What to Consider When Choosing DIY or DFY Video Production

Original Article By Manuela Senatore

The internet is full of information about how to promote your business and brand using video.  The importance of video in today’s marketing is well known. That’s why we strive to learn how to create valuable content, the types of content that are best for our purposes, and how to place that content on social media to get the best results.

We are eager to start producing video content. Except when we’re not. Occasionally, you may want to make a video but it isn’t feasible.  Due to your schedule, you may be overwhelmed, or perhaps your project requires video creation skills that are beyond your level.  


Several of your videos will be online for years to come, helping to communicate your brand’s value. In this case, you might want to hire a professional to help you achieve a higher level of quality; ultimately, people will make a judgment about your brand based on the quality of your video.


To decide whether you should create your own content or have it done for you, take into consideration the video or videos you want to create, as well as three important factors: time, money, and skill.


Time. Are you able to complete this project well and on time? Is there a deadline that you simply cannot meet? Hiring someone may be faster.  You must also take their schedule into account when you hire someone. Is it ok to wait for a project to be completed?   What is the best use of your time?

Money. Making your own video can be very cost-effective. In some cases, the money you save may not be worth it if you are spending time you don’t have or if the finished product isn’t what you wanted.  There are also times when a video is important enough to warrant investing in the services of a professional. This is why companies such as Nike utilize in-house video crews and outside production companies.  Find out what is the best use of your money.


Skill. Finding this out may prove to be the trickiest part. We can all overestimate and underestimate our capabilities.   Do you overestimate your ability to edit, possibly leading to unacceptable delays? Is it going to cost you more if your video is not optimized for social shares?  Are you willing to give yourself time to learn as you create, and the money to use for trial and error when placing online ads?  All of these things must be considered.

If you decide you need help, you might want to evaluate the type, and the extent, of the help you need.  Where is the pain point you are experiencing?  Write down exactly the places you are experiencing difficulty, and think about what would be your ideal help.   Are you stuck with your script? Do you need help coming up with ideas? What if you just wanted someone to run with your central idea and provide you with a finished product on your behalf?  

Determine exactly what you need.  Plan your budget as well. You will find a wide variety of prices and fees when you hire professionals to help with or produce video.   Make sure you know exactly how much you are willing to spend and what services and products you are willing to purchase before you start making inquiries.

Let’s start with the consultants.

The consultants work with clients to lend them the knowledge and skills necessary to create and post content themselves.  Consultants don’t usually provide the product for you, but assist you in achieving your goals by acting as a coach.   An expert consultant can help you determine how to present your business or connect with your intended audience if you’re stuck.  Perhaps you have an excellent idea, but aren’t sure how to bring it to life. You want to hire a consultant.  If you do not feel confident about appearing on camera, a consultant can help you improve your presence, your voice, and your tone.

Furthermore, there are consultants who can show you how to take a fully produced video and make sure it is seen by as many people as possible on all of the social media platforms relevant to your brand.  Right now, social media consultants are one of the most commonly used services. Outsourcing that work is easier and more cost-efficient than hiring someone full time to do it in-house.

Consulting relationships are not likely to be a one-off. You should build a relationship with these professionals in order to enhance your performance and brand.  Consider hiring a consultant you will enjoy working with over the long-term, and who is familiar with your vision and aesthetic.  If you have the creative under control but need help with the technical aspects of production, freelancers and crews can assist. There are lots of options when it comes to hiring in this category.

It is also possible to find freelancers in colleges and film schools near you. These budding filmmakers are always more cost-effective to work with since they are perfecting their skills. You, however, must guide them since they are not marketing experts. Or you may end up with video work that doesn’t get your brand results.   

You still have control over the production if you work with freelancers and freelance crews. You are just getting assistance where you need it. Using freelancers to supplement your own efforts gives you the opportunity to maintain creative control while saving money.  Maybe you should move out of your studio and do a walk and talk, but it doesn’t really work unless you have someone shooting and running sound. Get a videographer.

You may be able to shoot the video yourself and only need help with editing and adding visual effects. Professionals can be selected based on the type of editing you need, the software they use, or the effects programs they specialize in.  Freelancers and crews can relieve the pressure when you have a lot of work to do but not enough time to complete it all. If you hire someone, make sure they can do the job you want them to do, and explain the duties you will be performing and exactly what you expect of them. It’s a good idea to find out what equipment they will be providing, so you know exactly what you need to supplement.  


Regardless of who you are hiring for what job, be sure to review their resumes and reels and get references like you would for any other hire. Ensure that they understand what you are trying to achieve, the deadline and the budget you have in order to get it done. Everything must be understood before you begin.  Sometimes, you don’t have any bandwidth at all. You need someone to handle everything and involve you only in making approvals and receiving kudos once the final product makes a significant impact.  


An experienced video production firm can handle this for you. From concept to completion, these companies can handle all aspects of your video project. The brainstorming, scripting, shooting, editing, and postproduction will be handled by them.  The new generation of video production companies (like Skilla Productions) will also handle posting and social media optimization. This type of more strategic service should be described on their website.

Having an outside production firm on hand is not only a good idea when you’re swamped, but also when you’re stuck. The new perspectives they offer can provide you with new ideas and sources of inspiration.  You can also have them produce showcase or capstone videos to post as highlights and entice people to look at the videos you have produced in-house.

When hiring a video production company, keep a few things in mind.  Make sure they understand your business and share your vision. When they take your video from concept to completion, they should be thinking about your brand and your potential customers. When you hire them, make sure they ask you what your goals are with the video. You are in good hands if they care about that.

It is also important to clarify where and for who you will use the video. Make sure that they understand the scope of your project and that you set clear expectations before they begin. If you want both a full-length video and short clips suitable for sharing on social media, make sure you include that in writing.  You should let them know early on in the process if you have any special requests, such as diverse casting or other preferred locations.

Video production companies can be costly to hire. But when you need help, it’s a good idea to ask for it. Besides helping you with your project at the level you need, they can also help you become a better content creator for your brand and business.

Article By Manuela Senatore 


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I am a video producer and strategist at Skilla Productions (www.skillaproductions.com). Before starting my agency, I had other visual media-related roles including filmmaker, nonprofit communications pro, and correspondent/photographer for an international lifestyle magazine. I am a member of New York Women in Film and Television and the Video Consortium.

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