The 5 Types of Corporate Video Clients You’ll Work With Most
Let’s break down the five most common clients in corporate video production, and explore how you can prepare for their on-set and post-production needs.
Forming productive relationships with clients is one of my favorite aspects of working in corporate video production. Because, while a lot of corporate work can be pretty straightforward and, yes, even boring, solid client relationships can actually make projects more exciting and satisfying.
By investing in your clients, it’s easier to turn them into partners (and even friends) who you can work with as if you’re on the same team. In fact, I’d say that anyone interested in corporate video production should make it a serious goal to get to this “same team” mentality with their clients. After all, the best client, as they say, is the one who keeps coming back to you.
Let’s take a look at five prototypical clients I’ve encountered during my corporate video journey. We’ll explore the best ways to find them, how to meet their needs, and how to turn them into longtime partners.
1. One-Off Productions
When you’re first starting off in film and video, a lot of client requests are for one-off, single-role gigs. These are your standard “we need a videographer for two hours at this location” gigs. Or, “we need someone to cut together a video from footage we shot a year ago.”
These clients can be found on all your job boards, industry specific forums, or even from word-of-mouth recommendations. Take these projects when you can, but always push to turn them into bigger roles in the future.
These one-off projects are often the least lucrative; the clients know what they’re looking for, so they’re removing production levels in order to simply pay by the hour. That said, at the end of the day, this probably means these clients are doing more work than they’d prefer.
My advice is to show up, do great work, be positive, and try to talk with the highest-level stakeholder you can find. From there, offer suggestions on how you can streamline the entire project, either by yourself or with your own team. If they’re receptive, you can eventually turn a one-off, single-role gig into a more consistent client like those outlined below.
2. Event and Live Streamers
If you’re in corporate video production, then you’re working corporate events, conferences, and symposiums. Yes, these are by far the most boring — and often the most logistically challenging — of the video projects you might be called on to produce. They can also be the most consistent and lucrative.
Every business, big or small, is going to have meetings. They’re going to have professional development days. They’re going to have conferences for them to interact with their own prospective clients. If you’re in contact with a company that’s looking for video for their events, or is at least considering the option, there’s actually a lot you can offer.
My advice for these types of clients is to work early and often to make your video services a holistic part of their events. Even today, many companies don’t quite understand just what video is capable of or how comprehensive its coverage can be.
For example, if a client reaches out for live-stream services, you can offer add-on video projects. Here are some of my go-to add-ons:
- Promo videos to help publicize the event
- A company sizzle reel to show at the beginning of the event
- Any and all live-stream coverage they might need
- A wrap-up video that highlights the event’s success (and can be used to promote the next one)
3. Social Media Marketers
You can build a robust client list just by working with companies and agencies that are embracing social media video for their marketing efforts.
It’s been reported that over 78% percent of people are watching videos online every week, and 72% percent of customers prefer learning about products or services through video. (Hot tip: share these stats with your clients RIGHT NOW!)
As such, many of the corporate video opportunities you’ll find moving forward are going to be specifically focused on social media video content.
If you’re truly future-focused, I’d highly recommend embracing this fact, branding yourself as a social-media-friendly professional, and keeping up with all the latest platforms, specs, and trends. Work to find and impress clients by creating engaging, eye-catching content to share on your own social media channels. Here are some great resources to help you get started:
4. In-House Production Support
I’ve used this “trick” several times, both as a freelancer and on behalf of video production companies I’ve worked with. If you’re looking to get in with a big client that does lots of video work, try to get them to “hire” you as an extension of their in-house resources.
It’s no secret that companies up and down the Fortune 500 create a lot of video content. However, the idea that their in-house resources include enough people, gear, and time to handle all of their video needs is naive.
A solid point of contact within the marketing or production department of a big-time company can quickly become your best client. If you do good work and make their life easier, they’ll call you whenever they need more support.
My advice for this approach is to network like crazy. Get to know people within the big companies you’d like to work with. Ask for introductions, display your skills, and highlight the positive aspects of using your company as “extra support” should any needs arise. When that first call arrives, hit it hard and always stay open and ready to help out.
5. The Creative Branding Partners
This might be the best client of them all. You should work to ensure that every single one of your previous clients views you and your company this way. At the end of the day, clients are going to come back to you because they have video needs, but also because they like you, respect your work, and trust you to deliver a quality product.
The goal is to nurture relationships in a way that makes your clients see you as a full-fledged partner in brand growth instead of someone who simply provides a service.
Work hard, be sincere, make a real effort to understand your clients, and find solutions. If you can reach this level of partnership with one client, you can leverage the relationship to find new clients and build a truly successful video production company.
Get more tips and tricks for working in corporate video:
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