Goal #1: Attend an educational industry conference. For the past 10 years, I have been attending annual industry conferences. Within 5 years of attending my first conference, I was charging 400% more! When people say they can’t afford to go, I say, "You can’t afford to not go." Two major industry events are right around the corner. The 4EVER Group’s annual event videographers convention, Video 08, will take place Jan. 21–24 in Orlando, Fla. WEVA’s Wide World of Weddings & Events is co-located with PMA 08 in Las Vegas, Jan. 29–Feb. 2.
Goal #2: Join your local videographers association. For a complete list, you can Google "professional videographers association" and locate one in your area. You will learn new trends in the industry and network with fellow videographers who you can turn to when you need help (or vice versa). Belonging to an association and attending its meetings regularly shows others that you are serious about your profession. And offering to present at a meeting or volunteering to be a board member will help you to develop public speaking skills and to grow some leadership muscles—a good idea for those of us who run our own businesses and hope to expand them.
Goal #3: Join a wedding industry association,if weddings are your focus. There are several, such as The Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC); Association for Wedding Professionals International (AFWPI); International Special Events Society (ISES); and National Association of Catering Executives (NACE). By joining a wedding association, you get the benefit of networking with other wedding professionals, many of whom will be able to refer you for jobs.
Goal #4: Write an article. Everyone is an expert on something. Is your specialty lighting? Audio? Marketing? Technology? A new revenue stream? New video trends? All industry magazines consider article pitches. If you don’t ask, the answer is no.
Goal #5: Read at least one new business book a month. One of my favorites is The Success Principles by Jack Canfield, co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. For a list of other recommended business reading, visit my blog.
Goal #6: Help a fellow videographer. Help someone get out of a jam (such as lending equipment or providing last-minute backup on a shoot). Helping out your local association members will benefit you when you’re in need.
Goal #7: Exercise. This may seem like a personal goal, but ours is a physically demanding business. By being physically fit you will be able to stand on your feet all day, and you won’t wake up with aches and pains the next day.
Goal #8: Share your knowledge with others. We should all be stewards of our skills. Volunteer your video skills at your church, temple, or other nonprofit organization. You could also volunteer to be a merit badge counselor to the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. or Boy Scouts of America.
Many people complain of business being slow. They think that they need to spend more on advertising or come up with a better marketing plan. Sometimes the problem is not the market or the structure of your business or even your production talent or knowledge. Having great interpersonal skills is a key to success. When bridal consultants tell me about the videographers they like to work with and tend to refer, the first thing they mention is how easygoing they are; talent is mentioned second, if at all.
Often, when you say you don’t have time to do something, what you really mean is that you choose not to do it. If your business is working for you, then don’t change a thing. If you aren’t happy with it and feel it could be better, then you have to make a conscious decision to do something different. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is not going to get you what you want.
Is money (or lack thereof) a driving force in your life? If so, you may find that low-budget brides are drawn to those with money issues. The Law of Attraction has been around for a long time, and it applies to the wedding video business as much as anything.
Finally, look at what successful people do and learn from them. Ask those who are where you want to be how they got there, and listen to what they say.
If you have some goals you want to reach, then pull out that piece of paper right now and write them down. Put that paper near your computer so you can remind yourself about your goals every day. By setting goals, you’ll find that you have a much better chance of achieving them. Kris Malandruccolo is a WEVA Hall of Famer and 2005 EventDV 25 honoree who runs Elegant Videos by Kris and Elegant Storybooks by Kris in the Chicago area.