How Videographers Can Earn More Money With How They Invoice
Updated: Apr 9
Running a successful Video Marketing Company takes creativity and good discipline. One of its pitfalls are pricing jobs right and managing cashflow on each engagement. On the last Wednesday Weekly Webinar, I broke down why videographers need to break down their invoices by:
Breaking down your invoices into these 3 parts enables videographers to educate their clients on what they are paying for and allows videographers to charge exactly what they are worth. Are you losing money? Are you leaving money on the table?
Before we dig into the 3 sections, let's first understand why we need to split this up. Overall, you have to make sure that you are charging for every single step in the process of creating videos for your clients. The problem tends to be that videographers think about the big picture, but the devil (AND THE PROFIT MARGIN) are in the details.
So let's look at these 3 parts to better understand them:
Script Writing: If a client asks you to write a script for them, how much would you charge? Do you know how much time it would take to write a script? The best way to manage this is by tracking your time. We recommend a system called Harvest Time Tracking which will enable you to turn a clock on, let it run while you work and turn it off when you're done. So if you take 2 hours to do write a script, then you charge for the 2 hours it took you at whatever rate you charge per hour.
Equipment Needs: Are you charging an equipment usage charge to each of your clients? Your $5,000 camera depreciates and you will need a new one sooner or later. How will you fund new equipment or upgrades? What if you need new lighting? Charging for equipment usage will help you fund the purchase of new equipment later.
Setup: How long does it take you to setup for a shoot? You don't just show up and start shooting. You need time to set everything up, make sure the lighting is correct and that everything is in place. Make sure to charge for setup time as well because you're still working.
B-Roll Footage: B-roll footage takes work. Getting those shots is not something you can do while having a camera sit on a tripod recording. You need to get in there and get those special moments on camera. Do you need to hire a second shooter for this? Do you need to stick around a little longer to get these shots? Make sure to charge for this as well.
Graphics & Text: Nowadays, people don't listen to videos on social media. Many read the captions at the bottom if they are offered. What if a client asked for text in their video? How long does that take to create? What about those awesome graphics you add? Track your time and charge accordingly.
The last and final reason for splitting up your invoices into 3 parts is because you have to pay sales tax on products sold. (post-production) So this means the deliverables your client receives. That also means, you have to charge the client sales tax on that portion of your post-production invoice. If a project costs $10K altogether and I don't split it up, how will I know what to charge my client for sales tax and how will I know what I owe? The invoice below is a pre-production invoice. My post-production invoice would say post-production and would list a sales tax charge (for whatever that is for the state you live in).
So let me ask the question again...Are you losing money on your video marketing projects?
Check out our blog Why Videographers Need to Budget Each and Every Video Project
Make sure to check out our Wednesday Weekly Webinars for more trainings.