With dozens of video production companies and hundreds of freelance video producers, it can be tough to pick the best one for your video project.
So you’ve wrangled up a budget for video production, and you’re pretty excited to hire a talented video company to create your first video for your business or product.
You send out a few emails to companies with good-looking portfolios, and you quickly get some responses. But then you also quickly begin to realize that each company is different, and that it’s not that easy to decide on the right one for you project.
My goal with this post is to arm you with a few tips that will hopefully give you more confidence when selecting the right video production company, no matter where they might be: Edmonton, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, or anywhere in the world. Here we go.
1) Pay attention to how a video company handles your initial inquiry
Your first interactions with someone often plays a key part in shaping your impression of them (it’s a ruthless world, I know). A video team with good client service experience knows the importance of establishing a good impression right from the start. A few things to look for:
How responsive they are with emails and phone calls
There should be a reasonable expectation for this, but typically you should be getting back responses within a business day. A team that’s responsive to you right from the start understands the value of good, proactive communication. They’re also most likely to be good at keeping you informed throughout the lifespan of your video project.
A reputable company upholds it’s people to a high standard of professionalism in everything they do. True professionals will always be respectful and courteous in every interaction with you.
Watch for sloppy writing in emails
This one might sound a tad superficial, but emails with sloppy writing can sometimes be a sign of laziness and lack of attention to detail.
2) Pay attention to how much effort a video company puts into understanding your business goals
You are investing your hard-earned money into video production, so it’s only fair that you’d be looking for a return on your investment. A video team with a high rate of past project success will invest the time and effort to understanding the defined business outcome you’re trying to achieve.
3) Ask about process
A video team that’s developed a solid video production process will have a greater chance of staying on track with projects and delivering on their promises. A few things you might want to look for:
Do they have a good project discovery process?
Establishing a solid understanding of the business goals and objectives behind the creation of a video project is essential to its success.
Do they have a clearly outlined and easy to understand production process?
The ones who’ve completed projects successfully over and over again are likely to have a well-established production process, and is laid out in a way that’s easy for you to understand and follow.
4) Look for past industry experience
Look at a prospective company’s portfolio and past clients lists to identify clients that are in industries similar to yours, or find videos that align with your vision or concept. Companies with past experience in your particular industry are more likely to provide you with more bang for your buck, because they’ll be able to reflect on what they’ve learned from past project outcomes in your specific industry.
5) Ask about past project outcomes
Business marketing efforts should always aim to deliver on a defined business outcome, and video production (or marketing) is no different. Ask a prospective video company what kind of results they have been able to achieve for their past clients—that should help you gauge their ability to come up and execute on result-driven video concepts.
6) Look at a team’s past experience
You should also find out what kinds of past experience each of their team members has. The biggest thing you should look for is diversity of experience. In a recent article published by Adweek about a Cannes Lions study, they found that teams with the most diverse range of experience are more are more likely to succeed in a creative business.
7) Look for a detailed proposal
Great, you’ve gone through a few conversations, emails and a meeting — it’s now time to get a quote for your project. A quote or proposal oftentimes becomes (or includes) a contractual agreement between the two parties. There’s no magic formula to what proposals should look like, but there are a few things you should check for, no matter how big or small your project is.
Project Goals & Objectives
Your project’s goals and objectives should be clearly outlined in the proposal. This is your opportunity to gauge a company’s understanding of what you’re trying to achieve with your investment in video.
Scope of Services
This is where a video contractor explains the work they will perform in their quest to produce the video. It’s in everyone’s best interest to put in as much detail as possible into the scope of services.
Estimating realistic timelines and meeting them is one of the key drivers of most project-based businesses. Make sure that each phase of the production process is tied to a milestone completion date. Those phases are:
- Pre-Production (Planning)
- Production (Filming)
- Post-Production (Editing)
This one is self-explanatory and the ones you’ve been waiting all along for.
In most cases, quotes or proposals would (or should) have contract terms spelled out in detail. It’s for the mutual benefit of both parties to have a clear understanding of the terms of the relationship. Things like payment terms, copyright ownership, termination and confidentiality should all be included.
With the above things checked off your list, you should have some confidence that you’re dealing with a quality video company that will do its best to make you the best video possible.
Have you had any prior experience with video companies? If so, let us know how it was in the comments section.