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Here’s How You Can Attract the Very Best Video Freelancers

Finding great freelancers that understand your brand and deliver amazing content is hard. It takes time as well as trial and error to…
Here’s How You Can Attract the Very Best Video Freelancers

Finding great freelancers that understand your brand and deliver amazing content is hard. It takes time as well as trial and error to develop the kind of relationships you want. But there are things you can do right now to ensure that you get the cream of the crop the first time around. Here are a few tips that will bring the top video freelancers right to you:

1. Have an amazing project.

The main thing that attracts top people to a project is the sense of participating in something interesting and career-advancing. Keep this in mind when you’re recruiting and don’t just assume that your company’s name recognition is enough. No matter where you are posting or sending out your freelance assignment, don’t just outline pay and available dates. Tell them a little about your vision, where this incredible piece of content will air, and why it matters.

2. Pay reasonably.

This sounds obvious, but something has to give. If you try to lowball and skimp on the budget, you’re not going to attract the right talent. And you only have one option to make a first impression, so starting low and raising the price is not a good strategy. That said, you also don’t want to start too high and get buyers’ remorse. Instead, what we’ve seen lead to greater success is to offer a wide price range up front, where the low end of the range is what you hope to pay but the high-end of the range is what you’d be willing to pay to connect with a gem. You can always negotiate the final rate once you’re talking specifics and deliverables. You’ll be surprised to see that freelancers are receptive to not obtaining the top of the range if you can back that up with a good explanation. This way, everyone wins. You can attract people with a high price tag without necessarily committing to the entire budget.

3. Write a clear assignment or project brief.

Beyond inspiration, you should also strive to be clear upfront about the scope of the project and the expectations that you have from a production and time-commitment standpoint. Most important are logistics, such as the number of days, whether or not they will connect with someone from your team, and what specifically they will be responsible for. And don’t forget about expected revisions if the project involves post-production. If you are clear upfront about the requirements, your applicant pool will be better and you will waste less time with people who, it turns out, might not be able to deliver.

Great Big Story attracts top freelancers on the Storyhunter platform with descriptive project briefs. They commissioned filmmaker Roger Cheng to film this story in Taiwan.

Here’s how we recommend writing a stellar brief:

  • Overview: Explain what you want out of the project, such as a five minute video or an interview shot by a one-man-band.
  • Why it matters: Emphasize who the video is for (if you can) and why it will be great to be involved in this project.
  • Example: Provide a link to a video that shows the style and feel you’re going for.
  • Deliverables: Specify whether you want only raw footage, or a fully edited piece. Make sure to include a rough timeline for each deliverable. Also mention whether this includes potential extras, like pick-up shoots or more than two rounds of revisions.
  • Production: Say whether they will need to arrange filming access themselves, if they will meet someone from your team, or how many rounds of editing notes they should expect.
  • Equipment: Include the specific gear that they will need. For example, a C300 or equivalent.
  • Expenses: Let them know what your expense policy is and if you will cover some, if any, of their expenses.
  • Delivery: Share your submission guidelines, whether it’s via FTP, WeTransfer, or mailing a hard drive.
  • Deadline: Include the hard submission deadline, whether for the rough or final cuts.

4. Offer a long term relationship.

It’s always easier to attract great freelancers if they understand that this first project could be the beginning of a long working relationship. So make that painfully obvious in your outreach. If you build a network of go-to freelancers and they can become a part of it, they might be willing to negotiate with you even if the rate you’re initially offering is not as high as they would typically like. That said, make sure to reward excellence once it’s established. Keeping your favorite freelancers happy is always easier than taking a chance with new ones. With Storyhunter, we make it easy to build and manage your freelance network. Let us know if you’d like to learn more!

By D. Simone Kovacs, Storyhunter Editor