Okay, so now that you’ve defined what you want out of your video marketing agency, it’s time to determine what services you should actually offer clients and why.
Hold on to your “Defining Success” list (from the previous post) as it will be your guiding light.
With that, let’s get down to the nitty gritty…
What video services should you offer?
You’ve probably already got a good idea of what services you might want to offer—whether that’s motion graphics, 3D animation, live action, or live events—so I won’t bore you with the details of each.
However, I wanted to share some practical observations I’ve made regarding each of these disciplines that you might want to take into account before determining your service offering.
Motion Graphics / 2D Animation
Generally, this is the least expensive to get started and simultaneously the most flexible. You can usually work from anywhere with just a laptop.
That said, it can be really hard to find non-agency (i.e. direct) clients that exclusively want 2D animation. You might have to couple this offering with something else. In addition, it’s entirely inductive (you have to build everything in the frame from the ground up), which makes it very design heavy and labor intensive.
I get pretty excited about this, because frankly, I love Pixar and 3D character animation. The possibilities are endless and it is usually much less artistically restricting as 2D animation (there are some technical architectural limitations of 2D animation that can be frustrating).
However, it’s usually more expensive to get started because of the licenses for 3D modeling, animation, and render engine software. And depending on how realistic you want your renders to look, it can also be very time consuming and require larger systems for renders (usually meaning you have to be at a certain physical location to work).
Live action is the most marketable service, in my experience, as most companies seem to think of ‘video’ in terms of ‘lights, camera, action.’ This can work to your advantage, if you can differentiate yourself from the rest of the live-action production houses.
But you should be aware that live action can be very labor-intensive, time-consuming, and expensive. It also requires significant investment in equipment (unless you’re renting, which I recommend) and physical goods (props), not to mention talent and locations.
And because it requires you to be on-set, you really don’t have a ton of flexibility when it comes to where you work from. But sometimes that can be a good thing—many of my friends enjoy traveling for shoots, sometimes to places as far as Africa and Thailand. So if you don’t mind the long hours and having to be on set, good on ya!
This is probably the most plug and play option—you usually configure live event shoots the same way every time. This makes the model more scaleable as it is easier to train employees how to execute a shoot without you.
However, it can also be quite stressful. Because it is live, there’s no yelling “Cut! We missed the dunk tank shot, can we get the presenter dried off and do it from the top?” Any technical issue is magnified. If a camera goes out, you’re screwed unless you have a backup. If the audio is corrupted or garbled, you’ve got to make it right. If your computer dies in the middle of the live stream… you get the picture.
So why are you telling me this?
It’s really easy to get excited about video and not to count the costs.
You probably already know what type of video services you enjoy, are competent in, and would like to offer in your video marketing agency. But before you decide for certain, make sure you have crystal clarity about what’s involved (good and bad). You need to make this decision with eyes wide open.
Here’s where the “Defining Success” list you developed in the last post comes in handy.
Cross-reference your list of “wants” and “don’t wants” with what you know about the different types of media you could offer.
Does one service seem to fit the best? Do none of them fit? (In that case, perhaps you should offer something other than video?) Are there elements of one that might require you to find assistance to provide that service to clients? Is having a bigger team in line with your wants?
Ultimately, you should be getting a better vision for what your business might involve (employees, location, overhead, etc.). It should also give you confidence in your service offering, enabling you to anticipate and withstand the challenges associated with that service.
Up next: finding clients.
I hope this was a somewhat helpful overview of different video services. Stay tuned for the next post in the series on finding epic clients!