Like it or not, most of us are swimming in a sea of digital media these days. Even those of us who don’t consider ourselves media publishers have become accustomed to curating different kinds of content via social media.
Creating compelling content is the key to communicating any message or vision effectively. Many of today’s startup entrepreneurs, artists, and creatives need to be their own marketing departments, producers, and strategists. They have to make savvy investment decisions to support their projects in the face of limited budgets and production resources.
Up until recently, creating professional quality audio, video, and digital media content involved bringing together a diverse array of locally based resources. However, with more and more professionals working remotely and the DIY movement in full swing, there are some very attractive and affordable alternatives to the traditional path.
Here are three top marketplaces that anyone can use to produce professional quality media content.
1. Music Production: www.AirGigs.com
AirGigs is a global marketplace for hiring professional session musicians, vocalists, and audio engineers. The talent pool ranges from emerging artists to Grammy Award winners. It caters to musicians, producers, and songwriters looking to enhance existing recording projects or take musical ideas from concept to completion. Service providers offer fixed and custom pricing for services in categories such as song production, vocals, strings, horns, keys, mixing, mastering, and much more.
2. Video Production: www.veed.me
Veed.me is a curated community of professional videographers offering production services like branding/commercial videos, live action explainer videos, location-specific videos, and more. They provide a very intuitive interface that allows clients to quickly find a videographer based on the quality and style of their past productions, industry type, and geographic location.
3. Digital Media Production: studio.envato.com
Envato Studio is a freelance marketplace for custom creative and technical services. They bring together a community of designers, developers, and creatives servicing the fields of custom graphic design, web development, online marketing, and more. Creative talent on the site is hand-picked by Envato staff and services are offered with a fixed base price.
Considerations Before Getting Started
Whenever you’re considering working remotely with creative talent, it’s important to follow some basic guidelines to ensure the best possible result. Perhaps the single-most important element is communication.
Before you contact potential service providers, you have to be able to clearly articulate your vision and provide very concrete examples of the type of result you are looking to achieve. In every production there is room for unexpected magic to happen, but you should never rely on it. You should always prepare by having as many references as possible.
If you’re planning a new website, that means finding 3-5 reference sites that clearly demonstrate design and functional elements that you like. If you’re producing music, that means knowing things like the specific instrumentation you want, having musical charts prepared, and providing fully produced songs as references for the session musicians and engineers. If you’re planning a video production, that may mean creating a basic storyboard, scripting out key dialogue, and providing examples of other productions that capture, or approximate, the essence of your concept.
In all these cases, it’s not only important to provide clear direction but to also get a sense of how a potential service provider is receiving and responding to your concept. Aside from checking out their past work and testimonials from other clients, it’s also very important to ask yourself whether you feel like your vision is being clearly heard before ordering a service. You need to gauge how responsive a service provider is before you get started, as that is usually a key indicator of how responsive they will be once you’ve hired them.
Lastly, creative direction and production is a skill that takes practice, so if you’re completely new to it, it’s important to start small.