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When it comes to pricing your own work in any field it can be difficult but this is particularly the case in the creative industries. Many of the great artists throughout history have struggled to charge and receive fair compensation for their work, Van Gogh being one of the more famous examples of this!
Making proposals and pitching your services is one of the hardest parts of working as a freelance videographer and pricing your work is probably the thorniest aspect of it. However, you needn’t suffer in this way and with the help of a clear pricing formula and structure you can confidently price your videography at a fair market rate and still make a very good living.
What is a Rate Sheet?
A rate sheet is a detailed breakdown of the services, packages and offers that a videographer can provide for their clients. It is a clear summary of both the services that they can deliver and the prices that they charge for each of them. They can be presented in either hourly rates or daily rates and will usually include additional services that can be delivered underneath.
Pricing Elements that You Should Include in Your Rate Sheet.
Your rate sheet is what you use to promote your services and tell clients and potential customers what your prices are. You should always include a fixed rate, either per hour or per day (whichever is more appropriate) for any services you offer such as post production, voice actor editing and so on.
You should also include a list of any packages that you are currently offering. These could include special editing packages, usually calculated per minute of completed footage, a wedding package (complete services) and so on.
The types of packages you offer will vary enormously depending on what genre you are working in. For instance, if you were working in real estate then you might offer a complete property package that included photographs, 360 degree video and a virtual tour as an all inclusive offer. This would include your fees for the entire project including post production and delivery.
All of these aspects need to be taken into account in your pricing structure.
- Pre Production.
- Post Production.
- Cost of Services.
Not every project will involve a great deal of pre production work however, when it is required you should be charging for your time. If you are filming at a wedding there will be very few pre production costs involved although if you visit the venue to scout positions for the camera and work through the schedule you can include a charge for this. Other projects, such as commercial advertisements, will have a great deal more pre production work that goes into the project.
Pre production is usually costed at a lower rate than the production and post production aspects of a project. Elements of Pre Production.
- Developing ideas and researching concepts.
- Planning and logistical arrangements.
- Casting time and costs for actors, voice over artists and models.
- Scripting and Writing.
- Brainstorming meetings and conceptualization.
- Scouting out locations and planning shoots on site.
This includes every part of the actual filming of the footage. Your price per day will be determined by your experience, training and expertise. The following estimates are based on a single person videographer.
- Very little experience in videography – $100-$500 per day.
- Reasonable experience with a good portfolio – $500-$1000 per day.
- Very experienced with a prestigious reputation – $1000-$5000 per day.
- Absolute top tier videographer – $5000 and upwards per day.
These are very broad guidelines that you can use to evaluate your own worth to a client on a daily basis. You can work out your hourly rate by dividing the day rate by the number of hours that you would work which will usually be between 8 to 10 hours.
Post production is a little harder to price and includes all the work that takes place after you have finished shooting. This includes all the editing, coloring, syncing, audio and motion graphics. An industry standard rate for post production can start from anywhere between $50 and $100 per hour.
It’s more common to charge per hour or per video minute however you can also charge per day.
You need to include any expenses that you incurred during the project and these should all be recorded with receipts or proof of purchase where appropriate. It’s always advisable to be as transparent as possible when you are billing a client. These can include any travel costs, accommodation, licensing fees and the hiring of any extra help (such as voice over actors, musicians and models).
Pricing – The Basic Equation.
Fundamentally, the equation that should go into your pricing is as follows:
Materials + Labor + Expenses = Total Cost.
Total Cost + Profit (5-30%) = Final Price.
Rate Sheet For Videography – Basic Template.
At the top of your rate sheet you should include your name and/or the name of your company.
You can provide a rate sheet which details your fees per day that are broken up into pre production, production and post production services. If you are also offering packages (such as a complete wedding package) then you can list these beneath the basic services. Also list any other services you are offering beneath the packages. For instance if you can hire and produce voice over tracks then these should be listed beneath.
The figures given in the template below are for demonstrative purposes and you will need to calculate and include your own rates when promoting your videography.
Rate Sheet – (Company Name).
- Pre Production – $100 per day.
- Production – $200 per day.
- Post Production – from $150 per day (Basic Edit – $100/5 minutes content. Animations/Logos/3D Graphics : $200/2-10 seconds).
- Package 1 – $1000.
- Package 2 – $2500.
- Package 3 – $5000.
Under each package, provide a brief explanation of what the package includes.
What Do You Do With Your Rate Sheet?
Your rate sheet is what you can use to promote your services and should be displayed clearly on your business website. You can also use it on your social media platforms and send it to clients who are inquiring about your services.
It’s Essential To Have A Clear Rate Sheet and To Understand How To Price Your Work.
When a potential client reaches out to you or you contact them, it is vital that you have a clear pricing schedule that you can show them. This will give them confidence in your abilities as well as make the decision process for them that much easier.
Most of your clients will have a fixed budget and when they see your rate sheet they can quickly understand if you’ll be a good fit. Of course, your portfolio and past achievements are a good guide as well but at the end of the day the price is often a primary factor in any business decision.
Is there anything else that you would include in your rate sheet?