Friday, July 01, 2011

If You’re Not Working It’s Because You Don’t Want To!

Anyone with a decent camera and a few essential, basic pieces of equipment, and a general understanding of how to use them to create video, and isn’t working, doesn’t WANT to!

It’s summertime folks! I know many of you want to go out and play, put the boat in the water, prepare the skis and jet-skis, maybe do some golf, surf if you're close to waves, party, barbecue, toss flying sports disks, attend car shows, county fairs and other community events. It’s human nature to want to enjoy the moment, have fun and live a carefree life, but hey, most of us also have bills to pay ...
... unless somebody gifted you with that boat, those skis or the dune buggy you ramp over the local dunes.

There are actually ways to do both: enjoy life and make money, and I’ve casually referred to it as guerrilla marketing. Take your equipment with you when you attend these events, functions or go to public places to soak up some summer sun. With today’s lightweight rigs and portability, there’s few places where you can’t take advantage of opportunities.

Here’s a short list, but I just bet most of you could add another two or five ideas of your own:
• Car shows
• Volley ball tournaments
• Bike (bicycle) club tours, competition, runs short and long
• Bike (motorcycle) club ... see above
• Kite flying competitions
• Hot air balloon excursions
• Surfing competitions
• Skiing competitions
• Youth baseball
• Youth Soccer
• Equestrian (horses ;-) events
• Parades
• Fourth of July fireworks exhibitions
• Skateboard events ... competition or impromptu (there’s some great boarders out there who love acquiring GREAT video shots of themselves)
• Golfing events (get in good with course management and you’ve picked up awesome ops)
• Open public exhibitions & activities
• Martial arts demonstrations
• Those live band performances at malls and pavilions everywhere (ask first)

It takes a will to work and some gumption to approach some of these, but I’ve shot something to do with pretty much all these categories over the years. Some will require a bit more finesse while others are wide open to walking on and cranking up the equipment.

Avoid turf wars with other guerrilla marketing video strategists. Sometimes I’ve actually been able to work alongside a competitor, one shooting primarily for one soccer team, me the other. There’s usually always compromise. The coaches, most vocal parent on the sidelines or the guy who pretends to know what he’s doing with that palmcorder waving around in the air are good people to connect with.

By the way, picked up more than 20 orders from yesterday’s car show, and will likely get more through the mail or via e-mail. This brings to mind another strategy that a lot of companies already do but that is going to eventually be important to all of us who shoot a lot of events:

Developing a website where people can order backyear event DVDs from a website catalog or listing. Easy, virtually free, money for a work once, sell many approach to marketing. My article on doing JUST THAT coming soon to E.C. Come, E.C. Go.

Remember: If you market, you will make it! © Earl Chessher 2011

2 comments:

joeylaporte said...

I love your blog but I'm confused. Please explain to me how am I supposed to get work when no one wants to employ me, after I've approached people in my area and offered to video work all I get from people is we don't have people do video or the most common answer I get from people is 'we already have somebody who shoots video for us'. All I get in my area is 'thanks but no thanks' attitude. It's kind of a downer.

What do you suggest I do now? Or what am I doing wrong? I've done everything you suggested in your blog. I've also showed up at events and just shot things. Sometimes I even get other video goons asking who am I and who I'm with. Please help me with some tips so I may understand you better and thanks for your time,Joey La Porte
joeylaporte@aol.com

CorElAnn said...

I know it can be very frustrating, Joey. When you think you've done everything you know to do, and everything in this blog and others, and still cannot seem to get anyone to hire you to shoot video, or buy productions you've put together guerrilla style, or worked on speculation.

Share with me your website. Let me see how and what you're presenting there. Tell me how old you are. How long have you been creating video product? What market area are you in? Metropolitan? Rural? Do you have lots of competition?

You say you've tried everything I've suggested. Share with me exactly WHAT you have tried, done or attempted. Give me some insight to who you are and I'll try to see if there's something I can suggest that will get you past this problem. I'm willing to help if I can.