While you spend a good portion of your life behind a camera, it may seem weird to find yourself in front of it. But here’s one reason you should spend some time on the anxiety-inducing side of the lens: Creating a promotional video can give you a serious edge when it comes to booking clients. Think videos are only for “rock star” photographers, but overkill for your still-growing company? Think again. Here’s why every business can benefit from some reel time.
1. Video says what words can’t.
Ever struggled to nail the right tone in your writing? It’s a lot easier to capture your voice when you’re using your actual voice. Whether you have a bubbly personality or a wicked sense of humor, video lets your individuality shine through. And instead of writing that you’re a great storyteller or a hopeless romantic -- which, let’s face it, can feel kind of awkward and braggy -- on video, they can see it.
2. It sets you apart.
You might feel like everyone’s a photographer these days, but not everyone is willing to invest the time or effort needed to create a professional-quality promotional video. Just by having video on your site, you’ll stand out from your competition because it’s something they haven’t already seen a million times.
3. It sells the experience, not just the photos.
Your website shows off the end product of your work -- the gorgeous images you create. And while those are obviously important, the truth is, you could probably name five other photographers in your area who are equally talented. So what makes you different? Your real selling point is the experience of working with you. Your promo video can include footage of you in action, so future clients can see how you put your subjects at ease or bend over backwards (sometimes literally) to get the perfect shot.
4. It creates an instant connection.
Maybe you rock at sales and book nearly every client you meet at a consult. The catch, of course, is that you need to schedule that consult first. Most prospective clients will scour hundreds of websites, but only send inquiries to four or five favorites -- so you may never get the chance to meet them face-to-face and wow them with your personality. A promo video lets you skip the line, so to speak, and work your charm right off the bat.
5. It builds brand recognition.
Not only can you incorporate your colors and your tagline in the overall look of the video, but you can also put a face to your work. Instead of being a random business name in a sea of business names, you’re an actual person -- which makes it much easier for them to envision you as their photographer.
6. It establishes trust.
Many clients are uncomfortable in front of the camera. If they see other clients relaxed and smiling and enjoying the process, they won’t feel so anxious about the whole thing. Plus, they’ll see how you execute your vision for an image, which shows that you didn’t just get a few lucky shots for your portfolio.
7. It’s totally doable.
Maybe you love the idea of a promo video, but you really don’t have the wiggle room in your budget right now. One option is to see if you can find a videographer who’s willing to barter their services. Or, if you’re itching to try something new, you can go the DIY route. Obviously you’re not going to rival the cinematography of a professional videographer on your first attempt, but if you don’t have the funds to hire a pro, you do at least have the gear. Grab our free Studio Success Guide to Making a Promo Video by signing up for our VIP mailing list, and check out our expanded videography line. Who knows? You might discover you love making videos, and can always offer a “wedding trailer” as a signature product!
While your website gives clients a peek at who you are, a promo video lets you tell your whole story and create a more intimate, personal connection. If you’re unsure where to start, watch a few videos from other photographers, and take notes on what words or visuals stuck with you most from each one. Think of the story you want to tell: How’d you become a photographer? What’s your business philosophy? What compliment do you hear from clients all the time? Did you grow up in the area, or move here on a whim with the love of your life? What’s your favorite way to spend your spare time? What’s your guilty pleasure? Whatever your story is, a promotional video can help you share it with your clients and make them fall in love with the idea of working with YOU.
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Hi! Tell us a little bit about yourself. What was your road like to becoming a photographer?
Hello! I am a portrait photographer based south of Boston, MA. My passion is capturing mothers and their growing families. Maternity and newborn portraits are the foundation of my business, and I also capture baby milestones, children, and families. Fun fact: I returned the diamond earrings my husband bought me for our first Christmas as a married couple to buy a digital camera.
When I was in college, I had a friend who was a professional photographer. The first time I went to her home, I walked in to find stunning photographs of her children on the walls.
There was a huge canvas in their living room and a creative photo display in the main hallway. I remember being so moved by the beauty of those images, thinking to myself, “I want to create images like this!” I bought myself a DSLR as a graduation present, learned photography from online courses and started my photography business about a year later.