in Sales

Raising Prices

All of our stuff is negotiated.   We generate leads online.  We don’t sell online. People grab a quote and then we hash out the details.

Pricing our work depends on a few factors:

  • How badly we want them (i.e. Evernote or RescueTime would a bit pay less
  • If they are jerks. (Assholes pay more)
  • If they are a “product” or a “service” or an “info product” (we like products more than services, and we don’t usually discount for infoproducts and can’t put them in our reel)
  • If we get rights for entering it into contests (without rights, it’s more, we don’t discount for rights).
  • How much of a hassle approvals will be (if they don’t know where their vector art is…)
  • If we have a sense that we won’t chase their logo forever.
  • What our calendar looks like.
  • If they will prepay
Note: most high profile clients don’t really matter.  We have high profile clients. We get it. Exposure is nothing you can barter with me. I’m booked for months. Endorsements are meaningless. I might ask for one to feed your ego, but that’s about it.

These are normal, negotiated business arrangements with all of our clients. There’s a fair amount of “gut feeling” for this. We don’t charge “whatever we can get” we make sure that we deliver value (more on that in a few posts, but our clients should succeed).

Even with our flexibility, we still have a price that we hover around – it’s currently about $10,000 per Simplifilm video. We start there, and haggle up or down based on complexity of the project, but even when we “want the client” really badly, it’s unlikely that we’ll be lower than $8,000 per video right now. This is because we’re booked through march, and discounts are real dollars, not theoretical dollars.

The Loyalty Rule: Don’t Shut Out Your First Customers

There’s loyalty rewards – there always will be: I don’t like jacking prices on existing clients.  The folks that were with us early on will not pay current prices. We don’t need to deal with the full fledged price of a Simplifilm for someone that supported us in the beginning before it was obvious what we were doing (and if it’s not obvious…)

So, I’ll always keep the folks that paid when we got started as close to where they started as possible.

With this being said, we have amassed options because in part of my hustle-based sales process.  We have options because we look for ‘em and because I work my ass off every day.

But It’s Time, Soon For A Price Increase

I’m thinking that it’s again time to go up in price. I recently learned what other producers are charging, and the quality that Jason and I crank out out is better than what a lot of folks are doing.

After Disrupt and StartupWeekend we’ll be going up in price.

We’ve raised our loose prices 3 times this year, and plan on doing it a 4th time. We’re close to4 times more expensive than we were when we started.  The cap is about $25,000 per video (since we’re going to keep Simplifilms deliberately under 90 seconds). That  would be roughly 10 times more.  Others get 25-60k per video. We can do that without being at the top of our expensiveness.

(an aside: Also, I Was Wrong)

There’s some type of unwritten rule that says that the client has to make first contact. B.S. my best people, my lifelong clients were the ones I found and sold.

I typed out why bother in a fit of frustration about internet marketing in general. I see what other people do and I think: lame. I don’t want to be a me-too blog with whiteboard crap, traffic videos as if they matter.

I want to build a rock solid company that serves other people without rancor.

I don’t want to sell as others, and I don’t want to create a “throngs-dependent” business model.

I will open that channel – what we’re doing is working. We’re getting leads and that generates more options. 

I’m going to spend an hour or two a day planning on what I want the user experience to be and then when I feel like I’ve got it right, I’ll test it.