Masterclass highlight: Avoiding mistakes when getting video quotations

This Business Video Masterclass page has proved popular, reflecting a wide concern for getting  quotations right among marketers and business owners, who aren’t necessarily experienced agency buyers.

It’s a considerable investment getting a new video, and there’s nothing worse than getting the wrong video as a final result.

By “wrong” I mean less effective than intended. Less results.

It’s not as if a new video will do you harm.

It’s more a wasted opportunity of money, time and lost profit if it doesn’t deliver results as planned, whether your objective is increased awareness, more leads, greater customer engagement, a winning presentation, or whatever target you determine is best for the business.

The problem of getting an effective actionable video starts when finding a video producer to give you a quote.

It could also be that you need a replacement producer for a current producer whose visual results may look okay, but aren’t really effective & actionable in the marketplace in the way you’d wished for.

Getting the right quotation needs a systematic approach.

In simple terms you need to pay the price you can afford to get the results you must-have with a video supplier you can collaborate with.

It’s an all-too-common story where you see a video style you like, then hire that producer, only to find that later, for whatever reason, your final video outcome wasn’t as effective as you expected.

Here’s my systematic approach in 5 parts:

1: Finding a producer

There are many types of video production company, marketing agencies and professional freelancers, all working in different countries.

Here’s a handy comparison between the main types of video company you’re likely to meet once you start searching for a supplier.

They’ll all have something to offer, depending on what you need, and how much of the work you’re going to do yourself, eg, writing a DIY script.

The secret is to start with a solid brief, with an indication of the style of video you’re looking for.

As a bonus, preparing a detailed brief will help you clearly understand your exact video objective. It’s not just for them.

Here’s a sample video brief you can borrow from.

2: Grading producers

Being able to tell producers apart, and seeing what each really has to offer can be tricky.

But you can immediately start identifying suitable candidates from the way they respond to your detailed brief.

Some don’t even read it, or at least not read it properly.

Others boast too much, while making your vital concerns seem small, or even ignoring them.

What you want to see is an understanding of your project, and some good ideas for bringing about its successful realization.

3: Understanding what you’re seeing

You’re looking for clear costings here as much as creativity.

Even if you’re offered a package you still want to know how costs are made up.

And not every company will want to be transparent about their cost breakdowns for your project.

You need to be smart with your money, and this doesn’t mean picking the cheapest.

You need to see exactly what you’re going to get, ie, how many hours, how many revisions, etc.

If you start by asking about Day Rates, everything else will tend to follow.

You see it’s hard to ask “how do I know my video will be as good as the sample you showed me.”

This is because there’s nothing measurable in any answer they give. It’s just a mixture of promises and look what we did for xyz company.

You’re inviting them to say “Trust me, I’m a producer”.

But asking for a Day Rate is a hard fact no one can dodge.

It helps to spearhead a broader, more useful dialogue.

4: Using technology

Since nobody buys from the business round the corner any more, communication during the project becomes critical.

Invite prospective video suppliers to explain how they communicate & collaborate during the project.

If they have a good system, they’ll want to show it off.

It’s important for you to understand that a technology-based communication & collaboration system is your lifeline once the project has started.

You’ll have market research, scripts, visual concepts, artwork, storyboards, voiceover, animation, editing and probably endless amends to discuss as the project progresses.

5: Comparing proposals

Fairly comparing video proposals can be difficult as they all look so different.

Common ground between them all will be day rate, number of hours, and number of revision steps, plus the amount of unique effort they put into their proposal.

You might have to dig a bit to work this out.

But if you do, you’ll be able to compare like for like.

And then you’ll be able to select the best video supplier from all your quotations.

Summary

If you follow these 5 steps you’ll get a more effective video for your budget.

If in doubt, hire slow.

It’s better to be systematic like an experienced professional video or agency buyer.

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