Although a very fair question, it is difficult to answer on the spot. Part of me wants to be able to give them an answer there and then, however, in most cases it is impossible to do so from a single phone call or email.
We can give estimates for some jobs, such as audio editing that is calculated on an hourly rate, but other jobs like custom written music can not be easily estimated.
Last week, I received a call from an advertising agency, where the lady talked very fast and she wanted a ball park figure for a composer to create a set of advertising jingles, with vocals and a voice over too. She also wanted some custom samples in 4 days time. With this information she asked for a ball park figure over the phone. When I asked for a brief to be sent, she immediately lost interest. So, a customer lost or a headache avoided?
Let’s look at the problem as I see it. As a business, we are here to answer customer enquiries and provide them with a solution, however, sometimes certain requests are not that straightforward and can not be answered on the spot, as much as we want them to be. 🙂
The composers and voice overs I work with will want to know more about the job before they commit to a price. For example, composers will want to know what type of production style is required, whether any instrumentalists / vocalists will be hired, what the coverage and extent of use will be etc. Voice-overs will also want to know about the usage. And usually, one of the first questions is, what is the budget?
From my experience, most agencies / clients already have a budget in mind, but they are usually reluctant to give out this information, at least until you give them a price that happens to be higher than their budget.
To be honest, I like simplicity and ideally, I would like to have everything on a price list, but I am unable to do this in many cases. Is it just me or do other people have similar challenges? Your comments, feedback and stories would be interesting. Feel free to add yours below.
I hope you enjoy an uncomplicated and productive day 😉