Friday, January 14, 2011

Jump On The Love Train!

By: Earl Chessher

It's NEVER too late to say you're sorry, or to propose, even if Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Video enthusiasts, part-timers or full-time independent professional video services providers can jump on the love train and offer something unique (not original, just unique) to their client base, or their community-at-large: Ask her (or him) to marry you on a Proposal DVD!

Nothing new about this, amateurs and love struck individuals with cameras have been doing this for ages, but a bit of promotion can convince them that it's worth the dime and cutting back on the size of the candy box and gifts (but not the ring, OK?) to scratch up a few bucks for a proposal that nearly always gets a "yes"!

Start TODAY with e-mail blasts, or even go to your local T-Shirt print shop and have a red t-shirt with big letters made up to wear everywhere you go for the next couple of weeks. The t-shirts says. "Get them to say YES, first try!" on the front and, "Propose on DVD! Ask me how!" on the back, along with your phone or website URL.

Create some inexpensive handout cards on your computer graphics program and print them out on the heaviest stock your inkjet or laser printer will accept. Make them half-page in size (these make great direct-mail postcards as well) so they get noticed, and read. Use the typical colors and some appropriate art depicting love, romance and the usual components of a Valentine's Day experience.

Keep them with you and hand them out when you go bowling, working out, walking the local mall, restaurants, even the local laundromat!

When folks ask about the t-shirt and/or card handout, and they will, you get your chance to make your pitch. What's the pitch?

"Get her (him) to say 'yes'? Easy. You provide me with about 50, or less of your favorite photos together, give me a CD with your absolute favorite song on it, and 10 minutes of your time to record a live proposal on video for the ending, and I'll create a special proposal on DVD that will absolutely melt the heart!" Say it with enthusiasm and energy.

Convince them that you and love are the two most important things that have happened in their lives at that moment, and you are in a unique position to create a professional quality personal video that will make THIS Valentine's Day one that will go down in history.

Such guerrilla-style marketing techniques are not for the timid or weak of heart, but they are effective for people who take on life with gusto. Most video producers should fit in that category to some degree. We HAVE to be aggressive to compete in this overwhelmingly saturated field - especially in wedding video production. Keep in mind that the more of these Proposals on DVD you produce, the more potential you have for these folks to come back to you for their wedding video as well. Or for other special events such as birthdays, anniversaries, Mother's and Father's day and other milestone events where a personal greeting on DVD incorporated with a special meaningful song and a few photos is a great, unique way to observe life's celebrations.

You have to decide what your time is worth, and try to work the projects down to where you're putting in enough production value to keep the quality level higher than home-produced video, yet not so much that you're throwing away your time and profits. The mileage will vary. But I also try to look at this as a low-price leader, where I'm also generating brand recognition for my company and services, as well as expanding opportunities for other video services.

Each time I get someone to stop and listen, to visit my website, or follow through with a conversation or pitch, I'm investing valuable marketing time. I'm building visibility and linkage.

There are a host of places where you can promote such special offers without getting in dutch with the local establishment. You don't have to wear a sandwich board and cruise the sidewalks to get attention, believe me from personal experience the t-shirts work, so do the half-page, postcard style handouts.
I have to mention that virtually ANY good address is a good address for mailing out those postcards as well. Sending out a hundred or so focused on Valentine's Day Special "DVD Video Proposals" isn't going to ring the bell with everybody, but it will get their attention.

Take action today and give it a go. You'll likely pick up a few projects and expand your company's business reach. Remember: If you market, you will make it!
© 2011 Earl Chessher

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