TurnHere for interesting recession-resistant video business

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Well, I can see that on my last post I went too far in pushing a point that corporate bloggers don’t live under the same rules that unemployed bloggers do. In any case, this next video demonstrates why I’m not going to go to the PDC even better than worrying about my feelings.

Today I visited TurnHere.com. Some facts. Profitable. 60 core employees. 7,000 paid contractors. Hundreds of new videos per day.

But in talking with them I realized they are a recession-resistant business and thought what I learned from them is important to highlight. Why are they recession-resistant?

1. High value for low price. Their customers are small businesses who don’t know how to use Apple’s FinalCut Pro or how to tell a story with video. It’s not easy, as I joke around about in the video “I don’t have talent.” They charge less than a grand to do the videos, a videographer shows up, spends an hour or two interviewing and shooting, then goes home and edits together a pretty nice video. I sat in their meeting today where they showed off a couple and they were nice quality, the kinds of things that a small business would find invaluable for their website, etc.
2. Distribution. They are on Yellowpages.com, Citysearch, and other places. I can’t get my videos onto the Yellowpages.com, so they have defendable and high volume distribution that small businesses are willing to pay for.
3. Few salespeople but lots of revenues. They outsourced their sales team to Yellowpages and Citysearch and their other business partners. Those business partners bring them tons of revenues and distribution. That’s a neat business that I admire.
4. Low-cost production. They have hand trained 7,000 videographers around the world who make the videos. That might seem expensive, but not really. There are a lot of people who have decent video equipment out there (decent being a $500 camera, a $200 tripod, and a $300 microphone, along with a fairly beefy Mac and Final Cut Pro) who often have day jobs working at TV stations and making movies. They get hired for a few hundred bucks to make the videos.
5. Rapid iteration and quality control. The team meets every afternoon to watch a couple of videos from that day’s videos. That ensures that quality stays high (no one wants to put a crappy video in front of their teammates) and increases the ideas that come from the team.

Anyway, I asked off camera if they had seen any effect yet (I’m hearing small businesses are having a rough time right now, so wondered if they had seen any effect). They have not, the execs say, and their sales are up. Since it’s a private company I can’t verify those claims, but the product and team seem very good and it’s nice to see a business with real revenues and a real business plan (and a good reputation, I’ve been getting nice notes from people since Twittering that I was visiting this afternoon).

Oh, this video is the first I did with a new Nokia N96 cell phone that Nokia sent me to try out. It’s nice, but since it doesn’t work with AT&T’s 3G yet it will be hard for me to use for my live videos, but for things like this it works very well. My wife just bought a Flip cam too, so we’ll do some comparisons.

I’m using Viddler for this video and am very impressed. Last week I put a couple of videos up on Google Video and Viddler is a lot nicer to use for uploading and the player is much nicer too. Viddler videos are also embeddable in WordPress.com, while Google Videos are not. I’ll compare to Kyte soon (I like Kyte because it has a neat chat room and can be used with live, including recorded stuff like this).

Thanks TurnHere for showing me an interesting new business!

Comments

  1. Hi Robert,

    Thanks for taking the time to come visit with us! We’re really lucky to work with some amazing filmmakers all over the world. They do incredible work every day.

    The feedback from small business has been amazing and we’re seeing real results with the videos driving clicks, and most importantly inbound phone calls, which drive leads to the businesses. The videos also being watched by viewers to the end a large percentage of the time – and we think that these two metrics are the most important. Engagement and action.

    Large brands are also seeing the value of this type of video production. It’s clearly sponsored but there’s valuable content presented in an engaging format that really seems to work for the online audience.

  2. Hi Robert,

    Thanks for taking the time to come visit with us! We’re really lucky to work with some amazing filmmakers all over the world. They do incredible work every day.

    The feedback from small business has been amazing and we’re seeing real results with the videos driving clicks, and most importantly inbound phone calls, which drive leads to the businesses. The videos also being watched by viewers to the end a large percentage of the time – and we think that these two metrics are the most important. Engagement and action.

    Large brands are also seeing the value of this type of video production. It’s clearly sponsored but there’s valuable content presented in an engaging format that really seems to work for the online audience.

  3. Speaking from the point of view of a contract video producer for TurnHere, I have to say my hat is off to them. Since the first conversation — a recruiting phone call from none other than Andrew Bennett himself — I have encountered nothing less than courtesy and enthusiasm to the Nth degree on the part of their staff. They have truly streamlined the process of creating video for their clients (and their clients’ clients, in turn) and the result seems to be a true win/win for everyone in the chain. As of the last three months or so, I’ve essentially nothing but produce videos for TurnHere (contracted jobs for YellowPages.com) and I’m not seeing any significant slowdown in business in the East Central Alabama/West Central Georgia area. My experience tells me that someone has caught-on to what SEEMS counterintuitive: in a period of recession, it’s wise to consider INCREASING your advertising efforts as a means to increase business (and your share of a possibly shrinking pool of customer dollars.) TurnHere truly helps to facilitate that in a much more timely and affordable way. I can not speak highly enough of TurnHere, their team, or their potential.

    Dan Gunter,
    Owner, Video Producer
    East Alabama Media

  4. Speaking from the point of view of a contract video producer for TurnHere, I have to say my hat is off to them. Since the first conversation — a recruiting phone call from none other than Andrew Bennett himself — I have encountered nothing less than courtesy and enthusiasm to the Nth degree on the part of their staff. They have truly streamlined the process of creating video for their clients (and their clients’ clients, in turn) and the result seems to be a true win/win for everyone in the chain. As of the last three months or so, I’ve essentially nothing but produce videos for TurnHere (contracted jobs for YellowPages.com) and I’m not seeing any significant slowdown in business in the East Central Alabama/West Central Georgia area. My experience tells me that someone has caught-on to what SEEMS counterintuitive: in a period of recession, it’s wise to consider INCREASING your advertising efforts as a means to increase business (and your share of a possibly shrinking pool of customer dollars.) TurnHere truly helps to facilitate that in a much more timely and affordable way. I can not speak highly enough of TurnHere, their team, or their potential.

    Dan Gunter,
    Owner, Video Producer
    East Alabama Media

  5. This was a great interview. I have posted it up on Vodpod for ReelSEO.com. Thanks again for sharing… great stuff.

  6. [...] Dans les deniers chiffres du commerce électronique publiés par CEFRIO/VDL2, le Web était pointé comme la porte de sortie de la crise. Peu coûteux par rapport aux investissements médias classiques, et avec un ROI supérieur, Internet permet aux entreprises de rejoindre une clientèle inexploitée, parfois dans le même quartier que leur commerce. Le commerce électronique local est encore sous-exploité, et la vidéo en ligne est certainement l’outil le plus riche pour soutenir ce nouveau développement. TurnHere for interesting recession-resistant video business [...]