First client meeting (need some advice)

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    • #44567

      Hello there! Hope everyone is doing well! I’ve been reading a lot of posts here and I have certainly learned a lot!I have a client meeting coming up in two weeks and I just want to get some advice from some seasoned videographer/pros out here. This newbie here would appreciate it a lot! πŸ™‚

      To give you guys an idea, here’s an overview of the project:

      1. Interview 3-5 people and ask them a series of questions like what they do and why they chose this business center (the client).

      2. Do a second video and feature the owner giving a tour of the building, talking about his vision for it, his favorite parts of the downtown area, and letting his personality shine through in order to display the man behind the project.

      Now I need to figure out what kind of questions to ask on the first initial client meeting to understand what their goals are for the video. I did some research and I ended up with this series of questions:

      1. Do they provide the graphics or logos that I can use for the video.

      2. Do they want some animation/bumpers for the project.

      3. Showing of roughs? Revisions? Deadline?

      4. Steadicam shots? (Business owner giving a tour of the building or just do b-rolls of the place?)

      5. Music? (Did some research here and it would cost them $299 to get a music with a streaming license for website, Facebook, and youtube use. Would get more expensive if they want the video to be used for broadcast and it would be around $1-2k). I went to for the music and licensing.

      6. Ask them what kind of mood they want for the project? (that dictates my choice of music for the project)

      7. Anything else? πŸ™‚

      I only have that so far and I haven’t really thought of how much I should charge them. I just want to do a good job on this but also wants to get paid fairly.

      Here are my equipments by the way:

      Canon t2i & t3i

      24-70 L, 50 mm 1.4, 50-250mm, 11-16mm (for wide/establishing shots)

      Merlin Steadicam

      Manfrotto Tripod

      Lowel Pro Kit (3 point lighting) & Reflector with White/Grey Card

      Senheisser Wireless Lavaliers

      Zoom H4n

      …and I think that’s it! Sorry that was kind of long! Not sure if I covered everything but I just want to make sure I am on the right track.

      Thanks & I will appreciate any feedback from you guys!

    • #186638

      This is what I start my prospects with…during the consultation I use a check list and take notes. The quote is actually 3 quotes ‘levels’ (bronze silver gold) and, from my experience, make sure your bronze is profitable because many customers ask for bronze and want you to throw in stuff from the other list. Now that I know that will happen it’s easier for me to throw in a feature or two as long as it doesn’t cost – like throw in animated titles (rather than static), throw in 4 minutes of canned music but not stuff I have to shop and pay for.


      The cost of production depends on: duration, location, voice over or presenter,
      actors, videography, titles, graphics, script, animations, music,
      format, delivery, distribution, production design, audio design,
      packaging design…

      STEP 1 Consultation: It’s important to know what your objectives for the video are. In a 1 hour FREE* consultation
      we’ll examine your video idea and see what we need to pull it all
      together. There are many types of video: advertisements, documentaries,
      testimonials, keepsakes etc. and many ways to treat the production such
      as comedy, drama, music… We will provide a time limited quote that
      encompasses a variety of price options based on the consultation.

      STEP 2 Pre-Production: When you give us the OK we schedule the project and the gathering of the assets needed, such as scripts, talent, music, locations and produce storyboards. At that time
      you will be required to pay 50% of the agreed upon production price,
      sign an agreement outlining what both parties will be
      responsible for, and when, plus you pay 100% of all the production assets. **

      STEP 3 Production: We shoot, edit, produce drafts and consult with you to ensure the project objectives are met.

      STEP 4 Enjoy your video; Final payment and then delivery of the final product video.</span>
      * As long as we are meeting within 50 km, our consultant will gladly meet you.
      Otherwise the 1 hour Free consultation will occur over the phone or via
      email. Also, consultations requiring more than an hour are subject to
      **What this means is, sometimes people want to use copyright materials
      in their production. The right to use those material assets, location
      fees etc. must be secured before production can begin. Essentially you
      pay for the production asset and/or the expenses involved in the
      collection of the asset.

    • #186639

      <span style=’font-family: “Calibri”,”sans-serif”; font-size: 11pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: “Times New Roman”; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-ansi-language: EN-AU; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;’><font color=”#000000″>The first meeting with a prospective client
      should be free and entirely about determining the client needs, <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”> </span>you can’t determine cost of production until
      you fully understand needs and expectations</font></span>

    • #186640

      The most important thing at the interview is ask questions and fully understand the clients needs, expectations and budget. This is best done with a series of predetermined questions, so you don’t miss anything and you should make notes all the way through the interview. Request a tour of the clients premises in particular identify aspects of the business the client has previously identified to you as being most import to project in the production.

      Once you have all the information you need you are then in a position to estimate costs involved and work on a concept for the production. Prior to leaving the interview make another appointment, within a reasonable time frame to hand deliver your cost estimate.

      The second interview is your big sell opportunity, I find presentations are best made in a story board format. At the end of the presentation ask the client for their thoughts. Next present an itemised cost estimate and if all is going well attempt to close the sale and get a 10% deposit. The most important thing in any sales presentation is to sell the sizzle not the sausage. Good luck.   


    • #186641

      YOu’ve gotten some great replies. One word of caution based on your outline. Unless the business owner is an experienced on-camera actor, I would opt for a sit down interview and getting b-roll of the places mentioned later. Plus if he/she is not experienced on camera be prepared to burn all your profit shooting and re-shooting take after take of their fumbles and mumbles.

      While the business owner may want to see themselves on camera, the real star of the video is the Business Center and the benefits it provides potential clients. They need to be reminded of that constantly. Ego can be a large roadblock to overcome. Word it gently, but remind them of the purpose of the video.

      They will be on camera in an interview format, and you can add creative shots of the center rather than him standing in front of a door and peering into a conference room, you can have a nice slider shot of the long shiny conference table and amenities with his voice under talking it up.

      I get 50% up front, deliver the video and they get one round of changes, which are done via change order. After that they start getting into the golden hour… paying for each hour of additional post production. a lot of times people just want to “put their musk on it” and request changes for the sake of changes. They need to validate their existence, but when they start having to pay for it, those changes are suddenly not that imperative.

    • #186642

      Thanks guys! You’re comments are helping me a lot! I just need to figure out on how much to charge them and create a contract and invoice them correctly. Question though, is there like a template for doing the contract and the invoice? I did the invoice once with a template on microsoft word but not on contracts. Also, when you guys sit down with the client on the first meeting, do you guys normally ask them what their budget is and base it out of that? Or stick to whatever you came up with? I am not sure if I should charge per the hour, per project, or per finished minute but I think the shoot will probably last for 2 days (interview & b-rolls of downtown & business center). I know you guys charge differently and I am still looking for one that will suit me (it probably will change depending on the project too).

      Anyways, I really appreciate all the help that I am getting here. When I am done with this I will show you guys how it ended up! I still to find an assistant because it will be hard to get this all by myself (audio, lighting). But other than that, thanks again! πŸ™‚

    • #186643

      I use Letters of Agreement I got from Hal Landen at Video and customize them. I use an hourly rate to come up with the price, but give them a project price, and also outline the revisions, change order and cost of additional hours of pre-production, field production and post production, and what they get at the end.. 2 copies of the DVD etc…

      Ask their budget, they probably won’t have one in mind, then ask what they are looking for? What they envision as the final product. One you know what they want to see, then you can plan a road map to get there.

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