How to impress in seconds: Tips for business owners in the film industry


© Vanilla Bear Films

The average human being takes just 7 seconds to form a first impression. When you run a business, especially in the film industry, first impressions can count for everything. In this guide, we’ll provide some tips to help you impress in seconds. 


The way you present yourself says a lot about your personality, but it can also influence the way people perceive your business. If you dress smartly, this gives people confidence that you are professional and that you take your work seriously. If you’ve not taken the time to iron a shirt, do your hair or polish your shoes, this can impact the way prospective clients or partners view you and your company. Make an effort with your presentation, establish a dress code for your employees and think about how you view people when the shoe is on the other foot and you meet them as a client. 


© Jopwell


Time is of the essence when you’re making or promoting movies and nobody wants to be kept waiting. If you are late for meetings, phone calls or video conferences, you can get off the wrong foot and it can be difficult to recover. Give yourself enough time to get to meetings and contact the person or people you are due to meet if you are running late due to circumstances that are beyond your control. If you miss a call or a video chat, there’s a risk of losing out on opportunities, and potential investors or partners may think twice about working with you in the future. 

Eye contact

Breaking down barriers, establishing positive relationships and encouraging communication are key when you meet people for the first time in the film industry. Eye contact indicates confidence, and it can also help to break the ice and make all parties feel more comfortable. Some people are more confident in social situations than others. If you are naturally introverted or shy, it’s wise to work on your social skills and try to attend events or workshops that will help you to feel more relaxed around other people. 


Branding is much more than a logo or a strapline, but these visual cues are often the first thing people will notice about your business. Ensure that everything that carries your brand name or logo is relevant to the values and purpose of your business and be consistent with branding. You want your logo, the brand name and your company ethos and culture to conjure up positive connections and impressions. Carry out research to gauge client reactions if you’re working on new branding strategies, and use your findings to develop logo designs, marketing materials and social media content that will resonate with your target customer. 


© Brad Neathery


When you meet people in the movie business, there can be a degree of scepticism and suspicion. While there are many legitimate companies and respectable, talented, skilled individuals touting for business and trying to impress, there are also people who lack integrity and capitalize on peoples’ dreams and desires to make it to the big time. When you meet producers, investors, actors, directors or representatives from established companies, you want to ensure that you come across as professional and show that your business is reputable. There are various ways to do this from building a loyal client base and attracting positive reviews to taking advantage of a fantastic registered office address location for sending and receiving correspondence. It is also hugely beneficial to be able to back up your words and pitches with examples of work, client testimonials and facts and figures. 


Your business portfolio is one of the most valuable items you possess when trying to attract new clients or forge relationships in the movie business. People you meet at networking events or through contacts want to be able to see your talents and services in action. Spend time putting your portfolio together, highlight the best examples of your work and make sure the content is accessible and digestible. Use different types of images and galleries to showcase your body of work, for example, reels, clips, stills and longer videos and provide detailed but succinct descriptions of the projects you’ve worked on. Be prepared to answer questions about your business portfolio and expand on the information you have provided. Have confidence in your work, show your passion and tell your story. It pays to put together a slick, professional-looking portfolio for your company. If your portfolio is out of date, or the images or videos are low-quality, this will impact the impression you create and it may put people off working with you. 


© Martin Lopez


When you have a matter of seconds to impress, it’s essential to be able to strike up a conversation and break the ice instantly. Some people find it very easy to talk to people they have never met before, but if the art of conversation doesn’t come naturally to you, it’s wise to leave pitches to others or to prepare in advance so that you have a mental list of topics you can turn to or questions you can ask to ensure that conversation flows. 

Business premises

They say that you should never judge a book by its cover, but it’s difficult not to be swayed by our first impressions when we meet somebody new or we go to a place we’ve not visited before. If you host clients at an office, or you have business premises that are open and accessible to clients, it is crucial to ensure that first impressions don’t set you back. A clean, tidy, fresh, open space is likely to be more appealing than a cramped, dark, dusty office. Ensure that the outside of the building looks as smart as possible, extend a warm welcome and use your premises to promote your brand. It can be beneficial to make a feature of your office or studio if you host events or you enjoy entertaining or working with clients on the premises. Use your design plans to underline and show off the unique identity of your business and set it apart from others. Go the extra mile to make clients feel comfortable and relaxed. 


Experience and expertise are major contributing factors to success in the film industry, but the importance of passion cannot be underestimated. In the movie business, it’s essential to be passionate about the industry and what makes it tick. When you meet people for the first time or you give presentations or pitches or host events, don’t be afraid to show your passion and explain what your business means to you. If you come across as disinterested, it makes it very difficult for other people to get excited about your business or the services you offer. If you’re energetic, engaging and enthusiastic, this will rub off on others. As a business owner, you can be a valuable marketing tool for your company, especially if your dedication and energy filter through the company. 


© Chris Murray

It takes just seven seconds to form a first impression. In business, especially in the movie industry, first impressions carry a lot of weight. You don’t always get a second chance, and if you get off on the wrong foot, it can be difficult to recover. If you run a business, and you’re looking for more clients or you want to make it to the top of the tree within the film industry, it’s essential to be able to impress people in a matter of seconds. From the way you present yourself and the quality and depth of your portfolio to your conversation skills and your ability to show passion and drive, there are multiple ways to ensure you make a positive first impression. 


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