Should You Hire A Full-Time In-House Videographer?

The great debate continues to rage:  Hire a full-time employee or outsource your business need? Hmm...


That can be tricky. Often, the right answer is subject to a variety of factors unique to the organization asking the question. However, some solutions are so complex, time consuming, or expensive that outsourcing becomes a must... and video is one of those things. Here are five reasons why:

That’s the average yearly cost of a video professional (benefits included). Not the most expensive employee in your office, but certainly not the cheapest. A bigger issue, though, is that this isn't the only expense you'll incur. Equipment, software, licensing, insurance, and a plethora of other neat little bills are all part of starting your video department -- and that's not just for year one.

Camera's, just like computers, don't "go out of style" -- they get old and unusable. Think about VHS Tapes. Do you want your final video delivered to you on a VHS? Not really. Picture the quality of video ads in the 90s... the 40s... do either of those interest you? Nope, not at all. And that's because technology changes and your responsibility is to stay on top of it.

That's why the recommendation we give people is to expect $10,000 to $30,000 per year in fixed expenses on top of your employee(s). After that, add an additional fund for unique per-project expenses (permits, songs, etc).

So, that $64,064 number should really read something closer to $90,000+ for year one and anywhere from $75,000 to $100,000 for each additional year you operate internally.

Video Isn't a "One Man Job"
Here comes the gut-shot: You need more than one employee... especially if you're going to be incorporating video into your marketing efforts. Even if you have all of your other channels, distribution, and data analyzers set in stone, video takes more than one person to produce.

Hours could be spent here. However, it's more productive to be very transparent. Here are industry-standard day-rates for the seven most common positions you would hire to work on your business video:

Director:   $800 – $3500
Producer:   $600 – $800
Director of Photography:   $600 – $2000
Camera Operator:   $400 – $600
Production Assistant:   $75 – $200
Hair and Makeup:   $400 – $800
Boom Operator:   $150 – $300

Do you need all of those people full-time? Not even close. The point is that when you are making a video there will be more than one employee involved... and you will be paying them.

The Amount of Content You're Creating
Here is where you need to be honest with yourself -- how much video are you really trying to make? Is it a video a week? Maybe one each month? A single project this year? If you only have one (or very few) projects in a year, you will obviously be hiring your video production from an external source. It can get a little more difficult, however, to decide what to do as your consistency escalates

And that is exactly why we are seeing companies partner with video marketing teams as consistency increases. Why? Because they simply get more for their money. We already went over the cost per employee... so why hire one when it's possible to get five or more for the same price or less?

You Are NOT Losing Control
This is quite possibly the biggest push-back to going with an outsourced solution. "Yes, outsourcing is more cost-effective, yes it is gives me more hands for the price of one, but I'm not in control!"

...why not?

This isn't a fair assessment of all outsourced solutions. In fact, it's a testament to the importance of selecting a good candidate, whether that be for an outsource partner or an employee. Your time is worth something and the more of it you can free up by working with someone (or "someones") you trust, the better!

You become more effective by letting go of the reigns and focusing on things that are more worthy of your attention than, say, writing scripts and managing video production schedules... right?

Outsourcing Helps You Focus On...YOU!
This may be the biggest benefit. You have core competencies and, let's be honest, they aren't in producing videos. And that's really ok! You shouldn't be pros at this, but other people are. It's what they do every second of every day. It's why they can save you money when you need to.

Not only that, but outsourcing video also drastically increases your speed to market, improves quality, and fosters innovation. Why? Because you are working with specialists. It's the same reason you go to a grocery store to buy your food -- they are better at sourcing options than you are because they have dedicated their time to doing just that... and that's OK! It helps both of you be the best at what you're getting paid to do -- not be average at tedious parts that take up your time.


Hiring an outsourced video solution is the only effective way to maximize your content creation budget. When you are ready to plan your next steps, reach out to a trusted video partner to help you plan them.

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About the Author
Jake LeVoir is the Director of Sales at Slate and Main. He has built a career on helping organizations grow by developing engaging video campaigns that drive consumer traffic and increase brand awareness.

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