How to comparison shop video production companies, marketing agencies, and creative freelancers.
Learn how to make the best decision in hiring a marketing agency and or video production company to work for you
Comparison shoppers love the grocery store. Are you a comparison shopper? If you are, here's how to get the most out of shopping for a video production company or marketing firm.
Marketing and design firms make comparison shopping a little trickier for you—particularly when they bill per hour for their services, so it's critical that you avoid working  with a video marketer, marketing consultant, or design firm based on hourly rates.
Remember, the hourly rate is only one of two key variables in determining the total cost to you. The other is number of hours needed to complete your project. You also need to know what costs outside of labor/production costs are charged to you: meetings, travel, research and development might appear on your invoice, so be careful.
In order to keep your costs identifiable and definable, I am compensated on a project basis and not hourly (unless it’s specifically request). You'll know exactly how much you're investing in the project, and have the confidence knowing there won't be additional expenses along the way.
Ensuring a good return on your investment can be a thorny issue. Here are a few recommendations you can use to ensure you are comparing one apple to another:
1. Avoid shopping on hourly rates. Ask if the video production or marketing agency can price your work by the project, this way you know exactly how much you'll be investing.
2. If you decide to go hourly, ask exactly what costs, both labor and otherwise, are charged to you. Your costs can vary dramatically by video production or marketing firm.
3. Find out if the video production or marketing agency’s past clients feel they've received value for their investment. Ask to see testimonials.
4. Ask them what internal processes they have in place to streamline projects like yours.
5. Finally, use your judgment. If it looks like a bad apple, smells like a bad apple and feels like a bad apple—put it down and select another one, even if it's half off.
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