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The Six Challenges of a Single-Person Producer: How Fast Can You Produce?

As a video producer, your clients are attracted your name, video quality, reputation. How you build that is related to your ability to pitch projects, clearly communicate project status, and timely deliverables.

How fast you can producer, the ability to craft a unique video product in a timely manner, is critical to your success as a producer. It’s not just because your clients want their videos finished yesterday. It’s because every minute you spend working on this client is another minute taking you away from finding your next client.

And in the world of freelance corporate and nonprofit video production, time is the thing you cannot afford to waste.

When you’re a single-person producer, you’re responsible for every aspect of your projects from start to finish. This isn’t just from pre-production to post. It includes the process of cultivating a client from a lead, pitching the video concept, executing said video concept, and then managing your client relationship afterward so you can get repeat business. In this whole arc of client and project management, there are a lot of hours you work that you’re not paid for until you land the next gig.

The question is, can you afford to work this way? Those quick turnaround times that still deliver on quality that lives up to your name as a producer, are vital to you making the most value for your time. So if you’re doing everything yourself, is making the most money for your business and your bottom line?

Let’s put it this way. If you big a project at $10,000 and it takes you a month to plan, shoot and finish, you made about $500/day (assuming 20, 8-hour working days in a month). Now, what if in those four weeks you could have picked up another $10,000 project because instead of working those 20 days, you had 10 or 5 to spend pitching this other client?

If you’re working by yourself, there’s no way you could have picked up the second project and gotten the first done at the same time. You would have been stuck somewhere in your process because you can’t be in two places at once. And even if you did manage to find the time to pitch that second client, you wouldn’t be able to work on both at the same time.

This is a challenging spot to be in as a freelancing producer, or as a single-person production company. You can’t get business because you’re too busy taking care of business. There is, however, a solution. The problem is that most freelancers or single person production pros don’t like using it.

It’s called spending money to make money.

When profits are tight because you can’t get enough work, it seems counter-intuitive that if you spent money hiring another production professional, be it a project manager, another videographer, or a post-production pro like an editor or animator, that you could make more. Aren’t dollars leaving your account when you work with another professional? You already can’t make your own salary needs, let alone have to pay for another one.

A good alternative to hiring another production pro is to contract out work on an as-needed basis. You don’t need another pro all the time. Just when you have projects to complete. You hire them to do work for you so you can spend your efforts and time other those other tasks you’re not getting paid for–like calling old clients, cultivating relationships with new clients, and attending networking events.

Another production professional on your team gives you an extra pair of hands to get your projects out the door and back into the hands of your clients. They can compliment areas of the production process that you’re weaker in. Together, you make a higher quality product that benefits your clients. And in turn, you have more time to get your next client. An additional member on your team enables you to have a nimble production process.

At Renegade Digital Post, we do the same thing. Rachel Bastarache Bogan is great at editing and managing the post-production process. We assemble a team of other professionals as needed. These specialized professionals take care of our sound mixing and engineering, our animation and motion graphics, as well as any 3D modeling and animating. Together, we create a better product for you, and your clients.

Fast video production is where it’s at these days. The high demand for video from corporations, nonprofits, personal brands, the wedding industry, online shows…the amount of video being consumed today is only driving up the need for video producers. But you’ll never get it done with speed and profits if you’re doing everything yourself.

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