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What's the one thing that will increase sales in my video production business?

deep dive Nov 30, 2020

“What’s the one thing I should focus on to drive more sales for my video production business?” That’s the question that I get asked the most from video production professionals when they engage with RETAIN™ by F&C.

Now if you haven’t asked that question explicitly before, you’ve probably wondered it subconsciously. And it’s a good question. It’s common knowledge that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your efforts, so the question is really asking what is that 20% that I should be focusing on? Or what is going to drive the biggest impact on my bottom line as a video production professional.

And in this week’s deep-dive, that’s exactly what we’re going to focus on. So grab a coffee, as we dive into this subject.

Remember to Subscribe to the RETAIN™ by F&C YouTube Channel for weekly deep-dives and weekly updates from the world of sales and marketing for video production professionals.


Transcript

“What’s the one thing I should focus on to drive more sales for my video production business?” That’s the question that I get asked the most from video production professionals when they engage with RETAIN™ by F&C.

Now if you haven’t asked that question explicitly before, you’ve probably wondered it subconsciously. And it’s a good question. It’s common knowledge that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your efforts, so the question is really asking what is that 20% that I should be focussing on? Or what is going to drive the biggest impact on my bottom line as a video production professional.

And in this week’s deep-dive, that’s exactly what we’re going to focus on. So grab a coffee, as we dive into this subject.

Right, so as you may have guessed, my answer to that question isn’t one thing … It’s in-fact two. In this deep-dive, we’re going to go into a bit more depth as to how you can make quick gains within both of these areas, which will have a major impact on both your ability to drive quick and profitable sales, but also on the underlying health of your video production company, or your freelancing operation.

There’s two things that you need to focus on when looking to increase the number of clients that you have. The first is the amount of opportunities that you have coming through the door and the second is your conversion rate, or your win rate. More opportunities coupled with a greater conversion rate equals more projects and more sales. And what I’m going to talk about in this video are two fundamentals: Marketing (more opportunities) and Sales (more wins).

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In order to drive more opportunities to your business, you need to fully understand your buyer, which is most probably marketing professionals, or communication professionals - whether that be within a brand, or within an agency - and you need to understand the Buyer’s Journey (which we cover off in more detail within another video).

Let’s do a quick refresher on The Buyer’s Journey first, so we can fully understand that before we progress.

There are three stages to the buyer’s journey. The awareness stage, the consideration stage and the decision stage. All will vary greatly depending on who your buyer is. We’ll talk about that in a second. But in short, whenever anyone is buying anything (toilet-roll, a laptop, a house, or a video) they go through these stages.

In the awareness stage they become aware of an issue that they need to solve, or an opportunity that is presenting itself to them. For example, a marketing professional may need to fix a drop in sales, or they may have seen an opportunity to take advantage of a market-trend. This is where they become aware of that issue or opportunity.

In the consideration stage, the buyer is looking for the best way in which they can either fix that problem, or take advantage of an opportunity. For example, a marketing professional may start looking at video production professionals, or companies, that they believe could help them achieve their goal.

And in the decision stage, the buyer has made their mind up as to the direction that they want to take and then they look to decide on who is going to help them achieve their goal. For example, the marketing professional has decided that video is right for them and now they’re looking at who is going to help them achieve their goal for the budget that they have available.

As a video production professional, you need to be aware of the buyer’s journey, because, depending on where your prospect is within that journey, you need to be talking to them very differently.

So now you’ve been refreshed on The Buyer’s Journey, let’s look at The Buyer. No matter what industry you serve as a video production professional, your buyer will have an intrinsic motivation to deliver results. And results is a key theme throughout this video by the way. But it’s vital that you grasp the concept of your buyer’s intrinsic motivation

What do I mean by an intrinsic motivation? Well, this goes beyond creating a beautiful video. It goes beyond delivering the project on time and to budget. It goes beyond driving results. It’s the one thing that is truly motivating them from deep inside. Okay, so let’s have another example. Let’s say our buyer, the marketing professional that we spoke about earlier, works for an agency and is in-charge of their client’s marketing strategy. They have decided that video is going to play a major part in their campaign, so on the surface you’d think that a beautiful piece of video content, on-time, on-budget, with great project management and that drives results would be what they want. And that’s what most production professionals would try to show in their marketing. Their showreel slapped on the home page of their website and in the bio’s of all their social channels - showing they have the creative abilities to create beautiful content. They’ll show their past-projects and big name brands to show that they’re trusted by others - a sign that they deliver a great experience. They’ll show their background, their creds, their qualifications - and if they’re a production company they’ll show their team, the producers that will run the project with quirky headshots that move when you hover over them, they’ll show their offices, their edit suites, their office dog ...

And that’s all fantastic and don’t get me wrong, this stuff is super-important … in The Decision Stage. But the vast majority of traffic coming to their website, finding them on google, or engaging with their social content will be in either the Awareness Stage, or Consideration Stage of the Buyer’s Journey. A very small percentage will be at the Decision stage when they first come to their website, or engage with them first on social. So they don’t give a flying F about your office dog. And you lose them. Gone, never to return again.

This is what almost every production professional does. And they’re missing out on the most important part of their marketing. Getting prospective customers engaged and into the buyer’s journey. Giving them the information that they need at that early stage. Imagine the amount of opportunities that never materialize because you’re letting all of those opportunities die before they’ve ever even made contact.

But, you’ll be pleased to know, it’s such an easy fix. And the question that you need to ask here is ‘What are my prospective Buyers wanting to read, hear or see at that early stage?’

Well, let’s go back to the intrinsic motivation. All those things that we’ve mentioned previously (strong creative, great production standards, solid project management) help you deliver on the intrinsic motivation of the buyer. And for a marketing professional working at an agency and delivering a project for their client, that intrinsic motivation isn’t a successful project. It’s deeper than that. It’s the career progression that they may achieve if their project is successful. It’s the promotion they may get. It’s the award their campaign may win that they can include on their CV. It’s the project that may save their job as agencies cut staff to stay afloat. That’s the intrinsic motivation that our marketing professional in this example may have. So to hook them in, to drive them into the Buyer’s journey, we need to tap into that core driver.

Work out how to do that, and you’ve fixed your marketing. It’s that simple. You know every production professional markets in the way that I outlined earlier. Just google video production companies in my area and you’ll see it time after time after time. So shaping your website and social channels to catch your prospects early, in their thousands and without any competition, whilst the rest of the world’s production professionals wait for them to reach the Decision stage, is going to have a monumental impact on your marketing and ability to create more opportunities.

Here’s a weird analogy, but imagine you make the best frog legs in town. Told you it was weird. Every day, all the best frog legs restaurant owners go to the frog leg market to buy their frogs. Fifty restaurant owners crowding around a frog leg market stool paying top dollar for their frog legs. They’re getting 50 frog legs at $5 a piece. That’s not fun. Nobody likes to get up at 5am every morning and fight to buy frog legs. You, however, are sitting at home catching up on the news on your ipad, sipping your coffee, warm and rested - because you go to the pond once-a-month and catch thousands and thousands of tadpoles. You bring them home, put them in a pond in your garden, sp every week or so you have hundreds of fully-formed frogs ... for free. And all the other frog leg restaurant owners continue to fight it out at the market every morning at 5am paying top-dollar and stinking for the rest of the day of sweat, desperation and frog-legs. Okay, that’s the end of that analogy, but I enjoyed it.

As I said earlier, if you work out how to get all of those tadpoles into your pond before they have the chance to turn into a frog, well, you’re sorted. And guess what? We’re going to talk about how we do that and what we need to talk about at each stage of the buyer’s journey a little later in this video.

Okay, back to the original point of this part of the video - getting more clients. So, we’ve understood what we need to do to get more opportunities. Now here comes the game-changer. Increasing your win rate, or conversion rate.

So, you now have a steady stream of frogs, I mean opportunities, turning up at your door. Let’s say you’ve increased the number of opportunities five-fold. Previously you had four opportunities each month, now you’ve got twenty. And let’s say you currently have a conversion rate of 33% which is typical for production companies, as you’re often pitching against at least two other competitors, and, for argument’s sake, let’s say your average order value is $5,000.

Before you had just over one project (1.3 to be exact) coming in each month, so let’s call that $6,500 in sales each month. But by increasing the number of opportunities coming through the door from four to twenty, and with the same conversion rate as before (33%) you’ve now got roughly 6.6 projects converting to projects each month, which totals $33,000. You’ve gone from £6,500 to $33,000 in monthly sales just by fixing your messaging and understanding the buyer’s journey.

Now that’s all great, but there’s another game-changing way in which you can boost that number. And that’s by increasing your conversion rate. We have a structure for a pitch that when implemented delivers a conversion rate of over 90%. It’s currently 90.1% the last time we aggregated the numbers with the production professionals using it. That’s no joke. It’s simple. It’s concise. It talks directly to the buyer. It’s powerful.

So let’s talk about the structure of that pitch.

We break each pitch down into three stages and we suggest that you use this with every pitch or proposal that you deliver and I go into more detail on this within another video, but for the purpose of this video, those three stages are Get, To and By. This is a briefing technique that many of the leading agencies use, but we use it within the pitch template. Why? Because it walks your prospect through your proposal delivering a solid understanding of the proposal and gaining buy-in at each and every stage.

So what’s the Get To By method? Well, it’s simple. Who are we looking to get? What are we looking to get them to do? And how are we going to do that? This simple, but effective reinterpretation helps you build out the rest of the pitch.

Here’s a quick example. We once worked on a project with St. John Ambulance, who wanted to teach a mass audience some basic first aid techniques that would serve them in everyday life - with a particular focus on helping children and their parents. So we broke their brief down to “GET parents of young children TO learn basic first-aid techniques BY creating a series of How-To videos”.

Then, when pitching, we simply followed that method. We broke the pitch down into three sections: GET, TO and BY. And everything that we covered in that pitch walked our client through the process step-by-step, which created massive buy-in and blew our competition out of the water.

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Now, before we progress in this video, if any of the above has resonated with you I want to invite you on to our 5-Day Sales & Marketing Challenge for Video Production Professionals which takes place at the start of each month. This video has very much been about What you need to do. In the 5-Day Challenge, we focus on the HOW and over the course of 5-Day we build out everything that we’ve discussed here (and a whole lot more), so you never have to worry about Sales & Marketing again. On top of the learnings, you get free handouts, templates (this pitch template for example), guides, step-by-steps, access to a load of resources and also daily Lives with me to ask any questions. If you want to fix or optimize your sales and marketing once and for all, I would highly suggest registering for the next 5-Day Challenge. A link can be found in the description of this video.

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Okay, back to the Get To By pitch … At the end of the pitch, we then show the client how we are going to track and report on the success of their video content, because ultimately, that is what is going to help them achieve their intrinsic motivation. Think about it, you’ve outlined a killer proposal and walked them through it step by step. They get it. They have confidence in you. They love the structure. They love the creative. They love how you’ve arrived at it. But this is the cherry on the top. By choosing you for this project, you’re going to be able to deliver a strong campaign and show them the results, which in turn will allow them to justify their spend, show how great they are to the client and get that promotion, or pay-rise, or win that award, or save their job. Whatever their intrinsic motivator was. Can you see why this pitch structure converts at over 90%. As I said, it’s so simple, but it’s so effective.

So back to the numbers (and this is just figurative to show the impact of this). You’ve gone from attracting 4 opportunities per month to 20 by fixing your marketing and going to the pond, whilst your competitors wait and hustle at the market. Currently, you’re at 33% conversion, so you previously had 1.3 projects per month at $5,000 average order value, so that’s $6,500 of sales per month. Now you’ve got up to $33,000. But what if you converted not just 33% of those opportunities, but 90%. That would take your monthly projects up to 18 projects per month and your monthly sales up to $90,000.

By fixing just two things: increasing the number of opportunities you attract and increasing your conversion rate - you’ve gone from $6,500 per month to $90,000 per month. Two simple fixes. Massive massive impact.

So that’s my answer to the most common question that I receive and these are the two most-important things to focus on if you are wanting to significantly increase the amount of sales that you make as a video production professional.

But wait, imagine what would happen to your business if you were able to increase your average order value AND increase the amount of projects that you work on with each client.

Now that is the beauty of a Retained business model and that’s what we teach in the 5-Day Sales & Marketing Challenge for Video Production Professionals.

Even if you have no ambition of building an empire, imagine the impact that these quick fixes would have on your bottom line - on your profit - if you were able to pick and choose the projects that were most profitable to you, or the ones that you most enjoyed working on.

It’s attainable and you just need to know how. And that’s what we do in The 5-Day Sales & Marketing Challenge, so hit the link in the description, find-out more and register for the next one to get this implemented and automated into your video production business for free!

But, before you do that, make sure you subscribe to our channel for weekly deep-dives like this and updates from the world of video that will help you with your sales & marketing.

Thanks for watching and I’ll see you on the 5-Day Sales & Marketing Challenge for Video Production Professionals.

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