For many potential clients, the Internet is their first stop in the search for salons. While a salon menu, contact information, and great pictures of your salon (and even your nails) are a necessity, a snazzy, snappy promo-video can really help set your salon apart from the rest.
An interesting thing has happened to the film industry, and though you might not realize it yet, it could have a big impact on how you choose to market your salon. Technology in film production has improved so much that now high-quality videos can be made by anyone with a quality camera, a home computer, and some good editing skills. And at the same time, the distribution technologies, namely the Internet, have brought video quickly and easily to your computers — and now even to your palm devices like iPhones and BlackBerrys.
Because of the greater ease of making videos and distributing them, many companies are hiring professional film crews to help shoot short promo-videos for their websites. Video is one of the quickest and most compelling ways to get a message across. Movies and television have long had the monopoly on the video medium and only interests with lots of money could afford to shoot and distribute quality videos.
But now, excellent quality videos can be realized and displayed on modest budgets. And for nail salons, a quick and well-done video on your website can show clients exactly what type of experience they can expect if they make a visit to your salon.
Getting the Shot
Websites that specialize in business listings, like Citysearch.com and Yellowpages.com, have video production options available by which businesses can purchase a video and arrange to have a professional videographer come to the salon.
Emi Wayner, owner of Zenka Nail Beauty Lounge in Manhattan Beach, Calif., used Citysearch’s video program to make her online video debut. "There was a promotion Citysearch was doing the month I got it done," says Wayner. "If you signed up for one of their business partnerships" [paid programs where Citysearch helps businesses get better placement and coverage across web search engines], then Citysearch would throw in a free video."
Once Wayner signed on, Citysearch sent a videographer to her salon to discuss what she wanted to convey about her salon through the video. "It’s like an interview," said Weyner. "He had us sit down so we felt comfortable, and then he would just ask us questions about the salon. There were a few lines we had to remember, but they were very easy." The entire shoot took no more than a couple hours, and within four days, Citysearch sent Wayner a link for the finished video. Once she gave her approval, it went live on the Citysearch listing next to her salon.
A Plethora of Talent
Going through Citysearch or Yellowpages can be great and easy if your business has a relationship with them, but there are also many talented professionals outside of the Citysearch and Yellowpages forums. You’ll need to have some savvy though, and be able to negotiate the price and ensure you’re getting quality video.
Depending on where you’re located, freelance videographers might be in abundance or very hard to find. Russell Mills, owner of Coloma Productions in Los Angeles, says salon owners should first and foremost review the already-made clips from any potential videographer. "Owners need to have a clear idea of what they’re looking for before they start contacting videographers," says Mills. "And then when they do, they need to look over the videographer’s past work, which are usually available on their website, and make sure it has the same look and feel you are going for."
It’s also important to plan out ahead of time exactly what video clips you want, and what you want to convey about your salon. Do you want to show more technical and service shots, like putting on gel toes or intricate nail art designs? Or do you want the ambience of the salon and locale to be more the focus?
The choices you make will depend on your own preferences, but there are a few things you should know. With so many video experts in the market today, the range of quotes you can get for a job can vary greatly. The experts we talked to said a professional promo video of your salon should range between $500 to $1,200.
Hitting the Mark
To take the guesswork out of looking for videographers, two larger companies have established themselves as the go-to companies for quick promo videos, TurnHere Video Production (turnhere.com) and Studio Now (studionow.com). Both have created a network of videographers across the U.S., so they are able to send someone out to businesses quickly and efficiently to help create a custom video.
"We have this down to a science," says Studio Now’s vice president of sales Tom Truitt. "We have a network of 3,500 professional filmmakers in our database. When a customer puts in her zip code, we offer a listing of the closest available videographers we can send."
Studio Now has a thorough vetting process for the videographers in their network so you know the professionals that show up to the salon are top-notch. "Many times these are the same people who are already working professionally in the area, like on the nightly news," says Truitt.
These companies aim to make video creation as easy and painless on the client as possible, while at the same time giving them the professional-quality results they are looking for. And it’s about as affordable as any other option out there.
Next page: Videos in action and a few things to remember on camera.