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Budgets

Clients Not Paying to Retouch Work

Q:

A client returned to purchase a second round of images I shot for them. They would not pay me to retouch this 2nd batch of images because it was cheaper for them to outsource the post work. Now the images are live and online without any retouching or color correction… What could I say next time to prevent this from happening again?

A:

I don’t mean to be harsh, but the only thing you can do about this is offer cheaper retouching or request that your name not be associated with the images. Depending on their contractual terms, you can retouch them your way and show them off on your site and IG. Other than that, they have full rights to retouch/crop/manipulate the images you shot any way they choose. 

Bid Requests Asking for Our Price

When we get bid requests asking for our price, but they don’t have the project information, I hear, “I don’t do this often, I don’t know how this works, and I expect you to do most of our job – so inform us what our $500-$3000 budget will get us.”

Four ways I respond:

  1. I cannot give a cost without more information. 
  2. It sounds like this will end up being between 10k-30k, give or take some, depending on your job specifics. 
  3. This may be at least 10k, so we can discuss this to get more exact if that is near your budget. 
  4. I am available to help create this job for you, and here are my option ideas to git within the 3-8k budget or the 10-12k budget range. 

Exciting Job, Low Budget

When offered an exciting job for a low budget, you can always offer your time and usage licensing for a discounted rate while having the client handle all production. If you feel you can create high-quality images, these jobs require clear terms of what you are and NOT including. 

Sample Negotiation:

Client: How much would it be to shoot this?

You: I don’t have enough information to give you an accurate price. What is your budget?

Client: We have $2000. 

You: For a $3500 discounted rate, I would do this for one month of social media for four final images within an 8 hour shoot day, and that does not include any production expenses only my time. 

Knowing the Client’s Budget

Knowing the client’s budget, I like to sneak in $500 more to get as much as possible without my response risk being too high. My response is to stay within their playing field but still do my job to get us paid as much as possible. 

Images For Broadcast

Q:

I always put the terms “excluding outdoor and broadcast” on my estimates and invoices. Now a client wants to use the images for Broadcast. Do you have a rough idea of what Broadcast usage would be? What does Getty quote for it?

A:

The only reason to fill the usage terms of what is excluded would be to educate a client who may not know much about licensing rights or as a teaser to encourage them to use it for OOH or Broadcast. Legally, they can only use it for what you are granting them. Getty may have something you can look at on their site, but I don’t use it. All fees are random as there is no set amount for Broadcast or others. I’ve seen fees go across the board, so I hate to rely on one set of numbers. Broadcast is large, so you can double or triple what they paid in usage for the other usage. I find negotiating tactics are the real answer to these questions because it depends on the client’s budget.

The Importance of a One-Sheet Attachment Promo in an Email

Q:

What is the importance of a “one-sheet” attachment promo in an email sent to a potential client? How many images and should this promo include any descriptive text about the images, background/bio, pitch, etc., or should all of the text be in the body of the email?

A:

When saying hello in an email, it can be good to have a fast visual sampling looking like it belongs in that email. The key to a one-sheet promo is that it’s a quick relatable read of a small number of images only, not needing that extra step of being clicked to open.

Are Elaborate Promos Worth The Money?

Q:

Are elaborate/over the top promos worth the money to get a client’s attention? If so, should more simple promos be sent first so you are potentially already on the client’s radar?

A:

Depending on your budget, I like to stick with consistent, well-designed promos with a quick, concise message. The expensive promos we can send or hand to clients could be a striking piece that ends up on their wall, getting the attention of a long-standing art piece. I’ve seen this happen, but it’s like going to Vegas and playing the High Roller risky games.

Email Promo Clicked Lists

Q:

What do we do with our email promo “clicked” lists?

A:

To know who CLICKS from our email promo to our website supplies valuable feedback shaping our marketing direction. Analyzing this relevant resource can be what you need to know.

  1. Put them on a hotlist and use every method to follow up with them, including following and engaging on IG.
  2. Look up all the others at that agency or company on Agency Access, yodelist, and LinkedIn to get them on your lists. If your work is applicable for one person at that place, I will put money down that the same is true for the others.
  3. If one of your top dream list clients didn’t have any clocks, you know you have some changes to make.
  4. Compare the marketplace segments clicking percentages to see which category of clients your work is attracting vs. which types are not being drawn in.
  5. When you get an unusual amount of clients or lack of clicks from one email, use that to analyze what was different, like your subject line, the time or the day of the week, wording changes or design.

Do You Always Expect Clients To Negotiate?

Q:

How do I leverage this abundance of accolades and high end client work to get more exposure? My past mailers and hand curated Do you always expect clients to negotiate? Or do they just walk away sometimes if the price is automatically too high?

A:

Unfortunately, clients walk away for so many reasons beyond our control. I like to feel out the situation to hear the temperature of their response before fully committing to a price. Odds are more in our favor if we can create a human connection off the bat, helping us open the doors of communication. The conversation can include the openness to flexibility by discussing a price range before we officially submit an estimate. If clients know we are willing to bridge, they may be more apt to negotiate.

Leverage Client Accolades To Get More Exposure

Q:

How do I leverage this abundance of accolades and high end client work to get more exposure? My past mailers and hand curated marketing promos have yielded a 3% response rate, and I must say I’m a bit frustrated.

A:

Emails, in general, seem to be a dying breed pushing us to figure out new ways to be in touch. They are no longer the one dependable marketing tool as they now serve one piece of the promotional pie.

You know I’m all about Instagram, so that is my first suggestion, but of course, we still need to push those promos out.

Email promo material should go out in two separate ways, which will, in turn, support each other:

  1. Mass email lists will have a lower response rate because they are a larger list of unknown clients but provide us with solid marketing open/click data.
  2. Smaller fine-tuned lists built around those we know, and those who open/click the larger mass emails will get better traction.