front row (all at the same time)
Wouldn’t it be great, if a potential client could come along on one of your productions and have a front row seat to see how you work, get a behind the scene glimpse of your workflow and get a feel for your personality on a shoot?
Yeah, I know it’s impossible, but wouldn’t that just be an awesome marketing opportunity? Well although it’s not possible to offer that front row seat to ten thousand clients (or even 10) on set with you, here’s the next best thing you can do:
Let your clients come along for the ride
If you take a little bit of time during a shoot, your clients can join you –front and center– virtually anywhere in the world, no not in person, but online.
Here’s a few ways you can put every member of your target audience, specifically your clients and prospects, in a front row seat of your next shoot:
Instagram is visual, it’s quick to produce and you can easily broadcast the photos to your fans on Facebook and your followers on Twitter. Come up with a memorable hashtag that you use in all the photos and let your target audience experience how you run a production from the virtual front row.
Case in point: I posted only 18 images to Instagram on my recent trip to New York. Here’ how they break down: 5 travel shots, 5 behind the scenes shots, 4 food shots, 3 shots from NYC and one shot of my packed camera bag. I posted these shots over the course of 4 days and got audience engagement on all 3 social media channels, from people in the business, current and maybe some future clients.
You don’t have to flood your social media accounts with content while you’re shooting. A little bit goes a long way. You can check out all the photos on my Instagram account @photosbydepuhl, follow me and catch the next series of bts images (check out #adventuresinfilmmaking).
Remember to tag clients, people you’re interviewing or photographing to make it easy for them to like, share and retweet your visual content (just make sure you ask their permission first).
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Be careful here and make sure you have your paperwork in order. Some clients embargo content, i.E. they prohibit you from sharing it before they publish the final result of the production you’re working on – usually that’s on larger productions, however more and more clients see the value of a visual content creator sharing their shoot, bts content, Point of View videos, blog posts, … with his/her followers. (Large Social Media audiences are actually becoming more and more of a selling point.)
I make it a point to make sure I have the right to use the work I’ve produced to promote my business specifically written into each of my contracts.
This is a little more production intensive, but if you plan ahead you already are carrying a cage for your iPhone with an external mic to shoot this live video, however those pieces of gear aren’t necessary, as the live, gritty raw feel is more important to the client then a slick production. That’s the beauty of the front row seat, you get to see all the details, the problems that pop up and you solve, all the blood sweat and tears that go into a production.
Case in point: On my recent trip to New York City for my latest documentary project I shot 3 quick periscope videos:
- A quick periscope video I filmed while I was setting up the camera as I’m getting ready for to film an interview. The Lifeproof case of my iPhone gives it s nice flat edge that I can et the camera up on a shelf. I talk through what I’m doing as I’m connecting the camera, microphones, ect to the cage.
- On the last evening on my way home from the final interview I stopped at the Brooklyn bridge to shoot a short time-lapse video of the skyline at sunset. Handheld Periscope video is about as gritty as you can get (I hate the vertical video format, but, if you use it as content later on your blog your readers will know it was originally recorded on a live stream and will forgive the raw audio and video quality).
- Quick BTS shot of “the BaseCamp”, which is my set up back at the ranch, where footage gets imported from cards, batteries are charged up, quick edits of Rushes are sent out to my producer in Miami, who’s helping me on this project. The set up is the most complicated of the three, but still simple: iPhone in Beastgrip gives me the 1/4 20 connection I need to attach the phone to a super clamp, which gets attached to the tripod. A Rode external stereo mic rounds of the setup – I think the setup, recording took no longer than 10 minutes.
Since periscope videos live online for only 24 hours, either save them to your camera roll or record them with a screen capture app I use ScreenFlow to do this.
Recording the videos allows you to use them again in our blog or other social media. Good metadata is essential for being found by potential clients.
Produced BTS videos
These are definitely the most time intensive and costly forms of marketing, but they’re also the most effective. If you know that you have a big job coming up that lends itself to creating some cool behind the scenes video, hire an assistant to shoot video for you – and of you. Check out this one, we did earlier this year:
I specifically hired an assistant to shoot video that morning. He did a nice job on his cut, but I still need to go through all the raw footage and cut together my own.
What’s the value of a front row seat?
People want to know you as much as they want to know that you can pull off shooting the job for them. I’ve said this over and over: your work has must be great to compete, but just having great work is not enough. Take your clients with you on set right from the front row – let them see you behind the scenes – raw, gritty and uncut is a benefit on your live streams. If you want to go more produced, hire a team. Or stick with posting a couple of photos on Instagram.
Either way the result is the same: people will feel much more comfortable in hiring you, once they;ve had the pleasure of watching you work from a front row seat.