Creating quality HD video productions that attract new customers is a challenging necessity in today’s digital marketplace, and it may be the last thing you were thinking of when you had your startup idea.
So how do you find video experts you can trust, who can create the best product for your niche, and be transparent about pricing while respecting your budget?.
Let’s find out.
Google – or use your other favorite search engine – to find companies near you. Just search ‘video production’ or ‘video online’ of ‘video studio’ or ‘commercial video.’ Rating sites like Quora allow you to ask and even edit questions of a large online community and get recommendations.
Create a list of your top 10 and plan two sit-down sessions with your computer, looking at five sites each time. Looking at ten at once is simply too overwhelming. It takes some work, but look at their online demo reel, their list of local customers, their testimonials, their facilities and equipment and their staffing – most production companies have online staff bios.
Consider looking for companies that:
- Have a good reputation with local clients you can follow up with
- Have a turnkey operation with videographers, writers/producers, animators, editors, etc. all under one roof
- Production facilities that include all the basics such as:
- Green screen
- Commercial quality editing and titling/animation software
- Drone photography
- Sound booth
- Video switching
Select one company from each set of five – or if you can’t decide, it’s OK to take a second choice from one set – and you’ve narrowed your selections to just two or three.
Give each a call and ask some basic questions such as:
- I’m interested in making a (briefly describe what you have in mind). Can you do that kind of production?.
- Which videos have you made which sound the most similar and how can I view them?.
- What is your work process? For example, will you have a single point of contact for me and what is that person’s position? (you will want to be dealing with the producer).
- How do you estimate costs? NOTE: Don’t ask how much it costs because they don’t have enough information to give you an answer. Ask how they arrive at costs. Do they charge for certain equipment by the hour, for example?.
Any production studio will have some questions for you, such as what your goals are, who you are trying to reach, what platforms you have available for use. This indicates an appropriate level of professional interest.
They will almost certainly ask to meet with you to better understand your needs and arrive at a price and timeline that makes sense for both parties. This is normal, and you should welcome such a meeting.
Meetings like this will help you size up trustworthiness and compatibility, but don’t make a commitment until you have interviewed at least three, and don’t be afraid to follow up with more queries. If you feel pressured to make a handshake deal or (eek!) sign a contract on the spot, move on to the next vendor. Yes, it is a competitive business, and everyone is eager to land clients, but real professionals respect their clients too much to pull the ol’ hard sell.