January 27, 2011 \ Geoff Birmingham
Should your video producer know your industry?

Almost every time we meet with a prospective client, one of the questions asked of us is some variation on “What other videos have you produced for companies in my industry?”  Most of the time, we get this question because there is the assumption that if we have done work in their industry, we’ll understand their company, and, therefore, deliver a better video than a producer without the same experience.

Feeling confident about whom you’re hiring is important, so it’s completely understandable why people would make judgments about service providers based on the type of clients they have.  “I’m a lawyer.  That guys works for a lot of lawyers.  He’ll be able to serve me better.”  Many of us have the tendency to think this way.

Having acknowledged this tendency, I would also suggest this: if you like the style of work that a video producer shows you, whether or not he has a lot of experience in your industry shouldn’t matter too much.  Sometimes, it might even be advantageous if your producer knows little about your world.  Most likely, he’ll come to your project with an outsider’s perspective and a lot of enthusiasm (we love meeting new people and working on different kinds of projects). Additionally, he probably won’t come to the project carrying assumptions based on his past work, and it’s unlikely that you’ll receive a cookie-cutter final product, similar to his other clients.

This is not to say that all of the above holds true in every situation.  If you’re a medical organization, and you really need a producer who “speaks your language” because the video is going to be watched primarily by doctors, then it makes total sense to find a producer who knows medicine.  If it’s a lay audience, though, a good producer will ask smart questions to first understand what you are all about and then to translate your specialized language into something that can be understood and appreciated by the masses.

Photo: Digital Sextant