HOW MUCH IS FAIR TO PAY FOR MY VIDEO PRODUCTION?
Surely you have asked yourself at least once: why should I pay hundreds or thousands for video production when Jonny NoLastName on Facebook offered me to shoot a video for $30/h?
We do not expect our clients to have a lot of knowledge in the video production field. It is only natural that one might feel like hitting a jackpot when their request is answered by Jonny NoLastName who offers a "full video production" for $300. These are the same clients that will never be able to name the technical requirements for the video, will not know the difference between a professional editor and "simply cutting the video", will never think about hiring a video director or storyboard artist, and will surely think that cosmetic ring light is a good-enough light setup for professional video production. And that is a good thing. That is where video professionals like us come in handy.
From hearing a vague idea of what the client wants, we prepare an approximate list of resources for the best possible result and the least horrifying budget. That is why people come to us.
But hey, wait a minute, why would I actually choose anyone more expensive than Jonny NoLastName for $30/h if I do not need the highest quality production and it is only a mere social media commercial that will be down-graded in quality by Facebook anyway?
In all seriousness, in some cases, we do actually recommend choosing the cheap option for those who are not in need of good-quality video production. We understand that there are clients who are not ready to invest in the quality of the way their brand looks, the ones who haven't even thought about creating a marketing strategy and just want to try something new. There is no shame in not wanting the best kind of product for everything you do and not everyone has to have professional video representation.
What video creator the client chooses depends mostly on the value they see in the product or service they want to communicate about.
If you've ever wondered why some video creators value their services for a few hundred euros, and some double or triple the price, here are the main differences in the price-making of video production:
First of all, every client has to understand that video production, like any commercial service, is an investment. Whether you're creating a promotional video for your business, a short film, or any other type of video content, it's important to consider the potential return on investment (ROI) of your video. In some cases, if your goal is to create a long-term project (for example, a video podcast), you should plan how long you can trust your project to go without any return on investment before it gets financially uncomfortable. In this scenario, your goal is to create a marketing strategy with a specific time frame to grow your project into something that can start creating your ROI.
While cheap video production services may seem like a cost-effective solution in the beginning, they often come with a number of limitations that can ultimately hinder the success of your video and negatively impact your ROI.
One of the biggest differences between cheaper video production services and more expensive video production services is the quality of equipment and technology used. In the same ROI-based logic you can predict that the providers of cheaper services do not have to try very hard to get a return on their investments in the technical base. The low price can be offered when the video creator is working with lower-quality video cameras (or photo cameras that also shoot video) as well as with other video production equipment that can lead to lower light, sound, and visual quality. In the same manner, the providers of more expensive video production services often show up with high or higher quality equipment - professional video cameras, professional sound, and lighting equipment - which makes sure that your video looks and sounds as professional as it gets.
Of course, this point often is the least significant when used in the discussion with your client. Neither your client nor their audience is obligated to know what is the difference between higher and lower production quality unless it is absolutely obvious. It would be my guess, that no one who has ever watched your video commercial on Instagram was able to tell if the camera used for the video had 8-bit color or 12-bit color, what's the dynamic range or why does it have fewer megapixels than the newest iPhone, though it obviously shoots a better video.
That is why there is a second most important difference between amateur and professional video creators - the expertise of the field and pure experience. Cheap video production services may employ less experienced, less skilled videographers and editors, which can result in a video that lacks creativity, vision, and attention to detail. Conversely, expensive video production services often employ highly skilled professionals who have a wealth of experience and expertise in video production. These professionals can bring a level of creativity and innovation to your video that can help it stand out from the competition. Not to mention, professional services are expected to provide a professional level of customer support, which guarantees that your project and your expectations will be researched and taken care of with honest interest.
To sum up, clients' decision to choose a cheaper or a more expensive option depends on their goals and quality requirements. If a client needs a basic, fast and lower overall quality video solution for a low budget - Jonny NoLastName is the best choice for their business. On the other hand, if the client sees value in their product or service and their goal is to reflect that value in their communication through video - professional video production is the best way to reach this goal. It is important to always create a marketing strategy to avoid financial losses, calculate the possible ROI and have a clear plan of action (how and where to use the video and its adaptations for the best result) so even the best video wouldn't become a one-day wonder in the eyes of your competitors and would bring you long-term benefits.