4 Ways To Take Your Sales Strategy To The Next Level With A Video Presentation

Years ago, it was easier to make a sale when you were more likely to get face time with the client. These days you’re more likely to communicate through email, making it more likely for your sales pitch to get lost in a potential client’s inbox. To prevent this, businesses are upgrading their sales strategy to incorporate a video presentation. Not only does this put a face to your business, but it can be individualized to each client and significantly help you stand out among the rest. Take these steps to take your sales strategy to the next level with a corporate video.

1. Introduce Yourself To Clients

Eliminate impersonality from your sales strategy and introduce yourself to potential clients with a video. Let them know what makes your products or services better from the rest, and give them an idea of what kinds of people they can expect to work with by choosing you. A corporate video can be used as an initial means of contact or a unique way to send clients some information prior to a sales meeting. More than just a sales deck showing off products and price points, a corporate video can provide a platform to show off your merchandise and let potential buyers see them in action. It’s an excellent sales strategy that will get them thinking about your business and help to take things to the next step.

2. Use Video Content During Your Sales Pitch

When you get the opportunity for a face-to-face meeting with a client, having video content in your sales strategy can help immensely. More than just presenting numbers, a corporate video allows buyers to see your products in use and learn how they’re beneficial. This is especially useful for those who offer services or products that can’t be brought into the office for the meeting. Adding a quality visual aid to your sales approach allows you to show off the design process, manufacturing floors, your talented staff, and so much more.

3. Send Clients A Follow Up Video

After you’ve made initial contact with a client and spoken to them about your products or services, it’s always a good idea to follow up. The purpose of a follow up is to remind potential customers of the small details they may have forgotten from your original conversation. Instead of sending them a lengthy email with numerous documents attached, consider sending a video presentation. Not only can you sum up your meeting in just a few minutes, but you can personalize the video to each client and make sure to hit points that were spoken about. A corporate video also serves as a tool that allows you to show your face again and remind them of the connection you made in person. Often those who you hold meetings with aren’t in charge of making final purchasing decisions for the company. Sending a video follow-up is far easier for a busy CEO to take a look at than a wordy email.

4. Customize The Video For Each Client

Instead of holding a video conference or phone call with an interested client, send them a personalized video proposal. Not only does this set the tone for the quality of work they can expect from you, but it demonstrates the level of dedication you and your colleagues have. This can be especially useful for businesses who work with those in other time zones, as there’s no need to get on a call simultaneously. Simply send them a corporate video personalized to their needs along with the benefits they can expect when working with you. The fact that you’ve gone the extra mile will not go unnoticed.

Give your potential buyers more than what they ask for with a sales strategy that is proven to stand out. A corporate video can be used to attract more clients at practically any stage of the sales process. Prove that you’re willing to go above and beyond for those who choose to work with you by personalizing it and letting clients get a peek at what goes on behind the scenes. Making them feel comfortable buying from you is the key to a successful video sales strategy.

The post 4 Ways To Take Your Sales Strategy To The Next Level With A Video Presentation appeared first on True Film Production.

Why Storytelling Stories Work on Facebook

Marketing is nothing like it was decades ago. Marketers at the turn of the 20th century had very few options for advertising. It usually meant magazine ads and radio ads. With very little ad real estate, storytelling stories wasn’t really an option.

With the invention of the television, advertisers had a new way to promote their products and services. This new format also transformed ads from explaining a product’s benefits to creating a story around each product.

Today, with the internet, there are countless ways to advertise, Facebook being one of the most effective. After all, there are over two billion Facebook accounts worldwide! Choosing Facebook as a place to advertise is a must for every business, but even more important is how you advertise on Facebook.

That’s where corporate storytelling comes in.

What do we mean by storytelling stories?

Storytelling stories sounds a bit redundant, but there’s a reason we have phrased it this way. That’s because each word means something a little different.

“Storytelling” is the content that’s being shared. It might include the background of a company or the inspiration behind a product. In short, it’s the ways brand authentically connect with customers, users, and clients. It does not include hard-sell advertisement tactics.

“Stories” refers to the format that is used to share this information. When it comes to Facebook, there are a few different ways to do this.

First, Facebook offers a new way to connect with friends called Facebook Stories. This feature is a lot like Snapchat, and a similar feature can also be found on Instagram.

The Facebook Stories section is separate from your regular newsfeed, and it’s much more visual, making it the perfect place to showcase your videos. Clips are shown in a continuous stream with no captions or text overlays. Portions of content disappear after 24 hours.

Second, the way Facebook advertisements work gives you the opportunity to craft a sustained call-to-action campaign that has the potential to convert users to high-value leads.

It involves a sequence of ads that start by telling the brand story, then progress into providing information about the product, and the ads end with an invitation for users to sign up.

Of course, storytelling stories also means the stories you tell on Facebook, which includes your profile information and newsfeed posts.

Why storytelling stories are effective, especially on Facebook

Intuitively, it would seem that it’s better to get to the point, which means focusing on your products and services, and including a CTA with every advertisement. The truth is, the method of storytelling stories can be even more effective than more traditional methods of advertising.

Using the Facebook Stories feature, you can connect with a younger audience. It’s a new way to advertise that’s just starting to gain steam, which provides companies with a way to get in early on a new trend.

The real benefit can be seen when it comes to Facebook advertisements. Those who were exposed to an entire sequence of ads that starts with a story, when compared to more traditional call-to-action advertisements, were more likely to click on the landing page with a whopping 87-percent increase in clicks. You may have to elongate your campaign, but even after seeing just one of these storytelling ads, people are more likely to convert.

How to do corporate storytelling right

Once you’ve decided to try storytelling stories in your advertising campaign, you have to figure out the right ways to do it right.

If you decide to connect with customers and clients in a visual way through the use of Facebook Stories, it is vital that you upload vertical videos and images. Although it may be more convenient to upload the videos and images you have, you will lose viewers if you don’t match your materials to this format.

With no text captions, Facebook Stories is not the place to do traditional advertising. Instead, use this as a true platform to tell the story of your brand, day-to-day life, or products, and skip hard selling tactics and CTAs.

When it comes to advertisements, patience is key. Sequenced advertisements require you to implement multiple steps that include telling your brand story in one advertisement, share product information in the next advertisement, and ask people to take action in the last advertisement. Each phase of the sequence may need to be tweaked, depending on your goals and the results of your marketing efforts.

Examples of good storytelling

Sometimes, the best way to understand storytelling stories is to see them in action. A few examples of brands that have mastered corporate storytelling on Facebook include:

  • Refinery29 implemented and tracked the results of a sequenced advertising campaign on Facebook with much success, showing that this kind of advertising approach is extremely effective when done correctly.
  • Nike has a long history of storytelling as a way to sell their products, starting in the 90s with Michael Jordan and his endorsed products. Modern stories take up the bulk of their profile on Facebook.
  • Dove is another name that has mastered storytelling with the “Real Beauty” campaign. They are expanding on their story by including men, but they are doing it with a separate Facebook page to ensure they reach their target audience.

There are many ways you can tell storytelling stories, but one of the best is by using videos, especially on Facebook. Whether you need a vertical video for Facebook Stories, or you want to create a video you can use on your timeline, True Film Production is here to help. Contact us today and we’ll help you take control of your corporate storytelling marketing campaign on Facebook.

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Your video is ready…now what?

Ready. Shoot. Aim. That’s the plot synopsis you create with your freshly produced video if you don’t already have a distribution strategy already in place.

Going into pre-production and shooting with a plan already in place often dictates how you’ll actually capture the story your video will tell. Here are some considerations that will help you plan the distribution part of your video strategy.

 

Pick a platform

You’ll need a video platform to host your video content. Of course, you can put it on your own website and call it a day. There are a number of reasons why this may not be a good idea, and you can read about 10 of them in this Medium blog post. Perhaps the most important is bandwidth limitations your own website may have (#1 in the article). Even video optimized for the web is a resource hog, and sites dedicated to video hosting offer better opportunities for SEO.

The most popular platforms are likely names you know:

Each of these hosting platforms has pros and cons, and many organizations choose to mix and match to take advantage of the platforms’ respective strength. For example, YouTube makes it easy to share your video to social media platforms – and it’s free. On the other hand, an investment in a Vimeo account banishes ads and pop-ups and offers higher quality display. This article from software company CoverKit does an excellent job of comparing these four platforms.

Home, sweet home

Rounding back to your own website – deciding where to place your video there is crucial. Be sure to put it in a place where it’s relevant, which may mean that it’s not going to be seen on your homepage. Google isn’t about popularity. It’s about relevance, and the search giant will penalize you just as deeply as it can reward you if you don’t help it determine the context of the video you put on a web page. Search engines have made it possible for prospects to get through nearly 70 percent of the buying process without interacting with a brand. How can your video help to move this process even deeper?

Your new video might actually be most useful as the highlight of a landing page – and not on your main website at all. Marketing software platform maker Unbounce cites a recent study by eyeviewdigital.com that shows a video used on a landing page can increase conversion by an astounding 80 percent.

 

Sharing is caring

Once you have your video hosted, you’ll be rewarded by each platform with a convenient URL that can and should be shared by everyone in your organization with everyone they know. Clients, for sure – but don’t stop there. Does this video help to explain why your organization exists or does what it does? Share it with every single person you know.

No need to be formal. Everybody in the company can get away with, “Hey, check out our new video!” and include the link. The storytelling in your video will explain everything. Maybe it might raise a few questions. Bingo. You’ve just achieved what every marketer wants: engagement.

This is one time when even a humble email can jump into the picture and emerge as a champion. Does your organization have a specific email signature format for outgoing messages? It takes just a minute or two to add, “Watch our latest video,” along with the URL. Stop for a minute and consider the number of emails your team sends or replies to daily. This is an often overlooked but powerful way to promote viewership of your videos.

Get noticed!

Planning to put YouTube into your platform mix? Remember that this is a search engine just as powerful as Google. In fact, Alexa ranks YouTube as the second most popular website in the world, right behind Google. Take advantage of YouTube’s promotability factor by optimizing your video. This probably doesn’t mean what you think. YouTube will do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to processing your video, so it streams without glitches when watched.

In this case, “optimization” refers to positioning your video to be found when people use the search function in YouTube. Keep in mind, too, that YouTube videos get preferential treatment and are moved to the top of Google search results. There’s some work to be done to make sure your video is suggested to people you want to reach. YouTube SEO isn’t difficult, but you do have to set some time aside to get it done.

According to SEO expert HubSpot, there are eight main steps to optimize your video for YouTube. Most can be accomplished using the YouTube dashboard when you upload your video. Not all are necessary, but each one adds upon the others.

 

Don’t forget social media – Facebook, in particular

Tech Crunch reports that 100 million hours of video are watched daily on Facebook. Getting your video in front of prospects has to include this social media platform – and some ways to go about it are better than others.

Social media marketing platform Falcon offers a comprehensive list of recommendations to prepare your video for optimal performance on Facebook. Some of it may seem counterintuitive. All that time spent finding the perfect music for the background and guess what? Digiday reports that 85 percent of videos on Facebook are watched with the sound on mute. So, you’ll have to add captions. Is there room? Keep that in mind at the start of video production, instead of bumping into it at the end.

Here’s where you also have to start thinking mobile-first. On the mobile version of Facebook’s newsfeed, square videos (1:1) get 78% more space than landscape videos (16:9). So, you’ll need a specific square version of your video – especially when you consider that over 95 percent of Facebook users prefer to access the network with their mobile devices.

Choose to post a native video – meaning that you upload it directly to Facebook – instead of an embedded one, where you use your YouTube or Vimeo link. Forbes magazine reports that native videos in Facebook newsfeeds earn 10 times more shares than linked videos.

And then there’s Instagram

Engagement on Instagram is 4.21 percent, which is 10 times higher than Facebook and 84 times higher than Twitter. Sharing your video on this social media platform is a way to get it in front of eyeballs – but with a big caveat. You have only 60 seconds.

With a max of 60 seconds, you’ll need an abridged “Instagram version” of your video. Social media marketing software company Sprout recommends using square (1:1) or vertical (4:5) formats because Instagram truly is a mobile-first platform, and landscape videos (16:9) get less room on the screen.

Use of Instagram stories is exploding. Brands using Instagram report that up to 37% of their total impressions are from Instagram stories. These can be up to 60 minutes long if it’s live video, but just 15 seconds for prerecorded video. There are ways to slice and dice your long-format video for use as an Instagram story – but the question is: should you do it? A wiser choice might be to create a teaser and have your bio link to your video. Again, this gets back to pre-planning for alternative formats and versions that will need to be distilled from your video, so it can be used on a variety of platforms.

The folks at Instagram feel our frustration, which may be why they’ve included IGTV, which allows you to upload long-form videos. They can be up to an hour long. Your existing followers will be alerted if you upload a video to IGTV.

This is pure mobile play for Instagram and its owner, Facebook. Your videos must be in a vertical format – either 4:5 or 9:16. Business Insider produced an easy-to-follow guide to use IGTV. To get the best value from this new video promotion platform, you will need to plan ahead in the video production process because of the preferred 9:16 format – it’s a 90-degree change in the aspect that we’re used to watching video because it’s meant to be watched on a smartphone screen without having to turn it sideways.

Professional sharing

Facebook for business. That’s how many people think of LinkedIn. Hootsuite reports that 94 percent of B2B marketers make LinkedIn their top choice to distribute content. The upside to this social platform is that it has a straightforward algorithm, unlike Facebook’s rather frustrating and mysterious one. Post a video to share and there’s a higher likelihood that those in your network will see it – and then share it.

Native video can be up to 10 minutes in length. These video posts tend to have three times the engagement of text posts. Like Facebook, best practices recommend that you design for an audience that will mute your video, so include closed captions.

Promoting your video with ads

Prospects may need a few nudges to ultimately commit to viewing your video. Whether they initially interact with you on a social media platform or do so because of a display ad, you can stay in front of them with retargeting. HubSpot wrote an excellent article that makes it easy to wrap your head around this effective marketing technique.

The most important takeaway is that remarketing is a way to nurture further interaction from a prospect who’s already aware of you. Statistics show that retargeting ads are 76 percent more likely to get clicks than regular display ads. Even more impressive is the heightened brand awareness this process generates. Retargeted ads lead to a 1,046 percent increase in branded search.

We’ve already talked about the specific formats required or social media such as Facebook or Instagram – which means you should determine ahead of time if you plan to promote your video on these platforms. You’ll need the appropriate assets that likely will be captured during pre-production.

 

Put your video to work

Video supercharges engagement. A video embedded in a sales proposal has been shown to increase engagement by 18 percent. Our brains are hardwired to respond optimally to visual information, and we can process it 60,000 times faster than what we read.

But, it’s got to be seen. That awareness starts with a strategy, and some of the distribution venues will dictate how you approach video production. The pre-planning is worth it because it makes getting it in front of people all the more easier.

Learn how we can help you use video to connect people to your brand through meaningful stories that are formatted precisely to take advantage of the specific online platforms you select.

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We are hiring!

PRODUCTION MANAGER / PRODUCTION LEAD

 

True Film Production is looking for an experienced rockstar Video Production Manager / Account Manager who is EXTREMELY ORGANIZED, DETAIL-ORIENTED and an EXCEPTIONAL LEADER to help us create/manage our video projects, partners and client relationships.

Our Story:

A creative visual storytelling agency whose passion is defining stories, connecting people, and creating impact. We pride ourselves on truly understanding our client’s needs, developing content strategies that align with their goals and creating visions that exceed expectations.

Our Core Values:

As passionate storytellers, our core values aren’t just words we hang on a wall. They are the foundation for who we are and everything we do. Some may see these values as our identity.

1. Demonstrate extreme care.

We partner with brands and treat them as our own. This means we work together as co-creators to produce a visual product that goes far beyond the status quo.

2. Keep growing and learning.

There’s always a better way or something new to learn. So we stay humble, obsess over details and work with a natural curiosity to ensure we get better every day.

3. Connect on a human level.

Our approach to communication relies heavily on collaboration. This powerful human connection makes the world go round and creates a happy workplace.

4. Embrace being uncomfortable.

We hustle, we’re bold, and we have an unrelenting willingness to try new ideas. After all, when you do things that truly matter, you must work with grit and resilience.

5. Strive for greatness.

Mediocrity isn’t in our DNA. We strive to become the best people in our work and personal lives, always pushing further to achieve at the highest levels of success.

Responsibilities:

You will manage all of our video and strategy projects by assessing the scope of work, creating entire project roadmaps in our project management tool (Monday.com), and making sure all expectations/milestones are set and met with clients and vendors.
Your goal is to follow our process to create a solid plan of action, to make sure everybody involved in the project clearly understands what is expected from them at all times and that everyone delivers on schedule. You will also recruit and organize talent for all aspects of production and regularly communicate with clients regarding projects.

You must (be):

•Possess our core values (tell us in your cover letter your favorite and why?)
*** Please note you will not be considered for this position if you do not include in your cover
letter your preferred core value of ours and why you chose it.)
•A critical thinker
•A DOer/executor (YOU MAKE THINGS HAPPEN!)
•Extremely attentive to detail
•Extremely organized
•A great listener
•A ninja problem solver
•A boss (you take complete ownership & accountability of your projects.)
•Assertive (you move projects along.)
•Insightful (you can recognize and anticipate potential issues before they arise.)
•Process-driven
•Always look for ways to improve, so the same mistakes are never repeated.
•An expert communicator (both verbal and written.)
•A human connector
•Love details and planning
•Flexible and resourceful
•A strategic thinker
•An exceptional manager and team leader
•A team player
•Have creative/video producing experience
YOU MUST HAVE 5+ YEARS OF VIDEO PRODUCTION OR AGENCY EXPERIENCE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR THIS POSITION.
2D/3D ANIMATION EXPERIENCE IS A +++
* Please submit a cover letter, salary requirements and how/why you match our core values along with your resume to talent@truefillmproduction.com to be considered for this position.

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Other Entrepreneurs Are Often the Best Source of Business Advice—Or Are They?

When you’re an entrepreneur, one of your best sources of advice can be other entrepreneurs. Sometimes, though, the advice they offer may not be very good, or at least not applicable to your company.

To know when (and when not) to follow the advice of fellow entrepreneurs, we asked members of YEC this question:

Q. What is the best way to determine whether a piece of business or career advice is good or bad, and worth following?

1. Consider the source

When determining if a piece of advice is worth following, consider the source. Is the person credible? Successful? Someone you respect? Someone whom others respect? If you know the person personally, are you 100% confident they have your best interests at heart and genuinely want to see you succeed? When all else fails, go with your gut. If a piece of advice feels questionable, it probably is. —Jackie Ducci, Ducci & Associates

2. Think it through for yourself

People give advice for lots of different reasons, and even the most successful person may give bad advice. Think it through for yourself. Does it make sense given what you already know? Don’t look for evidence that confirms the advice; look for evidence that proves it wrong. If the advice is good, it will be harder to find flaws. —Vik PatelFuture Hosting

 

3. Ask for an anecdote

If your source cannot provide an example of a time that this advice has benefited them, don’t buy it. People love talking as if they are the authority on things, but often they’re doing just that: talking. Make sure they can back up their claims with a real-life success story before implementing questionable advice in your own life. —Stanley MeytinTrue Film Production

 

4. Research who wrote it

The best way to determine whether a piece of advice is worth following is by researching who wrote it. Is the person or group credible, what is their experience, what projects/clients/etc. have they worked on? Once you determine whether the person or group is credible, then it’s worth considering their advice. —Kristin Kimberly MarquetCreative Development Agency

 

5. Determine if you can bear the consequences

Before following any business or career advice that’s given to you, ask yourself if you can live with the advice being wrong. In other words, if the advice is wrong, can you live with the consequences of it? If the advice causes you to make a decision that could have severe consequences for your career, it’s best not to take it. Take advice when it won’t ruin what you already have. —Chris ChristoffMonsterInsights

6. Get evidence

Before taking advice you’re unsure of, get more evidence. Whether that means talking to more business owners, reading books, or lots of Googling, find out if others have put the advice to the test and can show their results. If you know it won’t negatively affect your company, test it yourself to get the evidence you need. —Stephanie WellsFormidable Forms

 

7. Get a second and third opinion

Before taking career advice from someone, you need to compare it with advice from others. Getting a second and third opinion will help you determine if the advice is worth following or not. If everyone’s on the same page, the outcome looks good, but if your second and third opinions have differing thoughts, then you need to consider your options. —Blair Williams, MemberPress

 

8. Trust your instinct

Sometimes advice is golden, and sometimes it is not. You know your situation better than anyone else, so trust your instinct as to whether the advice will help you or not. At the end of the day it’s you who will have to answer for how you move forward with a situation, not the person who gave the advice. —Zach BinderBell + Ivy

 

9. Look for case studie

Free business advice on the internet is everywhere—even from those who preach, but don’t actually use these methods themselves. A great way to find guidance and know if it’s accurate or not, is to simply look for case studies. Case studies can provide actionable information and advice, while showing visuals and reports as well. More often than not, these write-ups are going to be legitimate. —Zac JohnsonBlogging.org

10. Look for patterns instead

When I’m wrestling with a major decision, I never rely on advice from a single source, no matter her or his background and successes. Openly discuss the choice with as diverse of a group as possible, and look for patterns. Ultimately, all hard decisions are yours to own, so you’re better served bringing in more data. —Aaron SchwartzPassport

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4 Motivational YouTube Channels That Will Inspire You

The road to success is never without a few bumps and pitfalls along the way, and when these diversions have you feeling incapable or unworthy of your goals, a bit of inspiration can help to turn things around. For many, this means tuning in to their preferred motivational YouTube channel for a bit of a pick-me-up. YouTube has quickly become a handy source for binge-worthy content that will get you back on track. Whether you prefer to watch emotional success stories or thought-provoking educational clips, these motivational YouTube channels will surely inspire you.

1. Big Think

 

The Big Think YouTube channel offers expert-driven content aimed to explore concepts and ideas that will strengthen your mind. Just a single video can leave you with a number of interesting conversation starters to use at your next dinner party. Topics vary from unique scientific research and tidbits on the economy to thoughts on achieving success as a millennial and insight into some women’s issues. In addition to the experts they have on the show, they also publish videos where the average person shares their story of overcoming a challenge and achieving success despite the roadblocks that stood in their way.

You’ll fly through the videos on Big Think’s channel and find a diverse selection of motivational and thought-provoking content unlike any other. While other YouTube channels tend to have a single narrator, the Big Think works with journalists, professors, writers, and other professionals that offer an assortment of views to inspire their audience.

Best videos to start with:

2. TEDx Talks

 

If you’re most interested in watching inspirational videos of people just like you telling their life-changing stories, then follow TEDx Talks. Their YouTube channel gives entrepreneurs, activists, educators and many more a global platform to express their ideas and share their experiences. Videos are not just motivational but emotional and thought-provoking as well.

With speeches given from all over the world, this YouTube channel is a way to stay connected to other cultures and see that it’s not just Americans who have certain political, economic, and social concerns. Presentations are lengthy at an average of 18 minutes, so they truly engulf their audience into the topic being discussed. Incorporating TEDx Talks into your regular routine will get the brain warmed up and lead to a more productive day.

Best videos to start with:

3. True Inspirations

 

For those aiming for success, the True Inspirations YouTube channel offers motivational videos aimed at just that. This storytelling platform documents the experiences of people who have overcome obstacles and achieved their dreams in spite of the odds. From building a prosperous brand out of a garage to getting to being born without legs and still making it the Olympics, these stories inspire their audience to go after their goals no matter how far fetched they seem.

The audience tuning in to True Inspirations’ channel connect with the stories being told and take away from them a sense of motivation that can be applied to their own lives. From athletes to entrepreneurs, each video reveals how these seemingly ordinary people turned their lives around and managed to find inspiration through difficult times. It’s a platform for storytellers unlike any other that proves everyone struggles on the road to success, but it’s how that’s handled that separates those who give up from those who make it big.

Best videos to start with:

4. MotivationHub

 

MotivationHub shares motivational content designed for those looking to change their habits that are standing in their way of being successful. Their videos cover everything from what steps to take in order to achieve your goals to life-changing advice from people who really know what they’re talking about. The MotivationHub YouTube channel stands out by offering professionally curated content as the videos are presented by top motivational speakers that they’ve partnered with.

If you need help getting started on your road to success, a few hours on MotivationHub’s channel will certainly change that. More than just inspiration, all of their videos aim to add measurable value to your life.

Best videos to start with:

Conclusion

By subscribing to more motivational YouTube channels, you’re adding significantly more positive energy into your daily routine. Before you know it, you’ll be able to take that drive and focus it on your overall goals, no matter what they may be. It only takes a bit of inspiration to get you on the right track and on your way towards success.

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5 Tips for Developing a Successful Partnership with a Video Production Company as a Freelancer

Being a freelancer comes with all kinds of perks. It’s empowering, because it enables you to be your own boss, make your own hours, and choose the projects that you want to work on.

However, it isn’t all sunshine and roses. Working for yourself comes with plenty of challenges too. One of which is finding freelance projects to work on.

Every freelancer has struggled with a decrease in work, which means putting your nose to the grindstone to find new clients. Although you can source them directly, there’s a better option if you’re a freelancer—working with a video production company.

Working directly with a video production company can come with many benefits that include:

  • You no longer have to pitch to individual clients. The video production company can do that for you, enabling work to flow your way effortlessly.
  • It can provide you with a stable, predictable income. Even small video production companies have a steady stream of clients, which means there’s usually something for you to work on.
  • It can make life a little more predictable. Knowing which projects you’re working on and the rhythm of how work is assigned enables you to see what your days will look like a week or more in advance.
  • It provides you with credentials and a title that you can use on professional materials, like your resume.

Like the idea of working with a video production company? Don’t just contact a handful of companies willy-nilly! You’ll just end up being disappointed. Instead, follow these tips to increase your chances of becoming the next freelancer on the team.

1. Do Your Research to Decide Who You Want to Work With

As a freelancer, it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling desperate for work. But, even if work is a little slow, you should be discerning about who you work with. That ensures you spend your days on meaningful work, and it ensures your clients receive the best work from you.

Do plenty of research to decide exactly who you want to work with before reaching out. Search online for video production companies, learn more about their company culture, and what kinds of clients they work with. Make a short list of the ones you would be honored to work with, and cross off the ones that don’t fit the bill.

2. Know the Right Way to Reach Out as a Freelancer

Once you have narrowed down which video production companies you want to reach out to, you have to know the right ways to reach out.

Every freelancer should reach out directly though personal email, if at all possible. It shows that you did your research, and you know exactly who to contact. The days of using “To Whom it May Concern” are long gone.

Finding direct email addresses can be difficult, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Instead, look for other ways to reach out. LinkedIn is a great place to send messages. It’s also the most professional social media option because it’s made just for businesses and employees.

If at all possible, avoid sending messages through the generic online form on the video production company’s website. If it is your only option, make sure you at least know who to address the message to so it makes its way to the correct recipient.

You should also avoid using other social media channels, like Facebook, to connect, as they are more about making personal connections than professional ones. Instead, try calling the company directly. You’ll make a greater impact than simply sending a message on Facebook.

3. Know What to Say

Once you’ve located the best way to reach the right person at the video production company you’re interested in working with, you have to know what to say.

First impressions are everything, especially if you’re a freelancer. That means you have to make a big impact from the very first instant you connect.

A few tips for doing that in an email or a personal message include:

  • Introducing yourself briefly, while highlighting your experience and expertise.
  • Making it personal by outlining exactly why you’re interested in working with their company.
  • Discussing specific ways you can provide value to them and their customers.
  • Giving examples to demonstrate how you would be an asset to their business.
  • Suggesting a test project that you would be willing to complete for free or at a discounted rate.

Knowing what to do also means knowing what not to do. Never send mass emails, even if you’re sending the email to employees within the same company, but especially if you’re sending a similar email to multiple video production companies. Always send each email individually for a personalized touch.

Don’t be afraid to check in a couple of times, even if you don’t hear back. You never know if the person you’re trying to get in contact with is on vacation, or if your email accidentally got deleted.

4. Clarify Expectations Early On

Because you’re a freelancer, you know how quickly work can come and go. Landing a job with a video production company is worth celebrating, but if you want to keep them around as a client that values your work, you have to make sure you establish expectations early on.

Your rates shouldn’t be a secret. Make sure costs are clear from the very beginning so there are no surprises when the invoice arrives.

Discuss deadlines, your creative process, and whether you provide edits or changes free of charge. You should also be clear about what kinds of freelance projects you’re willing to work on. The clearer you can be upfront, the less likely it is that there will be unpleasant surprises as you work together, which makes for a more positive working relationship.

5. Touch Base Frequently

A good working relationship is built on trust. When you’ve built that foundation, it’s easy for a freelancer to do their thing while the video production company does their thing. That’s good and bad.

It’s good because it provides you with plenty of autonomy, but it can also result in serious problems. You may end up operating under assumptions that turn out to be untrue.

It’s important to touch base frequently to make sure you’re providing work that meets their expectations. It also shows them that you’re serious about providing the best services possible by brainstorming solutions to problems or looking for ways to improve the process.

It’s recommended that a freelancer touches base at least once a quarter, but it’s more important to set up a check-in schedule that works for both parties. Whether that’s reviewing projects once a week or scheduling a formal review twice a year, just make sure you have a system that ensures you’re providing the best services possible.

Are you interested in taking on freelance projects with True Film Production? We would love to work with a freelancer just like you! Connect with us the way that’s most convenient for you, and we’ll tell you more about what it takes to be a member of the True Film Production team.

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11 Ways to Manage Client Expectations

One of the biggest challenges service-based businesses face is setting and managing client expectations. It’s important to be realistic about what you can and can’t do for your clients, and ensure that both parties understand the scope and terms of your service agreement. To find out more, we asked the experts at Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) for their thoughts on this question:

“Client expectations make all the difference when it comes to satisfaction: Having everyone on the same page on what the process — and result — will be like can mean the difference between lost business and a life-long brand ambassador. What is your preferred method for managing client expectations? Why does this process work?”

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. State Your Boundaries

“We state our boundaries up front — including our cancellation policy and client policies. We use the same language across all platforms when booking a client over the phone, sending a confirmation or reminder email, as well as on our website. This manages their expectations from the start.” ~ Rachel BeiderMassage Outpost

2. Anticipate Needs or Concerns

“Clients appreciate full transparency. If a client has to come to you with a problem, then you’ve already lost far greater margins in satisfaction than if you are able to provide clear reasoning for why their dissatisfaction has taken place or fixed any errors ahead of time. Getting ahead of a problem can even become a point of praise when they promote your business to others.” ~ Michael HsuDeepSky

3. Plan for Ongoing Communication

“To successfully manage client expectations, it’s critical to have a great “kickoff” meeting when an engagement begins. This allows to you discuss the scope of work, set expectations, and begin to develop trust and rapport. Moving forward, it’s critical to have ongoing scheduled communication with the client to receive feedback, troubleshoot and discuss results.” ~ Antonio NevesTHINQACTION Inc.

4. Write Everything Down

“To make sure you and your clients are on the same page, you have to have a discussion about what your expectations are and get them all down on paper. That way, as things progress or projects are completed, those expectations cannot change. It is all there in writing. Transparency is king.” ~ Colbey PfundLFNT Distribution

5. Create and Follow an Onboarding Process

“We practice an onboarding process for clients just as we do with hires: We set expectations, answer any questions and deliver all primary contact information they’ll need to reach us during our time working with them. By setting up the foundation for a successful partnership, there will be less confusion and miscommunication in the long run, prompting clients to work with us again in the future.” ~ Stanley MeytinTrue Film Production

6. Paint a Realistic Picture of the Results They Can Expect

“It’s always best to be upfront when managing client expectations. Paint a picture for your clients about the strategy, tactics and pitfalls. In my industry of digital marketing, many clients come to me expecting that digital marketing will make them a millionaire overnight. I have to be very clear on the first call that this will be a long game to get to where they want to be.” ~ Jean GinzburgJean Ginzburg.com

7. Treat It Like a True Partnership

“Instead of approaching the conversation in the context of “client and vendor,” we push for “partnership” instead. Leaving the clichés aside, a partnership establishes direct return on investment expectations spread across both parties. We talk short-term and long-term goals, strategize together and share a portion of the risk. While riskier, it builds a stronger bond of trust and commitment.” ~ Mario PeshevDevriX

8. Ask Them for Feedback

“We send our customers emails on a consistent basis asking them for feedback on our products. Ask them questions such as what they like most about the product and what new features they would like added. This will help you prioritize new features and you can let them know when the feature is added. Customers will feel valued when they see you implementing features they requested.” ~ Syed BalkhiWPBeginner

9. Only Promise the Minimum, Then Deliver More

“For my social media marketing, I worked with all kinds of people, from influencers, to politicians, to many entrepreneurs. Helping them gain influence and grow their brand is all about numbers on how many followers they expect to gain. I present the minimum expected growth they’ll get at first. Then at the end, I overdeliver the actual results that exceed their expectations.” ~ Fritz ColcolABN Circle

10. Have Monthly Face-to-Face Business Reviews

“We do our best to set expectations and surface useful information in a dashboard that our customers can use, all in the hopes of ensuring alignment and follow-through. But nothing is as powerful as an in-person business review. When you sit face-to-face, you’re able to get more honest feedback and work as strategic partners on how to improve.” ~ Aaron Schwartz, Passport

11. Make Sure Your Sales Staff Understands Your Service Offering

“Sales teams are motivated to sell, but overpromising quickly sours client relationships, especially for technical services that the client depends on. The solution is to ensure that sales people understand the technology and its use cases — or, at the least, have a technical expert in the room during sales meetings.” ~ Vik PatelFuture Hosting

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Why You Need to Create New Marketing Videos for IGTV

When you’re watching a video online, on IGTV, or on the TV, you probably don’t think a lot about exactly how that video is made. That is, until you start making videos of your own.

Video marketing should undoubtedly be part of your marketing strategy. That’s because video marketing comes with many benefits that include:

  • Videos make you more visible, literally
  • They make customer engagement effortless
  • Video is one of the most versatile forms of content

However, not all videos are created equal. As you dive deeper into the world of marketing videos, you’ll quickly learn that making them is very different depending on the platform you’re using.

That’s definitely the case when it comes to Instagram mobile and their new video format IGTV.

What is IGTV?

First, it’s important to understand what IGTV is. It stands for “Instagram TV” and it was specially created for Instagram mobile.

At this point, you might be thinking, “Doesn’t Instagram already do videos?” They definitely do, but the original app only accommodates short videos of up to 15 seconds. IGTV allows videos of up to 10 minutes, with some accounts able to record much longer.

This new platform can be accessed with its own app, but there’s no reason to download it if you don’t want to. The TV icon in your regular Instagram app will provide you with a carousel of videos those you follow have uploaded.

Benefits of IGTV

Increasing the time of an Instagram video doesn’t sound like a huge deal, but there’s a lot more users can do with the ability to record longer videos. For example, it suddenly becomes possible to upload instructional videos and reviews on Instagram when that wasn’t possible before.

It provides Instagram influencers with the ability to provide more value to their followers, and it adds more value to the brands they partner with. However, it can help brands directly too, even if they aren’t working with influencers. Brands can demonstrate their products and services on Instagram by uploading their own videos.

The biggest benefit of IGTV is its mobile-friendly format. Video is recorded in a vertical format instead of the traditional horizontal format. That’s a big deal because 72-percent of Millennials refuse to flip their phones horizontally to watch video.

Why you shouldn't just edit existing marketing videos

If you’re ready to get your brand out there through video, you may be tempted to record the old-fashioned way and simply upload the same video on all your accounts. After all, that would help you save time.

That might work with other formats, like editing a video for YouTube and including it on your website, but it isn’t going to work for IGTV.

Do you remember when widescreen TVs were just starting to be a thing? If you popped a widescreen movie into the DVD player and watched it on your standard TV, you were stuck with large blackout bars above and below the picture that greatly reduced your viewing area. Not to mention, it affected the overall experience of watching the movie.

The same is happening with our phones.

If you record traditional video and modify it for social-media platforms, like IGTV, you’re going to be stuck with those big blackout bars. They were annoying on the TV, but they are even more annoying on a screen that is only a few inches long by a few inches wide.

As tempting as it may be to record one video for every platform, you’ll end up paying the price. Your video won’t perform well, and if it doesn’t perform well, there is no reason to upload it at all.

It is vital that you create new, vertical marketing videos for social media platforms like IGTV.

Tips for creating compelling IGTV videos

Fortunately, many of the tips that work well for recording traditional video work for creating videos on IGTV. For example, getting the lighting right has always been a tip you should follow, no matter what kind of video you’re creating. However, there are some tips that work especially well for Instagram mobile.

A few tips for recording vertical video include:

  • Set up your shots for vertical video. It will ensure your video looks as good as possible without the need for extensive editing.
  • Don't be afraid of your video looking a little less professional than other marketing videos if you are filming on a phone. Vertical videos on social media are meant to look spur-of-the-moment and on-the-fly.
  • Be mindful of your video's cover image. It will default to the first frame of your video, but you have the option to edit this image before your upload is complete.
  • Remember to link your video to your Instagram Story so people viewing your Story can swipe to view your video without having to access the TV icon or app.

If you want to try filming vertical video for IGTV for the first time, it’s a good idea to reach out to True Film Production. Not only can we help you create compelling storylines and ideas for your videos, we can also help you record in a vertical format to make sure your video is social media-ready.

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Corporate Storytelling That Builds Trust Relies on These Three Element

What’s the story behind your business? This question is more important today than it has ever been before. Customers are looking for corporate storytelling that connects with their experience on a personal level. If you don’t make that connection, your business has no chance of surviving in the millennial-driven 21st Century.

It doesn’t matter if your company creates websites, sells lipstick, or fixes toilets, getting your company story right will set you apart from your competition.

The question is, how do you create a corporate storytelling strategy that connects with your customers?

Traditional marketing strategies and digital storytelling are great ways to connect with your customers, but if you want to connect with them on a personal level, you have to make sure your brand story includes these three elements.

Corporate Storytelling

Corporate Storytelling Includes Authenticity

One study found 91-percent of customers valued honesty in the companies they buy from. That value far exceeds the importance of product utility, brand appeal, or popularity.

That’s huge. It means people would rather buy from companies that are honest than companies that offer the best products on the market. Your company can gain a lot by being authentic with your customers.

Creating an authentic persona sounds a lot harder than it actually is. Start by envisioning your brand as a person. Ask questions like:

  • What does your brand look like?
  • How does it act?
  • What words would you use to describe your brand?
  • Is your brand funny or serious?

There is no right answer to any of these questions. The exercise is meant to help you create a corporate storytelling strategy that is unique to the personality of your brand. Once you’ve clarified these details, it will be easier to project the authenticity of your brand.

Show Your Softer Side

The second element trustworthy corporate storytelling has in common is vulnerability. It’s important because customers connect more deeply with people and brands that know they aren’t perfect.

It’s all about relatability. We have all experienced setbacks, loss, and disappointment. Acting like we haven’t is akin to lying, and because customers want brands to be authentic, it means brands also need to be vulnerable.

It’s surprisingly easy to do, especially if you use digital storytelling to show the less glamorous aspects of your company. Create a video where the founder shares all the failures they have experienced on their road to success, or highlight how the company faced a disaster, like a flood. Show customers and clients that you can be vulnerable and they will be more likely to trust you.

Your Corporate Story Should Focus on the Why

Why does your business exist? Is it to make money? Obviously, that’s part of it, but customers don’t want to buy from businesses that exist solely to make money. That’s because it isn’t just the stuff you sell that’s important to customers. Today, 89-percent of companies compete on the basis of customer experience, not products.

Instead, they want a more personal relationship with the brands they shop with. That means creating corporate storytelling methods that highlight why you’re in business.

What makes your business different from your competitors? What do you fight for and care about? What does your business really want?

Your why might include a backstory about why the CEO decided to take the plunge and start his or her own business. It might include how much money you donate to local and national causes that your company cares about. It might be about providing a flexible working environment that makes family life easier, or you may promote work-life balance by providing unlimited days off to your employees.

Your corporate story is surprisingly easy to share. Create blog articles, post to social media, and create digital storytelling videos on your website that tell the world the ‘why’ of your business.

The one great thing every compelling company story has is common

There is one common thread that weaves through each of these corporate storytelling elements—they all focus on the people who make your company what it is.

At the end of the day, people want to buy stuff from real people.

Small businesses are more popular than ever, while big box stores are going the way of the dinosaur. That’s because small businesses are made up of real people who connect with their customers in real, authentic, and personal ways, while big box stores rely solely on apathetic brand names and logos to sell merchandise.

Corporate storytelling can greatly increase the success of your business, but it has to be done correctly. True Film Productions can help you flesh out your digital storytelling strategy and provide you with a professional, authentic video you can use to market your business. Contact us today to learn how we can bring your corporate story to life.

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