ADVICE NEEDED: Never freelanced before but an opportunity popped up and I want to go for it. So many questions, mainly where to start with a proposal.

Hello all,

I went to school for video editing/motion graphics and graduated many moons ago. I do small film festival passion projects and I did one corporate-type demo video I did for my company that didn’t go anywhere, but other than that my degree is mostly collecting dust. I still absolutely love doing it, and have applied to full-time video editor jobs before with no luck and instead have plodded along in IT in the meantime, which I’m good at but don’t love.

Recently I started considering dedicating what small free time I have (with a full-time job, wife, and two kids) to start doing some freelance work to get some job experience and some more relevant stuff to put on my demo reel. Literally one day after this thought entered my head, an old college friend I hadn’t talked to in YEARS reached out and asked if I still do animation/video work. I said yes, she asked for examples of recent work because her company needs an explainer video done. I scrambled and put together that demo video & a couple other projects together into a short demo reel and sent it along, hoping for the best but not expecting much.

Today she got back to me and basically said the following:

>*Here’s some more info on the project. What we need:*
>*Help with storyboarding (script attached)*
>*Fully animated*
>*Timeline: one month* ***with edits***
>*60-90 second explainer video*
>*Our budget is $2000*
>**Please have a proposal to me by the end of the week, I’ll be presenting candidates to my board on Friday**
>Example video here: (link to a semi-related business’ website that has an explainer video)

So I’m in the running for this! Hooray! Now the reality sets in: *I have no fucking idea how to freelance*

My questions:

\- What does a proposal for a video like this look like? Is it just a letter like “I understand the project and am confident I can deliver what you’re asking for.” What other kinds of things should I put in this?

\- Their budget is $2000… what does that mean for me? Are they saying they’ll pay me $2000 and that’s that, or is this a starting point for haggling? Do I say “I can do it for $1500” or something to give myself an edge here? Or do I say “That budget will work for me”

\- One month with edits: Does this mean I should have it done in two weeks or something to be able to submit it for feedback & then update it in those last two weeks? Or is one month the timeline for the first video + then the “with edits” implies I’ll get more time for edits afterwards?


The good part here is that I’m pretty confident I can deliver what they’re asking for. The actual video editing/animation portion isn’t the problem here. It’s the details of everything else that I’ve never considered about freelancing before.

Any advice would be so very greatly appreciated here.

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