How Daniel Goldstein turned a love of video production into $5 million business Visual Domain
Wednesday, March 2, 2016/
Daniel Goldstein started his video production business, Visual Domain, back in 2008 with his business partner Renece Brewster. The business started out producing video content for real estate agencies but has since expanded to producing video content for a variety of sectors.
Today, the business has 60 employees and is on track to turn over around $5 million by the end of this financial year. SmartCompany caught up with Goldstein to find out how he turned his love of video production into a thriving company.
I always knew I wanted to start my own business.
I did a masters degree in politics, which didn’t give me much of a grounding for a career. But I was always interested in the media. My first job was producing at 3AW.
Eight to 10 years ago video was becoming more prevalent and I saw an opportunity to do a lot of content that we were doing for TV but in the online space.
I had a passion for real estate, so I saw an opportunity to merge those two interests. That’s how the business started out.
It was about identifying a gap in the market.
Digital was becoming more prevalent and people were looking for information about property online. The natural extension of that was creating high quality video content to accompany photos.
At the start, we did offer a lot of our services for free to get people onboard. We approached clients saying we can do a free video for you to show your clients and hopefully it’s effective for you. Fortunately, that’s what a lot of them did.
At the start we just wanted to get out there as much as possible but we knew the more content we created the more impact it would have. When one person saw it, it led to five or ten more videos.
The clients we approached seven years ago are still our clients today.
It is important to identify the market leaders in different areas. We approached some really forward-thinking real estate agents willing to try something different [and] they’ve been on the journey with us ever since.
Often we go beyond what the budget or brief requires. Our videos have been our best sales tool.
If we do something new and innovative and push the boundaries, we know the client will want more and not only that but other people will see it.
We should have been more interested in our numbers right from the start. You have to understand every single facet of the business and not just what you want to do and are good at.
Our growth took us by surprise and that was our biggest challenge in the early days.
It didn’t go to our heads but we were running at a million miles an hour and sometimes I do think you need to stop and slow down. Growth definitely does have its downfalls.
Social media and mobile needs to be so quick and very visual. People don’t always watch video content with sound, so they might only be looking at the pictures. Hook them with a purpose.
For us, finding new growth is about constantly evolving.
We’re producing over 200 videos a week and have 60 staff and are expanding into all these different industries.
We started in real estate and that’s the foundation of the business but now we work across so many industries doing so many different kinds of content.
It’s about investing in the different styles and how we approach each video.
No matter how big we get, we’ll approach every video in a unique way and treat it as importantly as every single one we’ve done.
It’s important you go through growing pains at the start and have cash flow issues. It’s a good lesson to keep throughout business.
We’re always looking at how we can help our clients’ business; if their business is growing so is ours.
We always talk about trusting your gut with the business. Your instincts are always right when it comes to staff or products or processes anything. Sometimes we didn’t trust our gut, we went with the moment.
Building a really good culture is really important.
When you’re starting out, you think culture is just for big business. But it starts from day one. Everyone needs to share the vision and values of the business and see it succeed.
What we tried to do is make ourselves accessible. In the past, people thought they couldn’t do video because it was too expensive.
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