Fellow filmmakers, if you're dabbling in video production, you'll be pitching your services to old geezers and young entrepreneurs and everyone in between. The barber shop down the road without an Instagram page? They're a tough sell. The digital marketer downtown who does SEO, Facebook ads, Adwords, website design, etc. can't possibly be great at everything. So sell them on the beauty, utility, and ROI of video!

Business owners, you need video. It's 2017. It's not 2003. Your buyers want to see who you are, what your service or product is, and they want to window-shop from home. A page full of text may have worked in 2003, but as Dylan mused, the times they are a changin'. Face the music, you shoot videos of yourself and your family on the weekends. Your buyers do too! It's a powerful tool! People believe what they see, not what they hear, and people love video!

Filmmakers, you have ample opportunities to take your God-given passion for film and video to the businesses right in you backyard. They win with a video, and you win with more experience. Comb through this list, find the facts that resonate with your prospects/clients, and learn your pitches. Sell people on the value you bring them. Don't cut prices to accommodate the tire-kickers.

Microbudgeters, stick around 'til the end. There's a BONUS for you that'll give you some inspiration and models to study in crafting your pitch, communicating your value, and more.

Let's begin.

Businesses/Owners NEED video and piles of engaging, quality videos because:

0. It gets people out of obscurity

Videos are easy to digest. Word on the street is 80% of people remember an online video ad. 

It's 30+ years later, and people still remember "Where's The Beef"?

That's why I made this short, unskippable 6-second bumper ad on YouTube. I call myself "Jake the film guy" because I want to stand out from the other Jake's in the world AND because State Farm forever owns the name with their infernal ad.

So, tell a story. Be memorable like Amazon or Sainsbury:


Even if it is informational, stand out. There are so many ace commercials you can learn from as you navigate this world of video.

1. Most people are visual learners

Almost 2/3 they say - that's a lot of buyers who don't read or can't read. 

My wife learns all her makeup how-to tutorials from YouTube. Shoot, when I needed to learn how to replace a p-trap, I went to YouTube. When I was a mechanic in the Air Force, I would have used YouTube if I could have!

More than half of all people watch online videos every day at a rate of almost 2 hours every day. It's great news for filmmakers like you and me, and it's bad news for business owners who still think Friday nights at the discotheque are far out.

2. People read a book a year

This is one of my favorites, and it's a staple in my 30 and 60-second video pitches. From the sales guru Uncle G: the average bear watches 750 videos a year, reads a book a year, and worse, half of all books sold are romance novels. 

Bottom line: people don't read. People like video.

N.B. Ever heard of "leaders read"? Filmmakers, we need to read - daily. I recommend learning sales, marketing, and leadership every day - and make it a point to READ a real book that cover topics from one of these areas. Yes, we have the best excuse to watch films and TV as we are constantly learning from those who have gone before us, but neither of those mediums are sufficient. Read!

3. Video has an ROI

Every business owner thinks about ROI (return on investment); understandably, they care about turning $1 into $2 (or better). Jolly good! Great news! 83% of businesses report seeing an ROI with video. Not only that, most marketers agree it is the type of content with the best ROI. Wunderbar! Even shoddy-looking iPhone videos do well when the information or story are great. 

A business can't afford your services? 

"Oh... that's too expensive."

"EXCELLENT! Wait 'til you see what it does and the VALUE I'll bring."

"No, really, I'm broke as a joke. There are cobwebs and banana peels in my business account."

"Great! Sit by a window and use your iPhone to shoot a 30-second welcome video." 

"I can... do that? What about outside by the pool?"

"No, do it inside where you can control the noise."

If a business truly can't afford your services, don't be stingy with information - inform, and move along. There are 7+ billion people on God's green earth, and they need your vision and skillset as a filmmaker. 

For those business owners and leaders who can afford quality video production, they're likely to recoup their investment - and then some.

4. Video means faster growth

Businesses that use video grow revenue 49% faster year-over-year than those businesses that are content to party like it's Y2K.

Now, some small mom and pop businesses (by their own doing or by the Peter Principle) are content to stay small. If so, call 'em out! 

"Do you want to stay small?"


"Of course not! You want to leave something for your grandkids' kids! Let's roll cameras!"

5. Page ranking matters

A business with a video on their site is 53 times more likely to show up on the first page of Google.

That's a whopper.

6. People stick around longer

Video cuts down on bounce rate (how quickly people bail after landing on a page). Intuitively, that makes sense, right? People have something to engage them when there's a video, so they stick around longer. This tells Google your site is the cat's pajamas.

And remember, Google owns YouTube, and both are still the #1 and #2 sites in the world. 

So reference your site in your video's description and embed your video on your site. It's a perfect marriage.

7. People who watch an explainer video are more likely to buy a product

Yep - 74% of people who watch an explainer video for a product go on to buy that product. Egad, Brain!

8. Most internet traffic will be from video

If this isn't one of the most compelling reasons for you, then you're probably still lamenting the death of the 4:3 aspect ratio and CD's. Time to smell the roses! Cisco says 90% of internet traffic will be from video by 2019; Forbes says it's 80% and by their estimate, it'll be by 2021. Whether the conservative estimate or not, video consumption is growing by leaps and bounds.

Heck, even Zuckerberg believes Facebook will be mostly video by 2021.

9. Video is shared more than anything else

Adult smartphone ownership is nearing 100% in the US. 92% of people who watch videos on their mobile devices share the videos with others. What's more, videos are shared a monstrous 1200% more times than text and links combined. 

Yowzers. Get off your bum and go shoot a video or call up a pro.

10. Video has the best CTR

On average, it has a CTR (click-through-rate) of 1.84% - that's the highest rate of all digital ads. 

It's great for landing pages.

It's great for explaining your widget.

It's a deciding factor in a buyer's mind.

11. Live streaming is free

People watch live videos even longer than pre-recorded videos. It doesn't cost a dime. If you have a YouTube or Facebook account, you can do a live video from your phone. It's that simple. I'm sure Amazon Web Services ain't too fond of it, but hey, that's technology for you. 

12. Video can be cinematic

With the advances in prosumer and consumer cameras and gear, it's very possible to have a cinematic video for your business/organization. This example is an instant classic. It wouldn't have been possible 20 years ago and no decision maker would have bought into such a visual treatment even 10 years ago:

But now you too can do something equally fun, cinematic, and memorable. Call up a pro down the road from you or in another state if you must for you big idea to reach your buyers.

Speaking of...

13. Videos are no longer for the big guys only

Obviously, your quality, your reach, and more go up with a larger budget. But for $7,000 or less. Let's say you throw it up on YouTube, and suppose it lives there for the next 2 years. That's less than $10 a day, which you already spend on your power bill every day at your place of business. The electricity won't bring in new customers or clients, but a video can, and its shelf-life is solid if you do it right.

Speaking of...

14. Videos have longevity

A picture will be forgotten days from now. But your video - if compelling, original, funny, etc. - can last years. That Sainsbury 2014 Christmas video is still powerful, still emotive, even today.

Ditto "Where's The Meat?" 

15. Videos can be used anywhere

Thanks to YouTube, videos can be shared on all social media platforms, embedded on your website, slapped in the middle of a slideshow/presentation, emailed, SMS'd - there are no limits. They're super portable. Gone are the days of lugging the box set, remote, and VHS on one big rollaway cart to watch the latest blurb on a tape. Nowadays, it's okay to watch a video over someone's phone, even in a formal meeting. 

16. It gives new life to testimonials

I gotta hand it to these guys at Vivint (solar company). It's not too flashy, but neither is it a cheesy iPhone video testimonial with poor exposure and awful sound - it's just right:

If you're going to do a testimonial video, make it something you can be proud of. Cheap begets cheap.

17. It shows off new ideas or products

Before you even bring your gadget to the market, tease it! Marvel does a phenomenal job of this with their teaser promos!

And of course, Apple does a fine job of this too. All the juggernauts do. It doesn't have to be any different for a small business of ten or a small business of one.

18. It lets new customers see YOU

Use it to intro yourself (for the Cadillac of examples, think of the dollar shave club guys - love 'em or hate 'em, they make a splash) and if you want, the receptionist at the front who will be the first point of contact. Or, answer questions from social media. Either way, it's disarming, especially for service-based businesses, to show WHO YOU ARE. Every doctor, dentist, and healthcare professional (for example) should have a welcome video from the top brass!

19. Video allows behind-the-scenes demos

Show off how your doors are built. The best chefs had their cooking shows to share their knowledge and they KNEW people couldn't duplicate them. Same goes for Bobby Ross and his glorious afro. He taught people his methods to further his brand, cement his reputation as a master, and he did it because he knew he was the MAN. There was no other Bob Ross (just disciples - even his son) and there probably won't be for some time because 20+ years after his death, the man's likeness is still on the shelves, still on YouTube, still relevant. Smart man - he doubled down on video.


Video is powerful. Take your phone and start recording. Something is better than nothing, but please have some passion in your voice and be memorable. Don't rest on your laurels, don't put people to sleep

Time to expand?

When you're ready to reach your buyers with your offer and you want a quality video you won't be embarrassed to share, give me a call: 702-907-0220. My team and I will set you straight, and you can get an exact quote in the first phone call. 

Whether my team or someone else, I want you to be successful with video. You can't die in obscurity! So, I put together a detailed checklist you should peruse before hiring me or any other video production company. It'll save you hours of headaches and frustration as you navigate this world.

Your turn - what else would you add to this list? Comment below!

Bonus Time: 

Fellow filmmakers, part of this blog was born out of frustration with the lack of unified information on the web. Everyone wants to teach the latest camera or the best vlogging microphone, but nobody wants to teach the soft skills we TRULY need to be legit filmmakers, skills like sales, marketing, and leadership. I'm no Nolan, but I will be a part of this industry, telling stories of hope to the masses 'til I'm 6' under - same as you. Everything I learn, good, bad, or ugly, I'll share with you.

I want you to join the Bold Nation newsletter. Mail goes out about once a week, I don't sell your information to anyone, and I genuinely want to encourage and empower you in your filmmaking journey. Today I'm offering a look at my 30 & 60-second video production pitches, my message I leave for voicemails when no one picks up, my pitch for the gatekeeper who usually answers the phone, and a video of today's post.

Recap: when you join the newsletter, you'll get

  • my 30-second video production pitch
  • my 60-second pitch
  • my voicemail pitch
  • my gatekeeper pitch (you know, the admins who screen the calls)
  • access to the video version of this very post (for those who don't read!)

Click that big button below.

Jake the film guy

I want to encourage others and bring honor to the Almighty in everything that I do with film and video. My goal is to take the first 11 minutes of my tv pilot and seek out decision-makers who can further the conversation about developing it into a show. If my team and I can do that, then we can teach 100,000 other microbudget filmmakers how to do the same thing so that we might tell stories of hope to millions. In the meantime, I'm a son of the King, a family man, a lifelong student of film, and the author of two microbudget filmmaking books.