Friday, May 29, 2009
Has anybody ever offered you money to stand in front of an audience and share what you know or talk about your last adventure? If you answered "No" to this question, then read on and find out how you can make more money in one hour than most people make in a day or even a month.
If you don’t believe there’s money to be made by sharing your knowledge, then do a quick search for "Speakers Bureau" and browse through all the sites that come up. There are around 600 speaker’s bureaus in the world today and they get paid on straight commission. In the U.S. alone, estimates show that there are between 75,000 and 100,000 professional speakers. Somebody is feeding these people, so it must be working. Some speakers even make up to $100,000 for just one night!
Have people ever told you that you’re a good speaker? Can you influence people's thinking and move them emotionally? What makes the difference between a novice and a professional speaker?
It’s all about presentation and marketing!
The posts that follow are intended to help you find a market for your speaking, assuming you already know how to speak publicly. If you feel that your public speaking could be improved, there are a number of courses available. Here’s one of the most comprehensive courses I’ve found on the subject and it comes from a man who’s fee as a non-celebrity speaker is $17,500.00, WOW! Click here for a complete DVD course for the serious student.
To your success,
CHECK OUT: http://www.FreeOnlineBusiness.org the site that finds and posts FREE software and tools for running an online business!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
If there is one single factor that makes or breaks a How-To video, it's the choice of topic.
The first rule of thumb is to teach what you know or find someone who does. If you deliver valuable information in quantity and in a reasonably decent production, it will stick. If you go for effect, but deliver drivel or incomplete information, it won’t stick. Customers would much rather buy an amateur production, full of great information, than one that's pretty but shallow.
Another factor to consider is the length of the material. To remain interesting, the average How-To Video must be fast-paced and relatively short, not exceeding 45 minutes. More successful videos are no more than 30 minutes long, as this is about the tolerable length by which a video can effectively cover a topic and remain interesting.
You have to keep in mind that this is a small business, not Universal Studios. Profit will come from delivering valuable information, not fancy video effects, production or beautiful packaging. Once your customers trust you, your packaging doesn't matter. Just give them a solid guarantee and let them see for themselves.
NOTE: One of the most popular and quickest ways to make money for freelance videographers is filming weddings and special events. This is not a bad way to make some cash in between video productions, but can you adapt this concept of documenting special events to your hobby?
Why not hire out as a video documenter of outdoor vacations for example or sporting events or industry seminars? The marketing would be similar to the wedding business with word-of-mouth and referrals from industry service providers. You could coordinate your service with a few company’s and travel along with a family or group taking video of their adventure, etc…
Who wouldn’t like to have a record of their great adventure on film? Companies would be interested because you’re providing a service to their clientele, thereby increasing the value of their programs.
To your success,
Saturday, May 23, 2009
If you haven't already figured it out, I should probably warn you, that the route to getting a good SLR camera can be quite an odyssey. Especially, if your the type, that likes to compare, analyse, investigate, or otherwise dissect every possible pro and con of any item or service you pay for. SLR cameras can be a somewhat complex science.
So, without much further adieu, let's dive right in. If your a fan of technology, your gonna love this stuff, as there is an almost limitless array of jargon, and technological advancements you can learn about with SLR cameras. That information should serve you well in making your final decision however. As, that same technology that has given the consumer a wonderful number of features, has also forced the manufacturers to be extremely competitive with one another. The result many a lot of very capable SLR cameras loaded with features at pretty affordable prices.
So, don't worry, you will get a good SLR with pretty much any camera these days. I'd stick with the major brands, and reputable retailer to hedge your bet. The best prices are still online, and the big online stores are as good or better than local stores with their return policies. Online buying is not just for price comparisons anymore. Olympus, Nikon, or canon are all reliable choices these days. For under a grand, you'll find a lot of entry level SLRs to choose from. The Canon Rebel line-up with the XT, XTi, XSi, XS, and soon to be release T1i are definitely worth a look.
When looking for the best digital SLR camera you can find, the important word to remember is "YOU". Ask a dozen camera enthusiasts why they their favorite camera is their favorite, and you likely get a dozen answers. Every photographer takes pictures for different reasons, values different attributes in the finished pictures, and handles a camera differently. And so will you. A good hands-on exercise before making your final selection, would be to go to a speciality camera store with lots of models on hand, during a non busy time.
Try out as many models as you can, taking pictures of people, things, shadows, and any odd lighting areas of the store you can. Try different lenses to. Have lots of questions for the sales people, but take their answers with a grain of salt. They are sales people after all.
Don't get overly hung up on technical specifications for each camera. A few extra megapixels here and there aren't going to make much difference. For a first time SLR buyer, as long as you get a good lens, with at least 8 or 10 megapixels, and a solidly constructed camera body, you'll be content.
If you really have a burning desire to delve deeper into specifications, tech jargon, and features, then go right ahead. I know that for some, that's just part of the fun of buying a camera, or any product. Just remember, in the long run, it's a lot more fun to be taking pictures than just reading about taking pictures.
About the Author:
Friday, May 22, 2009
How to Break Into Videography
It’s rather easy to get started. Start-up Investment is anywhere from $1,000 or less for a home based operation and $100,000 and up for an outside operation with offices and sophisticated equipment. Depending on your budget you have the choice of buying equipment outright which can be quite expensive or you can rent it.
If you are on a relatively tight budget or are not quite sure if you want to pursue this business long term it would be advantageous to go with the rental option. You will be able to rent all the basic equipment required for the filming of most any event, such as camera, lights and sound equipment. You can even rent editing equipment or you may want to utilize an editing service in the beginning.
Other expenses will be for basic office supplies, telephone and answering machine, a professional brochure or flyer, business cards, computer and software, etc. And, don’t forget a Website!
Your original footage should be high quality because as you move form original to master to a copy, you're going to lose some video quality. For higher quality productions, you can rent studio equipment, studio personnel and a radio announcer's voice. If you're highly organized and know precisely what you want to shoot, you might get by with a one-day shoot.
The average cost of renting a high-quality camera, with wireless mics, and standard lighting equipment is around $500+ a day. A cameraperson with an assistant will cost a few hundred dollars more.
Finally, if you’re serious, I would recommend buying your own gear. You can purchase your own digital camera with mic starting at around $1000 and then it goes up from there.
Depending on how you shot your footage, editing can take 20 to 50 times the estimated finished length of your video. This means a 10-minute video may take 4 to 5 hours to edit and so on. Studio time ranges from $40 to as much as $100 an hour, depending on the special effects you want available for your editing project. But, for the serious videographer, new computer software is available and can be had for couple hundred dollars, which is the best way to go.
Labels can be printed by your computer (you can do any number of the same label with just one command) directly on the DVD. Full-color printed sleeves start at around 40 cents apiece, if you order 1,000 or more.
Outside duplication costs depend on the length of your video, but you really can do them in-house with a high quality DVD burner.
Here are some marketing tips:
- In advertising the offer has to be irresistible. Your advertising should be targeted precisely at your potential customer and you have to guarantee and deliver satisfaction.
- You have to make the act of purchasing easy by accepting credit cards.
- When you price a video, remember that you can always lower a price, but you’ll have a hard time raising it.
- When you introduce a new video, first offer it to your old customers at a discount in a "pre-release special."
- Use a computer for keeping track of your customer list.
- Produce fliers of documentation that you will send along with the videos. This documentation helps the videos "stick" by providing an extra unexpected bonus for the customer, eliminating returns. Essentially, the documents are close-ups of the subject matter included in the video, getting down into detail that perhaps the tape could not deliver by using charts, graphs, etc.
Finally, before you begin work on any video, plan your marketing approach. I would highly recommend you use the Internet with its many benefits. To help out and because there’s no way I could cover everything, here’s a website that covers Internet marketing from A to Z. Click Here
To your success,
Monday, May 11, 2009
Videographers use their cameras and film to portray people, places, and events much as a writer uses words. Because the procedures involved in still photography are quite different from those used in motion picture photography, workers generally specialize in one or the other. Those who are skillful can capture the information and mood of scenes on film. Videographers film how-to videos, news events, television shows, movies, commercials and even cartoons.
Although their subject matter varies widely, photographers and videographers most important tool remains the camera. In addition, professionals use a vast array of equipment, from the simple tripod to specially constructed motorized vehicles. They may also use audio or sound equipment to electronic flash units, floodlights, reflectors, and other special lighting equipment.
Training can come from academic programs or motion pictures, but for most videographers informal job training is often the most common way they acquire their skills.
Videographers must have good eyesight and color vision, artistic ability, and manual dexterity. They should be patient, accurate, and enjoy working with detail. Some knowledge of mathematics is helpful for the use of various lenses, films and light sources. Also with digital technologies growing, computer knowledge is the wave of the future.
Videographers are employed primarily in television broadcasting and motion picture studios. They advance in their profession as their work circulates and as they develop a reputation, eventually becoming directors of photography on movies and TV programs. The demand for camera operators is projected to grow as business and industry place greater importance upon visual aids, such as training films, reports, sales campaigns, and public relations work. On the flip side, some camera operators are self-employed, doing individual projects for ad agencies, magazines or personal how-to videos.
The marketability and demand for these self-employed or freelance videographers is almost unlimited, especially with the growth on the internet. Video presentations are more commonly used now and the market is really only limited by the ability of the videographer to sell his/her services for a variety of purposes.
5 Steps to Success
- Find a niche market that you’re enthusiastic about.
- Research a subject of interest not being covered or not being covered thoroughly enough.
- Write your plan or script.
- Film and edit your video.
- Market the product.
To your success,
Friday, May 8, 2009
A Florida videographer produced a "How-To Wedding Planner" video and sold over $250,000 worth of videos in just 12 months. Think about it, if you sell your video for $25, all you need to do is sell around 80 videos a week or 325 videos a month to gross $100,000 a year. A typical "small" production can sell as much as 1,500 videos a month or 18,000 units a year, at $25 each.
You may feel after browsing through specialty video catalogs, that everyone has beaten you to the punch. You may think that big, sophisticated studios are producing the only videos that consumers will buy. What you must understand is that a whole new marketplace is out there and there isn't nearly enough material to satisfy it. Numerous people have been publishing videos resulting in incomes between $8,000 and $20,000 a month. And with the advent of websites like YouTube and others, video is becoming a hot market.
Information is information, no matter who delivers it. Major studios won’t waste their resources on small projects that might require specialization. If they wanted to produce a video on snowboarding, they would have to locate a snowboarder, pay for his/her time and materials, then use millions of dollars worth of high-tech gear and expensive technicians to begin production. Meanwhile, Joe Snowboarder down the street has made a nifty little video that is informative and enjoyable to watch. The key is to just do it!
Create and market your own special-interest video productions. A reasonably talented communicator with specialized knowledge is likely to see big profits from his/her efforts using the medium of video. Today, almost everyone who has indoor plumbing has a computer or DVD player. The same effort it takes to write a book can be used for the planning, writing, filming, and editing a self-made video.
The posts that follow are intended to help you find a market for your videos. If you feel that your filming techniques could be improved, there are a number of courses available. Here’s a course I highly recommend CLICK HERE
To your success,
CHECK OUT: http://www.FreeOnlineBusiness.org the site that finds and posts FREE software and tools for running an online business!
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
For valuable consideration as listed below, I, ___________________, hereby give the photographer/Videographer: ___________________, his/her legal representatives, and assigns, the right and permission to copyright and or/use, publish, and reuse and republish photographic pictures or portraits, videos, or images made of me in which I may be distorted in character or form, representing my own name or a fictitious name, through any media and for whatever purpose the photographer/Videographer chooses.
I hereby release, discharge and agree to save harmless the photographer, his representatives, assigns, employees, or any person or persons, corporation or corporations, acting under the permission of the Videographer, including any firm publishing or distributing the finished product, even though the finished product may be distorted, blurred, altered, or used in composite form, either intentionally or otherwise and subject me to scandal, ridicule, reproach, scorn, or indignity.
I hereby waive any right to approve the finished photograph or video, or any copy which might be used in conjunction with the finished photograph or video.
I hereby warrant that I am over eighteen years of age, and am competent to contract in my own name, insofar as the above is concerned.
My compensation is to be as follows:____________________________
I have read the foregoing release, authorizations and agreement, before Affixing my signature below, and warrant that I fully understand the contents thereof:
I hereby certify that I am the parent and/or guardian for:_____________________ a child under the age of eighteen years, and in consideration of value received, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, I hereby consent that any photographs or video which have been or are about to be taken by the photographer/Videographer may be used by him/her for any purposes set forth in the release above, signed by a child model, with the same force and effect as if signed by me.
PARENT OR GUARDIAN__________________________________________
Monday, May 4, 2009
Once you decide that using your camera to generate extra income is what you're going to do, get out and do it. Not only can you generate income selling your photos to publications, but there are many other ways to sell photos. Give yourself a chance and you'll quickly begin to think of hundreds of ideas for taking pictures, merchandising ideas for promoting your services and sales angles for increasing your profits.
Word-of-mouth advertising works well no matter what product or service you are selling. Most of your work will come through referrals from people who were happy with your work. You should also promote your business by showing samples of your work to stores in your niche, clubs and schools (i.e. ski, kayak, etc.), who normally do a lot of business in your hobby. Just tell them you would be happy to send business their way, if they will do the same.
The important thing is to get started, regardless of how small you start, begin cashing in on an idea while it’s still in its infancy. An idea that can be fun, as well as financially rewarding! You've got the ball, now run with it!
Here’s some ideas to get you started:
- Make a Portfolio – Make up a portfolio of quality 8x10 prints to show your potential clients. It should consist of both color and black-and-white prints. Mount your 8x10 prints on attractive 11x14 boards, that way you can include a few 11x14 prints as well. A complete portfolio should also include some slides. Display them in 8.5x11 plastic sheets, which will hold 20 slides.
When you are satisfied with your portfolio, make multiple copies for your car, home, etc. Call on advertising agencies and show the art director what you are capable of. Consider beforehand how their agency could use your services. Be prepared to show your work to anyone at anytime. Everyone is a potential customer, and you never know who will need your services next. Carry your portfolio in the car at all times. If you are proud of your work, show it!
- Popular Location Photos – Finding a popular outdoor spot and setting up to take photos of people as they come through, can be a gold mine. Just leave flyers on cars where everyone parks (common at the take-out for whitewater rivers) with info on how to buy your photos. A specific example would be to get access to one of the more popular rapids on a river by hiking or paddling in and then take pictures of rafters as they splash down through the rapid or maybe a local kids soccer field on game day.
- A Variation – Some freelancers even hire out to certain guide services or clubs. They often promote you by providing their clients with your name because it’s an added benefit to their services.
- Action Photos on Location – Sports such as football, kids baseball, skiing and snow boarding offer a very profitable opportunity to make fast cash for a freelance photographer. People want some nice action photos of themselves or their kids. You can offer your talents to take professional photos of them in action at their games or favorite spots. Advertise with local sports leagues, ski shops and schools.
- Races – You can make some fast cash by making arrangements with a race organizer to have action photos taken of racers during the race. Set up your camera on a crucial spot on the course for some action shots as each racer passes by, then offer them to racers afterwards.
- Calendars – Who doesn’t like outdoor or action photos on a calendar.
There’s some great marketing ideas in this post, but in today‘s world you need to be on the Internet. If you’re not there yet, get there. To help out here’s one of the best Internet marketing websites I have found, it’s A to Z on the subject and I can’t give it a high enough recommendation CLICK HERE
To your success,
Friday, May 1, 2009
Hiring Out As A Freelance Photography
If you decide to join the ranks of self-employed freelance photographers who have a specialty business, where the general public hires you. You will soon discover there is no magic in being able to earn thousands of dollars every year. The key is not to take an assignment you know you can't handle. Don’t expect people to pay you while you practice on them, wasting their time and money. Being honest with yourself and your customers will be to your benefit in the long run.
The first rule to remember is that if you are offered a job, and you don't even know the basics, you better say "no thank you," and tell your client why you're passing it up. Tell him what you do specialize in and when the next job comes around, you will have an established reputation of being honest and that same person will be back because they respect your honesty and because if you say you can do a job, you can.
The best approach to starting your freelance photography business is to start off slowly and build on a base of knowledge and experience. In other words, take the knowledge that you presently have about your camera and build a home-based business around it. Start out by offering a particular service, where you can be competitive from the first day.
The beauty of being a freelance photographer is that you can create your own markets and establish your own rates. If you go into freelancing with the intent to earn extra money working on weekends, you should have no problem meeting your goal. If you decide to go into business on a full-time basis, then you could earn up to $50,000 and more depending on your specialty. It really boils down to one important thing, you must have the ability to use the equipment you have to produce a good photograph. People are willing to pay top dollar if you produce quality results.
Knowing What to Charge for a Freelance Job
The first thing to remember is that you aren't going into business for free. Being fair to both yourself and your customers is the principle you should follow when setting fees.
The way to do that is to determine what amount will adequately compensate you for your time, talent, and investment in equipment on a job-by-job basis.
Don't fall into the trap of charging less for your work just because you aren't working out of a studio or don't have brand-new, expensive equipment. You still have overhead!
At times your expenses will seem endless as you pay for photo equipment and supplies, office supplies, advertising, travel, computers and scanner/printers, taxes, business license, business stationery, portfolio costs, business cards, and depreciation on your vehicle and photo equipment. Never let anyone convince you that you should work for less because you don't have overhead.
What you ultimately decide to charge for your work is something you will have to decide yourself. The area you live in, the economy in that area, the competition, and how much you need are all influencing factors.
There are basically two ways to set your fees:
- You can charge per individual photograph or job. On a job you would have to know exactly how many different shots they would require and allow for differences in your price quote.
- You can charge an hourly rate that compensates you for your time and talent. Your hourly rate does not include film, proofs, processing, or prints ordered by the client. Your hourly rate is for your time only, starting from the time you leave your home until you finish the job and return home.
Always sign a contract with your customers so there are no misunderstandings. Specify exactly which photos will be taken, and of whom. Always include a "Release Paragraph" which states that you are not responsible for the loss of photographs resulting from camera malfunction or accidents in development. You may also want to include a "Model Release" which will give you the right to use any photos as samples for advertising purposes.
Whether it's a good or bad economy, one thing is for certain there will always be work for freelance photographers.
To your success,