How to start your own video taping business
HOW TO START YOUR OWN VIDEO TAPING BUSINESS
One of the easiest ways of making extra money is with a video
camera. More people own cameras than radios, and photography is the
fastest growing hobby in the world. Yet using a video camera as an
extra income tool is largely overlooked!
With a little imagination, a flair for showmanship, and just a hint
of salesmanship, the average man or woman, or even teenager, can
easily make an extra $300 a week with a video camera.
You don't have to have one of the popular, more expensive video
cameras either, or a lot of high priced attachments and equipment.
In many instances, a "off-the-wall" video camera will suit the
purposes perfectly. The only special piece of extra equipment you
may want to invest in would be a tripod for mounting the video
camera in certain situations.
One of the easiest ideas is to visit a children's clothing store in
one of your busy shopping centers, or the children's department in
one of your large department stores. Sell the manager or store
owner on the idea of your setting up in a corner of the store or
department, and taking videos of the shoppers' children. He can
promote the fact that you'll be in the store taking videos for
special prices during certain hours - perhaps on Friday evenings and
all day Saturdays - in his advertising, thus drawing patrons into
his store because of you.
You'll need a sheet or a plain piece of material, or some sort of
imaginative set for a background. But this you can easily make or
build yourself. You should also have an eye-catching poster that
calls attention to what you're doing and the prices you're charging.
Unless you're a commercial artist, spend the money to have this sign
made for you by a professional. The next and last thing you'll need
will be a 2-part receipt or coupon.
This can be a simple piece of paper about 2" wide by 5" long. On the
left side draw lines for your customers to fill in their name,
telephone number and address. You might also want to include space
for additional information such as the child's name and age and the
number of children in the family, for future efforts, but keep it
brief and simple.
On the right hand side of this coupon, have your business name,
address and telephone number, plus a quick outline of the different
kinds of video work you handle, and perhaps a business slogan such
as "Satisfaction Guaranteed or You Don't Pay."
To add a little bit of class to this coupon, take the basic outline
of this idea over to an instant print shop. Tell them what you
want; show them your outline; and have them typeset everything.
Then put a fancy border around the whole coupon and have it printed
on colored paper. The best color of paper is a "dollar bill" shade
of green. If you want to give it even more class, you could have it
printed on green, lightweight card stock. You'll want to divide the
"information" side of this coupon from the "business card" side with
a dotted line and perforations.
If you layout this coupon properly. You should be able to get six
of them on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper or card stock. This means
the printer can print and cut 6,000 of them for about the same cost
as printing 1,000 circulars or flyers.
On your printing, shop around for the best deal, but in the end, it
shouldn't cost you more than about $60 for all 6,000 coupons which
will come from those 1,000 sheets of paper or card stock.
Now, when you video tape a person, regardless of whether it's an
"in-store" set-up, out on the golf course, or along the street, you
give your customer one of your coupon-receipts and offer to sell
them the video. They fill in the information part of the coupon
(which you keep as a reciept) and give it back to you, retaining
your "business card" portion of it.
Some stores, golf courses, bowling centers, and other retail
merchants may even let your customers charge the video on MC or
Visa. You should expect the store to charge you for this service.
By all means, be sure to include an advertising circular with each
set of videos you deliver. This circular should explain how the
customer can get the other video services you offer.
Back to the original "in-store" video taking set-up during evening
shopping hours and on weekends for extra income. You can call
attention to your "in-store" set-up and bring in more business with
a few merchandising promotional ideas. In the following paragraphs
we give the highlights of a few ideas that have worked well,
however, you should keep your eyes open to observe additional
promotional ideas that could be adapted to fit your new business.
Dress a helper in a clown suit, and take videos of the kids on his
lap or with his arm around the kids. Put a sandwich advertising
board on a helper and let him stroll through the shopping center
advertising the fact that you're in Kiddie Clothing store taking
Set up a booth in the mall and promote "Instant Videos." Be a Roving
Photographer and take candid shots of shoppers and promote a
"Shopper of the Year" contest. Work with a clown and have him
"attach himself" to the kids, and ask if they'd like to have their
pictures taken with him. Build an inexpensive and portable set,
such as an airplane, a race car, bucking bronco, hand-shaking scene
with a famous person or "balloon figures" and take videos of people
standing in or on these sets.
Get out to the golf course and take videos of the golfers teeing
off. Get over to the bowling centers and take candid shots of the
bowlers in action. Do the same thing wherever there's a sports
event taking place. Be on the spot and ready whenever there's an
opportunity to take team pictures.
You might follow, or hire someone else to follow a Little League
team through its season, take candid and action shots. You then
arrange to have the videos duplicated. You should be able to sell
one of these videos to each member of the team.
There's also the idea of "just strolling through the park" on a
Sunday afternoon. You take candid and interesting videos of
couples, children and people in general spending time with their
Keep tabs on the announcements of new births. Send advertising
literature to the new mothers, and follow up with phone calls
efforts to set up video photography sessions.
Keep tabs on the engagement notices in the weekend papers. Send your
sales literature to the brides-to-be, and follow up with phone call
efforts to make a video of the wedding.
Set up household and business video inventory service. With this
idea, you contact the insurance companies and determine if they will
approve and endorse videos you take of their policy holders'
household, personal and business property in loss claims.
Most will, and from there - working either with the help of an
insurance agent, the agency itself, or on your own - contact owners
of property and sell them on the idea of your taking videos of the
household goods they have insured. You take videos - a pictorial
inventory of everything they're claiming or would like to claim on
an insurance policy - and then identify the videos, giving one set
to the property owner and a duplicate to his insurance agent or
Video inventories of household and personal property has definitely
proven to be a super money-maker for the people willing to get out
Once you decide that using your video camera to generate extra
income is what you're going to do, get out and use your camera,
start taking videos, and allow yourself the opportunity to build.
Give yourself the chance, and you'll quickly begin to think of
hundreds of ideas for taking videos, merchandising ideas for
promoting your services, and sales angles for increasing your
The important thing is to get started, regardless of how small your
start, and begin cashing in on an idea that's still in its infancy.
This is an idea that can produce new concepts for profit every day
of the weak. An idea that can be fun, as well as financially
rewarding for you!
You've got the idea and the plan - the rest is up to you. You've got
the ball; now run with it!
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