When you approach a business pitch through the right lens, the art of the perfect pitch is actually pretty easy. To quote Def Jam founder and millionaire entrepreneur Russell Simmons, “if you want money, you just have to help someone else make money.”

And pitching prospective clients in the world of film and video is no different. If you want to make new clients, you simply have to find a way to help them find new clients, customers or business partners of their own.

The real key to perfecting your pitch for any prospective new video clients? It isn’t really about selling anything yourself. It’s about learning how your video expertise can help them ultimately grow their business.

So, in today’s lesson, let’s explore how you can define your own value, better connect with prospective clients, and put yourself in the best position to deliver that money-making Def Jam-approved perfect pitch.

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1.Do your research first

If you came into this article expecting some simple, motivational sales-specific advice like “nail them with the hook,” or “don’t take no for an answer,” we hate to disappoint you… But we’re going to assign some homework instead.

As stated above, the best way to have “the perfect pitch” is to do your research and understand as much as possible about…well, everything. As we’ll cover below, you really want to know everything about your clients. Not just your future prospective clients, but also your current clients, your ideal clients, your competitors’ clients, etc…

You also want to do some deep research into yourself, your brand and your own company. Where do you stand in the market? Why do clients come to you in the first place? What services do you offer? What solutions do these services solve for your clients?

And, of course, how do you help your clients make money and grow their brands with your film and videography?

2. Learn their business (and competition) inside and out

Let’s talk about your clients first. It behooves you to do your diligence and learn as much about your client’s business as possible. A good way to approach this is to focus in on their specific industry. The more you can research and understand about what they do and how they market to their own potential customers or clients, the better.

Depending on your current (or ideal) clients, there are dozens of different industries which you might find yourself an expert in. Here are some different industries to consider focusing on.

  • Aerospace Industry
  • Agriculture
  • Automotive
  • Construction
  • Computer and Electronics
  • Education
  • Food and Dining
  • Health care
  • Hospitality
  • Legal Marketing
  • News Media
  • Non-profit
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Real Estate
  • Sports and Entertainment
  • Transport Industry
  • Telecommunications
  • Web Services and Tech

So, let’s pick one as an example. Say you have a client that works in residential real estate. Chances are you’ve already learned a good deal about how they market themselves to prospective home buyers and sellers. You might even have an idea of how video helps them hit their goals.

However, you can always learn more. You can research how their competitors use video. You can look into other markets to see how other companies might advertise on a larger scale. You can even experiment with new technologies, trying out different interactive video elements like virtual home tours or VR experiences, etc…

You can then use this knowledge base both to help your current clients grow, as well as to entice new ones. Unless you have some sort of exclusivity contract with your current clients, you can always reach out to other companies that work in a similar space. 

3. Understand the value of video

Once you’ve looked outward at your clients, you’ll want to look inward at your own expertise next. When many film and video companies speak to prospective clients, they assume that these clients already know a good deal about video – and more specifically about its value. In my experience, I’ve rarely found this to be the case. 

In fact, most clients know very little about video, and even today it’s still up to you to teach them a good deal about how video works (the pre-production, shooting and editing process) and – most importantly – about its value to them and their businesses. 

One of the best ways for both yourself, and your clients, to learn the value of video is to use examples. You can pitch and promise as much as you may like, but there’s no stronger pitch than a solid case study in which you clearly demonstrate value.

You can approach case studies in one of two ways:

  1. Internal Case Studies (showcase previous clients and how video helped them grow)
  2. External Case Studies (showcase bigger companies in their industry and how they use video)

You can also look to apply your subject matter expertise by citing several different case studies within a company’s relevant industry. Many small video agencies or companies invest in creating short one-pager fact sheets which outline all the values inherent in video production for various business and marketing needs.

4. Have a clear offer and scope of work

From there, the name of the game is definition and clarity. Even for clients who are very familiar with film and video projects, nailing down the offer and defining the scope of work can still be a bit tricky. Video production encompasses many moving parts and often requires a start-to-finish turnaround of several weeks or months.

As such, it’s up to you to handle as much of the legwork up front by clearly defining what the video project will encompass, what the production process will look like, and specifying what the deliveras will be.

A great way to approach this is by working on your own pitch template. In the advertising industry, these are often called creative briefs and they vary from very loose agreements, to hyper-specific documents that outline every part of a project from start to finish.

To help you out, here are some helpful creative brief templates to get you started on your own.

5. Practice your pitch in different situations

Finally, the best way to perfect your pitch for prospective clients is to practice, practice and practice. However, there’s more to it than just reciting the same pitch over and over again in the mirror like some sort of character from Glengarry Glen Ross.

To really be ready for any situation, it’s helpful to practice different versions of your pitches, as well as you work to find a way to make each pitch uniquely your own. Here are some different versions to consider:

IRL Pitches

  • Elevator Pitch (2 sentences, 30 seconds or less)
  • Networking Pitch  (3-4 sentences, 1-2 minutes)
  • Zoom/Phone Pitch (1-2 paragraphs, 5 minutes or less)
  • Meeting Pitch (10-15 minutes tops)

Digital Pitches

  • LinkedIn Pitch
  • Email Pitch
  • Post-Meeting Follow-up Pitch

In my experience, I’ve found that these are the most common “pitch” situations, but even then there are always unique variables to each. So, while it’s important to practice and know your value inside and out, at the end of the day it’s always going to come back to just how much you can help your prospective clients out.

As Russell Simmons says, if you can help them make money and grow their business, they will in turn help you.

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