2014: The Art of the Estimate

By January 24, 2016Strictly Business Blog

An experienced Art Producer who has worked on both sides of the table, our very own Kat Dalager knows exactly what makes or breaks an estimate. Her presentation focused on the estimating process – from the questions you should ask before developing your numbers to presenting your estimate, following up and how to build an estimate that will convince the client that you’re the right photographer for the job.

Throughout this program, Kat shared in-depth information with the same generous, candid, no-holds-barred approach she takes to every single post she’s ever written for this blog:

  • “One thing that you don’t want to do…you don’t need to over explain. So remember, they don’t need to know how to click the shutter, they just need to know ‘will I get what I need from my project?’.” (~13:40)
  • “If they’re not going to give you a budget…You might ask them questions such as ‘Well, typically for a project of this size I would charge between $10 ,000 to $15,000. Is that what you’re thinking?’ And then from there, you’ll either get ‘Oh no, no, no, that’s not what I want at all’ or maybe you’ll have them not even flinch…So there are some ways to ask questions based on your experience – based on being the expert on what it could cost: ‘If we hire this level of talent, I have found that that tends to run about $5000 each person for a one year use in print, is that what you have in mind?’…It can be something where you’re…asking a question that’s informational as well as getting information from them.” (~15:20)
  • “It is very, very common for [photographers] to have a conversation with the person who is doing the buying, crossing off language that is contradictory to your terms…There are times when you may not have a choice and they’ll say ‘Take it or leave it, these are our terms.’ …[but] I would say for the most part, people are reasonable and they understand – ‘It says work for hire, that’s not what we mean at all, let me cross that off.’ And then, when you’re submitting your estimate make sure you’re including those conversation terms in your estimate so that you’re basically repeating back what you’ve agreed to. So, if you find that there’s a hot button there somewhere, include that in your licensing agreement…to make sure that the last conversation you had is the agreed upon terms.” (~22:50)
  • “If you consider [mark ups] a profit category, I don’t like to see that and a lot of buyers don’t like to see that either…I want to see what you are worth in your fee rather than an overall markup. (~51:45)

Kat goes through sample estimates step-by-step and provides detailed insights into the buyer’s perspective at every turn.  Wow!*  Click here to watch the recording of The Art of The Estimate or go here to access all 30 recordings.

*Oh and if that’s not enough, don’t miss the recording of Kat’s follow up webinar, You’ve Won the Job, Now What?, which provides the same level of insider information and insights on invoices, purchase orders, advances and collections.  Whew!