How to Decide Whether to Hire In-House, Freelancer or Video Production Company For Your Marketing Videos

Law Jackson
Jul 21, 2017 · 4 min read
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It’s easy to see the importance of including videos in your marketing toolbox. What’s not so easy is deciding who to hire. Should you go with someone in-house to save money, engage a freelancer to get that special look, or reach out to an ultra-reliable production company?

The short answer is all of the above.

Chances are that your marketing media projects will be best served by an assortment of creative service providers. The available budget and the crticial needs of the production you’re overseeing will vary and so too will your resource needs. There will be times when a project simply doesn’t need major studio firepower. Other times, speed is the name of the game. And then there will be those jobs that MUST. Be. Absolutely. Perfect.


DIY video can save a lot of time and money. The tech inside of the latest phones challenges the best digital photography equipment out there. The truth is that with the right shooting approach few viewers would be able to tell whether a video was shot with an iPhone, a GoPro, or a DSLR; and these are all very affordable and acceptable equipment. For a production that isn’t super critical or if you’re just getting started WHY NOT do it yourself? Learning something new will be fun!


Hiring for any department is a huge business decision and staffing can be a big headache. Onboarding, training and setting up personnel in new office or studio space can be a harrowing endeavor so freelancers are a God-send! The flexibility and convenience of working with a consultant is perfect for a growth business or a business in transition. A shortlist of dependable freelance consultants is good for anybody to keep.

When engaging a freelancer it will be important to know their technical strengths and capabilities. Most video production specialists will pride themselves on being able to handle a wide variety of tasks, but in truth they will probably be stronger at some things than others. It will be critical to understand what specific areas of production you can consistently depend on. Here are a few things to check for:

• Can the consultant deliver a complete video from just a script or do they need storyboard, designs, talent, etc.
• Are they especially fast or exceptionally skilled with certain tasks? If so, consider having them concentrate on that specific task and hire multiple contractors.
• What materials can you provide that allows work at optimal speed and lower fees?
• Does providing a storyboard, animatic or style guide shorten the schedule or reduce cost significantly?
• There are a dizzying number of technical specialties. What is the freelancer best at?

Motion graphics
3D and Visual effects
Video editing
Live Video
VR Video


There are few experiences more satisfying than helming a project that requires the manpower of a large creative shop. Being able to examine a creative shop’s awards, project showcase, estimate requests and formal quotes will provide an abundance of proof that a prospective firm is or isn’t a good match. Evaluating style-preference, budget-to-resource, and culture to culture fit is a big job but it’s safe to say that most of the necessary procedures will take care of themselves.

Reaching out to a new creative service provider is stressful. The risks of losing time, money, or the confidence of clients who rely on you can be suffocating.

Here are a few final thoughts that should help make hiring easier:

• Reach out to new vendors with a view to the healthy, long-term relationships.

• When possible try to start with a smaller job ahead of time- whether it’s a freelancer or a studio,

• Mix it up: When working with a larger firm check to see if there are materials you can provide that shorten the schedule or reduce costs.

• If you have creative needs that are above what our regular vendor can handle consider hiring him AND a production company and attempt to find a synergy.

• Working with a dream team of multiple freelancers can have both its ups and downs. More vendors mean more pieces to manage and more headaches if things go sideways. Have some sort of backup plan in mind- such as reaching out to a consultant or services firm who can help bring things together if things get tough.

  • Experiment with the cheap options. This flies in the face of a lot of advice, but results speak for themselves. If you’re fortunate enough to find an affordable resource go with it!

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