1. PeterLester

    PeterLester New Member

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    Anyone here doing professional level aerial video work and willing to share some ideas on an appropriate AV rate sheet? No others yet, to my knowledge in this area providing same services....respond here or send PM.:apathy:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2013
  2. Stacky

    Stacky New Member

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    Work out what income you wish to make.
    Then make a list of all your expenses, every single possible expense from accounting fees to postage fees to parts, building, testing and repair. Everything you can think of.
    Then make a list of how many hours of chargeable time you think you will be able to charge during the course of a year.
    From there you have a desired final total in terms of income, how much you are likely to spend and how many chargeable hours you will have to cover the costs and to fit the income.
    From there you can work out your charge out rate.
     
  3. SMP

    SMP Member

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    What should I charge? One of the most asked, least answered questions in this game. We see this A LOT in the pro/semi-pro/skilled amateur Tog world. Stacky's right of course, this is the old school method and does a great job of creating the minimum you need to get out of bed. And, if you don't know these numbers then your business is running you not the other way around! But I don't think it stops there. If you'll permit, let me add this;

    We sell Quality, Service and Dependability in that order. We get paid to produce the highest quality with the least amount of hassle, the first time, every time. We charge a premium to do that. Oh... and then we sell Pictures. LOTS of folks sell pictures, not as many the other. You're going to need to find out exactly what your product is and then decide if you're going to compete on Price or Service. There are always those who are willing to cut corners, that are willing to charge less, that are willing to do less. Price is always a race to the bottom and you'll have plenty of company.

    This is typically where the skilled amateur and semi pro enters the market. They justify the lower price while gaining "experience". Here is the danger; client expectations are the same whether it is a 300 dollar job, a 3,000 dollar job or a 30,000 dollar job. The moment you take ANY amount of money they expect you to get it right. If you are expected to get it right, there is no longer any margin for failure. If you still take the gig then you probably have developed the skills and Stackys numbers to actually do get it right, in which case at 300 you just left 2700 bucks on the table!! Heres the worst part, you will NEVER convert your 3000 dollar client into a 30,000 dollar one either! Once YOU establish a lower price point your are locked into it with that client forever.

    Here is what we tell new Pro's; Shoot everything for FREE. Yes, free. If you get it wrong they've lost nothing. If you get it right, warn them, then next one is gonna cost you and not 300 dollars either! Build the skills, Build the portfolio, Build your business processes until you can start selling Service, And THEN lay them away. Do not race to the bottom, there's no win down there.

    Here is what we tell old Pro's. Stop leaving money on the table! Do not poison your wells. We get 90% of our income from 10% of our Clients. Do not be afraid to separate your Clients into Price Clients and Service Clients, and then immediately drop price Clients. "We understand we're not a fit for every budget". We've had Price Clients come back to Service Clients after receiving dismal results from elsewhere (nothing like a good old object lesson) but if they stay Price clients we simply cannot afford to work with them! The good Clients (those who value Quality, Service, Dependability) ARE still out there. And they will and do pay as long as we (collectively) can continue to deliver. So again, stop leaving money on the table (yes YOU), charge a premium for the skill set you've legitimately acquired and the guaranteed results your client is sure to get!

    One final thought, The "aha" moment for us came during a BRUTAL Client meeting. We presented our proposal and they were OUTRAGED. Basically it was the "Anyone with a Digital Camera Can Do This!!! argument and they were pissed! I was even more pissed!! How dare they tell me what our work was worth, How dare they diminish... blah, blah blah etc, etc.. It was very confrontational and I damned near lost it. Until I realized they were right... I WAS the one with the problem! I was the one who had failed to communicate our VALUE. My fault. Not theirs. Once I got over myself and shifted into involving them into the Value process we were able to get back to a win.There are cheap clients, true, but more often than not it's a communication failure on our part. The moral of the story is, "Cheap photographers don't kill the Industry, photographers who can't communicate value do.

    Sorry for the long winded - off soapbox.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2013
  4. CrashMaster

    CrashMaster New Member

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    Good advice from SMP

    There are a lot of people out there with the will to do your job and even the means, all they have to do is pop down to the hobby shop and buy a Phantom and a GoPro and off they go £1,000 poorer but can offer a very good service to the likes of Estate Agents for £100 a shot and after 10 shots they are in profit. However, their 10 shots will have cost them time, effort and more than that their liberty: If you don't get licensed in the UK you risk being prosecuted by the CAA, if they have an accident they are uninsured so could loose their house, car and be bankrupted - They have lost everything. Their £100 a shot client could't give a fig what happens to them they will just be pissed when they come and ask for the same shots from a licensed and legal outfit who will charge them £300 - £600 or more for, what they think are the same shots. The difference is they will be around despite them because they will be licensed, insured and legal..... above all because they will be charging a rate ensuring their business is sustainable so will still be around in 2-5-10 years time still producing quality shots or video and improving their systems to cater for client needs, wishes and wants.
    I would say that anyone who charges less than £300 for a mornings work in this game is fooling themselves and their clients and will come a cropper. There is nothing to say you can't let your local church, scout group, neighbour have some free or discounted shots as long as this doesn't mean you have to give up a paying client.
     
  5. siim227

    siim227 Damn, again ...

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    Very well said SMP! :encouragement:
     
  6. Lanzar

    Lanzar Member

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    kopterworx aerial.jpg

    Picture sais it all.
     
  7. gtranquilla

    gtranquilla RadioActive

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    Excellent feedback obtained from several already.
    To be more specific, the nature of the work I propose to do will begin with Video test shoots followed eventually by professional video shooting.
    So it will likely be a loss leader until I get all my ducks lined up and I am still at the "proof of concept" stage.
    A rate sheet would have to include initial paperwork, completed well in advance to obtain a Transport Canada SFOC - Special Flight Operation Certificate.
     
  8. Bartman

    Bartman Hot diggity! Staff Member

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    great post SMP. Thanks for taking the time to type it all out.
     
  9. nicwilke

    nicwilke New Member

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    SMP put it so perfectly in his response.
    There's a bloke in my area spruking $80 shots of properties. He's a hack with substandard gear, no idea for safety, laws and costs involved in both preparation of flight, travel, insurance, editing, maintenance, advertising, equipment....... How he turns any profit at all is another good question.

    There's a saying, "don't s h i t in your bed".
     
  10. gtranquilla

    gtranquilla RadioActive

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    SMP - Excellent information here.


     
  11. Stacky

    Stacky New Member

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    Great post SMP.
    One thing that so many people dont do is value what they do. By that I mean understand just how skilled people in their chosen occupation are. Many people moving in to chargeable AP have come from many years of RC hobby fun but along that way have accumulated a lot of knowledge that the man in the street has no idea about. Similar in some ways to studying for a qualification of some sort. Even something as seemingly simple as correct charging and discharging and maintenance of batteries is something that has been learned and has its own set of built in value. All those hours and hours of fun flying and learning to nose in is something that has worth or value. All that time building and repairing gear, all that time learning how to program your radio or tuning PID settings has value. All that time deserves to be compensated and valued.
    Putting aside all business costs the simple amount of time that many have put in to getting to where they are has a value that needs consideration, the same as a doctor, lawyer or electricians education has a value.
    You must believe in your own worth.
     
  12. Droider

    Droider New Member

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    Aye Up SMP, what a very 'Professional' response. Excellent.

    I would add this. The portfolio is key and if you see something you really want to shoot go knock on the door and ask. I have never been refused.
     
  13. KaspInc

    KaspInc New Member

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    My full-day rate starts at $3200 and goes up from there. I'm currently only booking full days in advance because we are turning away work. We are one of very few companies able to fly legally almost anywhere in Ontario, Canada including controlled and uncontrolled airspace on a 24 hour notice.
     
  14. SMP

    SMP Member

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    Please don't take this the wrong way but as you have such a strong competitive advantage have you considered whether you might be leaving money on the table?
     
  15. KaspInc

    KaspInc New Member

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    Yes.

    I have often considered that. That is why our full-day rate starts at $3200 not ends there. Once we have the Movi and Dragon rates will climb significantly for clients wanting those systems.
     
  16. PeterLester

    PeterLester New Member

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    Considering the very professional level of your equipment, service and the uphill climb with TC with all the initial SFOC paperwork..... this looks like a lot of hard but also rewarding work......Is your daily rate for one worker or a two man team?
     
  17. KaspInc

    KaspInc New Member

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    For two people. They provide the safety. The SFOC paperwork was a huge headache and not easy at all but thankfully approved now. It is hard and stressful work, especially flying an Epic in 15+ km/h winds for a commercial with a budget of over $500K.
     
  18. PeterLester

    PeterLester New Member

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    One more question if you don't mind...... After taking the raw footage do you do your own video editing/post processing or contract that out to others?
     
  19. KaspInc

    KaspInc New Member

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    It depends on the client and what was in the contract they signed. About 60% of our clients just want the raw footage and the other 40% want us to edit it.
     
  20. Aerial Media Pros

    Aerial Media Pros New Member

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    OUTSTANDING POST SMP

    Kopterworx, You hit the nail on the head :) Yours is one of my favorite quotes.
     

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