So you’re thinking of starting your own business and getting some clients. Awesome! As a collective community of wedding photographers and videographers, we wanted to give back and share some tips for starting your own business. Here’s a helpful guide we put together just for you!
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Before you can pitch your service to perspective clients, you need to have your pricing set. What type of pricing should you have? When do you provide discounts? These are serious questions you need to ask yourself.
Videography Packages vs. A la Carte
There are a couple different options you could present to your clients, and right now we’re going to focus on two of them. Each have their own pros and cons, but hopefully you’ll have a better idea of which route you may want to take after reading our short guide.
Packaging your skills is a simple way to present options to clients, without having to mess around with adding and subtracting specific services—in turn, making your job easier and streamlining the process. But let’s not stop there, because additional benefits await you.
For one, the potential to get your client to upgrade a package is much greater. By including more services for a “premium” package, their perception of the deal is skewed in your favor. Consider if the upgraded items were purchased a la carte, then the price would most likely rise in smaller increments, opposed to a full $300 for an upgraded package that may only include an extra highlight reel or so; the package model is essentially a perfect tool for upselling.
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This will, in effect, help you get the client to pick the package you prefer them to choose. By spicing up each upgrade with more services stocked strategically (i.e., less strenuous additions for a bigger payout), you could tailor your pricing system to make a certain package look the best—and when done correctly, steer your client toward a more expensive offer that doesn’t require too much added effort.
Lastly, the packaging system is easier for the client. It’s fair to assume that you’re not the only videographer that’s being looked at, so there’s a good possibility that your system might be more appealing due to the simplicity of it. You’ll ostensibly have everything laid out for the client, and all they have to do is choose. Easy!
A la Carte Videography
This isn’t to say the a la carte option isn’t a good route to go, and I personally believe it adds a little more freedom than a packaged deal—for both parties!
For the client, the ability to add on whatever option they want will ultimately end up a more personalized experience. They will know exactly what they want, and exactly what they’re paying for. It’s possible some couples skim through packaged deals and pick one that sounds nice, but with an a la carte menu, they then must determine what each service entails, in addition to inquiring with you if they are confused about an option. This of course could end up being more work for you, but it also has added creative benefits.
If you’re the type of individual that likes to stay ahead of the game, then you could switch up your menu in order to see what is the most popular—maybe try out a different service, one that’s a little eclectic and see if any of your clients bite. Contrarily, if you attempted to throw something a little creative into a packaged deal, your client may tilt their heads a bit and choose a different package (maybe even a less expensive one). But if you throw it on an a la carte menu, then the interesting new approach could possibly get picked up and recognized by your community, effectively catching on to other couples after they tell their friends about how interesting or clever it was.
And finally, an a la carte menu will almost certainly appeal to clients on a lower budget. They won’t be forced to spend a set amount of money for a package, because you are giving them the option to just pick and choose. There’s nothing wrong with offering your services on the cheap to people that can’t afford the big packages. Word of mouth could potentially take you a lot farther then you ever imagined.
What should your prices be?
There are a couple things to consider when determining the pricing of your videography services. First off, it would be wise to check out your local competition in order to find out what the going rate is in your area. Essentially, be aware of your clientele and your surroundings, and then price competitively.
Another factor is your experience. We’re assuming you’re first starting out, so that means you may not have a portfolio. Another factor being a website (which we’ll get to later), which is something everyone needs, and they should look professional. Beginning your career by way of friends and family members isn’t a bad way to start out, but you’re eventually going to want to expand your horizons, and having an established pricing model is important.
To start, it wouldn’t be unfair to ask for at least $500 for ceremony only, offering your editing services to be put on DVDs, using a couple different cameras. Then you could up the price for 6 hours of total coverage, complete with a 15-20 minute highlight reel set to music for $800. If you’re editing skills aren’t the best, you can upload the footage to a service like Activid and their professional editors will take care of the rest. Here’s a sample video the Activid team put together.
Basic vs Standard vs Premium Videography Packages Examples
Your packages bring in the dough, but remember they require a bit of added effort. A basic package could offer everything mentioned above, in addition to the pre-ceremony and reception, compiled into a documentary-style film. This would include everything from the bride’s make-up and preparation, to the toasts, cake cutting, father daughter dance, bouquet toss, etc. This would entail about 8 hours of total coverage for roughly $1200.
Your standard package could be as simple as adding an extra videographer. This would be ideal for extra camera angles during key components of the ceremony. A lot of videographers are willing to add on a second videographer for around $300, so it’s realistic to offer this package for $1500.
Finally, a premium package is to be expected by your clients, and you could offer all of the services mentioned above, in addition to a “feature” film with audio overlays during the important moments. Or you could just add more videographers, and some people even offer same-day edits. That would be entirely up to you. This package could run in the $2000 range.
When it comes down to it, your pricing is your pricing. We just want to provide you with a loose average of what videographers in your area might charge. There will be fluctuations depending on quality and clientele.