What should you pay for video production?

It’s a challenge knowing what to pay for a professionally made video. I often hear from clients who’ve been through a competitive quote process that prices range massively. Furthermore it’s hard to grasp what the difference between say a $2k and a $5k video will be. In this article I want to explain Clips That Sell approaches pricing.

Of course as a buyer you want great production quality at a low price. As a seller, I’d like to maximise what I get paid, but my values do also come into play. I actually want you to achieve your communication goals without feeling ripped off. I want you to trust that I deliver, that I’m fair, consistent and transparent with pricing. I want you to come back in future and to refer me to others.

Now I should say at this point, we do have some packages where the work and video outcome is spelt out for a price, but it’s rare that what a client actually wants fits neatly into one of these.

Pricing Model Options

Different industries tend to have different ways of pricing. Consultants often go for value based pricing. “We charge X% of the $Y we expect to save or make for you”. Lawyers can either charge a success fee, or an hourly rate. Surgeons – no comment 🤬. Trades, professional services, retailers and in fact most of us are in a more competitive market. You are paying for our expertise but still, if we’re going to win your business, we need to keep our pencils sharp. Much as we all like to think we’re ‘unique’ and hence worth a premium, truth is customers can get our solutions elsewhere, or live without.

Clips That Sell’s approach

My approach is to take the cost of making a video (employee time, gear, software, marketing, vehicles, studio etc) and add a margin. It’s easy to work out (break even from a profit & loss statement) and convert to a half day rate. This provides me with a stake in the sand. It doesn’t really matter what my competitors do or don’t charge or if the client is a big or small business. If a buyer can’t pay the break even plus a bit, there’s no deal (unless it’s a passion project or for charity).

We can either provide a fixed quote, an estimate or apply the variable time rate, depending where a client wants the risk to sit. And the more specific we can scope the project the better. For example specifying a limit of two rounds of review after the first draft.

As a guide, a lot of the explainer videos we make will often take half a day filming, and the best part of another full day editing. That will be a $1500 branded video. Overall, costs come down if we’re making a number of videos at once. Hence this six months worth of video for $3k package.

It’s a balance between budget and project complexity. When doing live streaming for schools last year, they had teachers on hand who could look after second and third cameras, rather than pay additional videographers.

Like any purchase you need to talk to different providers, see what they can offer for what price, and if you think you’ll like working with them. After all, you’ll need to get on with them as a team. They should show you videos they’ve made, which match your expectation. If you call me for a quote, that’s what I’ll do. I’m more than happy to show examples and explain what they cost.

Keith Rhodes, Director, Clips That Sell Pty Ltd.

Video Production for Melbourne Businesses

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