How To Succeed In A Small Market w/ Sarah and Rick Pendergraft of PenWeddings

podcast Apr 17, 2017

It’s a challenge that wedding filmmakers and creative business owners the world over face and struggle with, every day.

"When is it time to quit my job and go full-time on this? Is it even possible for me to make a career telling stories through film?? My market is waaay too small for that...”

Some of us struggle with this for months, years, or even our entire lives without ever taking the leap and giving it a shot. The timing never seems quite right, our ideal clients are nowhere to be found and there are too many obstacles that we perceive to be standing in between us and our dreams.

Sarah and Rick Pendergraft of PenWeddings have been there, and know all of the struggles associated with making the move into a totally foreign industry. Based in Broken Arrow, OK (yeah I had no idea where that was either), it’s hard to say that they’re in a “high end” wedding market, and yet they’ve steadily been increasing their prices, year after year since launching the company in 2009. Not only that, but they consistently travel around the world to shoot high-end weddings for couples they love working with, and who genuinely care about the finished product.

I’ll be the first to say that I learned a ton from them today about some of the experiments they’ve done along the way, (some successful and some not) related to pricing, marketing, and scheduling. They also dive deep into how they went about making the leap from working for the local news station, to crafting wedding stories at, Mexican beaches, in Australia and much, much more.  

Are you working full time as a wedding filmmaker in a small market? If so do you remember some of the challenges you perceived when making the leap? Looking back would you do anything differently? If not, what are you struggling with? Leave a comment and let us know!


In this episode:

- The pitfalls of charging by the hour, and why you should probably avoid it
- Why booking yourself solid might not be the best indicator of success for your business, and what you should be thinking about instead
- How to boost your creativity and improve your final product through smart scheduling
- Properly vetting your clients to ensure you’re working with people who you want to work with and who care about what you’re producing


Quotes:

“Every time you cross over a new $1000 it was a little freaky, but we’ve continued to increase year after year, and so far we’ve never had a scary ‘uh oh, we’re not going to be able to pay the bills’ kind of moment” [21:07]

“If you’ve got 30 weddings, you don’t have time to wonder, ‘is this thing I’m trying to do with these vows going to work.’ You’ve got to pump it out and get to the next one.” [23:36]

“There’s a lot to be said for holding out and learning when to say, ‘I don’t think we’re the right fit for you.” [38:33]


Links:

PenWeddings
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Wedding Film Retreat

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