When you need to create content for your social media campaign or other marketing needs, it often makes sense to be outsourcing visual content production – but to whom?
For graphics – your need designers, for copy – you need writers and for beautiful images your need photographers.
Outsourcing is a great solution because for most businesses, it’s too expensive to keep a specialist photographer on the staff for those few times you need one. Financially, it is more cost-effective, and when you need different types of photography or video, you just hire the professional you need for that task.
For visual content, whether photo or video, here are a few areas to consider before hiring a professional, so before you do – make sure you have taken a few minutes to consider the following, which should help you choose the best team when outsourcing your visual content production.
1. Outstanding outsourcing communication
Before you even reach the point of engaging the services of anyone, you first have to talk to them or contact in some other way.
Right from the start, be aware of how easy or difficult this task is.
Is the company available online? How quickly do they respond? Do they answer the telephone?
If they are frustrating to contact at this stage – ie. when you are potentially a new client – how much more difficult do you think it will be once you have secured their services and made a payment?
An outsourcing company needs to be available and easy to communicate with. You need to be able to clearly explain what you want, and they need to be able to understand.
The method of communication (webchat, email, phone) doesn’t matter, as long as it suits you (you are the customer, remember?).
And remember that communication is two-way; they need to keep you informed on the details of your photoshoot, who is turning up and when, and ideally they should be confirming everything in writing to keep a record of agreements at every stage.
Communication also includes being transparent about pricing (see below). Having a photographer or agency tell you an estimate quote ‘but we won’t know for sure until after we finish the work’ is not good communication.
2. Relevant experience in line with what you want
This is almost too obvious to say – engaging the wrong professional. This doesn’t mean one that is not good, but just perhaps not the best for your commission requirements.
Maybe due to cost, availability or some other reason, we have seen many times in the past that a business has brought in the wrong outsourcer.
Sadly this has two outcomes which are both avoidable:
- The work usually has to be re-done (by someone else)
- The business is discouraged from outsourcing
The first outcome is usually because the professional engaged does not have the relevant experience for the type of photography you are looking for.
Professional photographers and videographers tend to specialise with good reason – it takes time to perfect a discipline in a particular field. So rather than advertising just as a professional, they will also show which fields they specialise in. This is not usually just one field, many amazing photographers have relevant experience in several types of photography but look for one that has the experience you need.
Having the right specialist for the right job means you get the right result – the one you wanted.
So check a photographer’s portfolio before you do any hiring. Look at their existing body of work and see that they have the relevant experience for the work you want doing. Check that their style matches the look you want.
At Splento, we make ourselves available whenever you need us – and with a team of specialist professionals available so that we will always have the one you need, at the time you need them.
Importantly, each of our professionals has a portfolio that you can browse through if you wish before we start to have a conversation.
3. Flexibility in the diary
As we mentioned above, often a second-choice photographer is engaged simply because they were available.
Ideally, you want to be engaging a visual content company that has the flexibility to provide the services you need when you need them.
You may find the perfect professional – but if they are only available in three weeks on a Tuesday, that may not work for you.
A busy photographer may well be the sign of a good one, who is constantly in demand, but that does not help you too much for the photoshoot you need doing tomorrow if, say, you are a real estate agent and have a property you need to put on the market now.
4. Outsourcing speed of service
One of the pitfalls of engaging an outsource photographer or videographer is the time it takes to deliver the final product after the shooting session.
This can be a particular problem if the photography business is small, as quite often the photographer is both shooting and editing the images.
If their shooting schedule is full – finding the time to edit the images and deliver them starts to become a challenge.
Ideally, you need an outsourcing firm that has the capacity to turn your order around in the shortest possible time – and this usually means separating the photography from the editing.
At Splento, for example, we have great photographers! But we also have great editors.
This means that our photographers can get on with the job of doing what they love the most – taking great photographs.
And it also means that our editors can concentrate on doing what they do best, which is to retouch your images to perfection. And fast.
Separating these two highly skilled jobs is how we can guarantee to deliver the finished, retouched images back to you within 24 hours of the photoshoot. Sometimes faster if needed.
5. Cost of outsourcing visual content
No list of outsourcing features would be complete without discussing price.
This can range tremendously, so shop around before committing to a booking with anyone.
Keep in mind that expensive does not always mean better – which is why you should be looking at portfolios and all the service details that outsource companies are offering.
Photography and videography services range in price from just a few hundred pounds/dollars up to many thousands; again – even if you are in a hurry with a tight deadline, still take a little time to weigh up pros and cons before committing to spending a huge fortune simply because of availability. You may be paying over the odds for the service you end up with.
If you need amazing visual content fast, Splento photographers are always available worldwide for a fixed hourly rate – just £99 ($149) which also includes all retouching and photo editing. And we always deliver the final images within a guaranteed 24 hours.
Right now, if you are looking to boost your visual content creation, Splento has a unique trial offer so that you can “try before you buy”. Check it out here.
If you have any other queries about visual content that we haven’t answered here (or about anything else) then you are always welcome to contact us directly.