Tips for Hiring a Video Production Company
When you are looking to hire a video production company, you might not have an idea of what to expect, what to prepare for, and what is a good price for the work you want. We here at Sparksight pride ourselves on being “Easy to work with” because we know each of our new clients have these questions in mind when deciding on who to go with for their video production needs. Keep these 5 tips in mind for your next video project to make sure you get the best bang for your buck!
1. Contract workers and quality
Oftentimes, contract employees help video production houses save on overhead costs and, might ultimately lower your bottom line. However, this sometimes comes at a cost, and that cost is quality. Every shooter/animator/creative has a different style of how they work. If you choose to work with a production house that has contracted employees, make sure you know their styles and if that will fit with your vision. Be sure to ask your production house if they’re using contract workers and make sure their style is in line with your project.
2. Keep your destination in mind
Another important thing to know is ultimately where your videos will live. If you need some case study videos that will live on YouTube and your website, a video that’s over 2 minutes could work. However, if you plan on sharing them on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter, you will need to shorten the length of your video content for viewer retention. Consider 15 second or less ‘teaser’ videos for your social media pages, and keep the full length videos on YouTube/Vimeo/websites. Be sure to let your production house know that you’ll be wanting shorter videos for social media, they will format your video file optimized for mobile.
3. Don’t depend on the demo reel
Demo reels are great to show off the ultimate potential of the production house, however, take a look at more recent work that the company has produced. This should give you a good idea and grasp of what to expect with your video purchase. Base your expectations on recent videos, and if you’re looking for something different, don’t be afraid to ask! We know from experience that it can be tough to fit in all great content into a short demo reel, so nothing excites us more than a client who wants to see more!
4. Shop around
Get quotes from various video production houses and be reasonable in your search. Just because that wedding videographer can do your customer testimonial for a few hundred bucks, doesn’t mean you’re going to receive the same quality that you would receive if you went with the highest bidder. If your neighbor’s nephew just graduated with film degree and has the newest equipment, doesn’t mean he’s qualified with properly handling you or your client’s expectations. Also, remember to shop and get bids from places that specialize in the area of videos you’re looking for. For example, if you’re looking for a 2D animated video, make sure you seek bids from people with exceptional 2D experience and demonstrations of their work.
5. Don’t compromise your vision for your budget
One of the most important things to stress is that a lot of clients feel as though when they pay for a video shoot, they only have shots for one video. This is untrue! When scheduling a shoot date, gather as much material as you can for multiple videos. You paid for the shoot day, so you retain the rights to your footage (at least, our clients do). Each video you can produce out of a shoot day ultimately reduces your cost for each individual video and offers you a video package that you may incorporate in your video marketing strategy.
Questions to Ask When Hiring a Freelance Videographer
You’ve decided that you need to start producing video content for your company, but you don’t know how. Luckily, there are plenty of professionals online that are willing to help you — for a fee, of course.
As long as you ask the following four questions, before hiring one of them, you should be able to partner with quality freelancers who know how to create stellar video content.
1. Do I Need to Hire a Freelance Videographer?
Before hiring a freelance videographer, ask yourself if you actually need to partner with this kind of professional. Is video marketing a viable strategy for your brand? The answer is most likely “yes,” but it’s always smart to make sure. If your audience has no interest in video, don’t waste your time and money creating video content.
You also shouldn’t hire a freelance videographer if you have in-house talent who can create videos for you instead. Maybe someone on your staff has a hidden skill set and would love the chance to flex their creative muscles by working on videos for your brand. Assigning video creation duties to current employees is often cheaper than bringing in external partners.
Once you’ve decided that, yes, you need to create video content and, no, there’s no one currently on your staff that can do it for you, move on to question number two.
2. What do I Need a Freelance Videographer to Do?
What kind of video content do you need created? You can’t simply hire a freelancer and say, “Make me a video.” You need to approach this content type strategically.
Think about the kind of videos you want created and how your freelancer of choice will help you bring them to life. For example, maybe you’re able to shoot the footage yourself, but you need a professional to edit the content into an engaging visual experience.
On the other hand, maybe you’re looking for a videographer to help you brainstorm video ideas, capture the footage, and edit it together into a compelling piece of content.
What you need your freelancer to do will dictate who you’re able to work with. Some video professionals only edit animated videos, while others only work with businesses in the local regions.
Decide what exactly you need your freelancer to accomplish for your business so that you don’t waste time looking for videographers who aren’t aligned with your purpose.
3. What’s my Budget and Timeline?
The videographer you hire will expect payment for the work they do — as they should. They are providing a valuable service to your company and should be compensated appropriately. That’s why it’s important to decide on your budget before contacting any freelancers. The amount you’re prepared to spend will dictate who you’re able to work with.
If your budget is small, don’t expect to hire seasoned professionals who usually work for big-name brands. Also, don’t hire an expensive freelancer for simple jobs that any entry-level videographer can do.
Balance your budget with the jobs you need completed and find a qualified freelance videographer who fits your unique needs.
It’s important to note that your timeline will likely affect your budget as well. If you need a videographer to complete a project on a tight deadline, you’ll probably have to pay more for the job. Keep this in mind when evaluating the funds you have to spend on video projects.
4. Where do I Find Qualified Freelance Videographers?
One you’ve decided what kinds of video projects you need completed and the budget you have for them, you can begin looking for qualified freelance videographers to partner with. But where do you find top-notch professionals? You have a few different options:
- Get Referrals: The easiest way to find qualified freelancers is to ask your network for a referral. If someone you trust endorses a videographer who specializes in the kind of content you need created, you should be able to hire them with confidence.
- Post to Online Groups: If your immediate network doesn’t yield any freelance videographer suggestions, consider posting to the online forums, Facebook and LinkedIn groups, etc. that you’re a part of. The recommendations you get from these people are a great place to start when looking to hire a freelancer.
- Search Freelance Job Boards: Job boards like Upwork, Fiverr and others are full of talented video professionals who would be happy to help you with your video needs. Hiring a videographer through one of these sites will allow you to easily see projects they’ve completed for other companies and read reviews.
- Work With a Talent Recruiter: Lastly, you can work with a talent recruiter who will find a freelance videographer for you. While you might have to pay for this service, it will allow you to focus on your business and let another qualified professional discover the perfect freelancer partner.
None of the above options are exclusive. You could, for example, ask your network, post to online groups, and search freelance job boards to find the right videographer if you want.
Tips on Choosing a Videographer
1. If a video production company seems very inexpensive, it’s probably because they don’t plan or know how to provide the necessary effort for your job to be successful. You’ll essentially “get what you pay for.”
With the ease of purchasing decent video equipment today, anyone can with a video camera can claim to be a videographer. They may have a winning personality and sway you with their sales pitch, but you have to be able to decipher between the professionals, and the part-timer hobbyist.
As with any industry, you’ll find individuals and companies who are in it for the quick dollar, are doing it as a semi-hobby or are just starting out. When prices are lower than other estimates, you may want to dig deeper and find out what is and isn’t included. Look for authentic client reviews, past video work, years of experience, equipment used, etc.
Experience matters. A company without experience may know how to do a certain task very well. However when they are faced with problems or changing requirements they have never faced, they won’t be able to cope.
Unfortunately when it becomes time to satisfy your requirements, they will be learning with your project and the results will most often be disappointing.
2. If you meet or get in contact with the videographer to discuss your project, they should prioritize learning what your objectives are and be willing to learn as much about your company and the subject as possible.
You’ll receive insight on their professionalism, how they work and equipment they use. They also may share their experience with ideas on how to make your project better than you imagined.
The majority of a video project effort goes into the planning, known as the pre-production phase. Inexperienced video companies don’t realize this. Without the planning, they may shoot and then realize that the story line doesn’t work properly and they can’t use anything they shot
If the videographer does not display interest in your objectives for the video, doesn’t mention the planning process or if they say, “We’ll just show up and shoot your video,” watch out!
3. A video company should be able to show you examples of work they’ve done similar in concept to what you need for your project.
If they can show you a sample of work they’ve done that matches your vision that you like then you’re definitely on the right track. Bear in mind that no one else may have done a video exactly like you are looking for so you are looking for something with the look and feel you want rather than an exact match.
4. The videographer should be able to provide a list of recent clients you can speak with to learn about their
If this isn’t available, or even if you find yourself questioning what the available references are able to tell you, this is an obvious red flag. A professional videographer should strive to satisfy their customer’s needs and if there is any sign of an unsatisfied client or mediocrity, the same is likely to happen to you.
How to Hire the Right Real Estate Videographer
Many agents and brokers view real estate videography as the next step in the evolution of marketing listings — and it’s easy to see why. A joint report by the National Association of Realtors and Google shows nearly five in six home buyers use real estate videos to learn more about a community, while 70 percent of them use video to tour the insides of listings. The primary medium to view these videos? YouTube, which is where more than half of buyers turn to get more information for their home search.
All of these stats mean nothing, though, if you don’t know how to create captivating real estate videos — or hire the right person to produce footage for you. Keep reading to learn how to hire the right amateur or professional to take your real estate videography to the next level.
Determine the type of video you want to produce.
Video marketing for real estate includes more than just community and listing tour videos. Capturing footage of former clients discussing how much they enjoyed working with you, providing instructional videos discussing buying and selling tips, and offering video to detail your business history and value proposition are just a few great ideas that can build your brand and audience. But not all real estate videographers film these kinds of videos; many only specialize in one or two niches of real estate video marketing.
Think about what kinds of video you want to create before searching for videographers. This helps narrow your real estate video intentions and, in turn, will make it easier to search online for the right person (or production company) to hire.
Decide how much you’re willing to pay.
Your budget also plays a big role in your real estate videographer choice. Determine how much you’re willing to pay a videographer. This includes not only their shooting fees, but also post-production. You likely don’t want to edit your videos yourself, so adding in this expense to your budget is a must. Other costs that should be factored in include travel expenses, lodging fees (if the videographer lives far away), video backup services (so your footage is safe and secure), and production add-ons that may be needed to get the best lighting and sound for your video.
High fees from an amateur or professional videographer may mean that turning to video recording apps to capture footage yourself may be your best option, for the short term at least. But hiring a videographer is your best opportunity to make a big impression with your real estate video marketing, so budget carefully and you’ll eventually be able to afford at least an amateur freelancer with a history of working for real estate pros and producing high-quality work.
Seek recommendations from colleagues and peers.
Don’t feel like you have to conduct your real estate videographer search from scratch. Seek out other agents at your agency or brokerage or industry peers for recommendations. As noted, video marketing is becoming more popular among real estate professionals by the day, so there are likely numerous agents and brokers you can turn to for suggestions. Ask specific questions about the videographers they worked with, including:
- How much they were charged altogether for an individual video and for a series of videos
- How easy it was to work with their videographer
- What the process of working with a video professional is like
- How long it took their videographer from start to finish (filming, editing, providing the final product)
- If they work with voice-over artists who can narrate videos
- What kinds of video technology they work with (cameras, sound and lighting gear, editing software, etc.)