Tip #743: 3-Step Pricing Formula for Videographers

… for Random Weirdness

Tip #743: 3-Step Pricing Formula for Videographers

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Pricing is hard – but it isn’t cookie-cutter either.

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This article first appeared in MotionArray.com. This is an excerpt.

Ask any freelancer what part of their job they hate the most and chances are a good chunk of them will point to the inescapable chore that is pricing. Pricing your own services is awkward, confronting, and much like breaking up with a partner, you just wish someone else could just step in and do the dirty work for you.

But luckily for all you free agents out there, we have a quick little formula that’ll help you tackle this supremely uncomfortable task so you can quit stressing and get back to doing what you love most—making video magic!

As you’ve probably realized by now, no two video productions are the same, which means the fees you charge for them shouldn’t be either. Tailoring your prices to each project is key.

  1. Calculate Your Outgoing Expenses. The first thing you’re going to want to do is make a list of all the expenses you’re going to incur throughout the course of your project. This includes everything from the planning phase all the way through to post-production. We’re talking equipment rental, location hire, set props, actors and crew personnel, transportation costs, stock music licenses, the whole kit and kaboodle.

    Now repeat after me: All of these expenses are things that my client and, not me—repeat: NOT ME—will be covering.

  2. Calculate Your Time and Effort. Next, you’ll need to make a list of all the tasks you personally will need to undertake to see the project through to completion and how long you estimate each one to take.

    This will include any client meetings and phone calls, scripting or storyboarding, logistical planning, the total number of hours spent on set, as well as any post-production work you’ll be required to do or oversee.

  3. Decide How Much Profit You Want to Make. Lastly, you’ll need to decide how much money you’d like to walk away from the project with. To help you do this, go back to step two and take into account all of the time and effort you estimate you’ll be putting into the project and try and place a figure on what you think it’s worth.

Once you’ve decided what you’d like your profit to be, add it to your total sum of project expenses and voilà: there you have your complete project fee!

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3 replies
  1. Burrill Crohn
    Burrill Crohn says:

    You omitted a percentage for overhead: rent, insurance, advertising and other non-project related necessary costs. This used to run in the 5-15% range, though the post-pandemic world may change those figures.


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