We're talking about working with clients from the very beginning to the end of a video project, every point of contact you have with clients is important, working with the client correctly is how you make money in this business. Now, we're not talking about making a movie, we're not talking about super fun projects. These are money making projects videos for clients.
Step one, the contact.
This is the first time you talk with your client, usually for us. We're lucky, we get an email, a phone call, they come to us. So when we're first talking to a client, whether it's in person, an email or a phone call. We want to gather information.
This is our time to listen to them. We're not bombarding them with information about us. We're not even telling them about the kind of camera we have, our experience or our equipment, we want to learn about that company.
Step two, the meeting.
This is our first real meeting with the client and lately For us, this has been video calls. Typically this meeting will last about 30 minutes. Our first big question for the client is who is your audience, and we don't just let them say oh everyone's our audience we want everyone to see our video. No it doesn't really work that way.
We want to know what knowledge your specific audience has before they've watched your video. Do they know about you already? What age group is your audience in how affluent is your audience? What experience do they have, all of these questions need specific answers because the language we use in the video, the way we approach the video is all determinant on who the audience is, for example,
Recently we made some videos for a car manufacturer , and from the very beginning, I understood. This is a very specific audience. This audience is consumer-based and the age between 20 and 60 So We need to use general language so everything is understood in the videos, so I knew that was okay for that situation. avoiding complicated terms and acronyms, things not everyone would understand.
During this meeting we let our client know the secret about video, it's about emotions, no matter what type of video we're making this isn't just information for information, you might as well just put a paragraph on your website with describing information. The video is about emotion. And so we'd really try to let our clients know that they need to have an intended emotion for their audience by the end of the video, what do you want your audience to think and feel while and after watching the video, it's important for us to know where the video is being shown and what platform the people are watching it on. Now, this is critical. Is this a TV ad? Or will this be shown on Facebook, YouTube, or will this be on a homepage of a website.
All of these things are important. We need to know if this is going to be a short quick video or a longer video that's like 21/2 minutes long, where the audience really can have time to digest the information. Is this a captive audience that's very interested in the information. Is this an audience that just is browsing through a web page, or is this an audience that is being shown an ad that they might click away from in a few seconds.
Now, typically these videos are interviews and B roll. Let's say for a 21/2 minute video we will interview four to six people and film B roll for a few hours, we need to know from the client who from their organization or company is going to be featured in their video.
When the client is picking who's going to be in the video, we look for two things, the subject matter expert on that subject and someone in upper management like a CEO. Many times a CEO will talk about big picture stuff with the organization. And then a specific expert in the video is going to talk about their specific job. That way we don't waste time, we're not asking everyone the same questions. we know what that person does. And we asked them about their expertise, and what they represent for the organization, and we're talking about this in that initial meeting.
it's important for us to get a sense of the client's budget. So I'm going to give you an example, we'll say, this is a 21/2 minute video with four interviews, and it looks like it'll take us about four hours to film a video like this, we will be paid. $4000 to $7,000, maybe they'll say oh that sounds great, or they'll say, Whoa, that was way more than I thought. Honestly we only have $4,000 to film this whole thing. And at that point I’ll say, Okay, you know what, we can do that, we can maybe do three interviews, maybe we'll film for three hours, we can make this work for you Don't worry.
If the client really doesn't have enough money for us. We have other people we recommend who charge less
I know it's all semantics, but these things really do matter, instead of saying to the client. We charge $4000 to $6,000 for that job. I don't say the word charge, I say we are paid $4000 to $6,000 for that job because we are.
Step three, agreement and price negotiation.
this is when we send the client, our estimate. And if we've done our work right. This estimate is no surprise. They're not balking at the number, because we've already worked out what they can afford on the estimate we'll actually show them our pre production rate, our day rate, and our post production editing rate and the grand total.
If it's a new client, we will sometimes ask for 50% of the money. Before we start filming. If we trust them. And we know them. A lot of times we say hey, don't worry about it pay us when it's all over. That way it shows that we trust them.
Step four, planning,
This is where we finalize, who is in the video, what are the specific voices in the video, who is being interviewed, whose opinion really matters.we try to interview a few extra people, because not everyone works out, you realize when they sit in front of the camera that they're really not the best in front of the camera.
So, if you want four to six people in the actual video, then interview eight people during the planning phase.
we also location scout. Now, sometimes on bigger videos we will actually go to the location and spend some time location scouting typically though for these quick videos. We asked for photos of the location. That way we can get a sense for what equipment we need to bring, it's very important to understand in this step. Also, if you're filming inside or outside, because that's totally different equipment needs. It's not good when you show up to a location, and the sound is absolutely awful.
A good example, we thought we had a great place to film because it's pretty, but we didn't realize, we were right underneath the flight path of an airport, typical noises we watch out for our refrigerators, and air conditioning units. These can ruin a shoot. So, a medium sized room without a big giant refrigerator by the subject, typically works. You need to also ask the client. Hey, is the air conditioning. Can we switch that off or not, some big corporate buildings they actually can't turn off the air conditioning, that's done off site.
During this planning step, we also discuss the time that we're going to have to fill. Sometimes, a busy CEO, will only have 10 minutes to film the video. That means you're going to need a stand in, to get their lighting just right and to get the shot, so when they arrive you are ready to shoot. You can't just waste their time.
You know I would love to film all day, I'd love to film for 12 hours and make every shot perfect, but that's usually not the way it works.
Step five, filming.
when we show up for the filming day, we're always a little bit early, we try to show up 10 to 15 minutes before you said we would, before we bring in all of our equipment. We asked for a tour of the location. We turn off lights to see where the natural light is coming from, we will find each camera angle we will use for that day, we'll find two or three different interview setups, and then we'll find strategic places to film B roll later. Once all of that is decided. We will move our equipment into the building and get rolling.
Step six, the editing process. Now I call it the process because this isn't just us editing a video, and giving it to them. This is a collaborative effort, and the client understands that from the beginning. So, when we're done filming we let them know, we can get them an edit within three days, we let them know what time range they can expect an edit. We always try to under promise and over deliver this means that we try to get them the Edit before we said we would, if we said we're going to get them the edit in four days we surprised them two days later, with an edit.
At this point, we're expecting to have a few re edits. Now, it's not typical for us to have a complete overhaul of the video, we're already on the same page. We've done our work, so they get what they expected.
It's normal for us to have edits from the client. Maybe that day maybe a few days after we send them the initial edit, they'll come back to us and say, you know, we didn't really like what this person said. We feel like they shouldn't have said that in the interview, can you cut that section out.
That's typical, we'll go back three or four times with edits, If the edits become more involved than we had originally thought and they keep coming back with more and more edits. At a certain point, we will tell them, we might need to charge more for this edit.
Now, these are corporate videos that we're filming quickly. Sometimes we can't get all the B roll, we need. That's where we rely on stock footage, stock footage is super important to us, and having quality stock footage. Now, when some people hear stock footage, they think that's a bad word, and they don't want to use it but there are some incredible stock footage sites and if you use stock footage correctly. It works great.
Step seven, the video goes live.
Whether it's youtube facebook or their website. We give them the download file, and then they post it. What I love doing is not nickel and diming the client for every single little thing, if they want a new edit of something slightly different for social media, we do that for them for free because we've charged enough to cover our butts on this video on the reverse side of that, watch out for clients that are nickel and diming you. and Now lastly step eight, quit reading this article and go out and shoot something amazing.