For me, that definition is much too narrow. Marketing encompasses everything I do to acquire customers. It's the process of moving potential customers closer to making the decision to purchase my services. If it doesn't help me make a sale, then it is not marketing.
My frontline vehicle for inspiring people to choose my services is my STORYteller Marketing Book. I call it my "coffee table" book. It's one of the simplest tools I've found to put my company's name and story in front of a potential customer. Best of all, it's produced completely in-house, which makes it easy to customize for different situations.
So what, exactly, is my coffee table book? It's a collection of easily digested thoughts and stories that are designed to leave a positive first impression of who I am and what I can produce for the reader. What it is not is a book that's meant to be read cover to cover.
I designed it with the specific idea that it will be found on a coffee table, shelf, or counter at another vendor's studio or store. It's something that the client can pick up and leaf through casually while they wait.
For example, let's say I've placed it at a bridal dress shop. The friends or parents of the bride (the parents being, in most cases, the ones who actually pay for the wedding) can look at it while the bride is having a fitting or an alteration.
Generally speaking, there are only a few minutes at any one time for these people to read such material. Having a lengthy, hard-to-read-or-navigate book would be a turnoff. My book is broken into six zones that offer in one or two pages a simple thought or story that is designed to leave a strong impression.
Before I get into specifics about the content of the Marketing Book, I should touch quickly on the nuts and bolts of the book itself. It is a simple white three-ring binder that holds seven double-sided pages inserted into clear plastic sleeves.
I find white to be the most professional-looking color; you should choose whichever color signifies professionalism to you. I use the sleeves to add bulk and to protect against smudges, dog-earing, and the like.
The pages are 80 lb. white card stock that can be purchased at any office or paper supply store. I've found that 80 lb. stock can handle the additional ink demands of printing high-quality photos.
You may want to go as far as printing the pages on actual photo paper, but I've found the card stock to be a more economical approach. Any slight loss in quality would only be noticeable to a discerning eye that is looking for the difference; the casual reader will not notice. The cover page for the outside of the binder can also be printed on 80 lb. card stock, but in this case I use photo paper because the cover of my book contains a large photograph. The photos on the inside pages are generally only two to four inches in size.
On the first page of my book is a brief introduction to me, my company, and the reasons why you should trust us with your priceless memories. My most often used opening line is, "It all starts with a simple question . . . Will You Marry Me?"
The initial sales pitch—the only obvious pitch in the book—comes next. The first page ends with my other tag line: "Because Some Things Are That Important." The sentences are short and to the point and the font sizes are designed to ease the eye around the page. The page is easy to read and can be digested with a simple scan.
Pages two and three contain specific information about me so the potential customer won't have to ask and I won't have to seem like I'm singing my own praises by answering. I never, at any point during the sales and marketing process, discuss my background and experience unless I'm asked. I'm more comfortable doing it that way.
Pages four and five are short stories—no longer than three sentences—that touch on various aspects of what clients can expect from me. The titles include "Storytelling," "Creativity," and "Professionalism." Again, these stories convey thoughts and feelings better than hard information.
The reason I take this approach is that I'm not trying to convince a potential customer to choose me based on what cameras or microphones I use or what dazzling editing system I have. I'm trying to convince them to choose me based on the emotions my work stirs in them.
I want them to make their decisions based on what their hearts tell them, not just what their number-crunching mind says to them when they size up my prices against their wedding budget. I market almost exclusively to high-end brides, because my prices are just that—high-end.
But getting a client's mind off of money and onto the emotion of her special day will work for any bride (or bride's parents), regardless of finances. Emotion, not technology, is the key to selling wedding videography, and that should be the basis of any wedding videographer's marketing strategy.