WHY you should never crowd source your company videos.
GOT THE FIVERR BLUES? YOU'RE NOT ALONE!
11 REASONS YOU SHOULD NEVER CROWDSOURCE YOUR PRODUCT VIDEO.
JUST SAY NO TO UPWORK, FIVERR, FREELANCER. YOU'RE BETTER OFF SEARCHING ON LINKEDIN OR GOOGLING YOUR SOLUTION!
1) THEY ARE TIME-CONSUMING FOR THE CLIENT. Crowdsourcing requires reading a lot of proposals from mediocre video creators, directors, and editors. Don't get us wrong, we love the crowdsourcing sites in the way that they help great clients find lots of options, but sometimes you don't need a lot of options. You need a singular ideator who can figure out right away, what will work best for you and your brand.
Yes, we all use Fiverr for voice-overs and have used crowdsourcing sites to attract new customers, however, we also know from experience in hiring, the ratio of great proposal vs mediocre freelancers is huge. What should be a few hours of effort for a client or his employee in terms of discussing, planning and communication becomes weeks (or months) of agonizing back and forth revisions in hopes to get pro results out of an under-qualified worker.
2) YOUR BUDGET GOES TO WASTE. If you are shooting a video, realize that major crowdsourcing/gig sites charge the freelancer up to 20% of the wage. So, if he has to hire a camera guy, a sound guy, makeup and actors, you are paying 20% of the entire budget. No director worth his salt would take a pay dip, he would simply offer to put less time and resources into the production. Ultimately, even if you are on a flat-rate, in the worker's mind, they are on a per dollar clock with how much time they can devote. The crowdsourcing agencies often take up to 60%. Make sure all of your pennies go to production, not a middleman. Otherwise, either you or the contractor, are faced with less than you deserve.
3) IT'S NOT SAFER. YOU CAN'T TRUST REVIEWS ON CROWDSOURCING OR JOB SITES.
They are a forced portion of the process to complete the order in many cases. Most clients, don't want to be seen by future job candidates making a former contractors' life hard, so they don't post their feelings. Same for the contractor, as he likely reviews clients in a way to avoid retribution. The number of stars on a profile is helpful but not always an accurate depiction of good or bad, for either the client or the contractor. Bad apples give bad reviews and good people find solutions until they can get a good product. Work with good people and make sure both parties have clearly defined what needs to be done and can be done. Ultimately, someone's reel and consultation will be the most telling signal of a good match.
4) BAD HIRING PROCESSES TO PROTECT THE SITE. Most job boards and crowdsourcing sites discourage a lot of personal communication (zoom, skype, calls) prior to hiring. Instead of looking at reviews, look at THE REEL and TALK TO THE DIRECTOR. You could go direct to a cool company for the same 2k to 20k that you planned on spending on a job board, and get FAR MORE RELIABLE RESULTS. And, no one is discouraging you from meeting the contractor by zoom or skype prior to hiring them. As a matter of fact, we personally encourage it.
5) UNPREDICTABLE RESULTS. Job boards and crowdsourcing sites are inherently filled with freelancers looking solely for a quick buck and good review, guys who are willing to play YES MAN during hiring, over-promising, and under-delivering. There is a belief that hiring someone at $20 an hour could pay off if they have a good reel. But rest assured, there is more than meets the eye to such deals. And you'll find yourself paying the same amount of money to go in circles with a less experienced person off a job board, than going with a pro who charges average rates and gives realistic ideas for the budget you have to work with.
6) SUPPORT THE SMALL BUSINESS COMMUNITY. Using Job Boards only encourages the destruction of small businesses, They rule many of the search engine results, taking up the whole first page due to the number of people unwilling to simply Google a production company in Los Angeles where all the super-skilled industry folk are. It takes less time to check out 10 companies and find out their prices than to dig through countless proposals from people who don't even have their own website.
7) THEY ENCOURAGE THE FINANCIAL AND REPUTATIONAL MISTREATMENT OF FREELANCERS AND BUSINESS OWNERS ALIKE
Many of the crowdsourcing sites, want the freelancer to work for "prize" money. These crowdsourcing agencies never hire amateurs. They smooth talk pros to work at half rate and provide more resources than are physically possible per the contractor's share of the dollar.
In some cases, entire cast and crews have suffered no pay, if the crowdsourcing company decides not to award the "prize money" to the contractor once the video is delivered. Their terms and conditions prevent any form of recourse, leaving it possible for a ton of unhappy cast and crew members to be posting about their horrible experience. Don't take the risk of using a company that may choose not to pay its director, cast or crew under the guise of a "prize". These types of arrangements are inherent with difficult people.
Your production should not be a contest where you hope you get something that works and the crew hopes they get paid. It should be a professional production with one aim - making a great video that tells the message you want to share.
There is something to be said for traditional business models, where instead of asking hundreds of people to submit ideas for free (an unnecessary drain on the creative business sector), you decide to find a handful of talented small companies to speak with and choose the right match. The traditional business model is a client finds a company near them or in Los Angeles, pays a good contractor for a service, not a guessing game with a software-driven middle man running the show.
8) THE WORST OF TALENT CURATION IDEAS EVER INVENTED. You can put computers in charge of many things, but curating creative talent isn't really one of them. Talented people have souls and many hidden smarts, and no machine can detect that for you.
9) THE MAJOR BRANDS HAVE STOPPED USING THEM. They were all the rage in 2012 - 2015. And we'll admit, they helped launch some careers that may have never launched, yet they tanked many companies along the way. As Amanda Lewis of the LA TIMES noted about one contractor: "he's won $175,875 in prizes, directing ads for Pringles, Sears, Axe and Radio Shack... And is barely breaking even..." Before long, it became less about empowering the outsider and more about sucking both hard-working contractors and overpaying clients dry.
Clients would often receive their videos from teams who were great, but overworked and underpaid. Most clients don't want to pay three times as much as a video costs to make. In order for a crowdsourcing company to exist, they have to triple charge the client for access to an overstated base of freelancers only to receive 60 bad ideas and three good ones. After getting many crappy videos (and sometimes devastating PR nightmares of consumer-created campaigns, brands are moving to guys like us, and finding it faster, cheaper and slicker than ever,
10) THE MOST TALENTED FREELANCERS HAVE STOPPED USING THEM. Everyone hopped on. Production Companies and Clients, big and small, quickly found each other and many received amazing results. Yet many contractors, found themselves taking a pay dip while expectations went into unrealistic waters. After getting paid crappy by projects for major brands, all of the talented freelancers have moved away from the sites.
Don't get suckered. Much of the scene is dead. Most directors who are good enough to deliver quality, have stopped taking the financial risk of "prize money". There are incidents where publicly traded companies were asking the directors to convince an actor to appear in a national spot for $100. Consistent backlashes over poor treatment between the crowdsourcing firm and contractors haven't helped the trend stay afloat either.
The directors who are good enough to provide great products could no longer suffer asking their team or cast members to starve themselves for major brands, simply so a middleman software company could make an easy buck. Especially, when it's not necessary.
So of course, when the brands left, the directors left. You'll notice sites that used to feature major brand videos with five-figure and six-figure budgets as opportunities are now peddling behind-the-scenes gigs for pennies. They will certainly be catering to wedding videographers shortly. Okay, that may have been bratty. But the point is, the major attention-getting voices and creatives have gone back to running their own thing and taking square payments from their google customers and cold reach outs.
11) RE-HIRING FOR EVERY TASK IS EXPENSIVE. The clients are encouraged to return to a job board, not the contractor, throwing new cheap labor at them each time. And every HR person knows it's cheaper not to have to rehire every time you need something done. There IS A BETTER WAY that is just as easy! And more affordable. Why dig through dozens of ideas from guys you sort of believe in, rather than devoting time to developing an idea with someone you can believe in.
With Brainiac you get a free 30-minute consultation with our creative director in order to decide upon the right path.
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