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The Inside Story: Selling the Experience
Posted Nov 14, 2005 Print Version     Page 1of 1

In the previous installments of The Inside Story, we've talked about the real "nuts and bolts" of producing a Storyteller Wedding Biography. The final piece of the puzzle is selling the experience to your potential clients. After all, without a client, you have nowhere to practice your craft.

I approach the task of selling the experience in a very simple way: by letting it sell itself. Every part of my marketing and promotional materials reflects the storytelling aspects of what I do.

My coverage options are simple and to-the-point. I offer only two options: the Storyteller and not the Storyteller. I'm the storytelling videographer, and I don't try to be all things to all people. By keeping it uncomplicated, I can keep a potential client's decision-making process simple.

Either they like what I do or they don't. Either they can afford me or they can't.

My demo reflects exactly what their finished Storyteller product will look like, only shorter. It tells the story of what I do, re-enforcing the storytelling "hook" of my creations. My demo is my number-one marketing tool.

The DVD case insert for my demo also reflects storytelling to a potential client. It tells a story and plants the seeds of what a viewer can expect to feel when they view the demo itself, without any technical information to dilute the emotional elements of the experience.

Now, of course, you've got to get them in your studio to see the demo. To do that, I carry the story "hook" through all my marketing literature as well. For bridal shows, instead of business cards or three-color brochures, I use a simple postcard handout that I print myself. It's printed on 85 lb card stock, cut in half so it's the size of a large postcard. Remember that they're just window-shopping at these events and you need to catch their eyes quickly; you need to create something that looks different from anything else on display.

My postcard has no specific information about prices, equipment, or coverage options. It sets the tone of what I do. It tells the story the Storyteller experience is and gives the reader an insight into what feelings and emotions the coverage evokes. I use it to pre-qualify my clients; if they look at the handout and ask first about pricing, I've got a good idea they're just price-shopping. If, however, after reading the handout they tell me it sounds very interesting and would I explain the concept further, I know they're interested in the Storyteller itself, and I can proceed accordingly.

I've also put together an elegantly presented marketing book that gives a casual reader the "behind the scenes" story of what the Storyteller is. I call it a "coffee table book" because it's most times just sitting on the coffee table at a bridal or catering shop or photography studio. While the bride is working with that vendor—say trying on a dress—the groom or the parents can pick it up and read it while they wait. It's full of information about my services, but it's also designed to be read quickly, so it's broken into short segments giving a reader the information they want right away.

Even the informational handouts I give a client once they've come in to see me reflect the Storyteller "hook." I put them into a twin pocket portfolio which many brides find handy for all the other paperwork they gather. My Informational Portfolio, as I call it, includes my price/coverage options brochure on three sheets of high-quality paper folded in half and stapled in the middle inside a "cover sheet."

It's not all just technical and pricing information either. It has a lot of interesting and informative information about the Storyteller and our philosophy of what wedding videography should be all about.

The portfolio also includes a diagram that shows where I like to position my cameras and tells the story of why I like to position them there; a handy article, "How to Choose a Wedding Videographer," with very general information; and a write-up that tells the story of what a couple needs to think about and do once they've chosen us to record their wedding memories.

With marketing, as with any other aspect of your work, it's important that you find your voice, your unique approach to how you produce and how you sell this unique evolution of wedding videography.

Next time in The Inside Story: How to Create a Demo that Works, a multiple-installment look at why a bride responds to demos and how to move beyond the "eye-candy" approach to selling yourself and your work.

Note: Ken Ehrhart will be presenting a workshop on this topic, "How to Create a Demo that Works," at the 4EVER Group Convention in Orlando, Florida, January 9-12, 2006. For more information, visit www.4evergroup.org.

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