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I got my first paying job.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by LaunchHSV, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. LaunchHSV

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    So, I will be honest and say I had about given up on the Aerial Photography scene and focused my attention towards other means of scraping up income like YouTube and DroneBase (which I guess no longer pays out... BUMMER) Anywho.... I have a website I built and I tried optimizing it as much as possible with a few hits here and there. Out of the blue, I received a call from a guy interested in getting some photos and short videos of 2 locations. Jackpot! So I went through the normal finding out what he wanted and where and came up with the dollar amount I would charge.

    I'm not excited with how low I charged, but listening to the guy and what he needed I couldn't see him biting on an exaggerated charge. He wanted video of properties for "investors" no music, minimal editing and a few photos. Easy enough right?

    The initial meet up was sketchy as hell! Meeting in a low-income housing part of town and at a gas station no less. BUT turns out the guy was super nice paid cash UPFRONT, which is a bonus, super relaxed about what he needed to. Turns out he has several properties he manages for investors and it may turn out into a steady means of hobby money.

    Did I do the right thing with the "low ball" estimate?

    I'm interested in hearing others experiences with either first-time sales or how they negotiate the price up with returning clients after the first job was done.
     
  2. AeroMirage

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    How low was the 'lowball' price?
    I also would tell the client that it was a one time introductory special.
     
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  3. Skydog

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    "Did I do the right thing with the "low ball" estimate?"

    Impossible to say without a $ number and better description of what you delivered.

    Also, just a wee bit of advice, once you do a job for a certain amount you have set the standard for that client - they will almost never pay more for similar work - so be careful not to shortchange yourself - you are setting a precedent.
     
  4. LevitatedMedia

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    I'm with the two folks above, I am being very cautious how I word my pricing to my clients. If I "lowball" it is to get their business and my foot in the door but I make sure to write up in the documents that it is a one time introductory offer.
     
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  5. Dr. Ifly Drones

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    I'll vary a bit from the others. Most of my business is with small operations who want a credibly done video piece with nice cinematic quality but, usually don't have a clue past that. With many, they aren't convinced aerial videography is even worth considering so, I also include essentially full service ground and aerial coverage. I do the post work and produce the finished product. I will offer, for those potential customers who seem to need convincing, a free, 30 second sample. I will show them the sample at highest quality (usually 4K on my big Mac monitor) and then provide them with a low quality sample they can keep. Most of the time, after they've had a chance to see the high quality copy and view the lower quality copy a few times they are convinced. I make it clear from the beginning that's a one-time deal. No one has ever asked for a repeat and while I've seen some of my free stuff make it to the net, I figure it's just advertising for me. As far as if the $$ was enough, just ask yourself this question, "could I make a reasonable living off of this?" If you're not walking away with enough to make it worth your time, you know it, you don't have to ask us.

    Best of luck!
     
  6. White Airwolf

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    You should charge about $1500.00 minimum!
     
  7. William Gaddy

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    Well, $1500 is a decent day-rate for a 10-hour day being on a professional set for legit cinematography, with drone. I can count the number of realtors who will pay a $1500 day rate on one middle finger, if even that...
     
  8. Dr. Ifly Drones

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    LaunchHSV and William Gaddy like this.
  9. LaunchHSV

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    Thanks all for comments. Here's what I am willing to disclose. The client contacted me wanting unedited footage of 2 locations about 1:30 worth of video for each @ 1080p. No music no stitching just enough to give out of town investors an idea of the area. He also wanted a few photos.

    Here's what I provided, the DJI basic stitch of the footage along with the original 1080p clips. Also while flying I just snapped a few photos of the area as well as used litchi app on my Mavic to give a free 360 pano.

    What I got for the job, I know I'll get slain so I'll refrain, but it was a small time lawn care provider and he asked me to shot a 30-45 second clip once this job was complete. So return business on a simple job seems like a success to me. I guess.

    The flights at both locations took no more than 30 minutes each.
     
  10. LaunchHSV

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  11. Dejan Smaic

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    What to charge is a science in itself. Figuring out a rate is based on a few things: overheads such as equipment / gear, travel. office space, insurance, your salary, and your margin, etc...just a few simple things to sustain your business model. If your doing post production or not, stills vs video, etc...are another matter. Also, the market. Cycling photography / video pays nothing...oil & gas pays out, residential real estate pays nothing, commercial real estate pays more.

    Here is the other thing, before putting out a dollar amount, do your due diligence. Seek out photo / video professionals, connect and establish a professional relationship, and get some sort of mentoring. Many wont divulge their rates out of fear of competition. But, there are those that will help. Once you've established a good relationship with other pros, keep them in your bubble and don't burn bridges. Why? Because they may pass off jobs to you that they can't / won't do for various reasons, and your expected to reciprocate. Reputation is everything in the media industry, and a lot of work comes via word of mouth.
     
    #11 Dejan Smaic, Aug 19, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
  12. Dr. Ifly Drones

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    I think the pitiful nature of most residential RE has been fairly understated. I received a email from a realtor yesterday asking if I could do a job and how much. No indication of what's wanted or if there's a budget (almost never is, it comes out of their commission). I sent back something nearly equally as vague in reply ($$$-$$$$) and if this is the usual case, will get a call from this realtor the day before they want it on line. Don't make residential RE work your mainline or work unless you're a masochist.
     
  13. Eric Braun

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    Yep... construction companies are doing this too. They are getting P4Ps and Pix4D for they progress reports I used to do. I think the only thing I have to sell is skill. And then I'm up against 20 somethings who have grown up on video games where skills like "tracking" are second nature. But I'm working on it and we may have a gig coming up for a very large car manufacturer. They haven't said "no" yet. But I've really got to have piloting chops, so I've been out practicing.
     
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  14. Dejan Smaic

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    Make sure you get a $250 or 50% non-refundable deposit should they cancel.
     
  15. Skydog

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    Yes - If you are marketing your services to residential RE agents plan on going on an extended fast. There is almost no money there. There are exceptions but they are rare as rooster lips. You have to look at who is making big money and target that industry. If you can find a niche in a big stakes game - you can make decent money. The key is getting a foothold in a market where serious money is being invested. If you can provide a service or product that helps those already making money to make even more money or make it more quickly then you are in the right game.
    The folks out there doing work for next to nothing are not in the game at all. They are on the fringe feeding off table scraps. Nothing wrong with that if you are happy doing it but so many confuse this as a threat to this industry. It's a normal part of emerging industries and technologies and the economy in general for that matter.
    Most of my clients would not even consider using someone for video or photography work that did not have a great demo portfolio along with a solid reputation in this business. They expect top quality - and are willing to pay for it.
     
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