B2BID: Sven Kielhorn, founder, creative and marketing director of eTown Videos, Southampton
NAME: Sven Kielhorn
JOB TITLE, COMPANY: Founder, creative and marketing director of eTown Videos, Southampton
WHEN THE BUSINESS STARTED: 2006
WHAT YOU DO: We create professional, high-quality marketing and training videos for businesses.
EXPERIENCE: I have been working in motion graphics design and digital video productions for more than 10 years.
THE MARKET: We create marketing and training videos for businesses in Massachusetts, Southern Vermont and Connecticut. Our core customer base is located in western Massachusetts. eTown Videos produces video marketing and training videos for small businesses and large corporate brands.
HOW YOU REACH OUT TO IT: Social media, blogging, our website, YouTube and plenty of networking. We also produce the monthly video spotlight for the Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce.
WHAT FINANCING HURDLES HAVE YOU FACED AND HOW HAVE YOU HANDLED THEM? In 2006, web video was still fairly new. We had to help clients understand that video was becoming important to their business website and that it was a good investment of their marketing dollars. We also helped clients understand how video could make certain internal business operations easier, such as training employees or explaining new products to customers. We also struggled to find the right pricing points. We had nothing to compare it to — so often we underpriced our services. I feel today we do a much better job at providing a high-quality video product at a competitive price.
KEY TO SUCCESS: Doing what we can to help clients by creating innovative video products and partnering with talented individuals. We strive to understand our clients’ needs and create a video to satisfy those needs.
CHALLENGES: Most businesses do agree that video is an important online marketing component. However, once a video has been completed, many businesses do not understand or do not have the time to get as much mileage out of their video productions as possible. In other words, they purchased a high-quality video but do not know how to market the video or how to get it seen. Just having a video is not enough. Therefore, we assist our clients in using social media, SEO, YouTube and email newsletters to make sure that their video gets seen and attracts new clients.
MISSTEP YOU LEARNED FROM: Scheduling and allowing adequate time for a video production was a big issue early on, and we found ourselves working long weekends to meet deadlines. I feel we’ve learned over the years, and we are able to provide clients with much more accurate delivery times.
WHAT OTHERS COULD LEARN FROM YOU: I want to create unique videos —all the time. However, I am not only a creative but also a small business owner. Realistically, we can only spend about 50 percent of our time creating and producing videos, the other 50 percent is spent on marketing and running the business. We not only create great videos, we try to help businesses learn how to use their video as a marketing tool to benefit them most effectively. Many clients may not know there are many ways to use their video. We also show our clients how the video can benefit their business’ website better than a plain, text-only website.
WHO HELPED MENTOR YOU PROFESSIONALLY: Frankly, too many to mention. I have met many generous and talented individuals whom I have learned a great deal from. I feel grateful.
TOP GOALS FOR 2013: Major release of a new video for our business, which includes new special effects. Growth of the eTown client base and hiring additional video production talents.
ADVICE FOR OTHERS SEEKING BUSINESS SUCCESS: Whatever you do, do it because it brings joy and value to others and yourself. Work hard and do your best.
PARTING THOUGHT: Know your strength and weaknesses, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
This B2B ID was compiled by Jamie Faulkner, an intern with Beetle Press in Easthampton. Beetle Press offers writing, editing and graphic design services. www.beetlepress.com. To suggest a subject for B2B ID, email Janice Beetle at firstname.lastname@example.org.