March 30, 2017

9 Tips for Finding a Video Freelancer you can trust

9 Tips for Finding a Video Freelancer You Can Trust

As an agency or studio, hiring a loyal video freelancer is a great way to expand business capacity and add skillsets to your team at a low cost.


When you do find a good freelancer, or freelance team, it can seriously boost your game. Having someone you can really trust to deliver high quality video or design work, without the hassle of paying for their downtime is invaluable.


There are so many highly competent, talented video contractors, who know the business inside out – so how do you find the right one for you?


Here are 9 tips for finding a freelancer you can really trust to help grow your business

1. Get recommendations from other agencies or studios you know

Get recommendations from other agencies or studios you know

Word of mouth is still a great way of finding good people. Ask people you trust, to see who they trust. This is the best place to start if you’re unsure.

2. Put your job on a specialist video / design job site

Put your job on a specialist video / design job site

This is a good start, as it weeds out more of the non-professionals straight away.

Often when adding a job to a generic site, especially one with no login to apply, you will receive so many replies of such varying quality, it can be daunting to go through them all to get rid of those who are not suitable.

Picking a video specific website like motionographer, filmandtvpro, or ifyoucouldjobs will give you a better calibre of applicants to start from. 

3. Look at a number of their previous jobs

Look at a number of previous jobs

If you can, go much further than just a few videos they send upon application, you’re looking for consistent quality.

If you have a quick look at up to 10 videos, you can see if the quality or standard drops and they don’t always have the level that you need.

And with that many videos, you can see they are working regularly, it’s not just an evening side hustle.

Looking at more of their past projects will also help you gauge properly if their style suits your needs.

4. Find out what role they played in each video

Find out what role they played in each video

Often a contractor will only have been involved in 1 part of a video, for example – they did the design or just the animation part of it.

If it’s not obvious from any accompanying text (which it really should be), ask them what they did.

You don’t want to hire someone you think does animation and design, but you find out they’ve exaggerated their animation capabilities – and they’re really just good at design.

5. Speak to their previous clients

Speak to their previous clients

Speaking to a previous client may not be needed, but getting a quick recommendation will certainly ease your mind if you’re unsure.

If you have found someone who is a potentially good fit, they probably won’t mind if you request to speak to a previous client.

Ask them about the full process end to end. Were they easily contactable? Did they deliver on time? Were there any unexpected costs? Did anything go really well / or badly? Did they work on more than 1 production?

6. Locality doesn’t matter

Locality doesn’t matter

Initially, you may be looking for a freelancer to come into your studio to work, or at least be quite close. But this isn’t always necessary. Local can often be very expensive, or not high enough quality.

For example, freelancers in London, or other major cities can be more expensive, purely because of where they are.

And if you are based more rurally, then there may not be the right person close enough to you to commute to your offices.

As long as the timezone isn’t too different – say less than 5-7 hours – you can have clear remote working relationships. I can see this trend of freelancers remote working getting more and more frequent.

You don’t even need to stay within your country, though you may feel more comfortable.

Although we’re UK based, some of our main clients are based in the USA, we have great communication, simply with Zoom and email.

7. Have an introductory meeting

Have an introductory meeting

Often when agencies are looking for a freelancer, it’s quite last minute, they need help now! You may be in a rush to get work done – so there’s no time for an intro. 

But a short meeting just to introduce both yourselves is vital to start gaining trust in the relationship, it only takes 20-30 mins to have a good chat and judge if they’d be a good fit for you, and vice versa.

This can be in person or using a zoom is fine these days too. It will allow you to fully gauge what they’re like – are they approachable, do they seem honest? These qualities are just as important as their work.

If you like them as a person it makes the job way easier and you’re more likely to hire them again. Most agencies don’t want to be looking for freelancers that frequently, they want to find someone and stick with them.

8. Collect a list

Keep a list

When a big video production comes in and you have to pull out all the stops. You need a handy list of good animators or designers you can turn to for quick reliable turnaround – so you don’t waste essential time.

So, if someone writes to you – they have a great portfolio, the price is reasonable and they seem capable, but it’s not the right moment, find some way of saving their email or contact details. you’ll thank yourself later when you’re in a rush!

9. Plan your jobs / specifications well

Plan your jobs / specifications well

Once you’ve decided to hire a freelancer for the job – they need a solid brief.

Freelancers are usually smart, and intuitive, but for a first project, they need a good clear plan to work to. They can’t read your mind yet!

If you leave it too vague and they get the wrong idea – you’ve all wasted your time (and money) when the client isn’t happy.

Give them as much guidance as you can, to begin with, the initial briefing with any job is very important.

They will use all that going forward. It’s often a good idea to go through the script or storyboard line by line and make sure each section makes sense.

The more info the better, and also be very clear about deadlines, contracts, what the deliverables are will all help the project to run successfully. 

If possible, I would also allow a bit more time than usual for a first video project, so you have more time to make sure they are following your process and you can go through any questions without stress. 

These days it is so easy to find a video freelancer online and work remotely, so go ahead!

These tips should help you sort through and find the perfect match for your company.

To see examples of our video work head to our video portfolio or animated video production page.

And if you need a hand in your studio – contact us! We work for some great video and marketing agencies worldwide and offer a robust white-label video and animation service.

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