Hiring an external company to create video content for you and your company can be a large investment, especially for a start-up. The great thing is that the money is well worth it… if they’re any good!
Choosing the right people for you can be risky. You normally pay up front (or make a good deposit) for something that hasn’t yet been created, and once your ideas have been passed over, it’s often out of your control.
So, to help you, here are some tips to make sure you get the right guys and the right content.
1. Don’t let a showreel suck you in!
You wouldn’t look at a sink and buy the whole kitchen, so you definitely shouldn’t watch one minute of a producer’s very best shots and think that their services will be as slick and suitable for your needs.
A showreel on a company’s landing page is the staple of the video production world, a banging soundtrack paired with the glitziest shots and frolics from everything the company has done. “These guys are great! Look at all that lens flare and glorious sunshine, and I LOVE this song.”
This demo reel will never give you the full picture of what you can expect. Find their Vimeo page (if they aren’t on Vimeo they should be….), find the project that’s most like yours, when did they make it? Does it hold your attention from start to finish? Or perhaps more importantly, do you get the message? Did they sell that company? Do you want something you might not already need? Does that conference in Hamburg look like it’s now your bag?
If you can’t find full form examples of the producer’s work, and they aren’t able to communicate the message, then it’s time to look somewhere else.
2. Find their most recent projects
Most companies won’t be up to the second on releasing their projects on to the wider web, but you should be able to find quality work from the last six months so that you know that the people and equipment used are available to you too.
The reverse is also true, every company matures in skills and clientele, the £300 project from 2014 will never do justice compared to the two days they spent nailing one 30 second teaser in 2017.
3. Get several quotes
This is the only way to know you’re getting a fair price and understanding what’s on offer in each price band. It may add a week or two on to your final delivery, but focus on the end goal and getting value for your money.
I have seen quotes for one project offer by up to 150% from the lowest to the highest, and the provision of staff and final output don’t always correlate. A mature company may charge you more for less end product because they have more expensive staff and overheads, but the quality may be absolutely worth it! Only by seeing a range of offerings and comparing the price to their recent work, can help you gauge what you need. Get your ROI, get your message across.
4. You really do get what you pay for
No matter the budget, you’ll be able to find a company or self-shooter to create your video. You might get a talented student who does production on the side, or someone taking those first steps into professional work who would break their back for you and for the opportunity. But be assured that the product quality won’t be equivalent to the outcome of a professional team. They have the budget, experience and established quality control to provide you with the best possible production.
Professionals who ask for bigger bucks often do so because they know they will hit the mark. They have all the toys to make your video pop.
5. Word of mouth
The most powerful gauge of your future supplier will often be word of mouth. Ask your network, and get a trusted confidante to spill the beans. For all the glitz of someone’s portfolio, they may not be easy to work with, they may deliver late or they may need coaxing along to get to your vision. Speaking to someone who has run that process through with them will help iron out the bumps before you hit them, the magic that can be woven in the editing room can be sidestepped with some insider knowledge.
In summary, doing the hard yards going in to your content creation adventure will always be the smart choice. There are many sites where you can submit your job to tender as well, which save you doing the hunt yourself. However, if you do this, be aware that you will be swamped with replies, so be prepared to sift through them to find a good match.
If you’re reading this because you’re about to start your own personal video journey, then I will obviously suggest chatting to GLProUK first.
By the way…here’s our showreel! https://vimeo.com/199798637
Visit our website here.