Adding video content to your marketing strategy is a smart move. You’d be hard pressed to find anything better that will increase engagement, increase sales and raise brand awareness all at the same time. But while incorporating video is seen as “the thing to do” across multiple industries, the reality is that it’s also not the easiest task.
Unless you have some personal knowledge on how to create videos, or have a friend that does, you’re left trying to learn everything by yourself which isn’t the ideal situation. I’d be willing to bet that you’d rather spend your time on the myriad of other things on your plate instead of having to film and edit your own videos.
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So you set out to hire someone else to handle your video content, which is another smart move. Being able to delegate tasks effectively is crucial to your success. But then there’s another problem. You find that there are a variety of ways to hire a professional. There are large full service production companies and single freelancers available to take on the job. Which one is best?
Freelancer VS Video Production Company
Many seasoned video professionals start off as freelancers, operating as a single member LLC or sole proprietor. This is because it can be difficult to land full time work with an agency or production company when you have little experience. This is one reason why freelancers are typically cheaper than video production companies for similar services. However, there are still plenty of very accomplished freelancers that will give you beautiful results. Having a look at their work will give you an idea of where they are in their career. A well established freelancer will be able to show you a variety of work, as well as a resume to show what they have done with other companies.
Working with a freelancer gives more direct access to the person that is actively working on your project. So you’ll have the ability to provide feedback easier and quicker this way without alot of red tape. However, because a freelancer is usually paying for everything they use upfront, they may not have access to the latest technology or equipment.
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I also want to mention another type of freelancer which somewhat complicates matters. Some freelancers use their LLC to sub-contract other freelancers. So on the surface, they appear to be a video production company, but in reality they have an unknown number of freelancers “on call” to take on projects based on their availability. Think of it like a freelance writer’s “content mill” where almost anyone, regardless of their experience, can be assigned to work on your project. This business structure is more likely to treat your project like a factory because they have so many projects on the table at any given time. You can usually spot these types of businesses by vetting them carefully. Some big clues can usually be found on their website, portfolio and price. They are usually more expensive than a single freelancer, but less expensive than the higher end video production companies. The website may have a tab saying “our team” but when you look there are no direct mentions of specific people. When in doubt, ask your point of contact who will be assigned to work on your project and what their experience level is. There are good, hardworking freelancers in this category, you’ll just have to do your due diligence to make sure you get what you’re happy with!
Video production companies on the other hand, are full service well established entities. They will likely have an impressive client list and a high-end portfolio. They have employees and/or freelancers that specialize in specific parts of the production process. They run like a well oiled machine with a sophisticated system to make sure you get your final project on time. They have access to the latest technology and the best talent. Without question, you will get the best quality when you work with a video production company like this, but you will pay top dollar for it.
So which one do you choose?
When it comes to which one is best for you, it really depends on your ultimate goals. If your plan is to run an ad on TV or some large format, then I suggest hiring a video production company to ensure you get top of the line quality. If your goal is to make online content for a blog, youtube channel or other social media, then you can go with a solid freelancer.
Either way, it’s important to vet whoever you hire to make sure that you are working with someone you like and who can deliver the results you are looking for.