The Formula for Making Money Producing Video

Tom asks:  I love your podcast, the Elite Videographer series – basically everything you’ve evangelized over the years encouraged and enlightened me in my video business but I want to know more. A complete breakdown of how to get clients, where, the production process, etc. You say anyone can make $5k to $6k a month. Give me that formula!

Answer: I’ve spent 22+ years in the video production business. From working as a corporate stiff to a freelance crazy man – been there, done that and always with a camera on my shoulder and a viewfinder in front of my eyes.

I bought my first VHS camera at the age of 13 with money saved from delivering soda to local customers in a small Rhode Island town. At the end of that summer, I had a full Videonics (woohoo!) editing system in my parent’s basement making some crazy movies with my friends.

From that point on I was hooked. I found my passion and progressed from creative kid/nerd to executive positions at television and radio stations right out of college, to a mad freelancer who could not get enough of the brain freedom to let myself shine and run a business at the same time.

Oh, there is more but you can see that I have the experience and know how from all of the trial and error in the school of hard knocks.

As a visitor to you can catch up to speed in just a few months by simply applying the knowledge and experience I have all in one place.

So, Tom… I freely give you the secret sauce:

The breakdown

  • 1 hour account preparation – you have a copy of the videographer service agreement fill it in and send it along to your client
  • 4 hour shoot time – on location or in studio
  • 3 hour edit – use a template or be creative (3 hours only!)
  • 1 hour encode for web
  • 1 hour delivery/client approval

Limit yourself and the sooner you get into a groove and become more efficient.

If you spend more time on a video you lose that hourly rate- your choice

What is realistic?

$8,000 a month is not going to happen right out of the gate. It takes time, dedication and lots of hard work to build up some momentum.

The Formula:

  • 1 video per day @ $800/day x 5 days = $4,000 a week x 4 weeks = $16,000/month
  • 50 hours a week
  • do 2 videos per day @ $1600/day x 5 days = $8,000 week x 4 weeks = $32,000/month
  • 100 hours week (2 people)
  • (3 people- 1 doing all of the sales calls, 2 freelancers doing the shoots)

This is IF (big IF) you are proficient enough with a positive flow of clients you built up from marketing/sales and quick enough to spit out good videos in the least amount of time- SWAT style.

In. out. edited. Money in pocket.

Always remember these pointers:

1. The client wants to see a return on their investment

2. If you charge market rates and a client can’t pay – they’re not worth having as a client.

3. Never do business in fear of what a client might think of your prices. Higher prices bring in quality clients who are serious about hiring you.

Lower prices usually bring in the P.I.T.A (pain in the a**) clients who overwork you and who are always looking for something free. Don’t waist your time or creative energy on this type of client.

What if a retail store did business in fear of what the customer thought of their pricing? They wouldn’t make any money!

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