Creating video content requires a very particular set of skills, that can only be mastered through long hours of patient creative effort.

However, a lot of video production companies forget to bring these skills to the table when they're creating their video production proposals. As a result, they find themselves struggling to achieve a professional-looking design, building each proposal from scratch - and not playing to their strengths.

In this guide, we’re going to walk you through the process of building the perfect video production proposal. We’ll help you write a piece of sales collateral that will address your customer’s needs, outline exactly what your customer can expect, and make full use of your video production talents and resources.

What is a video production proposal, and why do I need one?

Gone are the days when a videographer could rely on an email with a link to a showreel to close the deal.

In today’s competitive video production industry, clients expect a streamlined professional service, even from freelance video professionals. That includes a defined sales process, and a videography proposal that’s been created with the same attention to detail, storytelling skill and visual flair that you (hopefully) bring to your video productions.

A video production proposal is a comprehensive document used by video production companies, videographers, video marketing agencies and video production agencies. These are provided for prospective clients based on the information they've provided about their needs or a specific project.

The proposal needs to cover essential information about the deliverables, editing services offered, timeline, cost and payment terms, and terms and conditions. It needs to demonstrate to the potential client why they should choose your company. This can be achieved by sharing social proof (such as case studies, testimonials, details of your industry experience, or awards).

Your proposal is an opportunity to win over prospective clients by showcasing your best video work. This is typically delivered using a demo reel of excerpts from your most visually impressive or relevant videos.

What should I include in my video production proposal?

Video professionals are in a unique position compared to other service companies preparing a sales proposal - they can use their video content to make their proposal stand out.

It’s the perfect showcase opportunity, but you’ll need the right proposal software and templates to work with to systematize your video proposal design.

If you’re looking to create a template for your videography and video production proposals, then there are key ingredients you’ll want to include in every proposal.

Bear in mind that once you’ve got a solid template to work with, you’ll be able to provide all your clients with a fully personalized proposal - even those who you might not normally issue a proposal for, such as your repeat customers.

It’s worth remembering that your repeat customers can still benefit from a sales proposal, even if they’re already familiar with your methods and approach. Greg Ball of Ball Media Innovations, a successful Miami-based production company specializing in corporate video, explains in his blog why he still prepares a full proposal for his repeat customers:

“Never assume that your existing clients aren’t checking out your competition. A proposal gives you the opportunity to remind them and their management why they’ve chosen you in the past and why they should choose you again.”

Here are the elements that any comprehensive video production proposal should include.

Executive summary

A summary at the start of your proposal gives your potential client an overview of your company and your approach to their project requirements. It’s also a chance to create a strong first impression to differentiate you and your company from your competitors. You can include contact information here if necessary.

About us

Show the client what makes your company special. Draw on any social proof - reviews, testimonials - and highlight your industry experience and any awards you’ve received. Well-established companies can leverage their client lists here, too - especially if they’ve previously worked with well-known brands or businesses.

You can talk about your crew here - each individual’s industry experiences and track record adds to the impression of the company you’re trying to create for the client.

Our process

The content of this section may vary depending on how much information you already have about the proposed video project, either through discovery calls or a video production RFP.

Even if some of the details (such as timings and location) have already been confirmed, it’s still important to communicate to the client the need for a consultative process. Include this as one of the first steps in your outlined approach. Tell them how you handle pre-production site visits and setup.

Video production is complex, with many variables and moving parts. Describing the process can help the client understand not only the complexity but also how you will handle it for them. Talk about the different types of equipment required, shooting schedules, storyboarding, editing days, music, graphics, and even animation (if it’s relevant to the project). Ideally, you should structure this section with a rough timeline to help the client picture the different stages of the process.

Giving the client this greater awareness of the complexities of video production will also help them appreciate your pricing structures, anchoring their expectations of your fee.

Demo reel

Now is the time to let your work speak for itself. Any professional videographer will be familiar with the concept of a demo reel. They should already know to make sure their reel is snappy, tailored to the project style, and explicitly highlights the technical aspects of the work.

If you really want to make your proposal stand out, then embed your demo reel video right there in the proposal. Then, your prospective client can view your work without leaving the proposal document - increasing the likelihood you’ll close the deal. There’s strong evidence that embedded videos improve conversions across almost every digital marketing format.

Portfolio

It’s unlikely that any discerning client will want to invest in your services without fully assessing the quality and breadth of your portfolio. While the demo reel is designed as a persuasive calling card, it needs to be backed up with a carefully curated selection of longer videos (preferably connected to similar clients or projects).

Again, if you can present this additional content as embedded videos within your proposal, you can maintain better control over the client’s viewing and browsing experience. This should improve your chances of closing the deal.

Your investment

Video production is a resource-intensive service, usually involving multiple locations, long hours on and off-site, and a range of different specialist equipment.

While some of the details will be covered in the T&Cs, it’s a good idea to point out what features are included or excluded from the service in the pricing section of the proposal. This transparent approach lets you set your client’s expectations appropriately - especially if they’re unsure what to expect from video production services.

As most video production client work tends to be a one-off project or intermittent pieces, combining feature-based with usage-based tiered pricing strategies should yield results. The feature-based aspect allows the client to add or remove aspects of the service to suit their budget (for example, additional editing, animations, or original music composition).

The usage-based element of the strategy means that a videographer’s most precious resource - time - can be properly valued. This can be achieved with different packages offering longer or shorter production schedules (charging more for the faster service), a wider travel radius for location shooting, or additional shooting days.

E-signature

Providing e-signature functionality within the proposal is another table-stakes feature of any good proposal creation software. As well as reducing the number of steps needed to close the deal, e-sign saves time and money. On average, $36 is saved on every agreement by reducing costs such as postage, printing, and employee time.

Terms and conditions

With the right proposal template software, the terms and conditions can be incorporated in the same way as the e-signature functionality. Clicking ‘Accept’ can take the client through to another page where they can view the T&Cs. This keeps your sales proposal streamlined and visually appealing.

An example of an effective video proposal template

Qwilr’s video production proposal template is perfectly designed to let you highlight what you do best while letting you automate your processes for increased productivity.

Qwilr’s interactive template allows you to instantly embed your high-quality video content in any section of the proposal you choose, along with other interactive items such as pricing menus and image galleries.

The ‘Portfolio’ section is equipped with neat accordion buttons that keep thumbnails folded away under their own heading. This lets you share as many examples of your work as you want without the client needing to scroll through endless space-consuming video embeds.

This template can be easily customized to reflect the needs of any given client or project. You can add your branding elements, such as your logo, color scheme, and font. You can also be confident that our mobile-responsive design will adapt perfectly to whatever device the client uses to view your proposal.

Our template is built around the same set of ‘must-haves’ we’ve outlined above, including:

  • Executive summary
  • About Us
  • Our Process
  • Demo Reel
  • Portfolio
  • Your Investment
  • E-signature
  • Terms & Conditions

That’s a wrap!

Long shifts, delicate equipment, inconsistent weather, and lighting conditions…videographers face more challenges than most on the average working day.

For busy creatives, any new tool or process you add to your workload has to be sturdy enough to rely on and user-friendly enough to increase your productivity straight away.

Fortunately, Qwilr’s proposal software meets both these criteria. Our templates, designs, and editor, combined with your professional video content, are going to allow you to streamline your onboarding process and create jaw-dropping proposals you can instantly tailor for each client.

Check out our video production proposal template to get a better idea of what your customers could come to expect from you.

About the author

Dan Lever, Brand Consultant and Copywriter

Dan Lever|Brand Consultant and Copywriter

Dan Lever is an experienced brand consultant and copywriter. He brings over 7 years experience in marketing and sales development, across a range of industries including B2B SaaS, third sector and higher education.

Frequently asked questions

A video production proposal should open with a clear project summary. This should be followed with sections that outline why your production company is suited to the project, along with a breakdown of the production process, demo reel and portfolio, and pricing (in that order).

Your proposal’s T&Cs should include payment and deposit terms (including overtime fees), cancellation policies, work product ownership, and an exact description of services.

You should try to avoid making the following mistakes with your sales proposal:

  1. Lack of understanding of the client’s requirements
  2. Lack of understanding of the client’s industry
  3. Generic content that’s obviously copied and pasted in.
  4. Boring or unprofessional design
  5. Lack of interactive elements and functionality, such as e-signature.