Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Specialty Topics › Wedding and Event Video › What to Charge the Client
- This topic has 5 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 10 years, 1 month ago by Anonymous.
- February 23, 2010 at 9:06 PM #47088AnonymousInactive
So, i didnt go to school for film, but its been a hobby for 6 years now. I’m pretty good based on feedback from friends and such. And I believe I have a an eye for direction. I work as a video editor at my church.
But recently have been thinking about doing extra-curricular sidework for additional income.
How does one go about to avoid being underpaid for my time and work, but also avoid be overpaid and under-delivering?
Whats a standard rate per hour? or per job? or per video? I know its gotta vary some.
There isn’t a standard. You shoud staff for some places for a few years to get a handle on the value of services. You can then go out on your own when you have a client following.
Check/research the pricing of comparable services you wish to offer currently being provided by others in your service area – price accordingly.
Price higher if you want to limit levels; lower if you want to increase levels.
You can compete based on experience and quality, or on price. It is said a client cannot get all three: Cheap, Fast & Good. In video production that might not always be the case. A LOT of people in this field underprice themselves based on the quality of their work and how quickly they can turn it out. Others? Don’t ask.
Anyway, checking your area video services providers and their pricing will get you an idea of the local market values.
Once there was a guy who was without heat in the winter andneeded his furnace fixed. He hired some old repairman to come to his house to look at it. The old repairman walked in, looked it over, and hit the furnace with a hammer. Suddenly, it sprang to life and started working.
The old repairman left and later sent a bill to the man for $400.00. Angry, the man called the old repairman. “All you did was hit it with a hammer! That’s not worth $400.00.I want an itemized bill!” he exclaimed.
So the old repairman sent an itemized bill: “Hit furnace with hammer…$50.00. Knowing where to hit furnace with hammer…$350.00.”
My point (finally, I know): it’s a market, and you can charge what people will pay. Do a good job and you can charge more. Get lots of experience and a name behind you and you can charge even more.
Perhaps you can find out what others’ charge for similar services in your area (use the yellow pages) and then work from there. You’re new and have less overhead, so probably can’t justify what a seasoned veteran might charge, but that’s fine–there’s probably a market out there looking for you! Like anything else, it’s a market and you can charge what people are willing to pay. Possibly you can look at each job to see how many hours you expect to spend on it, then multiply that by the hourly rate you charge and make estimates that way. This oversimplifies it, I know–but it’s worked for me in other businesses. It’s a starting point. Good luck out there!
“Perhaps you can find out what others’ charge for similar services in your area”
This is helpful because you need to compete with others in order to succeed. I have called a few video services business telling them that I’m interested in making a video (corporate, slideshow, greenscreen) and in that moment I do not know anything about video or editing. This gives you an idea of how much you can charge so you can compete. I consider this to be a dirty little move, but like I said, if you don’t compete you will not succeed. I started working for free and one of the clients was so happy with the final result that they actually payed me. I have a client for next month interested in a promotional video for his company, since you are starting they will not take you so seriously. That when the free jobs video you did help and when you go to a client give them an excellent presentation showing them that you do know what you are doing. For the charges do what pseudosafari said “you can look at each job to see how many hours you expect to
spend on it, then multiply that by the hourly rate you charge and make
estimates that way.”
Here an old post that may come in handy: http://videomaker.com/community/forums/topic/how-much-should-i-charge-for-video-editing-only
Without going into a long services analysis equation, the short version is:
1. Based on your skill level and available equipment (If you have to rent, the price goes up)
2. Based on your State’s average price listing for hourly rates for said job (i.e., videographer, video editor, etc.)
3. Based on your area of operation and what that market will bear (i.e. Smaller Markets generally mean lower costs that Larger ones)
So based on those aspects you realistically appraise your skill level, how much per hour it costs you to operate your equipment, cost of consumables, and factor in your overhead (i.e. rent of the space you’re working out of even if it’s your house, electricity and so on.) When you average all that out, then compare your number to the average per hour in your state and raise or lower the price so that you cover your expenses per gig and still make a small profit.
The biggest mistake people starting out make is to underprice themselves in order to be competitive. Obviously, if you’re not like Grinner and have moved into some fancy new digs with gear that’s paid for and years of both experience and reputation to go with it, you’re not going to be able to charge premium prices. On the other hand, you don’t want to charge so little that you’re working for nothing. Starting out you will have to do a few ‘freebies’ to get your rep built, but they should be just that few.
More than likely, you’ll find yourself with a number between +/- $30 over or below the listed average hours and you can make your adjustments from there.