Believe it or not, we actually love it when people ask us for a quote on their video project. It’s such a magical moment! We get to hear their ideas and their plans and then we get to try and help make that dream a reality; and it could be the beginning of a brand new partnership that produces some really epic results!

But often times when we get requests for quotes, we tend to hit the same snag over and over. We ask how much has been budgeted out for the video project… but people are hesitant to discuss the numbers with us. They either don’t want to share, or they say they don’t really have a plan yet; they just want to hear our basic estimate first.

But here’s the thing about that: saying you “just want a basic estimate” for a video is like saying you “just want a basic estimate” on a car, or a house. There are so many options! Any professional who sells what you’re buying will also want to know your budget in order to serve you better. And even if you don’t have specific numbers in mind yet, you’ll at least know whether you can handle a price tag with four zeros, or only three.

Production companies are no exception to this process. We need to know about you and your goals before we can give you any sort of estimate. There’s no real price range on videos, because quality can go from iPhone home-movie to Hollywood Blockbuster. It’s really smart of you to compare the costs of different production companies, but you can’t do that without any plans at all.

In a nutshell: when it comes to pricing a production, there are three things you need to know before you start calling for quotes. Know what you want. Know your deadline. Or know what you’re willing to pay for it.

Know What You Want

Before you take another step, you need to decide what you want to get out of this experience. So what is your central goal for this video? To promote your brand? Call attention to something new in your business? Train new employees? Even if you’re not sure what kind of video you want just yet, at least know what you want it to do for you. We can help you figure out which genre will best fit that goal.

Or maybe your goal is pretty vague, but more importantly you already have an idea for the type of video you want. Sometimes we have clients who just have their hearts set on a certain script or a specific novelty style of video. That’s perfectly fine, too. If you’re not sure why you want to make a video, at least know what you want to make instead, and we can work backwards to figure out the goal that it will match.

Know Your Deadline

Business wouldn’t be business without due dates. And like most projects, video quality goes up when you give the production company more time to get everything ready. Maybe this needs to be finished in three weeks for a trade show no matter what; or maybe we can spend twelve weeks coordinating everything to perfection. Either way, we need to know so that we can prioritize properly. Remember, no production company will ever complain that you gave them “too much” advanced notice.

Know What You’ll Pay For It

There’s an expression that can apply to just about any business, including video production:

“Fast, Cheap, or Good. Pick two.”

Before you call a production company, you need to have a rough idea of what your budget is and how flexible it is. In a perfect world, you wouldn’t need to sacrifice any one of those factors for the other two… but chances are, you may have to. Know where your priorities lie before you start. Telling a company that you need this done by next month or that you can’t spend a dime over $10,000 may feel limiting, but it will actually help them give you a better idea of how they can help you.

We know it’s hard.

We know quotes can be intimidating. We know budgets are personal. And we know this may be your very first time with the whole “video marketing” thing.

So whether you’re coming in with a budget goal (“We need a series of testimonial videos for a budget of $10,000,”) or a business goal (“How much to produce a video that converts our prospects into buyers?”), the team at Optimum Productions is here to help.