While looking up some info for a client, I did a quick search on video production pricing from production companies. Ouch. You can see them listed below.
Out that of all the things that entrepreneurs and small businesses do ourselves, there are several we should probably stop doing - bookkeeping, graphic design, managing our calendar and online accounts. Hey I don't judge, I'm still doing too much of those myself.
Having said that, shooting our own videos probably saves us the most money, especially with the system-based approach that I teach. And, after reviewing the prices below, I see that outsourcing videos isn't really an option for most small businesses, it would just be way too expensive over time.
Lastly, there are also compelling business building reasons to at least shoot your own videos. I explain more about that in this short video and the rest of the post below.
Lets start with Problem One:
The challenge is that today’s video strategy requires a video presence, not just one or two videos. Eventually you want to be consistently posting videos at least once a month, and if you aspire to build a video audience on YouTube or Facebook, once a week posting is the minimum.
No small business has budget to pay a production company to fill a pipeline with ongoing videos.
Unfortunately, the pricing for even just one or two marketing videos isn’t that accessible, either. Cost is a big challenge with professional shoots. From my years as a video producer, I really feel for the talented and creative professionals in that industry. I know video production has some VERY stubborn overhead.
Here are actual pricing numbers from some video production companies, with links to sources at end of the post:
Explainer videos - ( short videos that explain your UVP, or a product or service, in a clear way. )
$15,000, website says most clients spend $15 - $25K
Testimonials videos - $12,500
Most clients spend $12 - $20K
Video ads $9000
$9,000 - $20,000 is typical
30 second commercial $2400
60 second $3600
3 minutes $4800
Animations, anyone? Surely those are cheaper, right?
Grumomedia’s website says:
The typical animated promo video costs anywhere from $3K to $10K a minute.
$3K will get you a very simple animated promo video as it will barely cover the costs of producing the script, storyboard, voiceover and hiring an animator.
Sleepy Dog Media:
Blog post videos:
$2500 They hire an actor to do your blog post videos. I’ve never heard of that, and don’t see the immediate benefit. Why wouldn’t you just do your own blog post video? You know, like a vlog.
Sales video: $2500
Explainer video -$3500
Granted, the videos from the video pros will look more expensive, some of them involve help in scripting, and of course they do all the shooting and editing. But that leads me to problem 2:
Problem Two: if you outsource all your production, it’s a sunk cost, not an investment.
After spending all that money, you haven’t invested in a foundation for your own video production. Our first time clients’ typical outcome includes:
All for hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars less than one or two professional videos.
With all of that as a backdrop, I’m happy to report that our current Silver package starts at a fraction of those prices, and your outcome is not only great videos, but the ability to create more of them, affordably and efficiently!
Last lil' point about pricing vs quality - one thing I love about our Mirror Your Brilliance on Video method is that we teach you the small tweaks, learned over 15 years of marketing video production, that make a big contribution to the professionalism of your videos. This perspective is missing from most other video "how to" programs.
There is no reason DIY video has to look cheap. This isn’t good news for the video production industry, but it is good news for YOU!
Join us for weekly video shine, curated especially for our VIP email list:
Sources for pricing:
I hate being on camera.
I hate the way I look.
I sound funny. I don't know what to say.
What will my (INSERT friends, parents, ex, or any other person whose opinion matters to you) think if they see me in video online?
All of those are understandable feelings about being on video.
I'm here to help you get past them. I literally wake up at night thinking about this because its a big threat to the success, if not the existence, of many women-led businesses.
Very soon (like next year) I sincerely believe that not having video in your marketing mix will be almost like not having a website - you'll be missing one of the marketing fundamentals. And its not just me saying that, the statistics back me up.
But let's reframe what video means for your, your business and your audience.
You see, what video means has shifted beneath us. It is one reason we may feel so off-balance. It's hard enough to stay upright and moving ahead in this fast paced business world.
Now you are being asked to face some deep-seated resistance to being on camera, with all of your supposed imperfections out in front in dazzling Hi Def.
Maybe you dread being the center of attention. Maybe you are afraid others will judge you for bragging or being too self-promotional. Maybe you simply don't know what to say, where to start.
Here is the truth: Those feelings are remnants from an unhelpful playbook someone handed you in 6th grade, if not before. This Playbook for Playing Small has been added to countless times over the years, by the media, social institutions, and by people who are threatened by your shine, to be quite honest.
If you are letting those feelings stop you from implementing the most important change you can make to transform your business, namely, a marketing video strategy, it is because you don't understand what video is, today, in 2018.
This is what video is:
Video is story.
Video is wisdom earned.
Video is finally explaining the heart and soul of your business in a way that captures your passion.
Video is an incredible opportunity that you are fortunate to have.
Video is transforming your business.
Video is BY FAR the #1 format for engaging an online audience.
Video is like having 1000 coffees with your tribe.
Video is better done than perfect.
Video is deeply connecting with your audience.
Video is simple when you have the right system.
Video is being thousands of places at once.
Video is sharing your wisdom.
Video is not about you, its about them.
Video is always being in the right place at the right time.
Video is a generous act that people appreciate.
Video is you at your best.
Video is you being brave.
Video is you being strategic and smart.
Video is fun. Really!
Video is impressive, especially in multiples.
Video tells a million stories.
Video is you connecting with the exact person who needs to hear from you today.
Video is not hard. It can be complex, but all you need is a system, strategy and support to succeed. Learn more here.
3 Simple Steps - How to save money and create engaging YouTube marketing videos with your smartphone
We have all seen some pretty awful videos on YouTube - terrible lighting, awkward composition and big stinky dogs on couches. I love big stinky dogs but not on the couch, with their privates showing, in a business video. Very distracting. I only mention this because I actually saw this in a video once, from a business coach.
We’ve also seen some web-celebs with gorgeous loft studios and a professional video crew. That's on my bucket list, too!
But not today.
Like me, you likely have limited time and money to spend on marketing video production. Our system helps you optimize the most important part of your video - content and viewer engagement. In the beginning stages of shooting marketing videos for Youtube or other platforms, your focus should be on the content and not necessarily on a fancy set up.
The whole goal of our system is to get you sharing your wisdom with decent quality marketing videos as soon as possible, not futzing around with cameras and gear, or worrying about what room in your house you have to clean up first.
At the same time, you don’t want to look terrible on video. You want a video that complements the quality of your brand without breaking the budget.
The Fab Video, Finally Done is a balanced system to save you time and money on good quality DIY videos that keep your viewer focused on you and the content.
It might surprise you but the place to start creating YouTube marketing videos with your smartphone is actually to conduct some content keyword research. I cover a quick way to get started HERE.
This does not have to take more than a couple of hours, and it will save you time when you post your videos to YouTube, not to mention it will make it easier for Google to match up your videos with the people that are looking for your information or product or service. You can always go back later and do more research as your engagement with your audience increases.
If you just can't make yourself do some quick research and instead simply want to dive in, OK. Do this: Create videos that answer the top questions your clients always ask, and keep the answers under one minute. Remember, rambling is death in marketing videos. And don't forget to schedule some planning time to do your keyword research before you create a bunch of videos. If you don't use the right keywords in your titles, your script and your tagging, it is sort of like if you are giving a big speech you spent a lot of time preparing for, and the mic goes out. Only the front row will hear you, and the rest of the audience will leave.
This is how we keep it simple - check out our list of the only 4 things you need to shoot with your smartphone.
CAMERA: We recommend you shoot with your smartphone.
SOUND: Use a simple lapel mic that plugs into the headphone jack or the headphone jack adapter.
HOLD STILL: Stabilize your shot with a tripod either table top or regular.
GET CLOSER: The other way that we simplify your life is we asked you to get close to the camera. Stand about 3 feet away. The mic we recommend doesn’t let you get much further away than that, anyway. You don’t have to do a super close-up, but we want your shoulders and head to be the main focus of the frame. See the screenshot from beauty blogger Dominique Sachse below for examples.
Here is a screenshot of yours truly, obviously NOT a beauty blogger. lol.
There are practical reasons why we ask you to get closer.
The first one is that about 50% of videos are viewed on mobile phones or tablets, your viewers are watching you on a very small screen. We want them to see your face clearly.
The second reason we ask you to get close to the camera is because the closer you are, the less you have to worry about your background. You only have to have an unclutter one corner of the room, not the whole room. You don’t have to worry about that load of unfolded laundry on the chair behind you. (or am I the only one who has chairs that are really glorified laundry baskets?)
Try to find out if most of your audience is viewing videos on their mobile phone. If so, consider formatting the video with a square in the edit - talk with your editor ahead of time or contact us for advice. Its not hard but its a bit technical to get into in this post.
Bottom line is, we ask you to get close to the camera because if you are filling most of the screen, it makes it easy to reformat your video and retain decent quality.
Are you coveting the softly lit, muted uncluttered artsy background of some YouTube gurus? Just keep in mind once again that people are watching videos more often on their phone than a computer. Small details in your shot will get lost and unnecessary clutter in the background will add visual confusion. Just start with this system. It will save you at least a day of futzing around with your background and lighting.
You can always upgrade the environment of your mini studio later if you like.
Try not to write and shoot one video at a time if you can help it. Shoot for (ha!) a minimum of 3 videos at a time.
Once you have your content outlined, order your equipment for your shoot, if you need to.
While you wait, you can write your scripts.
Write at least 3 scripts all at one time. Then, set up your ministudio and practice your scripts. Shoot all three videos on the same day.
As you get more practice you can bump that number up. I have shot up to 15 videos all at one time in an afternoon.
Marketing videos in general should not be longer than 5 minutes, the optimum length is 1 to 2 minutes, so this is the perfect project for batching.
We have much more detail about all of this and more, including lighting tips, where to set up your mini-studio, how to set up your shoot, how to frame your shot, camera confidence and much more in our Ultimate Guide to Fab Videos, Finally Done, part of our complete system to help entrepreneurs transform their business with video. Looking for furrther ideas about where to get started? Check out this blog post on the 3 essential videos every business needs (including scripts!)
Kala is the Founder and Executive Producer of the Ultimate System for Fab Videos, Finally Done