When the news of a shutdown first hit, my first reaction was, I am dead in the water! How would I continue to shoot videos? A large part of the video production process takes place in person. So truthfully, as soon as there was news of a possible shutdown, I expedited filming on a lot of projects, so I could gather as much footage to edit with as possible. Fortunately, many of my current clients were suddenly in a position to make marketing a priority. Smart business owners were focusing inward, looking at marketing opportunities and taking advantage of the surge of online traffic. I have always encouraged my clients to choose to build a strong library of video content so we can continue to create content, without having to shoot something new every time we want to create new video products. A dynamic interview with company leadership and influencers can produce 10-40 targeted videos that can be rolled out over time. I saw a lot of my peer companies focusing on accessing the government funding that was promised (and throwing the towel in on work). It's been a mixed bag of successes and failures for creative agencies to go this route. I wanted to focus on ways I could generate business with a small pivot with my current clients. I was pleasantly surprised that many of my clients were happy to work with "what we had." I am very fortunate to say that I have been very busy during this time working on video projects. Some of my clients are even shooting their own videos with smart phones and other devices and sending the raw footage for me to work with. Adaptation and flexibility have been paramount to me during this time.
One of my clients is creating an online course that teaches a system for hiring rockstar employees for fast food restaurants. Typically, I would do all of filming for him to create the course content. Since we can't get together, we've set him up to record himself teaching all of the units. He will send that footage to me and I will create each segment. With the Zoom craze, I think people have gotten more comfortable seeing themselves on video. Although the production value will not be the same, we are working with what we have. I think you can't be afraid to help your clients take a risk during this time. You also can't be married to the way you've always done things. List out all of your skills and see what you can translate into a remote opportunity.
Another big success for me is that I have re-directed one of my talented photographer friends into an Instagram account manager for my clients. It's a win win because she should be out shooting weddings, but she is out of work. Instead, she now has a new income stream and is helping my clients integrate video content into their social media accounts.
Mary Boland Creative Director, Anchor Hitch Media
a:Chestnut Street, Amesbury, MA