Saturday, December 18, 2010

Make Your Plans NOW!

You’ve got plenty on your mind this next few weeks, but it’s not too early to start making plans for your video business operations and marketing strategy for 2011. As soon as you read this, and if you feel ANY inspiration at all, pick up your iPad, laptop or other computer, open your Circus Ponies or other planning software, or grab a pencil and a tablet and start your outline.

Before simply continuing with what you already are doing, think about new paths and directions. For some, what they are doing is perhaps enough, for others more will be needed to continue to survive the coming year, much less anticipate or consider growth, even expansion of your video business operations.

There will ALWAYS be weddings, or maybe not. But let’s just say your wedding business operations are where you want them to be and the referrals are pouring in. Whether you’re full time or part time in the video business, there are things you can plan for now that will help you achieve your 2011 income and business goals.

Go through your 2011 production calendar and note all the holidays and special days: Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, Tax Day (just kidding), Easter, Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and all the other days of observation. Copy them to your planning program.

Aside from weddings, what other possibilities are there for these special days?
• Personal documentaries
• How to videos on unique Easter egg decoration, cake creation or sugar molds
• Patriotic themed productions
• Small and independent business promotions and web video

Do some research to identify where, how and to whom you can market for these and other video production/product concepts. A good Google search will generate an abundance of opportunities, groups, clubs, organizations and even generate some new ideas for marketing and potential clients that you never thought of before. Go with the flow and develop some concepts. You don’t have to flesh them out now, simply get them down so they will not elude you later.

Make your list and check it twice ... LATER.
• Potential new businesses that might be receptive to video in their marketing
• Groups, clubs and organizations that could use video in promoting their programs
• Those small businesses that might have never pursued a video or Web presence
• Church groups planning for their silver, golden or 100th anniversary celebrations
• Memorial themes recognizing members who have died
• Other potential avenues of video need that might often be overlooked

Jot down some quick notes as they pop into your head. They don't have to make sense, but believe me when you begin working on some freestyle thinking like this little nuggets will get discovered. These can often wind up being nothing more than fool’s gold but a few are diamonds in the rough, if you’ll kindly overlook the cliché. Decide your best approach after the holidays.

• Expand on this, or that idea or concept
• Can I make this happen
• Is this too big for my operation
• What can I do NOW
• What do I need to work on long term
• How saturated is the market for this

Within the first 10 days of the New Year you’ll want to visit those notes, concepts and ideas and make an actual action plan for 2011. Action can often accomplish more than reaction, so YOU be the one to get things started.

It is never too early to begin a campaign but we often start too late. February 1, is not the time for mailing out promos or social networking or advertising for Valentine’s Day special proposal DVDs (relationship photos put to music and ending in “Will You Marry Me?”) or for developing and selling personal Valentine’s Day “Roses are red, violets are blue ...” video DVD cards.

It may, in fact, be too late already, but if you get something going during the first half of January, before heads and hearts start leaning toward February 14th and boxes of candy, you can probably open up a whole new approach to speciality video production.

Remember: If you market, you will make it © Earl Chessher, 2010

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