How To Charge Clients For Your Video Work

When I send out my proposals to each of my clients, I like to provide them with a variety of options.

This gives the client some control and allows them to choose what would work best for their budget.

By providing these options, it can increase the likeliness that the client will go with your services.

So for this, I always follow the MoSCoW rule. Which is:

  • Must have
  • Should have
  • Could have

For example, the client must have a 2-minute short form documentary to go on their website, and the documentary needs to cover what problems the client faced and how that companies product helped them to solve that problem.

Next, the client should have some 1-minute short form versions of the documentary that they can use on social media.

Finally, the client could have some 10-15 second highlight videos that are more shareable to get the word spread about that product.

By giving them these different options and prices, it gives the client a chance to decide what works best for them, and it also shows them the value of your work.

Ways To Bill Your Client

Per Project

So now that you have given the client options, how are you going to go about billing them?

So the first things, and this is what you'll do for the majority of your projects, is you'll charge on a per-project basis.

For this, I will charge 50% of the project costs upfront, and 50% on delivery.

The reason I do it like that is to help with cash flow at the start of the project.

You want to charge for everything you do on the project. Charge for your pre-production, your production & post-production. Charge for any marketing stuff you do, make sure you charge for rentals. If you are hiring some other crew, you want to pay their salaries out of that as well.

Also, because you are running a business, you want to be making a profit on this project, so make sure you add some money on top of that to help make a profit.

When I invoice for the final 50%, I will also add on the costs of any expenses such as travel and accommodation. I will keep the receipts to show that client.


The other way that I charge for client projects is through a retainer.

I will only use a retainer if the project has a big scope, and is going to take months and months to complete.

Usually, a retainer will be a fixed term, and this could be anything from 2 to 3 months, to 6 months to a year, or even longer.

When doing retainer work, I will charge the client for x amount of hours per month. This could be 30 hours, 40 hours, 50 hours, it all depends on what the client needs.

Because it is a fixed term contract and I know there is going to be money coming in, to make it a good deal for both the client and myself, I offer them a discount on that service. So if I usually charge £50 per hour of work, I could charge £40 instead to give the client a discount.

Going with a retainer is a win-win for both you and the client. You give them a discount on your services, and you also get the security of knowing that the money is going to be coming in every month for x amount of months.

I always send out the first invoice before I start any work, and that is for 50% of the first month's costs.

Each month after that, I will send the rest of the bill to them at the end of the month. I will also send over andy expenses accrued over the month, such as travel and accommodation. I will provide the client with those receipts.

When doing retainer work, I also like to provide the client with a document that breaks down the amount of time I have spent on each area of the project. That way the client knows exactly where their money is being spent.

So there we go, that's some quick tips on how you can charge your clients for video work. Talking about proposals and giving them multiple options, and then how you go about billing for this project, whether it is a retainer or a per project contract.