Why on earth would I want to teach you that you ask, increasing the competition in an already over saturated market. Honestly, I don’t, but the first rule in becoming a wedding videographer is writing blogs. Even if you don’t really like writing. Why? Because you can share them via social instead of pictures of your cat… and it’s good for SEO.
SEO for those who don’t know is Search Engine Optimisation. It’s the process behind ranking naturally high in google. If you want to be a wedding videographer people need to see your work and what better place than the search engine giant. This is of course assuming you have a website… which if you don’t is the first thing you should do. Using a template builder or hiring a freelance designer are the most cost-effective ways. Just make sure the website is designed so you can edit it, preferably in a content management system such as WordPress.
As soon as you have a website you are ready to search engine optimise. If you are serious and have the money use an agency. A good way to find one is googling SEO plus your local area and seeing who ranks high. Be careful to only click on natural results not AdWords. You want to use people who are able rank naturally themselves as what better way to show they know what they are doing. If you are a small business look for people who work with small businesses. Big agencies (especially in London) may not take you on.
If you can’t afford an agency you can try to rank highly yourself. This can essentially be achieved writing loads of great content on your website that people want to read and want to share. You want content which is over 300 words per page with the keywords you want to rank for present throughout and often in the first paragraph but without over doing it. The days of cheating and over optimising are over and google will penalise. You are not going to rank for popular keywords immediately but try improving your ranking for smaller specific terms including venues. Write enough nice articles about a wedding venue and chances are you will start ranking for it.
Trying to rank highly in google is effective and worth some more research but it’s a slow burner. What if you’ve just quit your day job by announcing over the Tannoy that you would like to see everyone next Tuesday. You probably need your wedding video business to take off quickly. AdWords is great as it gets you in front of people quickly. If your work looks good and you set your price reasonably to start you should get work.
Another option to get bookings is wedding fairs. This is another reasonably good option when starting out as you may only have one video but if you bring it, stick in on loop on a TV and use your personality, you can persuade the bride and grooms walking past that you are the videographer for them.
With marketing it’s also worth doing what suits your personality. If you are confident and outgoing you will probably have success at wedding fairs whereas if you are shy it’s perhaps better to concentrate on online marketing or print. I’ve never used print or magazines so can’t comment on their effectiveness. It seems expensive to me but lots people use them so they must work for some people.
So, you have some sort of marketing in place and are getting enquiries but are you ready to be a wedding videographer. Hopefully you are already a filmmaker of some sort and have filmed 100’s of hours of footage. If you aren’t, get filming, there’s only so much you can read so even it is filming lots of random shots of your town and editing them into a montage, get out there and do it and you will quickly learn what looks good. I filmed my gap year in Canada when I was 19 and looking back on the footage there is a real improvement in quality towards the end of the year.
As well of a love of the creative side of filmmaking it’s also important to get excited about technology. Even if you don’t think you are into tech, once you realise how much having the technology improves your filmmaking you should become fascinated by the different cameras and software available. If you are not using the manual settings on your camera you are not ready to shoot a wedding. Equally as important is an understanding of good sound recording. Then there’s Post-Production to really make the video sing. For me that’s not extensive effects and transitions but making the images work in harmony with the music and choosing the right shots.
Almost as important as producing good films is good customer service. Not only will you not get repeat business if you are not friendly and professional but you risk a bad google review. If you need to write an email first shouting and screaming that’s fine, create a drafts folder called ‘How I really feel’ write an email for there and then rewrite it in a friendly and professional tone.
And finally pick your unique selling point. Why should people book you? Mine started as unobtrusive and natural no fuss videography which was different to many videographers at the time. It’s evolved from that to be ‘Capturing the Fun’ with the addition of someone with a memorable shirt.