5 Invaluable Lessons I Learned at the EWomen Network Conference

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This month I attended a 4-day women’s entrepreneurship conference in Dallas, TX and it was the single-most life changing and business-altering experiences I’ve ever had - and not for the reasons I expected. I didn’t meet hundreds of ideal clients (necessarily), I didn’t sell any business (yet), but I met the most inCREDIBLE mentors and women I can look up to and learned some invaluable lessons. For you, I’ve curated my top 5 - and I included a 6th bonus! Check it out.

1. Websites are Dead

websites are dead

Social Media is the name of the game now. The majority of consumers DON’T go to your website first - they go to your social media platforms. From there they make quick assumptions about your brand, your business, and what you can do for them. Do NOT underestimate the power of social media anymore, it’s 2019. I’m not suggesting you ditch your Squarespace subscription (yet) but social media is KING. Did you know Instagram is a billion dollar industry? Yeah. The average Instagram user earns over $100k in annual revenue. They sound like great customers to me!

e women network conference

2. Stop Re-Inventing The Wheel

So often as entrepreneurs we are trying to do things a new and innovative way and ignoring the people that have come before us. Well, it’s time to stop being an idiot and start using the legwork of your competition to succeed faster. If your competition is doing something that works (like getting website traffic, or they have a great sales funnel, or they have a kick-ass social media) then HACK IT and COPY IT like your business depends on it! Because...well.. It DOES! No, I’m not saying plagiarize and I’m not saying copy each word, image and aesthetic. I’m saying hack the TEMPLATE and make it YOUR OWN.

3. Your Mind is Your Most Powerful Business Tool

how to use your mind to fuel your business

I hear it over and over again - the most successful people utilize the power of their MIND to reach success. There is NOTHING more powerful than the thoughts you think, the words that come out of your mouth, and your VISION for SUCCESS. Spend time with that vision DAILY. Speak the truth that you desire into form. If you don’t know how to do this pick up the Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes or Mindful Success by Maggie Cook. Recognize that you are a spiritual being having a human experience and you can use the divine to fuel your business. If it sounds and feels ridiculous, you’re doing it right! Believe in it anyway and the “kingdom” will literally be yours.

4. Micro-influence is the Sweet Spot

how to become an influencer

There are 4 kinds of influence; Mega, Macro, Micro and Nano. Mega-Influencers are you celebrities, actors, musicians they have 1M+ followers on Instagram. While this may seem appealing and you may think that all those people would be great for your web traffic and sales - the reality is Mega influence is actually extremely unfocused because of the diversity of followers. The real sweet spot is actually in Micro-Influence for several reasons A) It’s attainable (1K-100K followers) B) It’s a manageable size and you can develop intimate relationships with your followers and C) you have very high engagement from your followers. So, when you’re aiming for the stars with your IG just remember that there is in fact a sweet spot when it comes to influence.

5.  It’s Not a Vision Board - It’s an Action Board

how to create a vision board

Whoa!! Mind-blowing isn’t it? A-C-T. Action-Changes-Things. Vision-boards mean NOTHING if they sit there and cause you no inspired action. So next time you’re considering making a vision board say “NO”. Instead make an action-board and watch your next steps unfold. Thanks to Maggie Cook for that GREAT quote.

That’s it for my 5 invaluable lessons I learned at the EWomen Network conference! I cannot wait to see what the Icon2020 Conference holds next year! Will I be seeing you there?

For bonus tip #6 join my email list and receive the FULL PDF of these invaluable lessons for future reference!

Case Study: School Principal Challenging School Norms


Did you know that 5% of my clientele are school principals? I know right?! When I start my videography business school principals were not a niche market I was expecting to tap into. However, I’ve had a wonderful time working with principals across the US to create Brand Videos that help elevate their speaking careers, and establish them as influencers in their industry.

Adam communicates to a Kindergartner how to make eye contact and stand up straight.

Adam communicates to a Kindergartner how to make eye contact and stand up straight.

Take Adam Dovico for example. Adam is on a mission to change school “norms” forever. As he says in the video, we’ve been doing education the same way for decades and it hasn’t gotten us very far (PREACH ADAM!). Adam is determined to inspire and motivate schools everywhere, public and private, to reach new levels of rigor, engagement and inclusivity by challenging the status quo and trying something new.

He does this by appearing at speaking engagements in the education industry (I.e. Get Your Teach On Conference) and doing one-on-one work with clients across the county who are teachers, principals and super intendants to help them break the mold within their school.

Adam works with a student on their project.

Adam works with a student on their project.

When Adam came to me - he wanted to create 2 videos: 1) A Brand Video for his website and for social media that he can use to promote his message and develop brand awareness, and 2) a speaking introduction video that can play before he hops on stage to talk to hundreds of educators - something that will pump them up, move them emotionally and get them excited to hear Adam speak.

We started off like I do with all my clients - a deep dive phone call where we talk about everything from the brand mission, goal and vision to my client’s struggles, fears and soul wounds. Here’s what Adam has to say about it.

“The deep dive phone call helped me critically think about my audience and mission. Savannah pushed me to think about why I was doing what I was doing and how to best relay my message to an audience. I especially enjoyed the collaborative aspects of the phone call and how she was right there along with me brainstorming my brand.” - Client / Adam Dovico

Adam emphasizes starting with school culture before tackling academics, and this is because if you start with school culture you create a space where students and teachers WANT to be. Then, once you’ve developed trust with your staff you can tackle the more difficult issues in education. When you walk through Adam’s school in North Carolina if FEELS different. Kids come up and shake your hand and talk about what they’re leaning in class. Students are polite and engaging, teachers are excited and having fun - and I wanted to make sure we captured this and make it tangible to viewers during both videos.

School culture at Moore Elementary.

School culture at Moore Elementary.

While I really wanted to go more in depth about what school culture is — being on the outside of their industry it took me a little bit to understand what that buzzword actually means — but I also knew we needed to keep both videos short, ideally under 1 minute. Ultimately I decided to cut down on the definitions of school culture based on what I know about his target audience which is that they are educators too - they’ll have already heard this buzzword and be interested in this topic, they don’t need it explained to them. While I made sure to include visuals that cover this, I didn’t linger on this subject in the final edit.

Additionally, having two distinct call to actions was important to us. The Brand Video should encourage people to reach out to Adam and schedule a call, bring him to their school to see what he’s all about - whereas the Speaking Video should get everyone pumped and excited and end in a way that segues us into his talk. So as you watch the two videos take note of the different call to actions at the end of each video.

All in all for the HOURS of footage that we shot - I feel we boiled it down to the very best testimonials, sound bites and visuals. Adam feels confident that these are videos he can use to promote his work and I am looking forward to adding them to my portfolio.

“Now that I have my videos, I am able to provide a way for clients to see me doing what I love to do. These videos capture who I am and what I can bring to help educators and schools.” — Client / Adam Dovico

Are you a teacher or educator who wants to reach a larger market? Consider how a video might work in your favor and win people over before you even set foot in the room.

Watch the Finished Videos Here:

How to Budget for Videography


Also known as, why does video cost so much?

Video production is EXPENSIVE. I feel you on that. However, there are a few insights I can give you to help you budget more realistically so that you’re not shell-shocked by the price tag on your next quote from a videographer.

You can also use the calculator at the bottom of this post to plug in your own numbers and see what your project might cost.

Let’s dive in.

  1. Recognize that prices may vary.


Because videography is a freelance industry, every videographer is different. They’re going to have differently hourly rates, different equipment and different values on their time. Someone fresh out of college might be DYING to work for $25/hour, but others who have been in the industry a while may not take anything less than $200/hour. It’s important to realize that you are paying for experience in the field when it comes to your videographer’s hourly rate. That doesn’t mean you can’t find a great videographer at a steal of a deal, but it does mean that comparing and contrasting numbers might get exhausting, and you’d be best to go with the videographer that suits your style and needs rather than choosing based on a number.

2. Budget for the hours of filming - but don’t forget to include setup and breakdown

Did I mention that video production requires a ton of gear? If I haven’t then let me just say - VIDEO REQUIRES A TON OF GEAR. Even though videography is at the low-end of the production spectrum, it can still take a decent amount of time to load in, set-up, get exposures, run some test shots and take a deep breath — especially when most videographers are a one-woman crew. So don’t be surprised if you'r videographer needs 45m - 1 hour to setup and YES you have to pay them for that time too. Budget for at LEAST 30m of setup and breakdown EACH when calculating out how many hours of filming will be needed. It’s best to let the videographer tell you from experience how much filming time will be needed - a good rule of thumb is no less than 2-4 hours including setup and breakdown, and depending on the shoot. Multiply the hours by your videographers hourly rate to get the cost of filming.

3. Equipment rentals & gear


Not all videographers own their own gear, but if they do - they’ll likely be adding a fee to cover their costs. Owning gear is not only expensive in of itself but it is expensive to maintain insurance coverage and pay off any loans/credit cards that were used to acquire said gear. If your videographer is renting gear then that needs to be billed at actual cost. Hopefully your videographer won’t be renting EVERYTHING or that can get pricey - but sometimes renting a lens or light kit can be relatively affordable for both parties. I usually try to budget around $75-125 worth of equipment rentals per shoot, but of course it all depends.

4. Editing

This is where things get very VERY time consuming and expensive for most videographers. For someone who doesn’t do any video editing you might be wondering WHY your videographer charges SO MUCH MONEY for editing. I can tell you from experience that sometimes I don’t even want to OPEN a project file without at least $200 waiting for me on the other side, that’s how much video editing can suck at times. A good rule of thumb to help you budget for video editing is estimating 4-6 hours of work per finished MINUTE of video. If your video doesn’t include interviews, audio or any synching this number might get closer to 2-4 hours per finished minute - but it also all depends on your videographer’s editing speed - which is where experience totally pays off.

5. Location fee


Location… location…location! Locations are EVERYTHING for a video shoot. You can make a brand look extremely high-end (or not so high end…) all depending on where you shoot. LOCATIONS MAKE OR BREAK VIDEOS! There are some affordable locations out there as well as some very high end ones - it might be best for you to take a look through Peerspace.com and see what’s out there and at what rates so you can accurately budget for a location. For the average videography project, I would say $75-100/hour is a reasonable expectation.

6. Graphics & Voice Over

If you’re planning on having some original graphics made (think animations, titles, etc) for your video this can substantially raise the cost of post-production. However, with the introduction of Fiverr freelancers everywhere have been able to cut costs in this area. Ask your videographer if they source from Fiverr for Graphics and Voice Over and then budget based on what you see available on their website. You can get great Voice Over for $12 so there is no need to over-spend here - however budgeting on the high-end never hurts.

7. Markup & Profit


At the end of the day your videographer is running a business, a business that needs to profit and come out on top. They can’t be loosing money gig after gig and expect to stay a float. Don’t be surprised if you see a contingency markup (20% is typical) to cover unexpected production costs as well as a profit markup (usually 8%) so that some funds go back into the business itself. Seeing these additional costs on a quote should be a reassurance that your videographer is focused on running a quality business, maintaining great relationships with their clientele, and delivering high quality videos in a timely fashion. Freelancers who are only in it to make a quick buck and aren’t concerned with maintaining a brand identity and reputation are going to be much more likely to flake out or try and tack on additional costs down the road. Look for videographers who have a brand, a business model, packages and great reviews.

I hope this helps you navigate the waters of budgeting for your next video. Feel free to use the calculator below to run some numbers (defaulted to my rates and expectations) so that you can budget confidently before booking time with a videographer.