You just landed a meeting with a solid prospect. The next thing you do is plan how the meeting is going to go, finding out their needs and how to solve them. Within that are the questions you ask to help manage the scope, help get you paid, and how to measure the video is a success when it’s all said and done.
1. What is your ideal timeline?
Most clients understand that you won’t shoot, edit, and deliver the final product in two days. But this understanding should be ironed out in the first meeting. A lot of clients might be working on a tight schedule and any miscommunication can set you back. If you want to complete the project in the agreed upon timeline you and the client have to be on the same page.
2. Do you have a budget in mind?
Money. It can be an uncomfortable topic to discuss but it’s essential to get all the details about the budget ironed out before jumping into a project. The sooner you understand the numbers your client has in mind the sooner you can start planning, coming up with ideas and a timeline to match the client’s budget. And sometimes, if a client’s budget doesn’t match up with their expectations, it’s easier to nip it in the bud before you spend any more time on it.
3. How do you plan on rolling out the video?
Clients are more and more interested in how to circulate their video(s) after you’ve created them. You need to know if their video is meant to stand alone or if it’s just one in a larger campaign, if they plan to post it on a website or through various social media platforms. And some clients might not know how to upload a video of your quality and length, making planning ahead essential.
4. What is the purpose of the video?
What the client wants from the video. There’s a lot of reasons clients want a video. It can be to promote sales, to raise awareness, to gain publicity or enlighten their core audience. A client that’s trying to promote a new business is going to want something different from a client that’s trying to create more content for an already existing audience. And it’s your job to find that out.
5. How will you measure ROI?
How the client knows it’s working. If a client is trying to promote a certain product you’ll have to measure the success of your video on how much they make after the campaign launches. And that’s different from a client that’s simply trying to engage their core audience, or break into the market, where the success of the video is measured through views or social media engagement. This can get complicated but Hubspot does a great job of breaking it down.
6. How would you describe the audience that will see this content?
Make the client describe their audience. Chances are the client is hiring you so they can reach a specific audience and asking them who that audience is, you’ll get a better sense of what they’re specifically looking for. Are they trying to reach a new audience? Or are they simply trying to engage their existing base? Ask them for two real-world examples this is a process called creating personas.
7. What has your experience been with video before?
Something else to consider is if you’re the first video production company they’ve worked with. If you are then you might have to be more explicit in explaining the video-making process, especially when it comes to the rollout. If they’ve worked with other companies in the past it might help to know what their experience was like before you, what they liked about their old videos and what could be improved.
8. What topics/ideas do you have for the video?
Getting creative. Clients could come to you knowing why they want a video or campaign, and even what audience they’re targeting, but when it comes to the actual content they might not have a specific idea. If they need creative help you’ll have to plan for that, adding time to bounce ideas back and forth into their project timeline.
Nailing down inspiration. Even if clients seem to have a pretty good idea of the content of their video, it’s always helpful to ask if they have any other outside influences, or inspirations. If a client is shooting a music video you could ask for other videos they’re inspired by. It could be a cinematic scene from Goodfellas, or Nike commercial, or the editing style from the show Legion. Any inspiration, large or small, could help you nail down an idea or a specific ethos for the video.