Upwork and Fiverr vs A Production Company 🥊
Updated: Sep 28, 2020
The Pros and Cons of Hiring Freelance Video Production Online!
The freelance gig economy has never been in better shape. Since 2008, the number of freelancers working in the UK has increased by 46% as rapid advancements in technology have made freelance work much more reliable. Advancements such as video calls and P2P file sharing have meant that millions of people can provide a decent level of service and stay in touch with their clients without having to get out of bed.
Freelance marketplace websites such as Fiverr and Upwork have been keen to capitalise on this growth and now have 25 million users between them. These sites are basically an online marketplace which anyone can use to find someone to do a specific, one-off job. The open and relatively unregulated fashion in which these sites are run allows anyone to set up work as a freelancer, and many have chosen to do this, ditching the monotony of a 9-5 day in place of a more autonomous working life.
Upwork and Fiverr offer freelance services for a range of professional needs – from accounting to web design, chances are you are going to find someone who can do the job you’re after. Video production and editing is no different, with approximately 7% of searches on freelance websites relating to video in some way. A lot of businesses are now using this method as a viable alternative to professional production companies - but how reliable is it hiring someone to create a video for you on these sites? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
Let’s start with the biggest advantage of hiring freelance work online – the price. Across all industries, hiring a sole trader instead of a professional company is usually cheaper, and this is no different on Upwork and Fiverr. With a quite honestly staggering number of cinematographers and editors signed up to these marketplaces, the range in price and experience is going to be huge. Because of this competitive free market system, newcomers can wrestle with experts for your attention, giving you plenty of options when it comes to the price. Compare this to the price of a professional business, and you can’t be blamed for feeling tempted by these freelance websites.
But beware; if something seems to good to be true, it usually is. You pay for what you get in life and although £50 for a 30-second video sounds appealing, don’t be surprised if it turns out to be a little disappointing. Even though it may cost a fraction of the price, you run the risk of getting a video that shows only a fraction of what your company is about, which will leave viewers underwhelmed. Before you make a decision, think about how you would feel if your business offered anything but the best possible service to another client. You wouldn’t stand for it would you? If you’re not willing to compromise on the services you offer your clients, why then should you accept less when it comes to producing a video?
This isn’t to say that everyone on freelance websites will give you a low-quality product. Far from it. With Upwork and Fiverr you have unlimited access to a gigantic online workplace that you wouldn’t have been able to find anywhere else, and this has its benefits. It allows you to sample everything on the menu and not be restricted by a lack of options and ideas. Not only this, but these website’s advanced algorithms are particularly skilled at narrowing down the search for you, so you can pinpoint the exact level of skill and price that you require for your task. Additionally, reviews are available for each freelancer, meaning you can see how their previous work has been received and hopefully become more comfortable in their ability.
Not only are there thousands of people to choose from, but the process is relatively quick and straightforward as the sites guide you through the process and provide suggestions based on your needs. This saves the common business owner a lot of time, which is often important during busy periods. Also, many freelancers on Upwork and Fiverr work very flexible hours and offer rapid turnaround on certain projects. This can be a massive help to businesses who need a project doing at the last minute; but it’s also important to understand the issues this can raise.
If you’re looking for someone to piece together a 15-second Instagram video of footage filmed on your phone, then freelance websites could work for you. But if you want something a bit longer, with actual watchability, then a slap-dash freelance approach isn’t going to get it done. Also, despite the reviews on these websites, how do you fully know that you aren’t getting ripped off by fraudulent sellers and chance-artists? Without having the time to speak face-to-face to a freelancer and build a relationship with them, you can never really know that what they are offering is what you will receive. This lack of personal connection between you and the freelancer is also detrimental to the quality of your finished product.
As these sites aren’t personable, you run the risk of becoming just another faceless client that the freelancer wants to exploit for their personal gain. Without getting to know each other, a freelance cinematographer isn’t going to understand your personality, your brand, and your vision – three things that are crucial when executing the perfect video. This lack of communication can lead to crossed wires, and mistakes will inevitably be made. The process can also become robotic in that the freelancer will only loosely follow your guidelines, whilst employing the same generic template and system that has worked well for them in the past. As a result, the message you were trying to deliver in your video is probably going to be lost, and any of the creative ideas you wanted to employ will be left sitting in a word document rather than coming to life on screen.
This is where partnering with a production company really starts to become more attractive. Instead of becoming another unknown, one-off client, you will become a top priority and receive an immeasurably higher level of customer service. The interest and care taken by a professional company is not only invaluable to you, but also an important part of their process too as they look to build a long-lasting relationship with you for future sales and increased brand awareness. This benefits both parties, as the extra attention given to your desires will equate to a much more impressive final product that both companies can promote and be proud of. Working together with clear communication will also develop creative synergy between the two groups, encouraging future projects to flourish as you both learn about your likes, dislikes and what works best on camera.
Another added benefit that we believe in greatly is that by avoiding online freelance marketplaces, you can employ a company close to home and thereby support your local community. Supporting local businesses should be at the top of every company’s ideals due to its numerous advantages – and it is something you will be missing out on if you employ an online freelancer.
Firstly, you are more likely to get a trustworthy review of who you are hiring if you go local, as you may know someone who has used them before and can vouch for their quality, thus providing credibility. Not only this but by partnering with another local business, you have an increased chance of making contacts and potential future customers by way of referral and testimonials. This in time helps build your brand loyalty and credibility in the area you are based, as you start to become a more recognisable name in the community.
As a result, the money generated by you and your local business partners will stay within the community and this will promote growth and wealth. As your surroundings develop both economically and socially, more people will be encouraged to set up their own businesses and spend money – money which could be spent on your services! This is a long-term benefit, but it is something that applies to us all and isn’t considered enough when hiring outsourced work.
We hope this article has cleared up some of the worries you may have had about choosing the right person for your video production needs. There is no right or wrong answer, as what might not work for one person could be the perfect fit for someone else.
If you have any other questions feel free to drop us a line, we’d be more than happy to help!