A producer helps you get your video from just an idea to an uploaded, viral reality. A video producer will be responsible for tasks such as budget management, logistics organization, and meeting deadlines. They can also provide assistance with creative direction or script writing. The more your channel grows, the bigger an asset a video producer will be.
Follow these steps to hire your first video producer.
1. Set a hiring budget.
Start by determining how much you’re willing to pay a video producer. Decide whether you’re going to contract a freelancer for a set rate or hire a long-term, salaried producer. Make sure you determine an amount you’re going to be able to comfortably set aside to pay your producer every month.
Your budget will determine the kind of producer you’re able to hire. Experienced producers will charge more than those who are just starting out. To get a ballpark estimate, ask your creator friends how much producers they’ve worked with charged.
Money should be one of the first things you discuss with any potential producer. You need to make sure their expectations line up with yours. More importantly, any agreements about compensation need to be established in writing.
2. Draw up a clear contract concerning your producer’s responsibilities.
Along with compensation, your producer’s responsibilities should be written into a contract before you begin looking for candidates. While the finer details may evolve as you negotiate with your future producer, you need to have your expectations laid out clearly and concisely.
Start with a specific job description. For example, if you want a producer to take on a managerial role, then you should include responsibilities such as maintaining your business email and coordinating logistics for video shoots. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a producer to take on the role of creative director, then you might outline responsibilities such as script editing, videography, and editing.
From there, expand your contract to include things like compensation and credits. You should be clear about how much your producer will be paid and how they will be credited in your videos. If you’re hiring someone long-term, then your contract needs to establish a time frame as well. If you’re only hiring them for a certain project, then you should be specific about that instead.
3. Ask creator friends for referrals.
Once you have your expectations set and a contract drawn up, it’s time to start searching for potential video producers. Begin your search by asking other creators you know to recommend producers they’ve worked with in the past. Get the producers’ contact information so you can reach out.
You can also ask people in your network who work in film, music, or other creative fields that use video. You may find a connection that leads you to a producer who has experience working on short films or music videos rather than YouTube videos, which could bring a fresh perspective to your content.
If you already have your own team members, such as a manager or agent, then you should ask them to suggest potential video producers as well. If you’re not connected with any creative professionals, ask friends who hired videographers for their weddings or local commercials. You can even post on social media to ask if any of your friends or followers have video producers they’d recommend.
4. Look at candidates’ past work.
When you’re considering potential video producers, look at their past work. Ask links to their reels and any videos they’ve worked on. You might also ask anyone who referred them to you what specific projects they collaborated on so you can check them out.
Once you’ve reviewed some of a candidate’s past work, inquire about the specific role they took in each production. Reach out to other key people who worked on those videos and ask about their experience with your candidate.
Overall, you’re looking for someone who’s work ethic and creative vision line up with your own. For example, if you’re making comedy videos, it would be better to work with a producer who’s passionate about comedic short films than one whose main focus is feature-length documentaries.
5. Do a trial run with your strongest candidate.
Before making things official with your new producer, bring your strongest candidate on board for a trial run. Hire them as a freelancer for a quick project or ask them to produce a single video with you. Be clear about your expectations, and make sure you compensate them accordingly.
If your trial run goes well, then you should ask them about a long-term partnership. However, if you don’t get along with them as well as you’d hoped, then you can part ways amicably and move on to your next strongest candidate. The most important thing is not finding the person who’s the best producer on paper. Rather, it’s finding the best producer for you.
A video producer can help you make higher-quality content by helping you get more done. To make sure you hire the right one, be clear in your contract and get referrals from your creator friends.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.