subjects 01. mayo 2021
In this post, I will share my experience on what it takes to charge more for your animation videos.
As an agency owner, I made the mistake of undercharging for too long, until I figured out how we could sell a 2D animated explainer video for $5,000 or more.
That may seem like a lot, and maybe even impossible if you're selling on Fiverr or Upwork today. But it is possible to move up the price ladder if you know what you are doing.
At the end of this video, you'll find a list of specific things you can do to make more money as a freelancer or animation agency, no matter where you are.
animated? Ready to go!
You may not know this, but my animation career began as a student marketing assistant tasked with completing a half-done Vyond video.
I didn't know anything about animation and became a video guy anyway.
After a year I thought about trying to offer my animation skills to the world.
I first thought of platforms like Fiverr and Upwork, where a lot of people were already selling animated videos for around $50.
After doing some research, I decided NOT to participate in this "race to the bottom" (I'll see why later) and started selling videos through a friend's website agency.
When I was selling a website, I would also offer a video for the front page and if the client accepted the offer, I would shoot the video.
Later I 'blew up' and started getting my own clients and also hired my first helping hand 'per project'.
A year into this setup, we charge around $500 for a project. stands for script, dubbing and animation.
Over the next several years, we built a strong portfolio of explainer videos, a happy customer base, and a skill level that gave us the confidence to target larger companies.
Before I decided to close the agency, our prices for a complete corporate project were around $5000+.
Looking back, I see a few factors that allowed us to move through price ranges. My recommendations for you as a freelancer or animation agency fall into 3 categories based on the "game" you want to play.
the $50 game
If you want to sell a lot of cheap videos on independent platforms, you have to keep your costs low, which means; Choose an inexpensive tool.
Althoughwindit's the best animation maker out there, you probably can't afford it and they only charge $50 per video.
powtoon,animator, YSolothey are cheaper alternatives that still get the job done, with Toonly being the cheapest.
When you animate, you want to use scene templates as often as possible and not make too many custom changes to save time.
However, a quick and easy value add is to match the colors of the backgrounds and objects to the client's website.
If you resell your videos on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork, you risk having your account closed if you haven't obtained your reseller rights.
For example, Vyond charges a transfer rights fee of $99 per video. So that's out of the question if you're only asking $50.
Other tools will tell you to upgrade to a higher plan if you want to resell and avoid the risk of your seller account being closed. You probably want to do this.
It's hard to build a business around a $50 per video model. It's a race to the bottom, with customers choosing the cheapest option with the best rating.
That's why I recommend that you work to get into the next price range.
the $500 game
To play this game, you have to realize that simply providing animations has become a commodity. The opportunity lies in helping with the entire video process.
That means you're now helping your client with scriptwriting, voiceover AND animation.
Here I teach all three disciplines., but I would like to give you a brief description now.
scriptwritingit is about converting what the client wants to say into something much more concrete and informative.
Pick just a few key points to get across in your video, and structure your script with a strong introduction, an entertaining story, and a concrete call-to-action at the end.
SynchronaufnahmeIt's complicated stuff, but the way I did it first was to find a handful of talented freelance voice talents on Fiverr, favorite the best ones, and work with them over and over again.
You deliver a recording and you need to learn how to master and edit that audio so that it sounds good and has the right tempo for an explanatory video.
If I'm going to summarize my VO course in 1-2 sentences, I'll say that VOs in general require a tighter cut with only ⅔ of a second between sentences and a bit of balance; Add some bass and treble and turn down the mid levels.
finally get readyanimateThe whole thing: You already know how to do it if you've played the $50 game before.
However, to up your animation game, you need to customize your animation tool templates a lot more.
It also directly takes the best tools out there, I think it's Vyond, or at least pick one tool and STICK with it to become awesome on it.
This also creates consistency in your portfolio.
Your clients will love you for taking care of the entire process of making their animation video and will gladly pay you $500 for it.
But after a few years of playing this game, we got tired of competing against other animation agencies that were doing more or less the same as us.
I was ready to level up again by offering a little more DEAL, so we did.
The $5,000 game
To charge $5000 for an animation video, you need to do everything you learned from playing the $500 game extremely well.
He writes sharp scripts, uses incredible voice actors, masters the art of sound editing, and his animations are engaging, funny, and elegantly complement the narrator's voice.
Additionally, the $5,000 game requires you to focus on a few key assets:
- Over time, you'll build a professional portfolio of your best work and showcase it ahead of time on your website, YouTube channel, and LinkedIn.
This is your #1 asset.
- In addition to your portfolio, you'll create a "logo wall" that showcases all the great companies you've created videos for.
- It has received many good reviews on Google, Facebook and Trustpilot over the years and now people are starting to recommend its services by word of mouth.
This is the key to getting out of the competition just because of the price. When it's direct word of mouth between people who trust each other, price doesn't matter as much.
Now when you get that contact and finally sit down with the client, as is often necessary when charging $5,000 for a project, you need to show strategic understanding.
Summarizing all of this in this post is a challenging exercise because, for better or worse, it's oversimplified. However.
To reassure the client that you are the one they are investing $5000 in, you need to show that you understand their business, where they are, and what the video is supposed to do for them.
Ask questions like;
"What makes you different from your competitors?"
"What is the end goal with this video?"
"What do you want viewers to know and do after watching the video?"
They talk, then you take notes to write your script.
And when you talk about price, don't just yell "$5000," but introduce your pricing model. Always have a model.
Our model was a base rate of $2,000 for 60 seconds of animation + $15 per additional second beyond that duration.
Also, we offered to create the video in multiple languages and charge around $500 per additional language.
This requires a bit of additional voice-over and some time-correction from the original video, but it's good value for the client and for you.
These moving parts of a pricing model make it easier to command a higher price because it makes sense to the customer that all of this requires additional work.
It's like a menu and they ask for what they want. When the bill arrives, there are no surprises because they chose what they wanted themselves.
Congratulations! You have the sale; Now you do all the scripting and voice work.
When it comes to the animation part, there is one last discipline that you must master:
In the $5000 league, you need to have some serious "branding" skills.
It's a term I just made up, but what I mean is that you need to know how to align the animation video with the client's brand.
This includes loading custom fonts, applying exact HEX codes to all colors, replicating shapes and objects from your design materials, and the like.
At the time, I hired a very talented full-time animator who was a much better animator than I was.
It allowed me to spend more time with the clients while he did all the animation work.
Ultimately, this allowed us both to break the 6-digit sales mark, before I decided to take my career in a different direction.
A summary of the checklist.
In short, the $50 game is won by cutting your costs, using cheap tools and voiceovers, and only offering animations that are heavily template-based, which could risk having your accounts shut down due to legal issues.
The $500 game is won by offering FULL animation videos including all 3 phases. Invest in the best animation tools, great voice actors and time to offer many more customizations on your videos to create a beautiful portfolio.
Finally, break the $5,000 mark by being able to challenge your clients on a strategic level. Your videos look super professional (maybe because you hired someone to help you) and fit the client's brand. He has an amazing portfolio and a beautiful wall of client company logos: he doesn't charge an "all-in" price; They use a pricing model that allows for scaling up.
I hope my experiences help you move in the right direction and get into the game YOU want to play.
If you found value in this post, please leave a comment below and let me know how you are selling animation videos.
Thanks for reading, remember to take care of yourself and those around you.
Thanks for stopping by.
Whenever you're ready, there are three ways I can help you:
1.Create Captivating Animation VideosHere.(more than 13,000 students)
2.Join our private communityHere.(200+ members)
3.Arrange a call with meHere.(more than 100 clients)
Join over 2,000 educators
who think learning is fun
When you join, you'll receive my free Expert Explainer email course on creating quality how-to videos.