WGAN-TV Ben Claremont Top 10 Tips for Building a Profitable Virtual Tour Business-#1739-Why Is The Technical Process Important

Hi All,

In this WGAN-TV Short Story (#1739, above), Virtual Tour Pro Course Creator Ben Jones talks about why you need to be prepared for literally everything going wrong on shoot.

You can see the entire interview here:

Transcript: Ben Claremont Top 10 Tips for Building a Profitable VT Business

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Transcript (Video above)

My first tip is despite that ... my first tip is you need to understand the technical process. So starting at a beginner level here, I'm going to go from beginner to some more advanced techniques, but something that is so essential is you actually need to know what you're doing inside and out. You need to be confident.

You need to know that what you're delivering adds value to your client. You can't be going out selling a Virtual Tour and then figuring out what to do when you arrive on location. It doesn't work like that.

And, that's not how you're going to get happy clients and build and scale your business. So, you do need to take the time to understand the basic technical process. So this includes choosing a camera, lots and lots of cameras out there - Matterport cameras, 360 cameras, DSLRs and panoramic heads.

So spend your time, go find the best camera that is suitable for you and your skill level. Next, you got to learn the camera inside and out.

You've got to be confident with every last menu. Every setting you need to be confident with the workflow and how to get the best results with it.

The aim of the game is to deliver maximum value to your clients because that's how you're really going to thrive as a Virtual Tour photographer; not by delivering average work. The technical process is an important thing. It's not the only thing like I said before, but it is important. Next--

- I could imagine you don't want to show up for a shoot and all of a sudden, there's a lighting condition that's different than expected. And you're trying to figure out how to use your 360 camera under a scenario that you had not expected on the shoot.

- Yes. Absolutely and it's such a common mistake that so many of us have made. I know I've definitely made this mistake before and that's going into professional shoots before I was ready, before I was able to troubleshoot things like that. What if the lighting is terrible? What if the camera stops working? What if you can't get the result you want?

What you need to do first up is build a basic level of confidence and competence of what you're doing and the way you do that is you practice at home.

So you don't need to go out and get clients first. You need to just build a little bit of confidence and you can do that by making a sample Virtual Tour of anywhere. Of your house. Of your mother's house. Of your cousin's house. Of a business that one of your friends might own. That first sample is so important. And that doesn't--

- Excuse me Ben, I could imagine when you first started out, when you got your first 360 camera, that you probably studied every setting on that camera and then figured out with each of those settings, what it is that you could do so that you've taken into account every permutation of what might come up in a professional shoot.

- Yes. Exactly. You need to prepare for literally everything going wrong! Because, over the years, literally everything is going to go wrong. You need to know every part of the workflow; every setting in your camera and practice it a few times.

That said, you don't need to do it forever. You don't need to spend years practicing. You can do it in a week. You can do it in a few weeks. But, you still need to be confident enough in making that a really good sample Virtual Tour that you're happy with.

That's the important thing. Once you've made it to art that you're happy with, then you understand the technical process.

Then you know, you can go out and deliver that to a paid client. And that is essential! It's non-negotiable. You can't be going out making tours for clients when you're not confident in your own work and you don't see the value in your own work. So that is--

- Excuse me, the metaphor that comes to mind when you're describing this is as being an airplane pilot; 95% of the time you're on auto-pilot.

There's nothing, that's unusual, that's happening. You know how to use your camera, but you got to be prepared when there's an emergency and there's a problem or a challenge. And that's, I think I'm hearing that of your first Top 10 Tips.

- Yeah absolutely! That's it. I mean, something can always go wrong, but when you know the solutions to all the problems, then it's almost impossible for something to go wrong because you know what to do or you've got a backup. So that's a really important one.

And to understand the technical process. Have a basic understanding. It doesn't need to be expert level, but you just need to at least have produced one proper professional Virtual Tour that you're happy with.

And by professional, I mean, it doesn't have to be super high-end of the DSLR. It just needs to be good enough that you would be happy sharing it with the client.