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 organisation 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 a 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 organisation? 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 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 talk 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 Managing Director at Sonic Sight and author of “Shoot Me Now – making videos to boost business”. He has been working in TV and Events production for over 20 years. He produces corporate videos that enhance the profile of his clients and cut through the noise in a busy marketplace. His creative concepts shine in the hundreds and hundreds of scripts he has written. Geoff has also been the stage manager for conferences, award nights and live recording of events.
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