How we Started a Video Production Team in 1 month for $0

In a world where everyone relies on their social media feeds for information, news, updates on family and their shopping decisions, it would be foolish to not take advantage of media creation for your company. I want to show you how we started a video production team in 1 month for $0.

We had spent a little over a month from May to June trying to figure out how to find customers through traditional sales methods and found that those methods simply don’t work. You have to provide value up front in order for relationships with businesses and individuals to be successful and we needed to find a way to do that.

Our company is called Told Media and we “Tell Stories” through mobile application and website development, but we wanted to start doing that through video as well to create brand awareness. In order to get anything done within your business that requires a team you need a idea, vision, value, hustle and talent. I’ll touch on our obstacles on each and how we pushed through them all as well.

Idea

Our idea was to create video content interviewing other entrepreneurs and talking them through their business ideas and how they originally got started. This would create a storytelling piece and once we had an original portfolio – we could begin to target owners who have extremely intriguing stories to tell that would hopefully go viral at some point. We know the barriers to entry up front and needed to find a solution to make this come to life.

Barriers to entry:

  1. Thousands of dollars in camera equipment, editing software, sound equipment, lighting and talent.
  2. Selling the idea to business owners with no portfolio and refining our pitch so they would want to work with us.
  3. Creating enough value that they would tell their whole network about our services and what we do.

Vision

This is extremely important in any brand creation as well as finding and retaining talent. Without a brand that is engaging and a vision that is worth working with, no client or potential team member would ever consider working with you.

We were broad initially with our vision on our posting while looking for interns online – but internally we had come up with different avenues we could pursue to make the vision a reality (and obtainable) with our film interns.

The vision is also important when pitching and working with potential clients – after we had told the first few potential clients about they free videos we were creating for them they’d always ask specific questions that always ended up pitching the vision we had in mind for their brand. Make sure you have that.

Value

Out of all of the sections, I believe this is the most important thing to have in any initiative that you create. Theres a saying that goes something like “If you don’t bring anything to the table, then you won’t eat.” It’s TRUE. Nobody will work with you if the value isn’t there so we needed to find the value for everyone involved in getting this video creation program up and running. On top of finding the value, the value needs to be pitched and sold to all parties involved for it to work too.

Our Value: We needed to up our online content presence, one way to do so is to highlight engaging and/or inspiring brands and their owners. With content we could work with other companies networks to push their brand and have them hear about what we do too! Our only obstacle is to monetize the content we create otherwise this initiative and our team involved with creating them won’t be  around very long.

Companies Value: Content costs thousands of dollars to create – and most companies believe it or not don’t see the value in paying money for it. So when we come to them and sell them on the vision of what we can do for them, the smart ones work with us.

Interns Value: Fortunately for us, we work out of WeWork – a co-working space with a lot of amenities. So we made sure that whoever inquired about working with us, they knew about our office location and everything it offered. On top of that, we knew that many filmmakers were looking build up their portfolios – we could help them do that! Finally, you want to maintain a fun culture that they could be a part of and work within for an extended period of time. Below is our original internship posting and the application. We received 50+ applicants.

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 8.51.49 PM.png

Hustle

Finding companies to work with wasn’t going to be easy at first – but I knew once we had our first few pieces of content , it would be easier to find more companies to work with. We had to come up with ways to hustle and find clients who were not only intriguing on film, but were willing to work with us to create these pieces of content. We started by using an online database with thousands of companies around us and sent them emails – we decided to A/B test different methods to find what worked best.

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The Emails
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Our Email sent to Companies

The mass custom graphic emails worked alright – and we converted a few projects. But we then moved on to standard text emails and found our best converting method was niching down and contacting companies directly in different industries that we wanted to work with. Long story short, be nimble, hustle and change up your methods until you find something that converts the highest.

Talent

This was going to be extremely important, we wanted to only put out the highest quality – so we needed a team to do just that. I was able to speak to multiple people who were in the industry to figure out what to look for and we created a form to interview everyone and jot down their talents to compare. We also had someone on our team who was able to ask in-depth questions about video production to test their knowledge during the interviews. We used Indeed and Craigslist to find talent locally. We had 50+ apply and interviewed 15 people, and ended up with the top 4.

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 9.04.27 PM

We also had to look at the dynamics of the people we brought on – would they work well with our initial team? Would they work well together? Did they have the skills? Would they be organized and not need to be micromanaged? These were all questions we had to ask ourselves when picking the team.

On top of that – every person we selected had a personal brand / online portfolio similar to the one your reading this off of right now, it’s important and companies will want to work with you because of it.

You can check out our teams online portfolios here:

Lastly. Do Shit. 

Although what we’re doing now isn’t sustainable unless we find a positive ROI on everything, but we now have a team who is extremely talented and loves what they do. We’re not only hoping to get the pieces of content we create to a wider audience to learn more about what we do – but we’re hoping to have video production within the company be a paid service we can provide to companies at some point if it all works out. We already have a few paid clients in the E-Commerce industry and hope to expand that with time.

To get our team started it truly did cost $0, but obviously we’ve had small costs in purchasing our transportation, lighting equipment, and the interns transportation reimbursements. I can’t wait to show everyone the videos we’ve been creating as well.

I love when people talk about their ideas and the multiple barriers to entry as if it’s impossible – if they aren’t willing to do what it takes above to make it happen, they didn’t want it bad enough to begin with.

P.S Frankie the kid in my picture didn’t help me start the production team – he only showed up to our video shoot today for Golden Knot Yacht Services because it was on a yacht and he knew they were feeding us.

Follow me on Snap / IG / Twitter @Vq03 to see more!

– VQ

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