BUSINESS AND MARKETING: Business and Marketing Forum Business and Marketing Articles

Thought everyone would enjoy this email exchange I had.

COW Forums : Business & Marketing

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Greg Ball
Thought everyone would enjoy this email exchange I had.
on Apr 16, 2017 at 2:54:15 am

 Thought you'd enjoy this email exchange between an counseler and myself. She advertised on videographies.com looking for someone to shoot and edit a half hour course for her.

Here's the enchange after I contacted her. Keep in mind that she's a professional counseler.

Her first response
Greg I'm looking at $350 for a very basic teaching video- first in my office and then a conference room down the hall-

My response
Hi Jill,

Unfortunately that's not a realistic budget for a half-hour professional video.
The minimum cost would be somewhere in the $2,500 range.

Best wishes to you.

Greg Ball

Her second response

Greg, I've had 2 quotes- 1 for $800 and 1 for $350

Sent from my iPhone

Her third response immediately after the second. I never responded to the second:

I will absolutely never refer you to anyone with that attitude. Good luck to YOU

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


Return to posts index

Ned Miller
Re: Thought everyone would enjoy this email exchange I had.
on Apr 17, 2017 at 2:48:57 pm
Last Edited By Ned Miller on Apr 17, 2017 at 2:57:14 pm

Hello Greg,

I am in semi-retirement now, tried to retire but too many old clients keep calling wanting "one more". Every time I try to delete this favorite bookmark of CC I peek and decide against it, too attached, but your post above reconfirms why I wanted out. Thank you for that! What you posted is typical of the inquiries I received the last decade, mainly due to my high SEO, the web brought in a lot of cheap tire kickers.

My mentor taught me way back that all clients may be divided into two categories: Those who are spending their own money and those who are spending their company's money. YOU ALWAYS WANT THE LATTER.

At least that was true of the first three decades of my career. Now, even large companies are real cheap because they expect video, which they view as a commodity, to be had for nothing. One of the examples that pushed me to say "F it!", was a few months ago a major global software company based in the UK asked me to bid on:

• Two long shoot days of a Chicago conference capturing 20, thirty minute speakers with a 5 minute break between them.
• Edit a kick ass recap video of 4 minutes in length.
• Edit 24 videos of 20-30 minutes each. These would mainly be one long take, no slides, client said it would be "helpful" to have a camera on the audience just in case we need to cut away. Although these would be one long take, it still takes time to import, add titles, ID, render out.

So...I figured it would be around $7000 but knowing how cheap everyone is nowadays, I came in at $5200. She responded that they go all over the world having these conferences and and never pay more than $3000 for the video portion. She asked if I would do it for that. Naturally I turned it down, seemed like 10 days of work.

I looked at all their videos around the world and US, and caught glimpses of the videographers she used. Seems like one static DSLR and another on a slider which ridiculously goes back and forth. The shooters looked college kid age. The work was "adequate", "not bad". When I enquired as to how I can get interviews in the hallway and other b-roll while I am suppose to be filming the speakers, she said that most videographers "bring an assistant", meaning even less profit for me. If you PM me I will send you their site. I would be expected to shoot for the recap reel during my lunch break, or have my "assistant" man the camera of the speakers while I do the b-roll and hallway testimonials.

This is just one of many dozens of examples I could cite. She came in through a crowd sourcing site called Gig Salad. Young video people (and hobbyists), some who are fairly adept and techy, will bid lower and lower just to be busy or build a reel, so it's teaching the video buying demographic that video may be had cheap. These lost bids, combined with the need to buy 4K cameras, plus many clients becoming slow paying and a few recent rip offs, propelled me to "just fade away", like General McArthur. Working harder to make less, what kind of biz is that? My CPA and CFP said we have enough money to no longer work, so why bother? Your post is what I have been living with, especially since the last recession. And my bigger clients who used to be very profitable, they either started to do less video, do it in-house or want to pay a lot less. And as I have posted previously, the Fortune 100s of my client base have been outsourcing their accounts payable to Mumbai, and I then get paid in 90 days. Outside consulting firms come in and show them how they can save money by firing the accounting department and setting up their back office to India. I swear to God. Google it. First they did it to the IT departments, now the accounting department.

If you watch Better Call Saul, you'll see him hire two film students from the local college. That became my competition for my "price sensitive" clients. A Berlin based company asked me last week to do 20, three minute walk through real estate videos for $250 each. How do they arrive at this figure? Although it is probably just 3 or 4 clips dissolved together, they are able to find video people who will do it for that, mainly by promising a quantity, which as we know never happens. I can PM you their info. Looks like someone with a Ronin or Movi. Let me leave you with this:

Recently got a call from a (old client) jewelry wholesaler who needed a series of six training videos to teach stores how to properly display Rolexes. I used to do all niters for this client at their jewelry stores, where we would shoot it high end, with make up artists, turntable (now on Craigslist if anyone wants to buy it) the works, big crew, extras. That was from 1995-2001. This call asked how "cheap" I could edit these, they would shoot them themselves on an iPhone. Just the hands demonstrating how to set up displays, using a tripod, and add VO. I didn't want to get involved with something so unprofitable, so I turned it down. I helped them learn about Voice 123, posted the audition for free, and he got a great voice for the pilot for$200. I referred him to a great, inexpensive editor I know who did the 5 minute pilot for $400. So for $600 they got a utilitarian instructional video. I was bummed at how nice the iPhone video looked. I forgot to mention this client is a very close relative! He sent me the final and was gushing as to how great it was for only $600!!!!! I responded, "Now you understand why I just retired at 63?"

So in sum, if they look around hard enough and post on Thumbtack, Gig Master, Gig Salad, Craigslist, Staff Me Up, etc., younger clients who see video as "no big deal", not voodoo science or alchemy, expect rock bottom prices. I know a local guy who recently retired from the Postal Service after 30 some years. He handled their HVAC work, but the last few years they let him make internal videos. Now with his great postal pension, he is able to do corporate videos in my area for practically nothing. I asked him about why he does it for almost nothing, he replied, "It's fun!"

All the best and good luck!

Ned

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com


Return to posts index

Greg Ball
Re: Thought everyone would enjoy this email exchange I had.
on Apr 17, 2017 at 3:24:49 pm

i get the pricing. After all you can buy a hamburger at Burger King for $4.00 or you can buy one from a steakhouse for $15. The choice is the customers. But I don't understand the anger and rudeness from a professional anger counseler. That,s just asinine.

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


Return to posts index


Todd Terry
Re: Thought everyone would enjoy this email exchange I had.
on Apr 17, 2017 at 3:44:41 pm

[Greg Ball] "I don't understand the anger and rudeness from a professional anger counseler. That,s just asinine."

It's really pretty simple....



T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



Return to posts index

Ned Miller
Re: Thought everyone would enjoy this email exchange I had.
on Apr 17, 2017 at 4:11:39 pm

Oh! I thought you were complaining about what has happened to the pricing of video services. Well..that ain't too bad in terms of being rude. She would have never referred you anyway.

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com


Return to posts index

Greg Ball
Re: Thought everyone would enjoy this email exchange I had.
on Apr 17, 2017 at 6:16:04 pm

Ned, I was just dumbfounded by her (as a counselor) criticizing my "attitude". That's like saying you want to purchase a new Lexus for $20K , and when the dealer tells you that's not a realistic budget, you tell him his attitude sucks.

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


Return to posts index


Ned Miller
Re: Thought everyone would enjoy this email exchange I had.
on Apr 18, 2017 at 1:12:50 am
Last Edited By Ned Miller on Apr 18, 2017 at 1:15:16 am

I’m now at the age that if someone was to ask me to do something professionally at, let’s say 25%-50% of what is my “normal” charge, I would silently calculate in my head what their rate probably is, and respond, “So, you’d do a counseling session for $40?”. I’d love to do it face-to-face. Of course, I would only insult them back if I knew I did not want to work with them, but I find it insulting when they want me to do it for the same price as the Better Call Saul crew. Somehow, as video dweebs, people think it is OK to make us grovel? If someone who is salaried starts to do it to me, I have often responded snidely: “I could do it for the price you suggest, but if I did that often, I would soon be out of business."

I do recognize that often the first figure they throw out is a bargaining tactic, especially if they are Video Virgins. Sometimes I would have estimated my first go round at 20% more than I was willing to accept, and then come down. Just like when you are selling something on CL. I always operated on what the market would bear rather than a rate card. After all, everyone likes to feel they’re getting a deal, right?

I have been asked to do videos for an unbelieveably cheap price by prospects who I sense are very wealthy, based on their address, and I have then Zillowed them. Do you ever do that? If they come up as owner of an expensive spread, I will put in a higher price. I HATE feeling like I have been taking advantage of.

I am now doing primarily free, charity videos and working 2 or 3 days month for my existing clients on paying gigs. Only for the ones that pay well, pay fast, are fun to work with and have interesting subject matter. Life’s too short...

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com


Return to posts index

Bob Zelin
Re: Thought everyone would enjoy this email exchange I had.
on Apr 19, 2017 at 2:55:12 am

I loved this thread, but come on, I have had this type of thread right here on Creative Cow forums over and over (and some with people that contacted me privately after seeing my posts on Creative Cow).

When I tell people that their Drobo won't work as a shared storage system - they get offended. When I tell them that if their total budget is $1500, they can't afford shared storage, they get offended. When I tell people that simply buying a Blackmagic ATEM Television Studio for $995 will not give them a complete television production system, they get offended. When people contact me privately, and ask me to design a full studio production system for them, and I tell them that I will charge them for this service, they get offended ("I thought you were here to help people, not rip them off"). You can't tell some people that they can't put raw dpx 4K files on the boot drive of an Apple Mac Book Pro Air - "of course it work's, it's gotta work - what is this external drive nonsense !!!".

And of course, we have seen things, like when RED introduced the original Scarlet camera, that people were getting offended, because they simply could not shoot their feature film, unless RED would simply RELEASE THE DAMN CAMERA - as if owning a Scarlet was the magic key to making a successful feature film.

The analogy given about not being able to buy a new Lexus for $20,000 - and getting offended - is so accurate. We have all seen fancy restaurants trashed, because certain patrons cannot understand how any one can charge SO MUCH for a piece of steak or seafood, when they can see the prices at the grocery store - boy, those restaurants are just ripping you off !. This applies to every industry.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


Return to posts index

Greg Ball
Re: Thought everyone would enjoy this email exchange I had.
on Apr 19, 2017 at 4:53:32 pm

Perfect response Bob! Thanks.

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


Return to posts index


Thorsten Achen
Re: Thought everyone would enjoy this email exchange I had.
on Apr 19, 2017 at 10:46:31 pm

You know, people are strange creatures, just put up with this statement, you cannot change them. the only thing you can really change is your attitude towards them.
Probably the client expected lower price and lower quality. I mean some people call even phone camera video a professional one...

Meow!


Return to posts index

Richard Herd
Re: Thought everyone would enjoy this email exchange I had.
on Apr 18, 2017 at 11:01:02 pm

If you were a scribe during the middle ages copying texts by hand with ink on vellum, yeah, you were an artist, but folks moved on. The printing press was all the rage.


Return to posts index

Ned Miller
Re: Thought everyone would enjoy this email exchange I had.
on Apr 19, 2017 at 5:55:21 pm

Got to thinking about this thread. When I would get an inquiry and then was hired by a client who was used to paying more, such as if they had to use the company's marketing or advertising agency, in-house charge back video department or the video came through a "full service" production company, I seemed like an incredible bargain and they would pay whatever I asked, since it was a major savings. I called it "Cutting out the middleman". Thus I produced many videos for Chase and other Fortune 100s.

However, if the prospect was used to paying much less, and if they were paying out of their own pocket, then whatever I quoted would seem way too high. I blame it on the growth of this interwebby thing that comes with our computers and phones: It makes it easier for the cheapskates to compare our rates with the lowest charging "video vendors", especially crowd sourcing sites.

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com


Return to posts index


Tim Wilson
Re: Thought everyone would enjoy this email exchange I had.
on Apr 19, 2017 at 11:11:45 pm

To Bob's point about us being by no means unique, I could point you to my uncle (also named Bob as it happens) who runs an indie moving company that's been just about undone by disreputable hacks on Craigslist and dudes standing around outside the U-haul office.

Really, that's life running your own business in ANY field any more, plus or minus the dudes outside the U-haul office. DIY'ers, Craigslist, somebody willing to take the job for a loss, customers less willing to pay for quality, etc etc etc. Why hire a true cabinet maker when you get a new kitchen from IKEA installed for a quarter the price? Or do it yourself for a tenth?

While this may not work out as planned for any particular individual, it's fortunate for our industry as a whole that the hundreds of folks (if there are even that many left) getting squeezed out of their own gigs are a drop in the bucket to the thousands of jobs opening up in-house at all kinds of companies and agencies, especially if people are willing (or able) to go to where jobs are.

Not that the road is coming to end for every indie shop not fortunate enough to be in Hollywood. Heck, there are even people like our man Todd who are having their best years ever in Alalalabamala. (I think that's how you spell it.)


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]