Bidding on a project without a shot list means you cannot know the exact costs for expenses, and you will be concepting the creative shot list. When you are wearing more hats, you need to charge for your time and call it a CREATIVE CONCEPTING FEE.
When bidding on a job, you are in the position to make an educated decision to be the “bank” running all the costs through your own company vs having it go through the producer. Any markup or differences in actual prices will be a profit to whoever gets paid for the job. This can be you if you want to handle your billing. The decision is yours.
Success as a photographer requires a long-term plan of constantly “growing with the flow”. The busy shoot days come and go and so do the trends of our market. Your business is not about this month; it’s about putting in the right attitude to stay fresh until you retire.
Don’t forget to invest in your career.
Make sure to use your words wisely and get into good routines to share your ideas on client calls. If you find yourself needing a traditional phrase to finish your zoned-in thoughts, get them ready and mix them up. Saying a phrase more than once will weaken your “director” presentation, and remember, this is a presentation.
What do you do if you are in a SLUMP? In a creative slump, take the pressure off by knowing it’s really normal. You can’t be your artistically motivated self every day. Learn or experience something new to get the inspiration back. Delegate something that you don’t want to do yourself. Ask yourself why you became a photographer and do what feeds that same interest you had back then.
Throughout the bidding process consistently put your ideas on the table and take the lead. Be the director the whole way through!
Quick sales tip that you may not have thought of is to wait and spread out your communication with a client. If it’s not a pressing production matter, use your response/question/personal note as a way of staying on their mind for a longer period of time.
Clients don’t always have all the facts when we are bidding a job, leading us to under-bid certain areas. If more responsibility falls into your lap than expected, don’t hold back in stating your case to request more $. Clients know that some gray areas may result in an overage, but they need us to be the ones to ask for it.
Admit it; you are SELLING a product. Approach the conversations with a potential client as a LISTENER, ready to open the pathway to let your true purpose be heard. Choose your words wisely instead of filling any space. Trust me; there won’t be much empty space.
Make an educated choice when choosing a producer to help you bid a job. Be aware that some charge a 10% production fee on the expenses and some don’t. Some do waive that fee if you ask, so know that you do have options.
When you are bidding for a job you have to ask yourself if you need a producer and if so, which producer do you need? There’s a new element to our decision, it’s called a production fee. It used to be called a markup fee and then ad agencies did not want to pay that fee. Now it’s called a production fee. What we’re paying for is 10% of the production expenses that gets paid to the producer. They want to be covered for giving their employees health insurance and other expenses to keep their business going. It’s a new concept and some producers don’t charge it, but some do. Think about that and ask that question when you are choosing your producer.