How to get into the high-end wedding videography business
The goal of every wedding filmmaker is to be successful as a business, which in a nutshell means doing fewer weddings but charging more. How are you doing that?
Over time, a wedding videographer will naturally improve the quality of their services, which will pave the way for a clientele that can afford high-end wedding films. But this process can be time-consuming, and finding the right balance between price and product in your local market can be a stressful experience as you try to make a living.
So why not save a few years on the process and take the advice of someone who has already done all the experimenting and found an approach that attracts the highest level of clients who can afford to hire more expensive wedding videographers. ?
In his Mastering the Moment Course on MZed, Ray Roman exemplifies precisely how he went from SWAT officer to one of the best wedding filmmakers in the world. It provides a blueprint for planning and filming a wedding, right through to planning, scheduling, multi-crew filming, audio collection, editing, and more.
But at the end of the course, Ray gives viewers a glimpse into the business side of wedding videography, even sharing his contract and pricing model. Why reveal business secrets? Ray thinks there’s a lot more high-end luxury wedding work out there than he or other wedding filmmakers can currently handle. So, by giving everyone a guide to improving the quality and increasing budgets of wedding films, the entire wedding industry can come together and take everyone along with it.
In the Business Development and Marketing Lesson from Master the Moment Course, Ray interviews a high-end luxury wedding planner to find out what it takes to get noticed. Of course, the first thing you need to excel at is shooting the wedding itself, and there are no shortcuts. You’ll probably need a crew of two or three to properly capture all the angles during the first look, ceremony, reception, etc. But if you can produce a high-quality wedding film as a solo shooter, you’ll have more power.
The second thing the wedding planner looks at is your brand. It should match the level of wedding clientele you are targeting, which means you should dress neatly, you should be elegant in the way you photograph and present yourself at the wedding (and work alongside the photographers), and you simply cannot disrupt the flow of the wedding day. Above all, you must be courteous, well-spoken and patient.
And branding also extends to your website and social media presence. You must present your work in a way that reflects your quality.
The way you present yourself doesn’t just mean you, the owner of the wedding business. This also means that your team must also be in top form. They are an extension of you. A good crew is doing well, they’re not glued to their phones while filming, they’re not at the bar or eating with the guests. And they’re dressed for the event, whether it’s a suit, black shirt and tie, or other appropriate business attire.
And of course, the way you solve problems and communicate with customers takes considerable practice, but it takes time and experience.
And then there are the contacts, which in this case is the wedding planner. They can get 50 or 60 links a week from wedding videographers – how do you get into their supplier list? The truth is that a wedding planner has a ton of responsibility and they don’t want to take any unnecessary risks by taking on new vendors so if they already have their wedding filmmaker it will be difficult to get into their restricted circle. .
But if you join chapters of the wedding industry, network, and put yourself out there, you’ll eventually build relationships and get high-end gigs. And once you’ve done that, it’s extremely important not to damage the relationship, which means you should only accept work that you can actually deliver. You don’t want to be late with wedding modifications while the wedding planners wonder if you’re really capable of keeping what you promised.
So, as Ray says, until you’re ready, wait until the time is right, until the time is when you can examine every aspect of your work and your brand and be confident that you can deliver top results. of range.
Enter the high end of the wedding industry
Once you’re ready, how do you get into the high-end wedding market? There’s a lot of work in the mid-range where many wedding filmmakers start out, and it can be comfortable staying there. But you will have to photograph and edit many weddings per year.
For Ray, he says he was in that range for a long time, but he wanted to get to the point where he was doing maybe 20 weddings a year, which for him meant getting into the high end of wedding film budgets. . But getting there is very difficult.
Ray says, “You’re talking about very small circles of sellers, everyone knows each other and if you mess up the high end, you’re pretty much done and they’re going to drop you back into the low to mid-range, and you’re probably going to live there because you’ve already gotten yourself a bad reputation in the high end, and you don’t want to do that.
So if you’re not quite ready for that kind of pressure, Ray recommends sticking to the low-to-medium range until you can smooth out your entire workflow. So be patient, improve your process, build your brand, and eventually you’ll connect with luxury wedding and event planners and be ready to enter the world of high-end weddings. It’s a slow, gradual process, not a leap.
Pricing tips for high-end wedding videography
Every wedding filmmaker ultimately has to make a decision on pricing. There are many approaches, but Ray shares what has worked for him when it comes to next-level marriages. For Ray Roman Films, the key is to set a happy rate that customers agree on, and then offer an assortment of add-ons.
Ray says the first step is to send out a questionnaire to find out the details of the wedding day. It is important to know as much as possible about the setting, audio setup, timing, expectations, etc. Then you prepare a proposal for the base price and send it for approval. After that comes the upsell.
“Once they approve the proposal, I will send a contract, now what is it? When they receive this contract, they will see for the very first time a whole list of extras that “they can actually add to that base price if they have the budget. If they don’t have the budget, I’ll still be happy because they’ve already approved the happy price. But if they have a bigger budget, now maybe they’ll watch this pay-per-view and say things like, ‘Oh you know what? Maybe we’ll add a trailer, maybe we’ll add a rehearsal dinner cover, maybe maybe we will add raw files.
This approach is very different from the bundle model, where you offer different bundles at different prices. Ray says he’s done this for years, but found that each couple had very different budgets and ideas for what they wanted, and often left money on the table sticking to it. to its predefined packages.
Your core product may be very different from Ray’s, where he offers a feature he calls the feature. Maybe your staple is a love affair with reception speeches, or maybe your staple is a Multicam shoot of the ceremony. Whatever you’d rather offer as a staple, it makes perfect sense to help guide the couple to what you know how to do and what you think they’ll appreciate the most. But it’s hard to tell if they want something more unless you give them the option to pay more.
In the Master the Moment course on MZed, Ray goes into much more detail, providing a comprehensive outline of how he approaches high-end wedding films. As a bonus to the video guide, Ray has also prepared a contract and pricing template that you can apply to your own wedding business.
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What is your experience with high end weddings? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!