If you have ever been to Las Vegas, you are probably familiar with the term, "you gotta spend money to make money!" Now, unless you know how to count cards, I think most would agree that spending money in Vegas isn't going to make you money 99% of the time! So, it's better to set a number, spend only that much, and quit once that money is played on the table or the slots. Enjoy the experience of gambling, but "don't spend more money to make more money" because that is not the case 99% of the time.
However, when it comes to video production, you do have to spend money to make money. Why? Video production is an investment that if produced well has been proven to have high returns. It's important to have a budget for any project you undertake, although it's absolutely necessary that the budget is realistic in regards to your final expectations for the video project. If you don't spend enough money on production, the final results will reflect that and you will have actually wasted your money with little or no returns.
Most of my clients are business owners. They understand the crucial importance of representing their brand in a professional, fresh and creative way. The money invested into a video project is capable of bringing in so much more business for your company in the years to come! That is if the video is marketed correctly, and of course, you are good at what you do and have the goods and/or services to back it up.
When you embark on a video project, it's super important that you've done your homework. You need to shop around! For small and even medium sized businesses, I truly believe that going with the smaller video production companies is the way to go. That is if they have enough experience under their belt, and they have the crew and equipment to get the job done for you. Smaller companies tend to be more hands on with each and every project they are hired to do, and they tend to be much more invested in the final outcome because what they produce is the bread and butter of their company.
When looking to find a good video producer, there are some musts on your to do list:
1) The best way to find a video producer is to find one through someone you know. If your friend has had video work done for their company and you're impressed, ask them to put you in touch with the video producer who handled their project! Finding someone through a good referral is by far the best way to find someone, hands down! If you're a member of a Chamber of Commerce, go there and ask around!
2) When finding someone online, try to do it through someone you know again. If you're on LinkedIn, look for mutual connections. Pay attention to who you both know. You may have more in common with that person that you think, which is always useful when doing business together.
3) Make sure they have a legitimate website and a reel to showcase the work they've done! And when you meet them, ask them about their past work! That way you can quickly tell how much a role they played in whatever they are showcasing as theirs!
4) Ask them about which phases of production they handle? Will they assist with pre-production planning, scheduling, writing etc.? Do they have a crew? Do they own their own equipment? Will they be shooting and editing the project to completion?
5) Do they have passion for what they do? Do they enjoy their work? Production is one of those jobs that if you don't love it, you probably aren't very good at it. Now that's not a hard and fast rule, but truthfully, video production is not an easy job. It's a lot of work from the beginning stages of a project to the finished video. So if you don't love it, chances are pretty high that the finished project won't be all you hope it to be!
6) Are they going to prepare a proposal for you? Will this proposal include a budget, timeline, specifics about the project, and a contract detailing what work will be produced and when will payments be due? These questions will tell you everything you need to know about whether this company is professional and going to do a good job for you or whether they are just trying to make a buck!
I could go on and on about how video is so beneficial to people in all industries and areas for many different reasons and purposes! I've heard from some in marketing, that video is so good for business "video is like pizza, even if it's not that good, it's still good!" However, I would beg to differ. I think that video done poorly can actually negatively affect your company in a big way. And video done right can make your business take off!
So remember, "you gotta spend money to make money" when it comes to video production. AND you have to find a good producer to know how to spend that money wisely and make the most out of every penny to create something polished, professional and creative for your company!