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Business diaries: Title Productions

We talk to Noor Ahmed, co-founder of Title Productions, about what a typical day looks like for her video production company, the impact of coronavirus and her advice for getting a new business idea off the ground.

With the bulk of its business being dependent on the ability to film on location, the office closures and safety restrictions that resulted from the pandemic meant the team had to completely revise their offering. We caught up with co-founder Noor Ahmed to find out what a day running Title Productions looks like.

Why did you set up Title Productions?

“I studied graphic design at university, but I did a lot work in media production at the same time. I met my business partner Nicolay while studying, and we worked on a few projects together – we both had the goal of being a business owner, so we decided to just take the plunge together.

“Our business has two sides. One is focused on making documentaries covering issues such as disability, addiction and Alzheimer’s, which we’ve won awards for. We want to create real social change using our platform, and we believe we can. The other side of the business is corporate video: we work with business owners to create content that will help them communicate with their audience, and effectively showcase their story.

“All of the team strongly believe that every story should be told. We are surrounded by stories; they make us who we are. We just choose to tell stories through video, because we think it’s the best platform through which to do it.”

What does an average day look like?

“I get up and I work out straight away. It’s something that me and my business partner do – it keeps us mentally engaged and gets us ready for the day. By the time we are ready to start working, we are pumped up and ready to go! 

“When we get to work, we always have a morning meeting where we discuss what we did the previous day and what our goals for the day ahead are, which helps us keep focus.

“I do a lot of work behind the scenes contacting prospects and current clients, networking – and dealing with all the paperwork! I also specialise in social media content and do a lot of our video editing. My co-founder, Nicolay, is our lead director, so in any given week he and our cameraman, David, will likely be attending a shoot on location with one of our business clients.

“Being self-employed, there’s no such thing as 9 to 5! How long I’m in the office depends on my workload at the time. If I have a busy week editing multiple projects, I might work from 9am until 11 at night. But because it’s something that I love to do, the time just slips away.”

All of the team strongly believe that every story should be told. We are surrounded by stories; they make us who we are.

Noor Ahmed, co-founder
Co-founder, Title Productions
How have you adapted Title Productions as a result of the pandemic?

“When lockdown began and everyone was really restricted, we wondered how we were going to survive. We have to physically go to shoots; there’s a lot of face-to-face communication involved. 

“We just went back to the drawing board. We asked ourselves: what else can we do? How can we cater to our clients and adapt our services? We ended up offering editing services, so clients could hand over existing footage that they had taken on their own camera or phones which we could compile into videos to meet their needs. 

“We thought that, during coronavirus, marketing would be the last thing on people’s minds. But we did get a lot of people contacting us because they needed that promotion – they needed to keep their social media updated and they needed to keep their website engaged.  

“Now that restrictions have been eased a bit, people are investing in testimonial and promotional videos, which is great to see.”

Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

“You have to make sure you stand out and have a niche. Initially we were catering to everyone – no matter what the work was, we would just take it. As we grew and learned more about how to attract clients, and after speaking with a lot of mentors and interviewing a lot of people who were successful, we learnt that we needed to carve out a corner for ourselves – to become known for something specific. Ask yourself: what gets you going? What wakes you up in the morning? And let that help you narrow it down.

“Don’t let fear stop you from achieving your goals. Stop overthinking and overanalysing, and don’t be scared of trying new approaches until you find something that works for you. Don’t take your mistakes as failure, but as a process we all must go through – nothing is perfect. Always take that big leap, push your boundaries and don’t be scared of the unknown. Remember: the first step is always the hardest.”

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