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Yesterday I introduced you to the four steps to selling your first travel video. Today, let’s talk more about creating a sample video and identifying travel video markets you can sell to.

Step 1: Creating a sample video

As I mentioned yesterday, your first step is to go out and create a free sample video for a local business that might be interested in having one on their website.

This could be a local restaurant, hotel, or day-trip operator. Whichever one you chose will depend on the availability in your area and on your preferences.

The sample video will also determine what kind of businesses you can approach for paid jobs later. For example, if you shoot a restaurant video then it will be easiest to get more restaurant video jobs. If you shoot a hotel video, you’ll find it much easier to convince other hotels to pay for a video.

When you decide what field to approach, you can identify and research various businesses through a Google search, or you can approach a local business you know.

Even though you’re offering your services for free, you’ll still have to convince your client that they should take the time to work with you. Make sure to share the main benefits of online video:

  1. It increases the chances of making it to the first page of Google search results
  2. It increases the number of inquiries — as people find the video on Youtube and Google
  3. It boosts consumer confidence and increases the likelihood of people making a purchase
  4. It entertains, informs, and leaves a more lasting impression than text and photographs only
  5. Especially on mobile devices, people prefer watching a video rather than reading text
  6. Facebook plays videos automatically and they are watched and shared much more often than text or image posts

Once you manage to convince a local business to shoot a video you can then discuss a course of action. If it’s a hotel video, then I’d suggest the following format:

  1. An interview with the owner, introducing the hotel and the location as well as explaining the main features and types of rooms.
  2. The voice of the owner will then be used to show images of the hotel, its location, and the rooms, as well as any other facilities like the pool, gym, or restaurant
  3. Use background music to make the video more interesting
  4. Use titles, contact details, and a logo to allow people to get in touch with your client
  5. Create a customer testimonial by interviewing a guest

If you don’t have a microphone or much experience with audio, you can just use background music and titles to get your message across.

If you’re shooting a day-trip video or a video for a restaurant, the format would be similar, except that instead of the hotel you would show the restaurant and the food or day-trip activities.

As soon as you’ve shot all of your footage, you can then edit on your PC or Mac and make it into a 2- to 3-minute video.

You don’t want to create anything longer than that, since people are used to watching shorter video, and it’s better to get all your information across in a concise and interesting way.

You’ll then upload your finished video to YouTube or vimeo and send a link to your client for review. Even though they’re not paying for your services, they should still be happy with the video, so they can give you a nice written or video testimonial.

Once your client is happy and you have a testimonial, you can now create a website or simply a Facebook page and post the client video, their testimonial, and a little more about yourself— where you’re based and what kind of services your provide. And now you’re ready to sell to paying customers.

Step 2: Identify potential clients

The type of businesses you’ll contact to sell your services to will depend on your preferences, but also a little bit on the type of sample video you shot and the size of the company.

You will probably not get a job with a very large hotel or tour company right away, so it will be easier to concentrate on a small-sized or family-run business.

They will be open to working with a novice, because you’ll provide a great price and a product that will be authentic and in line with their services.

First, do a search for your preferred type of business in your area or wherever you would like to go. Next, create an Excel sheet with the website, contact information, and room for comments and updates, so you can insert information once you have had contact with them.

Before you start contacting clients, you should create a sheet with the main benefits of video, as listed above, so you can speak about them with ease. You’ll also need to have some idea about what you’d like to charge.

I’d suggest that, at the beginning, you may want to charge anywhere between $400 and $800 for a 2-minute video and up to $1,000 for a 3-minute video.

But remember, the lower your pricing the easier it will be to get a job and that means you’ll get more practice, more sample videos, and more client testimonials.

So start off at the lower end, and then work your way up.

Also try to stick to a set price rather than making it dependent on hours of filming or days spent editing. The client wants to know upfront how much they have to spend and don’t want to think about how much time you need for filming and editing.

That’s it! Next time, I’ll go into more detail about selling your video and closing the deal…

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