Don’t get me wrong, there are heaps of awesome freelance videographers and editors out there, and this video is in no way a hit piece on them. We tap into the resource of high quality freelancers regularly at the Deli Agency when we need to. But after numerous conversations with clients and prospects over the years, and there are a few things you need to keep in mind to save some future headache.
The thought of hiring an affordable (or cheap) freelance videographer is undoubtedly alluring but video production is an industry in which a qualified production company is almost always preferable.
High quality, polished video content with a high production value requires professional equipment, extensive experience and access to quality resources. It also requires streamlined and rigorous processes in order to deliver a solid, reliable and repeatable quality product.
Let’s run through the top 5 things you should be thinking about before deciding whether to use a video production company or a freelance videographer.
1. Know what you’re going to get.
The majority of freelancers operate from day-to-day and project-to-project. They often over-promise and under-deliver because their either:
- Sending out a quote without fully understanding your project
- Outsourcing it to even cheaper freelancers
- Taking on more work than their schedule (or hours in the day) allows.
Ultimately though there’s no way of guaranteeing quality control when working with a freelance videographer.
2. Skills and qualifications
A professional video production company and crew is made up of multiple individuals with specialised skill sets. They have the right people on the bus as it were. Unfortunately though the phrase ‘Jack of all trades, but master of none’ can certainly apply to the majority of freelance videographers.
Remember, as with any industry, just because an individual has one skill doesn’t mean they’re skilled in all areas of that industry in order to deliver you a quality product.
Quality freelancers in the video industry are extremely passionate about their craft and invest in quality equipment, however it’s likely that they have high end camera equipment and low end audio gear or vice versa. Even the most talented and skilled freelance videographers cannot escape the costs associated with investing in the quality tools they need to produce a quality product.
A video production company has everything they need for a quality production, every time, at their disposal. Ensuring you get a quality product, every time.
4. Systems & Processes
RIgorous project management is vital when it comes to quality video production, and this is probably the most important difference between working with a video production company vs a freelancer. A professional video production company will have the systems and processes in place to make for a smooth, streamlined and successful production process.
This also adds exceptional value to you as a client as and when you have questions or time pressured edits. A production team has just that, a team, who are all across your project(s) and can assist even if someone is on a shoot or away on holiday. A freelancer is an individual. If they’re away or unavailable then you’re unable to make contact or have your request actioned.
5. Time & Quality
Many companies try to save time and money by hiring a freelancer only to have:
- Never received a finished video
- Never been able to get back in touch with that freelancer, or
- Never received the quality product originally promised.
None of these are outright scams because quite frankly it often comes down to the fact that they’re often working on multiple projects and cannot prioritise yours.
All well and good, but it doesn’t help you as a client.
A professional video production company has the staff and resources to complete multiple quality projects at once in a timely manner.
Quality video content is a significant investment of both time and money. When taking the leap into professional production remember that when you hire a freelancer you’re putting your whole project, and your brand, into the hands of one individual. It’s a risky business because if they fail, you have no alternative but to start again.
A video production company has the skills, talent, and resources necessary to ensure that your video production meets your specifications, under your budget, and by your deadlines every time.