One of the biggest mistakes business owners make when hiring a video producer (or any other service provider) is hiring somebody who doesn’t “get” them.
Have you ever had a website made and then just thought, “what the hell was that?”
Then when you think back on the process, you realize that your designer just didn’t get you. So of course, how would they be able to translate your vision into a website? Right. It’s an impossible task to create clarity out of misunderstanding.
When you’re in the market for a video producer, you’re not just in the market for someone who is creative and technically proficient and likeable. You’re in the market for someone who will be able to take your vision and bring it to life on the small screen.
That person needs to understand your business, your brand, who you are and what you do, and be able to translate that into a moving picture.
Even if you’re just creating a super short video course or sales video and not a mammoth promo video, having your video producer understand you is vital. A producer who doesn’t get you will not understand why using a certain background is important or how to advise you about hair and wardrobe, or even how to choose music that works for your video.
Video production is a collaborative process, and your video producer needs to be able to understand the ideas that you might be having difficulty expressing and turn them into something tangible. They also need to know how to ask the questions necessary to make that happen.
To the point, here are the top things you need to look for if you want to make sure you hire a video producer who gets you.
When speaking for the first time...
Do they listen to what you’re saying with clear interest and ask intelligent questions with the aim to clarify?
Do they spend at least an hour talking to you in person or over the phone before coming up with a proposal?
Do they ask you about your audience, about your business goals, about what your ideal scenario for this video is?
Do they ask you if you have any favourite videos?
Do they ask you how you want your audience to feel after watching the video?
If none of those things happen on the first meeting, you’re probably not talking to the right person. Maybe the video producer is having a bad day. Or maybe they just don’t care.
But what do you do if you talk to two producers, both of whom ask all the right questions, truly listen to your answers, and come up with a proposal that reflects your goals?
You have two options:
Go over their portfolios with a fine tooth comb and choose the person whose style most consistently aligns with your taste.
Or choose the person who was the most fun to spend time with AND appears reliable. You’re going to be working with this person for a good 10 to 40 hours, so you’ll want to make sure they aren’t a wet towel, but don't choose fine times Al if he doesn't seem like he's going to deliver in a timely manner. (Also of course get a contract with set dates or time periods for deliverables.)
And finally, what if like many people, you’re having difficulty finding somebody in your area? You’ve met with all the local companies, and nothing has clicked.
Start looking beyond your area.
- Go to Vimeo and look at small biz videos made within your country.
- Go to Twitter and look for people tweeting about video within your country, and then check out their work.
- Keep your eyes opened for videos you like from other businesses outside of your industry and email the biz owner to find out who did their video.
You might not realize that most video producers are happy to travel, and if you’re talking about a video that will be important to your business for the next five to ten years, it’s worth taking the extra time and money to find just the right person.
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