Everybody loves a good package. We told you before, over on Video Production Virgins, that this much was true. And, in fact, that mastering the art of packaging your services effectively will lead to bathtubs of money for your reclining pleasure.
Packages are repeatable, attractive and easy for clients to digest and agree to. Putting two things together for a small discount makes them seem a lot cheaper to your client than offering a menu of costly services. Some of which they may not even recognize or understand.
People love discounts, even the kind that won’t hurt your profit margin, so naturally these packages are attractive enough to get a proverbial rose on the client-led Bachelor.
Once you’ve mastered the art of pitching, you should have no problem selling our favorite package at VPV, the $1k Half Day Package.
What’s The $1k Package?
At its core, our 5-hour, $1,000 video package focuses on maximizing your time and making a great profit while creating a valuable end product that any client can use (and afford).
Here’s how we break it down:
- 2 hours shooting,
- 2 hours editing,
- 1 hour flex time for any revisions or production hiccups.
And what do you have to do to get started on the path to green?
Take your average corporate video, between 30 seconds and 1 minute long, and put a big old thousand on the price tag.
1 minute, $1000. Got it? Read on for directions to Money Island.
Now, maybe you’re looking at these recommended times and thinking, “How the hell am I going to pull off a $1,000 video in 5 hours total?”
The answer, my fellow film-savvy friend is this: prep, prep, and more prep.
Here’s an example of one of these videos:
Before you Start Shooting
The key to making this whole package work is spending some time upfront to prepare a repeatable pre-production method that relies on client preparation and involves minimal involvement and time invested on your end.
After all, time is money, and you want money…right?.
Before you can make money on all of these jobs, you need a system.
Lucky for you, we’re letting you in on all of the major pre-production materials you need to get your system up and running fast and making money.
After you’ve got a few of these projects under your belt, the $1k package should run like a well-oiled machine and you’ll be able to knock these out on-time, maximizing your profits.
Before you even think about hitting record, you should be providing your clients with the following interview questions.
Their answers will shape the content of your video. It will include all of the vital information needed to create an effective promo video, while keeping things organized and simple for post-production
Remember, you’re shooting for a 2-hour edit. The interview will be the narrative of the video.
Provide the following interview questions to your client 1-week prior to the shoot.
We highly recommend you assign the client to create a simple script following the format of the Q/A list.
You can even send them a sample script to ease their mind about what they should be saying. We’ve provided one below with corresponding numbers to the interview questions. No need to reinvent the wheel.
**Make sure to follow-up and receive / review their answers ahead of the shoot so you can start preparing yourself for b-roll ideas.**
(provide to client 1 week prior to shoot)
1. What is your name, your business name?
2. What does your company do?
3. Describe your business in 2 sentences.
4. What is your mission statement?
5. How long have you been in business?
6. What separates you from your competitors / What’s one thing you do differently than competitors?
7. What’s your approach to customer service?
8. What makes your business unique? Is it style? Your building? A store pet? Etc.
9. Give a strong closing statement to wrap up the video.
**For any restaurant clients, make sure to ask “What dish are you known for?” in addition to all questions above.**
(provide to client 1 week prior to shoot)
 My name is Harry Smith, and I’m the owner of Harry’s Hats.
 At Harry’s Hats, we sell the the finest selection of headwear for any occasion. We provide the largest selection of hats this side of the Mississippi.
 Everyone at Harry’s Hats is committed to not only making sure our customers are finding the hats they want, but realizing the hats they need that they never even knew existed.
  We’ve been providing people with hats since 1957, and we know that every single head that comes into our store is unique. We take the time to handpick every single hat sold in our store.
 At Harry’s Hats, we really pride ourselves on treating our customers like famous head models. We’re always happy to let them try on hats of all types.
 Not only do we sell your average run of the mill caps, but we also have a large vault with famous celebrity hats. We’ve got a Johnny Cash cowboy hat, an Al Capone fedora and even a bejewelled Kid Rock trucker hat.
 So the next time you need a hat to spruce up your Sunday’s finest, stop by Harry’s Hats and we’ll get you the perfect hat to cover up that weird bump on your head.
Some interviewing tips to save everyone time
Make sure to advise your clients to speak from the heart and the head. Have them write out thoughtful answers before the shoot.
Stress the importance of representing themselves and their brand well and authentically. This makes for a better, sleeker, more effective and dynamic video.
Provide the clients with the sample script so that they can get a clue what their answers should look like.
Remember to ask that the client reads their answers aloud for practice so that your expected 30-45 minute interview shoot doesn’t turn into a five-hour free-for-all. You don’t have time for that, trust us.
You are important, and you deserve a whole day dedicated to you, much like a birthday. Have your client block off a day for the shoot, preferably one where their business is closed or can be closed for two hours. No distractions allowed.
Tell your client to secure 3 – 5 friends or family members who would be willing to be extras to fill the store / restaurant. You’ll need these extras to have customer interactions and action for b-roll footage.
Some examples include people:
- Smiling as they shake a contractor’s hand as they are leaving.
- Smiling when they are being rung up or checked out.
- Smiling as they receive their food.
Get it? People. Smiles. Simple. Effective.
Other Pre-production notes
Wardrobe is important, but no need for Gucci racks here. Just make sure everyone working is dressed in uniform, or as they would be on a typical workday in the client’s business.
Stick to solid colors and avoid crazy patterns on clothes. Any makeup should be light and natural. No night-clubbin’ smokey eyes. Keep it clean and simple.
Make sure your client has their store or shop clean. I mean, spotless clean. You should be able to eat off of those floors.
They need to clear the clutter and remove any eyesores (ugly wires, etc). These things tend to pop out and distract viewers and we don’t want any shots looking like your college dorm room just past the foreground.
In other words, their store needs to look like they always wanted it to, but never had the time to make it photo-shoot ready.
Now, it’s Time to Start Shooting
Now, someone old and dead once said, “Brevity is the soul of wit.”
We, alive-ing and thriving, will say this: “Brevity is the soul of a sick video.”
We recommend that you shoot for two hours. The time limit will maximize your precision. This, in turn, will cut down on the bullshit and long hours staring at a screen, sometimes crying during editing.
Precise. A nice word, and an even nicer relief in the long run.
Since we’re nice and want to get you out there making money ASAP, we’ve provided you with the same shot list we use when working on the $1k package.
For your reference, we’ve included a number of videos below that break down a few examples of some $1k videos we’ve produced, shot by shot.
Your shot list
Here’s your shot list:
- 1 interview shot (time to shoot: 30-45 mins)
- 3 B-roll shots featuring the client’s most notable or “hero” product (time to shoot: 25 mins)
- 2 B-roll exterior establishing shots (time to shoot: 10 mins)
- 1-3 B-roll shots of unique business traits, like that funky painting or the adorable three legged store cat that sits by the front door (time to shoot: 25 mins)
- 3 B-roll shots of customer interactions, such as customers being waited on, rung up, etc. (time to shoot: 25 mins)
In total, you need 10-13 shots, roughly 2 hours of footage.
Now, how do you use the two hours? Well, we don’t know.
Just kidding, we do. Here’s the idea:
Call back upon your young, probably poor, probably even more creative self and learn to use the environment (including our friend, the HMI in the sky…the SUN) to light and set.
Use the two hours to make dynamic shots happen and curate as much content as possible.
The shoot is a hoard of floating dollar bills, you have two hours to wave a net. Don’t get distracted by the coins on the ground.
Hold your shots for five extra seconds before and after the action. It’s a pain in the ass, we know, and maybe in the wrist if you’re going handheld and have weak joints, but it’ll ensure that you have enough footage to make a great video without having to scrape it together.
Mix up your angles for b-roll and pump up the action so nobody dies of boredom before that final shot.
And, make sure you get tested…your equipment, that is. The last thing you want is a package malfunction.
The final stretch
With your newfound poise at the height of quickly produced, highly refined, time-maximized, bangin’ content, you can now really hone it in with two hours of editing.
Yes, just two hours.
No overnight trips to the lab, no midnight pizza (or pity) party with yourself, no blue screen hangover the next morning.
Take 120 minutes, make it great. We know you can.
That’s a lot of minutes, and you’re very smart. If you think to yourself, “I might not be that smart, and that’s not that many minutes, asshole,” here’s a tip we gave you before: try to note in your head which shots are beautiful beacons of cinematic mastery and which belong in a landfill.
This will save you, by our estimate, ten minutes. If all else fails, or you are panicking right now, consider contracting. We know you know somebody, or somebody who knows somebody. Just find some somebodies willing to cut up an easy video for 2 hours.
After maximizing your time and energy for this long and working efficiently, do not let the client pry said time out of your now remarkably strong and nimble hands.
You should spend exactly one hour making revisions and polishing.
This process should be simple, timely, and profitable. Not a fourteen hour marathon discussion on color grading with Jerry from the in-house creative direction team who has never worked a camera that didn’t come from a drugstore in his life.
Let Jerry down easy: get him off the phone, get a bulleted email, and work through the bullets with precision. Do not let them drag it out. Your package, your rules, baby!
So have you started using packages in your video production? What kinds of packages do you think you’ll use after reading this article? Let us know in the comments below.
This article was written by Katrina Sorrentino of Video Production Virgins. Want more tips and tricks from Video Production Virgins? Hop on over to our blog and subscribe for the latest and greatest.