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We-Co
03-26-2008, 01:23 AM
Hi all, Iím trying to start up a business where I sell cable commericals to small businessís in my area.

I was just wondering is if you have any advice or tricks on how to get business owners to buy commericals.

eagleeyed
03-26-2008, 01:43 AM
Well first thing what I see is always have a decent webpage, I love the design of it, and the tune is good aswell.

I think you may need to re-do the About Us page though as it does not easily read, they seem to be seperate paragraphs with the big gap between them, yet they are just continuing sentences, so I got lost and thought the text had been cut off for about 5 seconds, until I realised that.

As for your original question, as I dont do any of that, unfortuanaly I cant help, the webpage is great though, looks really professional.

Oh, last thing, loading times for the webpage images were a bit slow, I am on a 6Mb/s connection so I know it isnt my side. But it took 15 seconds for one of the pictures to load in the gallery at one time.

EDIT: Also just discovered all the links inbetween the text on the About Us page result in a 404 error.

archijam
03-26-2008, 01:51 AM
Agreed, nice page. I think I remember your old one, this is certainly much improved!

If you are really interested in getting this work (instead of other work) I would re-prioritize, the films section should be first, and you should shift work that is more 'for fun' to later in the images, it will look more professional.

It does not seem that you will actually have many advertising film examples to begin with. This is not so bad, but have you considered adapting existing work a little in the direction of advertising? A little after effects post work and you could turn any of those still image scenes into a promo piece ..

Some people need alot of prompting: ie. you have to tell them what's possible - a few photographs or video clips of their business or services + several blends and animations and you have a product ..

If you don't have so much time, you could always mock up a storyboard. If you are going to canvas a few places in your area, perhaps some printed frames from animations or a small media player would help ..

Good luck! :)

j.

pauland
03-26-2008, 03:21 AM
Well first thing what I see is always have a decent webpage, I love the design of it, and the tune is good as well.

I'm not really in this business, but here's a few comments that are probably worth what they cost.

If the web page is intended to sell your services for local cable advertising, I think it should change, or perhaps you should have a different web page targeting that particular market.

Kill the music. Some people will love the music, some people will hate it. Why annoy those that will hate it? The last thing you want to do is embarrass people coming to your site but who are at work in a busy office. Music blaring from a PC isn't a sign of someone hard at work in most companies, even if it may be fine for most of us LWers. How many potential customers will switch pages as soon as that music comes out? If you are showing video with sound, warn people about the audio first so they can turn down the sound if they wish.

Target your website towards what you can do for the market, not just showing off what you just did. Explain what you can do in the cable TV market and if you are able, cite success stories from customers that have been very happy with your work and (have made money as a result).

Really, shift your perception from showing off what you have done, to showing explicitly what you can do to help (improve the bottom line) for customers via cable TV.

If you are targeting different market sectors, have different websites.

Paul

Steamthrower
03-26-2008, 07:57 AM
I've done a lot of website design, and was actually getting interviewed for trade publications until I decided that...it was really pretty boring. :D

However it's still an important method of getting business. And I love your website!

I'd recommend two merely aesthetic improvements: 1, lose the initial We-Co logo zoom transition. And 2, increase the contrast between some of your colors.

Otherwise...business wise I have no clue. I've only dealt with broadcast local TV stations. I have no idea how cable stations are different.

RollerJesus
03-26-2008, 08:42 AM
As for the business side...
You should put yourself in the clients shoes. Someone that needs your services would most likely go to the cable company and get the rates and terms of running a commercial. the cable company most likely has a list of 'preferred vendors' that they recommend for produciton of the commercials. You can usually get on that list with a couple phone calls and a decent portfolio and some reasonable discounts for first time clients.

If not, watch the tv stations that you think you will be targetting try reaching out to competitors/others in the market directly. Do some research and find out what tradeshows they attend, what magazines they read, etc and put your company where they can see it.

Make sure you research your competitors pricing and set your prices accordingly, don't water it down, down hike it up.

Best of luck,
Patrick

We-Co
03-26-2008, 09:30 PM
Thanks. Yeah I know the website has multiple problems; grammar issues, placement issues, color contrast, 404 errors, etc. I?m redoing the whole site in HMTL/Flash, just because the one I have up right now takes time to update.

I have been doing some research on my competitors and I?m probably one of the cheapest for what services I give. Plus I always tell the customers I can go cheaper if they feel it?s too much to handle. As for the recommend list, I?m still trying to get on it.

I have been going to businesses in the afternoon and pitching to them but they don?t seem interested. I know I should probably go when the business is closing or opening. Is there any advice you can give for pitching an idea that would make a business owner want to buy a commercial?

Titus
03-26-2008, 11:12 PM
Plus I always tell the customers I can go cheaper if they feel it?s too much to handle. As for the recommend list, I?m still trying to get on it.



IMO this is not the best approach. A company is not always looking for the cheapest work. Get a good reputation and your clients will pay what you consider fair, if you charge too low then you'll risk to be the cheap shop with no opportunity to charge more.

Wopmay
03-27-2008, 02:36 AM
Uh. Hi.

I don't want to rain on your parade but I'm afraid you need to face a bit of reality in order to realize any success.

Please take these suggestions in the manner in which they are intended. And please be sure you are sitting down.

First of all, a company that is purporting to provide advertising services does not go on line asking other people how to advertise. Sorry. I encourage your enthusiasm and I realize this is a bit of a slap in the face. But think about it. If this is what you are trying to sell, you should be giving advice, not receiving it.

Okay. Everybody has to start somewhere. So first things first. Right off the bat, you've made some assumptions which may seem perfectly logical, but in reality, are broadly held miss-conceptions about how business operates, particularly when it comes to advertising.

For example, and the first thing to understand, is that the idea that anybody comes up with an idea for a commercial and then goes out into the market to sell it is a fantasy. Not saying it can't happen. But you will find, as you have indicated, that you will have very little success. It just doesn't work that way. Not to get too deep, there is NO PROPERTY in advertising. Come up with an idea for a movie -- go out and sell it. Congratulations.

No one will buy a commercial from you. Advertising is a SERVICE business. It is 100% backwards, 180 degrees opposite, of what you are trying to do. A commercial comes into being because it is a reflection of the marketing problems and opportunities that are integral to a particular business at a particular time, within the context of a particular competitive situation, with regard to the particular goals of a business -- which may or MAY NOT be what you think they are.

In other words, there isn't any way in hell you can know what a company needs or will be interested in. A commercial, cable or otherwise, or any kind of advertisement for that matter, is the RESULT of the sale. Not the CAUSE of it.

Second, be aware of the arena you are trying to operate in. The truth is, the majority of "cable" commercials are produced free of charge by the cable or media company selling the time as an incentive to purchase the time. You are placing yourself in a competition, therefore, to provide a free service. Maybe we better rethink that business model.

As I said, I'm very sorry to *****-slap you here in public but, truthfully, I only wish somebody like me had been rude enough to level with me on a few of the adventures I have embarked upon myself. I applaud your effort, and I support it. But if this is what you really want to do, go get a job in an ad agency or something for a year or two. At least then you'll know what questions to ask.

On the other hand, I suspect that what you are really trying to accomplish would more appropriately be categorized as a production service or graphic arts service to the local community of ad agencies, production companies or maybe web, cable and television companies. You obviously have a lot to offer. But make no mistake. The production community does not come up with the marketing ideas, strategies or scripts, nor does it have much -- if any -- say over how those ideas are executed. That is the domain of ad agencies and design shops (or in your case, perhaps, cable companies) and you must know that they do not just come up with cool ideas and then go around trying to sell them.

That said, in recent times, there have cropped up a few web sites that offer prefabricated commercials that a company can buy on line for a few hundred dollars. While this seems to invalidate all the above, consider the economics even of this idea. Creating a commercial that you are going to sell for a few hundred dollars means you've got to be dealing in massive volume. The hidden truth in these "stock" commercial sites is that the only person making any money is the person who is NOT lifting a finger to create the content. The only real money is in BROKERING other people's work. This being the case, and you being the creative entity, you are right back where you started -- unless you can gear up into a massive level of production -- and/or convince other people to provide content for free.

One last point. The commercials on the stock spot sites, which you would no doubt be competing against, are, generally speaking, of a high calibre of work. Fine. We'll assume you can compete with any calibre work out there. But more importantly, they are also, generally speaking, written by advertising pros who know what goes in a commercial and what is required to make it generic enough to be broadly applicable and yet remain specific enough to have any impact. The point? A surgeon doesn't just go into the operating room and start slicing away so it looks like there's an operation going on. You gotta know where to snip this and clamp that. You're back to going and getting a job in an ad agency so you'll have some clue how to keep the patient alive long enough to pay the bill.

As you see, I've had too much coffee. I hope this helps clarify whatever it is you are doing. I hope it doesn't discourage you from trying, nor that you misunderstand my intentions. On the contrary, I hope you are more energized and even more focused on achieving the success you seek and probably deserve. Just, please to God, come in off that ledge you are standing on and figure out who your customer is.

I have to go lie down now.

W

StevieB
03-27-2008, 05:49 PM
:thumbsup: Just kidding man!

Thanks. Yeah I know the website has multiple problems; grammar issues, placement issues, color contrast, 404 errors, etc. I?m redoing the whole site in HMTL/Flash, just because the one I have up right now takes time to update.

I have been doing some research on my competitors and I?m probably one of the cheapest for what services I give. Plus I always tell the customers I can go cheaper if they feel it?s too much to handle. As for the recommend list, I?m still trying to get on it.

I have been going to businesses in the afternoon and pitching to them but they don?t seem interested. I know I should probably go when the business is closing or opening. Is there any advice you can give for pitching an idea that would make a business owner want to buy a commercial?

JBT27
03-29-2008, 04:35 AM
Wopmay's advice to consider being employed in the industry first is a good one.

One of the people who started a major picture library in London, in the early 1980s, spent three or four years first as a caption writer at established libraries, watching how it worked day to day.

You are going to provide a service to creative companies, to allow them to realise what they can only draw out on paper, as it were. That's a major part of what you must concentrate on.

And very importantly, target companies who already know what you are offering, what you are talking about. Creating new markets is not for the faint-hearted (not suggesting you are faint-hearted, by the way) and can be an incredible time-waster. Believe me, we have gone down so many dead-ends on that one.

Offer the service, make it clear what you can do, don't under or overprice - be wary of getting into non-paid development work on ideas that someone else has had, and gradually ease into developing your own ad-agency, if that's what you want to do. Specialism is good, but be absolutely sure who you are targetting.

Good luck!

Julian.