My husband/partner and I have operated our San Diego video production company together since 1982. So after hundreds of video shoots throughout three-plus decades, we have learned what to look for when we need to hire an extra hand or two. But for those of you who are maybe looking to hire a freelancer for the first time, and you want to hire the best, here are five tips to keep in mind as you search.
1) Research – Search for the type of freelancer you want on ProductionHUB rather than Yelp because people who list themselves on ProductionHUB tend to be ranked by talent. Yelp ranks businesses according to who pays them the most. After an extended conversation with a pushy Yelp salesperson a couple of years ago, I learned that they reward businesses willing to pay their extraordinary ad rates. The Yelp salesperson called us several times (I was beginning to feel stalked) to offer us a Number One Position on Yelp (as if it is a search engine) for ONLY $550 a month. And that was the LOWEST monthly plan. Ever since we said “No, thank you,” all the five-star reviews we have earned from happy clients have been “filtered” (aka hidden) since according to that erstwhile salesperson, “this is not a five-star world.” (Good thing savvy clients search on ProductionHUB for our video production services and see that we consistently earn placement on the ProHUB 100 list.)
2) Study – Check out the websites of the freelancers who appear to have the experience you need. Spend time looking at their demo reels, client list, reviews and equipment. See if you can find answers to these questions: How many years have they worked in their field? What sorts of industries have they served? Do they have good reviews? How long is their client list? What’s the quality of their equipment?
3) Question – Take the time to pick up your phone and talk to the people you have whittled down to a short list. Ask them for answers to any of the questions that scrolling through their website did not satisfy. Tell them what the job would be, and then ask for a quote. How fast can they turn around a project? Can they work on weekends, holidays or evenings, if necessary? Will they work with you until the final product is the way you want it? How quickly do they send you that quote?
4) Referrals – Ask them for referrals of people they have worked with who would be willing to talk to you about their experience with the prospective freelancer.
5) Build a Brand – If you are going to need freelancers consistently, a word of advice from “careerpages” at Alignable is this: “Build an online professional employer brand for your business, post jobs and distribute them through your social media network. Use a Career Page with an ATS to filter, track and communicate with candidates.”
There are lots of “hungry fish” swimming through the Sea of Freelancers. It’s up to you to decide with whom you’d like to work. Hopefully, if you are mindful of these helpful tips, you’ll land a prize-catch.
About the Writer
Patty Mooney is a VP, Producer, Sound Tech and Editor at award-winning San Diego video production company, Crystal Pyramid Video Productions.