Allied Productions | Grand Rapids Video Production, Photography and Digital Media Agency
THE INTERSECTION OF STRATEGY AND STORY

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The Intersection of Strategy and Story

How to Connect With Your Video Production & Photography Clients to Drive Impact

 Ted McDonald, a budding photographer, seasoned digital director, and app development/digital guru, spending time at the studio experimenting with some portrait lighting techniques.

Ted McDonald, a budding photographer, seasoned digital director, and app development/digital guru, spending time at the studio experimenting with some portrait lighting techniques.

Creativity Creates Connections

If you've been following our social accounts you've probably seen Ted's handsome mug tagged in a few AP photos and featured in a few Instagram stories. Ted and I (Phill) go way back, and recently have had the chance to reconnect over our shared love of photography, and digital media. 

Ted has sat in at the studio the last couple weeks, and even joined us on location for a artist interview and head-shot session at the Kendall School of Art and Design (blog coming soon). His wisdom of digital media and content production is only matched by his strategic mind and ability to demystify the art of client-to-agency relationships. Below are a few things we've picked up from Ted in our time together.

1. Your Photo and Video Clients Want A Deeper Connection 

Clients want a deeper connection, not just with their consumers, but with their vendors and agencies, especially when choosing the right client can make or break their careers. Having a great pitch/capabilities deck, a slick reel, and amazing content puts you at parity with your top competitors. Focus on creating meaningful connections, extending your network and constantly showing the value you can create.

In building your network, the urge to produce free work, and do favors can be tempting. We advise you to do as little of this as possible, unless you're absolutely green in terms of your experience. The goal is create trust, meaningful connections, and promote the value of your services. Free work sets a poor precedent, and expectations from peers and clients.

 Understanding your client is key. The only way to do that successfully is through meaningful questions and interactions. This can be a combination of research, empathy building, brainstorming, concept creation and other creative/strategic activities. 

Understanding your client is key. The only way to do that successfully is through meaningful questions and interactions. This can be a combination of research, empathy building, brainstorming, concept creation and other creative/strategic activities. 

2. Ask Meaningful Questions; Connect Your Photography, Video Production and Digital to Strategy

Do your research. Never go into a client engagement blind. Even scouring their web page the night before, and using some google-fu to find articles regarding trends, problems, and opportunities affecting their business can be added to your engagement playbook, especially in early discussions. More than that though, ask questions. Yes, all of the great content and testimonials are great at building the perception of expertise, but if you make the first few client engagements learning about the goals, opportunities, and where they see your skills providing impact, it naturally moves the relationship in past the standard request for proposal interactions. 

Finally, weave your experiences, and the value of your skill-set into the discussion. Once you get the hang of how these interactions go, you'll quickly move from initial conversations into collaborative problem solving, which is a step away from a signed contract. 

 White papers, testimonials, and easily demonstrated examples of impact go a long way in building confidence with clients. 

White papers, testimonials, and easily demonstrated examples of impact go a long way in building confidence with clients. 

3. Value and Return on Investment Still Reign Supreme

At the end of the day you'll deliver a high-quality product, but if that high-quality product delivers tangible results to accomplish the client's goals you'll have a customer for life. This means being able to communicate why you made certain creative decisions, how they'll impact the final product, and ultimately move the needle closer to the client's goals. Awards are great, so are views/comments/shares, but dig deeper and see if there are other metrics you can track to help prove your impact.