Don’t waste your time with a video quote

Need a useful video quote

Not all video quotes will be the same just as not all briefs for video quotes will be the same.

Last Friday I had two requests for a video quote. One organization sent a two-page document. It outlined who they are, the purpose of the video, the target audience, how the video will be distributed, the strategy around the release of the video, the expected duration of the production, links to video styles they liked and the required timeframe. The other was one line in an email – “how much will it cost to make a marketing video”.

Now I appreciate that not everyone understands what is required to make a video and so they use a company like ours to help them. However, if you are going seek quotes then take a moment to think about what you are trying to achieve. Ask yourself “what is the purpose of the video?”

The first company I referred to above, had taken the time to really understand what they want from their video. It was an easy quote to prepare for them because they had a clear brief. The other company provided no reference point. However, after a phone conversation, I was able to obtain some clarity of what they were trying to achieve. Not surprisingly they are still developing their strategy. The risk they run is that there will be a lack of consistency with the quotes they receive.

Without a clear purpose often the clients end up just looking at the price as this is the only item with which they are familiar. It’s a bit like asking the price to buy a car. Without taking the time to understand what features are being provided you might end up thinking you are getting a great deal for $2,000 compared to the $20,000 option. However, you might be disappointed if you assumed it would come with air conditioning, cruise control, and a 5-year warranty.

To ensure you get a valuable video quote prepare this information:

1. Who is your organization? What do you provide and who do you sell it to? What is your point of difference?

2. What is the video for? – What’s its purpose? A specific event, online marketing, website SEO?

3. Who is the target audience? – be as specific as you can be.

4. What is the key message or call to action in the video? What do you want it to achieve?

5. What is the duration of the video? Remember less is more. If need be to make several short ones.

6. What is the timeframe for the production? Do you need it next week, next month, next year?

7. What style are you expecting? If you can provide examples of the look and style you want, it will help ensure your quote is relevant to your expectations.

8. What are the deliverables? What do you expect at the end? An online video? A video to embed into a PowerPoint presentation? A DVD (remember those)?

9. What’s your budget? Many don’t want to reveal this as they feel they may be offering more than they might have to pay. However, if you do know what to expect cost wise then by stipulating the budget you can then compare different creative approaches and choose the best option based on the value they bring to the project.

Also be open to talking through your ideas with the companies providing quotes. Often they will be able to offer suggestions that add value to the production.

So if you are going to ask for a quote don’t waste yours and other peoples time by being vague. Take a moment to think about what you want and you might just find you’ll get what you need.


Geoff Anderson is the owner of Sonic Sight, a video production facility in Sydney. He is an author, presenter and a video producer. Follow GeoffBook Geoff to speakConnect on LinkedInLearn Video Tips & SecretsGet the bookLike us on Facebook  

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Geoff Anderson

About Geoff Anderson

Geoff Anderson is the owner of Sonic Sight and has been producing videos for 25 years. He is an author, presenter as well as a video producer.

5 Comments

  • TroySheather says:

    Today, there is high competition between these videos since each one strives to be better than the other. Creativity is one of the most important factors that one should possess in order to create an outstanding video.

    • Geoff Anderson says:

      Absolutely Troy. Given how easy it is to make videos, the ones that stand out are the ones with great ideas behind them.

  • Ant Pugh says:

    This something I’ve been struggling with a lot at http://www.videobites.co – although I’m actually looking at a difficerent way to solve the problem – productizing the service, so it’s fixed scope, fixed scope.

    This does potentially mean I’ll be leaving money on the table. But also means the email response to the “how much will it cost to make a marketing video” email will be a lot quicker and won’t involve me speaking to the lead and/or writing a customer email or proposal – I can just send them to a webpage which will (dis)qualify them for me.

    Keen to hear your thoughts on this Geoff!

    • Hi Ant,

      Yes our clients will buy what we put on the table. Showing expertise and clarity about what would work for them and offering fixed products can certainly help with that. I am having conversations these days with my clients more about a strategic approach to their videos. This is more about creating an ongoing series of videos rather than just a one off production.

      – Geoff

  • Ant Pugh says:

    *fixed scope, fixed price !!

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