Sales projections, layoffs, insurance, interest rates, stock market, balanced budgets, and the fiscal cliff share one thing in common – money. With a list like that it’s no wonder we feel we have little control over how much we spend, but the reality is: we have more control over that spending than we think, especially when it comes to video production.
It may surprise you to hear that, but you really DO have more control over the cost of your video production than you realize. We’ve written before about the importance of a production brief, why budget’s not a bad word, as well as why you should stop spending – so we won’t revisit those, but this post is a reminder that there are some ways in which you can begin thinking that will help you save more money this year.
Put another way – you CAN stretch your budget and actually SAVE money on video production by understanding your role in these 6 areas:
1. Know Your Audience
You’re about to spend a lot of money and invest a lot of time, (which is another way of spending money), to connect with your audience. So, do you know who your audience is? I know you know, but do you REALLY know? If you’re not rock solid sure about who your audience is AND what they REALLY want, then you’ve cost yourself a lot of time and money. Don’t be tempted to try to speak to multiple audiences. Focus on one. So the first way to save money is to know your audience.
2. Understand Your Purpose
The ultimate purpose of a video project is to move your audience to action – to engage them. The question you have to answer is, “What is the action I need my audience to take?” What is your purpose? As simple as it sounds, make sure you are clear about where you’re headed and what we need to do to get there. Keeping that purpose in the forefront of your mind will provide clarity to your mission and your audience and save you a lot of headache AND money.
3. Play It Forward
In his book, Necessary Endings, Dr. Henry Cloud suggests that if you’re having problems with clarity,
“play the movie forward in both directions, negative and positive. Feel your vision, smell it, see it. See the reality that could be.”
If you can see your desired outcome and identify the potholes that could derail that desired outcome, then you’re assured a better bang for your buck than counting on blind hope alone.
4. Be Engaged
When it comes time to start your project, be an active participant and be present in your project. That doesn’t mean you should micro-manage – I simply mean you should be involved in the project. By the way, we write about our perfect client here.
A simple way clients can be engaged is by responding in a timely fashion to requests for feedback, approvals and materials. When you’re engaged you save money by streamlining the process and keeping your project on budget and on-schedule.
5. Be Realistic
A good dose of realism always provides clarity by helping you decide where to invest your limited resources. When it comes to video production, most people are not realistic about the amount of time, effort and money it takes to get the kind of return on their investment that they want. So give yourself more time than you think you need. What’s “more“? Well if you’re new to the video production process, ask your video producer well in advance of the project, “How much time will my project take?” It’s an easy conversation that can be had over a cup of coffee and can help you make sure your project can be delivered on-time and on-budget.
Once your video project goes out the door, you’re not quite done. You want to measure the success of your project by answering the following questions:
1. Did it work?
2. Why did it work?
3. Did it accomplish its purpose?
4. In what way did it accomplish it?
5. What could have been done differently?
You’ll NEVER in a million years be able to answer those questions if you’re not measuring. Without measurement, all you’ve got is your gut and hunches. What you want is concrete indicators that your plan worked – it accomplished its purpose and you have a clear Return On Your Investment. The only way to get that is to measure it, track it and adjust accordingly.
So the moral to the story is simple, you DO have more control over the cost of your video than you realize when you…
- Know Your Audience
- Understand Your Purpose
- Play it Forward
- Are Engaged
- Are Realistic
For more info on how you can save money on video production, download a FREE copy of our eBook on the subject of saving money.