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Business Video: DIY or hire an expert?

Video is becoming an essential marketing and communication tool for businesses.

With video becoming more affordable and available, there’s never been a better time to invest in some good quality video to help build your brand and enhance your business outcomes.

But should you invest time in DIY or money to outsource it?

A lot of businesses begin with a DIY mindset with everything from book keeping to marketing, web design to repairs.

DIY is a great way to start up a business, as initially you tend to start with no money but plenty of time. That is until you learn about opportunity cost.

Opportunity cost means knowing the value of your time and how that relates to the way you spend it. For example, choosing to spend two hours driving around to drop off work to a client, instead of spending $30.00 on a courier, is only a good use of your time if your time is valued at less than $15/hour.

How does all of that relate to business video?

In general when you weigh up DIY video against outsourcing, the opportunity cost can be considered over a number of factors:

  1. Money,
  2. Time,
  3. Skill set,
  4. Responsibility,
  5. Quality and
  6. Brand safety.

1. Money

The idea that you can shoot a great video with a cheap camera is basically nonsense. You ALWAYS get what you pay for.

Good video isn’t created with just a camera; it involves audio equipment, lighting, lenses, tripods and so on, not to mention the skills of the producers and operators.

Expect to invest several thousands if you want really quality outcomes; otherwise DIY and expect to get what you pay for!

2. Time

Quality video production is never cheap; you will either pay for it with your money or your time.

To help balance the two, consider the value of your time: you could easily spend three to four days working on a DIY video, would it have been more profitable to spend that time on getting new clients or finishing your own work?

If yes, outsource.

3. Skill set

Buying the equipment is only a small factor in creating good content. Consider your skill set and whether or not it would be wise to spend your time in this way.

Owning the same word processor as JK Rowling doesn’t mean you can write the next Harry Potter.

4. Responsibility

If you DIY, making the deadline is entirely your problem. If you outsource, you have one less thing to worry about.

That headspace can be very valuable if you’re also working hard to keep your current clients happy.

5. Quality

Sometimes, a simple video of basic quality can be perfectly adequate. YouTube is full of examples of this. However, if your video is for marketing your brand or product, it’s wise to get professionals involved.

Quality video doesn’t just come from the latest equipment; quality video comes from quality content.

Producing quality content is a skill that is developed over years; consider investing to get some of that skill to help build your brand.

6. Brand Safety

Your reputation and brand is a result of years of consistent hard work. Be careful not to undermine it with inappropriate or low quality content.

A good video producer should have the judgment that comes with experience to ensure the content they produce for you is the best quality and of benefit to your brand.

So what to do?

DIY: It can be cheaper in the long run if your business requires a lot of basic quality videos, if you have a pretty decent skill set to start with and enough time and enthusiasm to persist.

Outsource: If you’re already way too busy as it is, or you are selling a higher end product or service, outsourcing is always going to be the smarter option.