The Reel Deal: Success Principles for Videographers
Posted May 6, 2009

Are you where you want to be in life? If not, who or what is holding you back? Think about that seriously for a minute. "Stop with the excuses!" says Jack Canfield (, motivational life coach and best-selling author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Canfield is also the author of The Success Principles, which has 64 chapters that can help take you from where you are to where you want to be. Recently, I attended one of Canfield's all-day Success Principles workshops, and I want to share a few of these success principles with you.

Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life and Your Results. Canfield says, "You have to stop blaming others, complaining about circumstances and events, justifying your lack of results, and defending your position. Hold yourself accountable."

Practice Persistence. Jack told the story how the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book was rejected by 144 publishers. What if Jack had given up after 144 rejections? He would not be where he is today. Do not give up on your dream! When you're working on your dream, get used to the idea that there will be a lot of rejection along the way. Just because a bride or another client says "no" today, it doesn't mean she won't say "yes" tomorrow.

Unleash the Power of Goal Setting. You need to know what it is you want before you will get it. What are your goals? High-achievers have unusual clarity about what they want. A goal is something that you want that is measurable in time and space. For example, don't just say, "I want to make more money in the coming year"; say, "I want to bring in an additional $2,000 per month or sign two extra weddings per month for the next 12 months."

Be Clear Why You Are Here.
When what you're doing doesn't feel like work, you have found your life purpose. It may be time to reconsider what you do for a living if the thought of dealing with a bride gives you headaches or if you like shooting but dread the thought of sitting in front of the computer editing for hours. One way around that is to outsource what you don't like to do so you can focus fully on what you love doing.

Practice the Rule of Five. You need to do five things every day to get you toward your goal. You can do the same things every day or do something different every day, but make sure you are doing five things to help you reach your goal.

If your goal is to get more business, then some of your action steps could include signing up for a networking or association group, joining a social network site (i.e., Facebook, LinkedIn), following up with a lead, calling a prospective bride or calling a local business with a business proposal, taking a bridal consultant (or other wedding professional) to lunch, updating your website, sending out marketing materials, or participating in a bridal show.

Build Up Your Network. In networking, visibility leads to credibility, and credibility leads to profitability. Networking is not just showing up, handing out your business cards, and waiting for the phone to ring. Networking can take months, even years, to see results. Once you help another company with their business, you have earned credibility.

In turn, they'll want to help you, so it leads to profitability. When you help others find jobs, it comes back to you. I experienced this recently with two new photographers I had just met at a networking function. Instead of calling them and asking them to refer me to clients, I called them with a potential job lead. Both photographers thanked me and then invited me to their studio so we could discuss working together in the future. I also ask all brides who call me what other services they are looking for. Even if they don't end up hiring me for videography, I have still given them the name of several colleagues.

Some networking associations for videographers include the Wedding & Event Videographers Association International (WEVA), National Association for Catering Executives (NACE), Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC), Association for Wedding Professionals International (AFWPI), Business Networking International (BNI), as well as your local videographers association, Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Lions Club, etc.

Ask! Ask! Ask! Asking is one of the most powerful success strategies there is, yet many people are afraid to ask for things due to fear of rejection. When you meet with a bride, do you ask her for her business before she leaves? After you ask once, do you stop asking if you haven't gotten a commitment? I read a marketing statistic that shows that 60% of all sales are made after the fourth call. Yet 94% of all salespeople quit after the third call. Think of all the business that is left sitting on the table.

Express Gratitude. Expressing gratitude opens up the door for more blessings to come into your life. Before going to bed at night, think of five things that you are grateful for. Even in hard times, it helps to ask, "What is the opportunity in this (bad time)?" One thing on my list is to thank Jack Canfield for giving me a free press pass to his event.

Want to know how I got it? I asked for it.

Kris Malandruccolo (kris@elegantvideosbykris), an EventDV 25 honoree and 2007 WEVA Hall of Fame inductee, is the owner of Chicago-based 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, an international speaker, and past-president of the Illinois Videographers Association.