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The Reel Deal: What's Your Story?
Posted Jun 1, 2007 Print Version     Page 1of 1

Mark Twain once wrote that “the secret to success is to find out where everyone is going and get there first.” As business owners, we should all be on the lookout for the “next big thing” that will boost our businesses. I have found a product that we can all add to our businesses regardless of how much experience we have, what kind of cameras we use, or how much we sell our videos for.
  What is the main thing videographers do on a daily basis? We preserve family legacies. When we are videotaping a wedding, a baptism, a bar mitzvah, a communion, a graduation, or a funeral, we are preserving our client’s family legacy that will be cherished for generations to come. The creation of our work is priceless. We are storytellers. We use video and audio to tell the story.

 Another way to be a storyteller is through written words. Pictures don’t tell the whole story; not even a photo montage set to music captures the whole story. I had a client who hired me to do a 70th birthday photo montage for her husband. Her husband, family, and friends loved it of course; but she sat there explaining who the people in the photos were as the montage was playing. Who will be there to tell the story behind the pictures when she is no longer living? No one.

 Imagine how many family legacies disappear because no one took the time to document the story. Therein lies the intrinsic value of a company called Heritage Makers to its clients. Heritage Makers is an online publisher that creates hardcover books of the highest quality from pictures and stories uploaded to its website. The pages of these professionally bound books are made to be turned hundreds of times.

There are a number of ways you can dramatically increase your revenue with Heritage Makers products. The first is to make the books for your clients, and sell them as a premium option or add-on to your existing services. This is an amazing option for videographers because we can put the montages we have already created onto the pages of a book. The work has already been done; this is just another medium for delivering it. Because these products are so affordable, you can mark up the cost substantially and still appear to be giving your clients a great deal! This is earning income on the “front-end.”

However, there is also a “back-end” source of revenue with potential that is completely astounding. You can become a distributor, or consultant, of Heritage Makers. You’ll get your own website with Heritage Makers where you can create private publishing accounts for all of your customers. This is a space where your clients can upload their own photos and make their own books. This is a huge service to your customers because it comes with safe photo storage. Every book published with Heritage Makers is archived, and this is a much more affordable solution for photo printing, assembling, and binding.

Most of our customers are using digital cameras today. With Heritage Makers publishing studios, people can bypass the printing process with expensive papers and inks by uploading their pictures straight to their publishing account on the website. Then, in front of their own computer, they can place their pictures in a beautiful book. With Heritage Makers you have the ability to offer your customers a new form of memory-keeping, which may also be the next generation in scrapbooking and will appeal to scrapbookers and non-scrapbookers alike. In short, it will be very good public relations to be the source of something so cutting-edge, high quality, and necessary.

  The kicker is that once you set up a publishing account, your clients can continue to publish books, with no further assistance from you other than setting up their account. And because all of our videography customers can be made into Heritage Makers customers, the ability to develop a large, income-generating client base is real—you earn commission on every product they publish.

  Heritage Makers is a home-based business. Your customers, by visiting your website or through you (if you choose to tell them), can decide to become Heritage Makers consultants themselves. They can sign up right on your website. You can, without compulsion, begin growing a business that will extend out into the community as you earn bonus commissions on all of their sales.

There is yet another way to quickly grow a very profitable stream of income through Heritage Makers. These products work perfectly with the montages our industry already creates. We can put the discs in the cover of a book and have so much more to offer our clients.

The cost of entry for Heritage Makers is as little as $99 for two sample books and a few business forms. However, I bought the $299 business demo kit, which contains a sample of every product and plenty of business materials to keep me going for a while, in addition to a free credit which allows you create your first 8x8" storybook for free! I shared the idea with one videographer and he immediately said, “Sign me up!” I laughed and said, “Gladly, but you didn’t even ask the price.”

   When you sign up, you also get a Heritage Makers website which you can customize with your own domain name. To learn more, you can view a presentation here.

Kris Malandruccolo, an EventDV 25 honoree, is the owner of award-winning Chicago-based studio Elegant Videos by Kris and Elegant Storybooks by Kris. She is a certified Master Wedding Vendor through the Association of Bridal Consultants; WEVA Public Relations Chair; a national speaker; and past president of the Illinois Videographers Association.

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