The mysteries of video budgets and how much should you pay for a video seem to sometimes be on a scale of who shot JFK and where is the Ark of the Covenant. While video budgets can sometimes be complex, they aren’t indecipherable. At least, they shouldn’t be. So here is part one of a guide to help you know if you’re making a great investment or getting swindled.

Here is an example of a conversation I have often with new clients.

Client: We saw your work for [previous client] and really like what you did. We would like to talk about a video project coming up. What would a video cost?

Me: Well, that would depend on a lot of factors.

Client: …

Me: It’s a lot like building a house. Without the location, square footage, style, direction in materials (high-end or low-end), I couldn’t begin to set a budget for your video. Can you tell me more about the project?

That’s a real conversation I have on the reg. So before you start wondering what your video should cost, you will need to think about what you’re asking for. What type of video is this going to be? How many people will be in it? Will you need professional talent? How many locations? Will there be a lot of post-production work like animations of voiceovers?


All of these elements will affect the budget, just like doubling the square footage of a house or adding imported, Italian marble would for building a house. If you happen upon a videographer who gives you a blanket price for a video without asking some of these questions, you need to be very careful that they understand the scope of work you’re asking for.

If you don’t know the questions you should ask, feel free to download our pre-production worksheet. This is just a tool we created to help us work with clients to understand their needs.


After you have an idea about your scope of work, you can get an idea for the cost of the project. This is the general budget a video production company would have to make a video without making a profit. That last line is important. No video production company can stay in business without turning a profit. So if you see numbers that are too low, understand the risk you take on for quality and longevity if you want to continue doing business with the company.

Here is a calculator that will help you determine the cost of doing the project.

Most video production companies will need to make more than 20% profit on a project. Doing the numbers, if a video costs $5,000 to produce and the price a company charges you is $6,000, that leaves them with $1,000 to buy food, pay their mortgage, have clothes, and other necessities for spending an average of 20 hours on that type of project.


Deciding if it’s worth it to hire a videographer or video production company is entirely up to you. For the most part, video converts at a higher rate than any other medium. Here at Knackhäus, we believe videos are the best way to make connections and connections are priceless.

If you’re still wondering if it’s worth making the investment, make sure to check out PART 2 in this series.


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