What To Ask A Video Production Team Before Hiring Them

Published on in Advice / Tips & Tricks

If you're looking to get started with video marketing, you've probably realized that creating a video can be expensive and time-intensive. This is why it's really important to find a great video production company to work with. Working with the right company can give you a leg up on your competition and really give your marketing efforts a boost, but how do you know which production company is best? Below are some questions you should ask any video production company before deciding to work with them. 

How To Find A Video Production Company

If you haven't already found a video production company to work with, now is your chance to identify a few top contenders and interview them. A quick Google search should help you locate some companies in your area. You can also use sites like yours truly, ProductionHUB, to find the most highly rated companies that are local to you. From there, read reviews and take a close look at each contender's website to get a better feel for what they're offering. 

Referrals are also a great way to find a great video production company to work with. Do you have a friend or colleague who got an awesome video made? Reach out to them and ask who created it for them, and if they were happy with the service they got. Once you've found a few companies you'd like to work with, it's time to find out which is the perfect match. 

What's Your Style?

Sometimes, smaller video production companies have a specific style or look to the videos they create. If this is the case, make sure that this style matches what you're looking for. And if the style of their videos is a match for you, ask what their work style is like as well. Do they tend to communicate regularly to give you updates? Does the company use freelancers or contract workers? Do your creative ideas mesh well? When you establish a relationship with a video production company, it's likely going to be for the long-term, so you want to make sure they're a good fit in all areas. 

How Much Will The Project Cost?

It's best to get a budget discussion out of the way as early in the game as possible, so asking for a price estimate during your interview can be helpful. You can expect freelancers and one-man businesses to start as low as a few thousand dollars. Medium-sized video production companies usually start between $15-20k for a video, and larger companies can go as high as the $150k mark. Be upfront about your budget so you won't hit any financial roadblocks further along in the process

How Is Your Team Structured?

Ask about the company's structure. Will you have a dedicated person managing the project that you can contact with any questions? Will the people working on your video be in-house employees, or outsourced contract workers? Learn about all the different people who will be working on your project and what each person's role is. 

What Is Your Process Like?

A solid production company will always have a clear process that they follow to complete a project. This process shouldn't be only for the creative process of building a video, but also for their management team and client communications. If they can't tell you what their process is like, it can be a sign that they lack experience or haven't taken the time to come up with a proven method to assure that the video will be successful. 

You want to fully understand this process before you begin working with them, so you know what your timeline will look like and what milestones you can expect along the way. 

Can You Provide Some References?

Any video company that has been around for a while should be able to provide you with references, preferably from clients who are in the same or similar industry as your business. Asking the company to provide references can give you a chance to talk with a real client and see how their project turned out so you can get a better idea of what working with them will be like. 

Can I See A Contract?

Before you move forward with any company, be sure to review a contract. Seeing a contract lets you look over all the details, like change fees, timelines, and project ownership. It's important to know that each project is different, so there is no single ideal contract that you can compare it to. Simply make sure that you're comfortable with all the language in the contract before signing. 

Will There Be An Opportunity To Collaborate?

Some video production companies prefer to work without any collaboration from their clients, while others encourage comments and collaboration with their creatives. Ask if you and your team will be able to be actively involved in the video production process and if you can review and discuss the project's progress regularly. Remember, the point of getting into video marketing is to spotlight your business, brand, or product, and no one knows this better than you. You want to make sure that the final video will do what you need it to, and sometimes the best way to get this done is by working closely with the production company. 

Things To Watch Out For

This interview is meant to give you a chance to learn more about each production company that you're considering working with, but it also gives you an opportunity to look out for warning signs. Always look for a company with a lot of experience and a portfolio to back up their claims. It's easy to buy a camera and start a video production company, but it's more difficult to get the real experience that is required to be successful in the industry. 

Also, take a look at online reviews one more time. If they only have a few reviews or all of them are very recent, it can be another sign that they may not have the experience that you're looking for. When it comes down to it, always go with what your gut is telling you. If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't!

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About the Author

Torrey Tayenaka
Torrey Tayenaka is the Co-Founder and CEO at Sparkhouse, an Orange County-based Video Production Agency. He is often asked to contribute expertise in publications like Entrepreneur, Single Grain and Forbes. Sparkhouse is known for transforming video marketing and advertising into real conversations. In addition to Sparkhouse, Torrey has also founded the companies Eva Smart Shower, Litehouse & FORGE54.

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