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Been a professional video creator for about a year: music videos, animation and small biz ads, have a question about strategies in pricing.

Right now most of my work is generated through outbound marketing sending leads this link to my reel on vimeo: [https://vimeo.com/342825342](https://vimeo.com/342825342)

I am in a difficult situation where I have to sell a lot of product since most people don’t want to spend much on their videos…However it takes a lot of time to make a quality product. Anyways, I guess I’m asking for any ideas on how you would attack either the top percent of buyers or how to sell large amounts of less expensive, lower quality videos.

Please communicate to me what your needs are for video or if you’ve ever considered it and why/why not. Any info will be helpful.



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13 replies on “Been a professional video creator for about a year: music videos, animation and small biz ads, have a question about strategies in pricing.”

I’ll chime in with this – I’m a professional photographer and gain a lot of my work through outbound / cold emails. I go for fewer quality clients over quantity. When creating custom content (aka not stock), from what I’ve observed doing this for almost 10 years, is that it’s a race to the bottom if you’re trying to win on price. You’ll end up being extremely busy and still making no money. I’d consider focusing on pursuing who you deem to be high value clients, and make your pitch customized to them. I never do copy / pasted mass emails, I write every email where it’s clear I’m reaching out to them specifically. IMO your reel is good, and should be able to attract clients willing to pay decent / at least reasonable rates. I’d steer clear of trying to go high volume and cheap, you’ll burn out.

Edit: spelling

There are other production companies focused on quick and dirty. The results end up being just that. And you’ll not ever compete with them on price nor will those clients ever care about any amount of quality and follow through. This business model is also not sustainable and very exploitive on labor costs, so it should be avoided if possible.

My focus is on the value add of being a marketer with a strong niche skill in visual content design and therefore the purchase is in the end to end service. If your client doesn’t care about quality, they should probably look for someone else, and you should tell them that.

It’s simple: if they want what you have, they can hire you as an employee, they can pay your rate as a business, or they can go to an ad agency who will hire you to do the same thing with a markup. Or they can go for the cut throat race to the bottom market segment of video creators.

I’ve been doing video editing for some time now as well and I’ve found most of my clients are referrals or partnerships with other companies that often come across clients they have that need videos built. Like someone said above there are plenty of quick and dirty video companies. You know what your time is worth and your time is better spent getting that one big client than 10 small ones. Because the video you made is brilliant, top tier mate. And if you do that for a big client odds are you’ll slowly gain more clients down the road because of them. Bigger clients will have more people to connect you with directly and more social outreach.

Want to earn more? You need to learn that if you sell to businesses, they don’t care about the quality of your videos nor how good your “art” is. They only care about the business ROI.

You mentioned that you did videos for ads, that is a great niche to pitch high-end services.

How can you pitch high price packages? Look for a video that lowered the CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) and show the math.

Made-up example:

The client spends 10K USD a month in ads. With your videos, they lowered CAC by 50%, which means they got twice as many leads as they used to get with the same budget.

After they got those results, they scaled the monthly budget to 30K USD, and they were able to get $$$ more in revenue in 6 months.

The higher the marketing budget, the higher the ROI for the company, and the higher the price you could charge for your services.

What I usually do is if the client’s shoot budgets are low, I will upsell a higher number of edits than was originally asked for. That way, I am able to charge a bit extra for each edit (which is still significantly lower than a day’s worth of shoot costs) and the client agrees because they’re getting more bang for their buck. I will also give them a strategy for how and when to upload each video so that impact is maximised, and charge a little bit for that as well.

I’ve seen that clients with deep pockets will usually route their work through a big agency, so you will need to pitch your services to an agency in order to have a shot at that work.

Man you are incredibly talented. I would love have film skills like that. I would also say target the most ideal style of client quality, perhaps more specifically those you believe you’d have the strongest skill in representing.

Cold is fine, as long as its targeted to group you have affinity for already.

Quick money with high volume clients is never sustainable money even if its alot.

Where as friendly money can be a bit more from fewer clients after less volume more targeted cold calling, you actually have friendly compatibility(which makes it more enjoyable, this prevents adrenal fatigue) possibly less clients overall yet longer lasting and more yielding.

The work flow evens out and is actually more profitable.

Its almost like people are psychic to an extent and can pick up on when someone likes them, relates to their product and services, while cognizing that they are being spoken too directly rather than copy pasted.

Im really interested in making jingles and would love to learn video like that. Keep up the awesome work.

A way to add value without having to add value is have a price list for “time shooting” and deliver on that. Don’t price on output, price on time with the onus on them to create the output. I’ll explain.

To keep numbers round:

Charge $500 for 2 hours shooting. Let them know they can get whatever they want. If they want a long 3 minute video, cool. If they want five 15 second Instagram stories, cool. Whatever you shoot you’ll deliver to them.

Now how the pricing should work.
If you think you’re time is worth $50 an hour, then $500 for 2 hours on site + 4 hours in edit gives you $300 in work executed. With $200 profit. Now worst case scenario, it could take you 8 hours to edit, you’re still hitting you’re $50 an hour.

Now you need to work out what your rate and time is worth, work out how long you think it would take, and then add on the “worst case” budget on top.

The reason why this can be good. If you’re stuck quoting, writing proposals, haggling you cut out ALL questions with a flat rate. It’s also good because you’ve said a price and you hold the leverage. If they want to negotiate, you say you were honest and gave them the rate upfront. But the main reason I like this strategy is your competition will sell 1 video for $500 and you sell the potential for 5 videos at $500. They usually only get 1 video anyway.

You have offered more perceived value without actually delivering.

Because you have set up the expectations, when the person is 30mins late, you can then cut the project at 2 hours because they are on YOUR time. This is good because you usually arrive with everyone ready to go.

I have a rate card, or if I get a call rattle off the numbers. No hesitation, no budget asking, straight to business.

Now if you’ve got a 2hr 4hr and 8hr rate you’re set.

This goes against how most people like to price a job. You may leave money on the table, but I can take a call, do the spiel, sell a shoot and have it booked in, in the time it takes for someone to understand the scope of the project. I will say though, the people I work with want a price because they have a marketing budget and even if they don’t convert on first call, they know the price and come knocking later when the project fits. The call is usually “hey it’s on, can you be there Friday”

Hope that helps out my dude.

Abandon highly customized products. Create 3 to 5 different types of videos that most businesses need. Make them each different but structured enough that you just have to make a few changes to the content itself depending on the client. Market these examples videos and tell clients to pick a type. You can do more and keep things simple. Work on creating good niche models.

Hey there– I can speak from the brand point of view. Everyday we get so many requests from people who want to work with us (but who barely know who we are).

If we say yes to someone who “cold called us” it is because they had a personal and compelling pitch (something that only comes when someone is already a loyal consumer to your brand).

So my advice is to look around your apartment and closet. Make a list of all the brands you love. Then send them a message (or even better a small clip with their product) on why you want to work together.

I took a look at your demo video, you’re pretty good! I felt like there’s room for improvement, but I don’t know much about this so may be it’s just an impression.

OK, so basically you’re stuck between high-volume and low margin, or low-volume high margin clients and so it becomes hard to make ends meet. I’ve been a business consultant so I’ll try to come up some strategies real-time here that hopefully help you, but you need to give me some info first.

​

* How long does it take you to produce 1 low-quality video? And high-quality? (I know “it depends”, I just need a ballpark.)
* How much do you need to make per hour to pay the bills and stay afloat? (That’s not how much you charge, just the bare minimum to stay alive. Also just give me a ballpark.)
* Can you afford to hire someone to help you?

Clients with deep pockets usually want to work with strong brands, credentials and top players. If you come across as “random video creator on the internet” you will likely struggle there. So you could try to create a personal brand on Instagram and make it seem like you’re an authority on the subject. Contrary to what people think, you don’t actually to be “the best” at what you do for this to work. I’d suggest you try this first because it doesn’t cost you much and it would also help you for the other route.

If you want to go the low-margin, high-volume route you would need some sort of automation. Also, in this route, the trick is to acquire customers cheaply because you won’t be making a lot of money from each one; you could try Facebook or Google ads because you can control precisely your CPA, CPL, etc. Regarding automation, could be someone you hire, or you could combine your artistic vein with some limited video creating software to deliver them super fast. Even if you develop some marketing strategy that would get you lots of new gigs, you would have trouble delivering them at speed if you’re all by yourself.

Let me know your thoughts, I’d be happy to help! I write this kind of stuff pretty quickly.

Best!

I really think brightnoons approach is good. It allows you to focus and narrow in on groups of people who know more about what they want and are wiling to spend on it.

The thing I would add is that in your types, choose things that people are emotionally invested in. As an example. In times like these I would do a 30 second video on supporting local food businesses that are doing delivery to share on facebook or something. I’d offer a few for free in each city or area you’re targeting to kick start the process and help out some businesses.

Something like: “Safe At Home” doesn’t mean you have to eat cereal every day. “Gogo Foods” Delivers amazing food to your door so …support your local business, spice up your food routine, and give yourself a break with….<blah><blah> make the food look good.

Hopefully you could create a template or two for this and churn out handfuls in different areas. If you get too many requests you can start charging but it would be a fairly easy start to help both the restaurants and people who need it.

For after the chaos, videos on the importance of brands/explainer videos etc are always great. Founders and markets always care about their brands so speaking to how important it is to represent themselves effectively is important.

In a normal situation:

I visited your website and the tone is.. I need you. This make your negotiation power low and clients will negotiate to lower the price both intentionally and subconsciously.

You can also move up to the pricier market where clients are more willing to pay.

I think you’re approaching the problem in the wrong way.

On the surface, getting random insights seems helpful. In some respects it is, but it doesn’t address who you should be targeting, their scale, and what they specifically need. In theory, you’d take that insight and reverse-engineer an offer, yet is your preferred client someone who uses this sub? Maybe …maybe not. Just from what I know of the demographics of reddit, I am leaning towards no.

Your real insights are largely going to come from speaking with the type of client you want to sell. You can gain insights from people who sell & serve the clientele you’re seeking, but there is no substitute for first hand experience in this task.

Price is most often the last consideration for any sale. If you sell easily without any sticker shock or push-back then your prices may be too low. You’re not really selling until someone tells you ‘no’ on price if no other objections exist and they are a qualified buyer.

High volume of low quality means more work per dollar and more interface time spent with leads & customers.

Low volume of high-end/high-quality may mean slightly less work for more dollars and smarter time with a very specific type of lead and only a few flagship customers.

LV/HQ is almost always the better scenario. It is just easier to manage a handful of clientele for high ticket than it is to herd ~25 cats low. And it sounds like you’re solo – you can only physically handle so much work and so many customers. A HV/LQ model caps your earnings. LV/HQ would also be more scalable because you’ll be able to afford staff, and can teach someone your sale/production process and better the output.

You could scale HV/LQ but with considerable up front investment.

You’re solo outbound? …change who you’re reaching. If you have the money (otherwise borrow the money) you can try the SRDS or Winmo as a source for high ticket buyers – neither resources are cheap, but if you have a working sales proc then the source will pay for itself many times over.

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