When is it Time to Hire a Videographer? 5 Questions to ask yourself!
It’s famously been said that the best camera is the one you have with you. But is that true when it comes to Business video?
Will Your Brand Suffer Because of Low-Quality Video?
Only you can answer this question. You know your business and your clients. One simple rule of thumb is that quality begets quality. Low quality may not be necessarily bad, but it does little to distinguish you from your competition. You may do great work, but does your lesser-skilled competitor look better in their marketing?
Customers make split second and sometimes permanent decisions of your worth based on the quality of your marketing materials. Video is certainly one of those components.
However, is bad video necessarily a deal breaker? No. If you’re a mechanic, carpenter, or some other labor skill, does it matter if your video isn’t professionally shot? Probably not. But, is your clientele luxury homes, luxury or sports vehicles, etc.? Then, you want a professional video.
Answer: Consider your brand and your clientele. You decide.
Do You Know How to Shoot Video Well?
This is a learned skill. Videography is an art and the people who get the big bucks are experts. They know what works and they can likely get you great shots with just a half day of work.
But maybe you’re pretty good with a camera? Do you need to hire someone else? This depends on your level of skill. Even amateurs that understand (or know who to ask) about lighting, audio and framing can create a great video! Another question might be, is the time you are going to invest in shooting it yourself worth as much to you as the money you’ll save. A typical Videographer can cost about $1500 to $2000 per half day. For many, this means shooting a video yourself along with guidance from a professional can lead to huge savings.
Answer: It’s subjective to your perceived value on time and energy spent, along with your own skillset.
Where Will Your Video Deliver To?
In this 21st Century, businesses have so many options to share their video! What’s nice is that each has their own use, their own audience, and their own standard of excellence.
For example, Facebook Video and Instagram Live are expected to be off the cuff, direct to your clients. It’s expected this isn’t going through an editor. The expected level of quality is significantly less than…say, a television ad. Instagram even encourages you to *gasp* shoot in vertical video…which is a sin.
What about YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook? These platforms are overrun with content. Some 300 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every day! That means, to distinguish yourself, you need to stand out. Your competing against millions of people. If you hope to get out there in front of people, to be suggested by YouTube as good content, and for people to share your stuff (this is the big one!) you need to have quality content.
If you have great looking and entertaining content, people will share it. If it’s not…they won’t. Simple.
10 years ago, shaky, poorly lit and bad audio videos were all over YouTube. Now, with so much around, people know what looks good. When it doesn’t look good…you lose eyeballs.
Answer: Don’t worry about quality for Facebook Live and Instagram Live where the expectation of video quality is less. When sharing content to the world and potential clients on other platforms, you need to look good.
What is your budget?
As noted, a common price for a half-day with a videographer is around $1500-$2000. This can vary depending on your region, but it’s a common enough number it’s worth stating. That being said, is your video marketing budget thousands of dollars? If not, you’d be like the majority of small business owners looking to shoot for yourself.
In fact, that’s where “Fake It ’Til You Make It” comes from. The whole purpose of this blog (and the upcoming video course) is to help businesses shoot their own quality video on a budget. This includes teaching DIY videography, audio pickup tips, lighting, etc.
If you don’t mind the investment of time in order to save you money hiring a videographer, we’re here to help! Also, feel free to contact us with questions in the comments or hit me up at my email at [email protected]
Do you have the necessary video equipment to record your own video?
At the outset, I shared the quote that the best camera is the one that you have with you. This is mostly true. However, poor video equipment (or the lack of any equipment) can lead to headaches, costly edits, and poor viewership.
The basic equipment that every business needs to shoot their own video is:
- A smartphone or camera
- An independent audio source (aka not the internal microphone)
- Good lighting
- A professional backdrop to record in
Now, let’s just take each of these quickly.
Smartphone or camera – It’s a myth that you need a camera with great megapixels. What you need is a camera with good software. iPhones for many years had fewer megapixels in their cameras, but their software was superb – leading to the advent of iPhonography. What you need is a device that gets a clean, clear picture. For most people, this is a smartphone or a DSLR. If the picture is grainy, blurry, or washed out…you probably need another camera.
Independent Audio Source (aka not the internal mic) – The internal mic may be handy, but typically, they are sub-par and not build for professional video (or certain spaces.) You risk picking up echo, wind, muffled or even mono-audio with the internal microphone. Typically, too, the camera is located far enough away from you or your subject that the sound will not be easily fixed in post or will just sound bad. To resolve this, get a shotgun mic that you can keep off camera that you can set up or someone can hold for you, or get a lavalier mic (aka a lapel mic). If your mic comes with the adapter you can often plug it into the smartphone or camera if it has the appropriate connections. If not, you can plug it into a secondary source like a computer or another smartphone to record the audio and sync them up later with an editor.
Good Lighting – This is the one most people forget, but good lighting can even make up for a poor camera. In some smartphones, the focal lens is small, so requires appropriate lighting to make your video look sharp and great. There are lighting kits out there for cheap (check out this blog for my recommendations). But, in a pinch, there are also DIY steps to augment the lamps and lights you already own for good lighting.
A professional backdrop to record in – The background is very important. Consider your audience to determine your setting. For some, a simple blank wall is enough. For others, it includes their office. It all depends on your audience.Just remember that your background will reflect you and your brand. So choose carefully.
What’s the Verdict? When is it Time to Hire a Videographer?
If you answered one or more of these questions in the affirmative, you may need a videographer. Still want to give it try without it? Give us a call. Or, need a recommendation? I work with videographers all over the United States that I would be happy to recommend and set you up with for a professional shoot.
Either way, Fake It Til You Make!