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Old June 9th, 2011, 01:27 PM   #1
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I hate the "I want it all for nothing clients"

I just moved to vegas for a job less than a year ago. Ive done a few weddings for friends and I wanted to keep doing it out here. So this couple who ive gone out with whos friends with my friend needed a videographer. I decided to do it for $550 to cover rental costs for the equipment I need. Getting them to go from $350 to $550 was a reach.

They groom is cool and quiet, the bride is the one while she is nice in person, I can tell by little tells she wants the best. Showed me an example of a video that had steadicams and just amazing and she wants all that.

Ive tried my best to suck it up, but it is annoying that she wants everything perfect while Im technically doing it for free.

Its definitely a great learning experience.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 03:05 PM   #2
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Re: I hate the "I want it all for nothing clients"

Ya might mention what a steadicam costs and ask if she's buying...
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Old June 9th, 2011, 03:46 PM   #3
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Re: I hate the "I want it all for nothing clients"

Tell her you can't buy a Porshe on Ford Tempo budget. It's impossible unless you pay more money. Duhhh
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Old June 9th, 2011, 07:30 PM   #4
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Re: I hate the "I want it all for nothing clients"

I think one of the hardest lessons you'll learn when starting up (I've just figured it out recently, 2 years after starting my business) is that some clients are not worth the trouble.

The ones who try and get a discount, want extra stuff thrown in for free etc are usually the ones who do not have any understanding of the value of your work. They expect to pay nothing and get the best, and complain when you can't deliver the best on zero budget. Down the road these are the clients who will complain about the final product, the delivery time or anything else they can find a fault with. And not once will they stop to think that they are getting exactly what they were willing to pay for (probably more than they paid for).

In this situation, I'd do what I've been doing lately when I've had these "friend-of-friend who you met once at a party" type hagglers. Tell them ok, you'll do them a deal. But rather than giving them a set price, let them go and realise the value of your work first. Send them on a wild goose chase and make them work for thier discount. For example, tell them you'll do it for $300 plus expenses. Then send them a hefty rental list (feel free to be a little creative here) to go and price up. When they realise equipment hire alone can be over $1000 for a wedding, perhaps they'll change their tune a bit.

If you are giving someone a discount, make sure they know how much of a discount they are getting. Saying you'll do it for $550 has no context and might seem like a rip-off to them until they realise the next cheapest option is $1500 or more. So make them go and get prices, and perhaps when they get back to you they'll have a somewhat higher appreciation of what you're doing for them.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 10:21 PM   #5
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Re: I hate the "I want it all for nothing clients"

Sean, with only $550 only enough for rentals you have to make sure that the B&G understands that you are really doing them a favour. If you have samples, show them this is what they will get. If they want more, then pay more..

The clients may probably ask this and that because they are not educated enough. I would go down the path of explaining how much the gear would cost.. then the number of hours spent on editing. Once you got it broken down, I'm sure they'll realize how much favour you've actually given them.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 11:00 PM   #6
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Re: I hate the "I want it all for nothing clients"

I feel your pain Sean, seriously I do. Been there done it and it's not just in video.

At some point you will learn that your best customers will turn out to be total strangers that you never knew beforehand.

The people you already know from elsewhere, if they become your customers too, it's very often a flop of the dice.

Good luck and I hope it all turns out for you!
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Old June 9th, 2011, 11:09 PM   #7
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Re: I hate the "I want it all for nothing clients"

Unless you are advertising a genuine "special" for your normal packages then there is really only two prices ..."Normal" (with no exceptions) or FREE....obviously the free ones should be restricted to close family ... you wouldn't charge your sister to shoot a wedding but consider it a wedding present.

I found that the more you drop, the more they expect!! In fact doing a wedding for almost nothing (like the rental costs) will probably cost you in the end and they will expect the world!!

If it's your very first wedding then hire/borrow the gear and pay for it yourself and do the wedding for free if you truly need a portfolio to show other paying brides. Consider it start-up costs!! but don't do the wedding at a huge discount for any reason...you will suffer in the end and also get a string of "friends of friends" saying "..but you only did Jenny's wedding for $300???"

Chris
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Old June 10th, 2011, 04:36 AM   #8
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Re: I hate the "I want it all for nothing clients"

Totally agree Chris... however I have sent a few not-so-close friends on a bit of a wild goose chase recently.

It's much more fun that way than flat out saying "NO."

With super close friends/family I've done one for free and said no to another - but in both cases given them a clear breakdown of the amount of work that I put into a wedding video, so they can understand my viewpoint.
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Old June 10th, 2011, 06:36 AM   #9
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Re: I hate the "I want it all for nothing clients"

Great feedback guys. I considered doing it for free but then thought after everything I would be spending like 700 bucks. Initially they had a a crew doing there wedding and they put a down deposit, and after talking about some stuff they decided to drop them and go to me.

I remember having a skype sessions and the bride showing me the quality she wanted and how she didnt want my style to be like my previous wedding. This was the last wedding ive done:
. I remember just repeatedly telling them the cost for that kind of shot or that kind of audio and just watch the two look at each other in silence, I was talking to a brick wall! I did talk to my friend and she told me that she asked the bride that if she hated my style of editing then why did you hire him? The brides response was "Hes dirt cheap"

I did put in the contract and made it clear to them that since Im doing it for practically nothing, I am going to shoot and edit it the bet way I see fit. Also to keep the price to yourself. Yeah right lol. All of this is great experience, rather get it now than later.
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Old June 10th, 2011, 07:25 AM   #10
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Re: I hate the "I want it all for nothing clients"

Hi Sean

I really do feel that you are walking into a hornet's nest here!!! Already the bride doesn't like your style etc etc etc.....she can't expect to be demanding this and demanding that for nothing!!!

If it were me I would drop her like a hot potato!! She sounds like she will be expecting the world from you on a shoestring budget. I NEVER change my style for a bride..I shoot documentary and if I bride wants different I just point het towards someone else.

However it's your decision of course...I would most definately try to get out of this one!!

Chris
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Old June 10th, 2011, 07:48 AM   #11
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Re: I hate the "I want it all for nothing clients"

Sean

I'd say do it for free or not do it at all.

You've said that she's already walked out on someone else because she's got you cheaper. You won't make many friends in the business by taking away already booked work from people who are charging properly.
Don't take this as an unkind comment, but based on your sample of your last wedding you still need to practice your game.
You said that when you explained the cost implications at your meeting it was like talking to a brick wall, do you think they will be any more responsive to you if you have to deal with their criticisms afterwards.

It seems you are new to this so I know it may be difficult to temper your eagerness to produce work with the warnings of those who've been doing it for some time and have encountered similar situations, but this has all the signs of a headache in the making.
I'd drop it now.
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Old June 10th, 2011, 08:41 AM   #12
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Re: I hate the "I want it all for nothing clients"

Sean..mate my advice is walk... realise that there are some people in this world that you will never please and want everything for free... she has already shown contempt for you by saying you are dirt cheap.. save your energies for those that appreciate them. This wedding will turn into a big headache for you.
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Old June 10th, 2011, 08:47 AM   #13
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Re: I hate the "I want it all for nothing clients"

Had an inquiry like that last year. Their budget was $ 500 and then they showed a video that they wanted replicated. It was a Jason Magbanua highlight video. I told them that video would cost you around $ 3000, you have 3 guys shooting, etc, etc. I walked away. And besides I will fall way way short of their expectations.
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Old June 10th, 2011, 08:49 AM   #14
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Re: I hate the "I want it all for nothing clients"

Admit you've made a mistake now, and you can still keep your friends and not hurt anyone, including yourself.

Sean, you took on a wedding for the cost of rental equipment? For people you don't know? If you were doing it for family OR if you desperately needed footage to create a demo reel, fine. Is this to show your friends how great you are? What a nice guy you are? What an amazing videographer you are? Stop it.

Stop this mess. Don't be stupid. And if you follow through with this we really don't need to hear how you lost your friends over this mess, because this will definitely damage your friendship.

OK, how do you get out of it? You tell your friends this isn't working out, you say it is nobody's fault and now that you realize what the bride wants YOU CANNOT PROVIDE IT. Period.

Do not bad mouth the bride, do not be mad, realize you made a mistake and move on.

The bride will relent, they will likely beg you to not pull out, and say they are sorry. Do not listen to her. Just get out.

You think you are doing it for free, but you are not. You are charging the bride something, and she is paying. That is not free, that is zero profit margin, which is really bad business.

And she will not see it as free, because she is forking out money.

Follow through with this and then you and the bride, and your friends will all be victims of your careless behaviour.

If you get out now, then you at least will have shown that you woke up and realized you made a mistake, which happens to all of us.
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Old June 10th, 2011, 09:13 AM   #15
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Re: I hate the "I want it all for nothing clients"

I have a feeling that you may have trouble getting out of the mess you have gotten into. And you are in a mess already, make no mistake.

If you ABSOLUTELY cannot back out...you should change your shooting style at least for this wedding, but no worries, but it will be easy to do.

You must eliminate most of your moving shots, they are too shaky. Stake your spot out and use a tripod whenever you can. You have a good eye, your demo shows some nice closeup, etc. Get good solid non-shaky shots, pretend you are taking still shots, it will clean things up immensely. Frame your shots perfectly as you can, and keep your camera still, not moving. Shoot for ten seconds, stop recording. Then frame your next shot, shoot for ten seconds, stop recording. Just like taking photos. It will edit like butter that way also. (I'm talking about preceremony, etc, of course, not the wedding)

Your previous wedding showed lots of promise. Just clean up your shooting style, simplify it, at least for this bride. She wants a classier, cleaner look, that is all.

Your demo shows a lot of hard work, too much. You actually would be better to simplify things, and go for a classic look.

But in the end, as we have all said, get out if you can.
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