I do a fair bit of work in the medical and public health sectors. A couple of weeks ago I received a LinkedIn message from a client of mine at BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) indicating that a project I provided the video production services for had received some favourable press coverage in the Globe and Mail.
The project fell into my lap when a former employer of mine was unable to help BCAS on this particular project as they were otherwise scheduled so they recommended me. Now, frankly what they did was tell their client about a competitor of theirs and sent a reasonably lucrative project to that competitor.
Why would they do that?
Let me explain: my former employer recognized that they weren’t able to accommodate the request in the timeline required so they chose to send the project on to someone they knew would do a good job of it, thereby providing value to their existing client. As well, I was a known commodity and they recognized that my professionalism and reputation was important to me so I would do everything in my power to maintain that reputation.
What that meant to me was that I made it clear to BCAS that they remained my former employer’s client first and foremost and that all future projects should be presented first to my former employer. IF they were unable to accommodate future requests, I would be happy to be their next point of contact.
What I did was not create a new client and alienate my former employer; I created TWO NEW BRAND AMBASSADORS!
BCAS is very happy with the work I provided and has a small project for revisions coming into my edit suite next week. My former employer recognized that I was behaving in an ethical manner and has provided me with a number of referrals since on projects that they either didn’t have the time or the capacity to look after.
One of those referrals was back in my studio this morning.
Indigenous Cultural Competency is a program within the Provincial Health Services Authority of British Columbia. They do fantastic work in education primarily in the health services sector. I was contacted to provide video and audio production services on a new initiative.
I had previously worked with the group on prior training modules and a promotional video for the program while working as a staff person at a local British Columbia hospital in their A/V support and video production department.
Last year, I was contacted to provide long format recording of 4 concurrent sessions as part of multi-day conference that had world leaders in cultural competency as presenters and facilitators.
I brought together a fantastic team of dedicated professionals to record all aspects of the conference, including interviews with the keynote speakers in another room while the conference was taking place.
Much as trust was placed in me by my former employer when they handed a fairly large production budget project over to me, I placed my trust in the team I brought together to not only provide exemplary service, but to not try to “poach” my client. Each of them owns their own business and understood what expectations were. In fact, they all referred at least one inquiry from conference attendees straight to me instead of trying to offer their own services, which is why I will continue to hire the folks I do and will recommend them for gigs I can’t handle.
The moral of this story?
Create colleagues, not competitors.
Make people want to refer you when opportunities come up or when they can’t service a particular client’s needs.
Be ethical in all your business dealings.
Share the wealth – hire your contemporaries!
Talk to people and make them want to work with you by not only your words but your actions.
There is no Get-Rich-Quick scheme in video. Show up every single day, bust your hump, earn the respect of your colleagues and make people proud to refer you.
Create Brand Ambassadors.
Thanks for reading!