Whenever we lose a bid and the feedback is that our rates seem very high, it makes us wonder what scale that client is using to judge the price of good work. Our hourly and per project rates are on the low-end of the industry average, and we always review each bid with the team members who will be doing the work to fairly assess the hours necessary to do the project right. We also go the extra step to include access to project management software for our clients to work closely with our team and ensure the project is headed in the right direction, every step of the way. So if our bids come in so outrageously high, maybe it’s because we put more work into creating a better product than the other guys. Or perhaps the client ran an inaccurate bidding process (yes, that is possible), leading to an apples-to-oranges comparison of teams that seem to be similar … on paper.
Our statements of work are always created around accomplishing the goals presented to us, but that’s not always how other content creators operate. The other guys don’t always make a bid 100% accurate to the detail of work necessary. Often the other guys will ballpark their numbers, knowing they can just up-charge for changes later … or just take 3x the estimated time to complete the work.
Don’t forget, it’s easy for a creative guy sitting in a basement in his underwear to bid a job with a flashy logo on top that makes him look like a professional operation. This guy says he can do the work from start to finish – script to VO – modeling to editing – invoicing to delivery. Imagine one person skilled enough to manage all of those steps, on time, and under budget. Does he wear a cape too?
If anyone comes through your door saying he can do it all, you should immediately raise a red flag. This happened to a client of ours recently – allow us to paint you a picture that may seem eerily familiar:
The client needed an animation, and got what they thought was a very reasonable bid (well under ours) from a small boutique agency. After many missed deadlines, and poor showings of work, they came back to us to fix what little had actually been created. Except now their available budget was missing the portion paid to the amateur team, which cramped our abilities to deliver exactly what the client originally wanted … and ended up paying for anyway.
Any good Marketing Director, who is told to get something made to highlight a particular product, will go out and get bids based on a list of goals to make the best possible content. However, most companies hinder their Marketing Directors by making the ultimate goal of a project to come in under budget. If the judgement of your work is based on the budget of your project, what decisions would you make about the right team to get it done?
The problem is a cheaper option is always going to be just that. If you need to accomplish specific goals with your content, how is everything supposed to fit into a smaller scale? You start by asking the right questions during the bidding process. You can’t properly evaluate the bids you’re receiving from vendors if you don’t know what their quote is based on specifically. One company could be bidding a 20-second video, while another is bidding a 3-minute piece because they know that’s what it will take to tell the entire story.
When requesting a bid for work from media vendors, include some of these qualifiers in your outreach so you know you’re really comparing apples-to-apples:
INCLUDE THESE ITEMS THE NEXT TIME YOU REQUEST A BID …
We have the power of a team with many different skillsets, where each person focuses solely on their individual skill. Our work is organized, efficient, and rarely stressful on our clients. With us, you get what you pay for.