Post written by Stanley Meytin
Founder and Creative Director at True Film Production, a video production company that creates videos for businesses and brands.
Quite frequently, I get calls from people who Googled “production company” and are looking to produce their passion project. “I have an idea for a TV show, it’s going to the next big thing!” “I’ve been writing this screenplay for 10 years and I’m finally looking to sell it!” And every time, we have to politely decline by saying, “Sorry, we don’t do that here.”
Everything our company does revolves around our brand identity. Every article we write, blog we post, project we take on, and picture we post on Instagram is crafted specifically to align with who we are as a brand. What we do is create original, professional, engaging brand content for businesses. So, when these "passion project" types of opportunities present themselves we have to remember to stay true to our company, True Film Production
So how do we determine if a new business opportunity is a good fit for our brand? It usually starts with an initial phone call or email inquiry. This initial conversation tells us one thing: they want a video. OK, that’s a start. But what people who don't work with video don't understand is how much detail and creative work actually goes into producing the right creative solution for their brand goals. From the concept to the script, to the type of crew and equipment necessary, to the music and graphics added in post-production, the process is quite involved.
If you also run a creative business and run into this issue, here's some advice to ensure the project you're about to take on is the right fit for your brand.
To obtain a better understanding of what exactly they are looking, for we send the prospect a creative brief. It’s basically a questionnaire asking specific questions about their video project. Questions can include: Who is your target audience? What is the goal of the video? How do your customers/clients view you as a brand? How would you like customers and clients to view you as a brand?
These questions get clients thinking about things that they didn't know they had to think about because of their lack of video experience. Once we get their completed creative brief, both parties have a better understanding of what is expected from this video and a decision can be made as to whether or not it is right for our brand.
In the midst of emails, phone calls and questionnaires, we are doing our research on the potential client to see if their brand is a good fit for ours. We scour their website, view other videos they have done, see what they do on social media and check out recent press. In other words, we want to work with companies who care just as much about their brand image as we do. Even if we see that their current video content strategy is not up to par, if the passion is there, then we want to work with them to create exceptional video content for their brand. A collaborative team of people who care about what they do will eventually lead to great content, and that right there is our brand.
Phone conversations can only tell you so much about a person. In my experience, meeting with someone in person and having a face-to-face conversation gives me much more clarity. It forces you to connect on a whole new level and really get to know the person you could potentially be working with. While the questionnaires and research tell me a bit about the brand and what kind of project they want produced, the personal meeting gives me a gut feeling of whether or not the partnership feels right..
When an inexperienced marketer calls in with an elaborate video concept that is 20 minutes long, involves computer-generated imagery and requires 100 extras, we have to be honest and tell him that it’s not going to happen. People usually trust our expertise and listen to our suggestions. We are very transparent about what they need, don’t need, and how much it is going to cost them. With an honest relationship in place and transparent expectations from both parties, we can evaluate if it is going to be a good fit for us.
This question is a big one to most people, but in our case, it is often a big red flag. We understand that everyone has certain limitations when it comes to budget, but when a customer is more concerned about getting cheap video production services than creating quality content, chances are that they are not going to be a good fit for us. Typically, if their first question is about price, then a partnership does not blossom. When a client calls with bold ideas about creative content that will help bolster their video content strategy, that’s when we are able to collaborate and work out a budget that suits both parties.
There are certainly more things you can do to evaluate whether or not a new business opportunity is a fit for your brand, but knowing your brand identity is essential. Stick to what you do best, then harvest those goods that your consumers know and love.
HQ 220 W 30th Street 2nd Floor New York NY 10001
154 Grand Street, New York NY 10013
HQ 220 W 30th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10001
154 Grand Street, New York, NY 10013