Tips for video production in-house vs. hiring a freelancers

As the cost of technology goes down it is getting easier and more cost effective for some businesses to produce videos in house.

Many professionals in my industry shudder at the thought or get down right nasty when companies purchase "consumer" grade video equipment and editing software to cut costs and do it themselves.  While I am often guilty of complaining about the squeeze on the work in my industry, when I sat down and thought about it, I recognized that it's important to develop a video strategy that works for your business and achieves your overall brand message, whether that's in-house or professional video production.

You CAN get your message across with your own equipment.

While technology makes DYI video affordable, sometimes its worth hiring a freelance cameraman with professional equipment.

While technology makes DYI video affordable, sometimes its worth hiring a freelance cameraman with professional equipment.

Nothing is stopping you, from doing it, and it is not always a bad thing. How-to videos or on the fly customer testimonials help to skyrocket your company to the top of Google search pages. It doesn't always make sense to hire a crew every time you make a sale and want to capture a customer's testimony.

Successful businesses know when to outsource.

Sometimes, that professional look pays off.  If you really want to make your brand stand out, professionals offer tools and expertise that can give you a compelling video.  Certain aspects like lighting, motion graphics, and flawless green screen keys are some examples of production techniques that can be difficult for a "do-it yourselfer" to achieve.  While it's not impossible for a motivated person to figure it out, the time spent learning can out cost the rates of professional video.  

Just figuring it out does not always guarantee repeatable execution.  I've taught video production at the college level, and I have first hand experience with "beginners" who get it amazingly right on the first try and then cannot deliver the same results on subsequent videos.  Sometimes it just makes sense to hire professionals.

The lighting setup for one of my product demo videos.

The lighting setup for one of my product demo videos.

Why not keep a freelance crew on retainer?

This is an idea that I've been considering offering to clients who want to produce larger quantities of videos with greater frequency but still want a broadcast quality and a filmic look. Maybe try to work out a deal with your crew that is financially sound for both parties? Having a freelance professional on retainer can cut costs in the end if you have multiple projects lined up for the year.

I'm open to opinions.  Email me patpvideo@gmail.com or leave comments to discuss your thoughts.