Hiring a team to create videos for your business can be a substantial investment but one that’s well worth it, if you end up with a superior product that effectively markets your company. Yet choosing a production company can be risky business: You pay up front (at least in part) for a product that hasn’t yet been created. It requires a leap of faith.
Below are a few insider tips for finding a production company that will create the video your business deserves.
Related: How to Edit Videos: YouTube Basics
1. Don’t get dazzled by a demo reel.
A lot of production companies host a demo reel on their homepage. Typically, it’s a minute-long series of clips from past projects set to music. The purpose is to prove to you that they’re an established company with a variety clients. Sounds good, right? What demo reels don’t show you is what those finished projects really looked like. You need a video that does more than look pretty: It needs to be effective for your business and communicate the message you’re intending to send. Dig deeper into their website and find the actual videos they were hired to create. Don’t see any? It’s a red flag.
2. Find their most recent projects.
I’ll admit it: The company I work for -- Plum Productions -- doesn’t always showcase our most recent projects on our website. Updating our website is time consuming, so we only refresh the videos every few months. Our most recent projects can be found on our Vimeo and Facebook pages, because it takes just a few clicks to upload them to those sites, and I can easily send direct links to specific videos to potential clients.
Visit a production company’s social-media sites to see what their most recent works look like. Recent projects deliver an accurate representation of the current equipment and talent they’ll bring to your shoot.
3. Get several quotes.
Getting several estimates is the only way to make sure your project is priced right. It can be time consuming going through the bidding process with several vendors but well worth it in the end as pricing can vary wildly.
Last year, we had our team assess our pricing structure to see where we fit in our local market. We sent out a fake RFP to see how other companies would bid on a project compared to us. (Yes it was very sneaky, but how else could we do it?) What we found was that for the same project bids came in anywhere between $800 and $20,000!
Consider the price along with the quality of their past projects. The company that seems like the best value is the one you should choose.
4. You really do get what you pay for.
No matter what your budget, you’ll be able to find someone to create videos for you. If your finances are really tight, there’s nothing wrong with hiring a college student who does production on the side, or someone who’s really new and just trying to build up his portfolio. Just know that the production quality won’t be the same as if you hire a professional team. On the flip side, if you have a bigger budget, use it. Professionals who command higher rates do so because they’re confident in their product. They have the bells, whistles and experience to make your video sizzle.
To find a local production company, visit a site like ProductionHUB. You can simply post an RFP and let companies bid on it (be prepared to get inundated with phone calls and emails) or browse listed companies and contact those who are a good fit. Remember, doing some legwork up front is the best way to ensure the end product is what you had envisioned.