In these days of information glut, many of us have become very good researchers. We know all kinds of ways to drill down through the internet and get information about the products and services we need. We have favorite websites for reviews and other sources to learn “how to” be a smart consumer.

It all takes time.  Sometimes, we don’t have that luxury.

If you find yourself on a short timeline to find the video production company you want to work with, you probably feel stressed in the first place. Here are a few tips to save you some time without risking disaster.

Use your network

Like finding a good dentist or someone to cut your hair, the first step is to activate your network of professional and personal friends. Professional video production is a widespread activity. When you find people who have experience with it, interview them!

  • What was their experience like? What made it easier or harder, faster or slower?
  • Who did they work with? Would they recommend that company to you?
  • Was their project similar to yours, or do you require different capabilities?
  • What do they see as that company’s strengths and weaknesses? Did they feel they got good value for their money?
  • Has the video filled the need that prompted its creation?  How well and why?
  • What would they do differently if they were to do another video project?

Instead of telling the world what you’re eating for breakfast, you can use social networking to do something that’s meaningful.  — Edward Norton

Find videos you like and work backwards

You have an advantage in that, if you’re looking to hire someone to create video for you, you are likely to have been noticing videos for awhile. You’ve probably seen some videos online that are similar in some way to your project; and if you haven’t, it’s not too tough to use YouTube, Vimeo or our website to find some.

Now you can use that list of videos you like to find companies and interview them… which is a much better strategy than calling the first company that shows up on a basic Google search.

To work backwards, note the name of the company that produced the video you like. Often you’ll find it in the credits at the end; or in the description of the video.

Alternatively, you can call the company for whom the video you like was made. Ask them who produced the video, and use the questions above to interview them about that specific company!

Now it’s just a matter of finding that company online and giving them a call. You can tell them, “I found your company because I saw [name of video] and I liked it. It seems similar to what I’m planning. Can you tell me the story of how you worked with [name] to develop that video?”

Ask for metrics that demonstrate how effective the company’s projects become. 

Finally, ask how the company would approach your project—both in creating and launching the video. If you’re satisfied with your interaction so far, you’ve found a company you may well end up hiring, and saved yourself some research time in the process.

There’s more interviewing to do before you make a final decision (see Five Qualities to Look for in Video Production Companies), and it’s always wise to talk to more than one company. But you’ve launched a good search, and you’re well on your way to getting that video started.

For other insights, watch the vBook and download the eBook titled “Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Promotional Video Production Company.”