But… you want to hire someone else to produce it for you. That’s fine. In fact, it can be a darn good idea.
Here are some guidelines to help you find the right producer to work with.
Before you hire anyone to write or create a video, or script a podcast, you’ve got to know exactly what you want. If you don’t know you can’t give clear instructions to your content producer and you’ll both end up frustrated. Obviously you need to know what kind of content. The producer will also need to know:
The intended result – what is the result you want from the content. This gives the producer some context.
Your style – are you super causal in your approach? Do you prefer a more formal approach? You need to know the tone of the piece you’ll be contracting for.
The deadline – sure, you want it yesterday. Now what’s a reasonable expectation? If you need it in a hurry, like 3 or 4 days, expect to pay more.
Who will own the copyright – probably you, but this needs to be spelled out to avoid possible problems down the road.
How much you’re willing to pay – keep in mind there are no standard rates for content. Not really. On the other hand, if you pay too little you may get poor quality. Also consider when you’ll pay. You’ll also have to decide if you want to pay by the hour or pay a flat fee. Real pros prefer a flat fee and will want a third or half up front.
Number of revisions – It’s rare to hire a producer who will get it exactly right the first time. Generally three revisions, maybe four, are enough to fine tune it. Expect to pay more if you want more editing to be done.
If this sounds like information for a contract, it is. I’ll discuss that in a moment.
Once you know what you want it’s time to start looking for the right person to do the work.
Start by asking a few real estate agents that have good content on their sites for a recommendation. Often you search can start and end there.
Try a local college or even high school – just call and ask whoever answers the phone if the school can help you find a student you can hire who does content producing. Be specific about what you want – articles, pod casts, video, etc. There may be an office that helps kids find jobs or you may be directed to teacher. Hiring a student is a great thing to do, and it can cost less. However, few students have any real world experience. You’ll probably have to do more managing. You may want to hire a pro.
Advertise on Craigslist – yes, the same Craigslist you use to post real estate listings on. In fact, look first under Services/Creative and Services/Computer. You may find someone without advertising. If you do run an ad, and some Craigslist cities charge for ads, write as clear a description as you can. I like stating how I’m going to pay – hourly or flat fee – and what dollar number my pay will be based on.
Get and check references – when you think you’ve found someone, get references, at least three, and check them! Sure, they will give you good references, but talking with the people they suggest will give you a better sense of the work they do. If someone won’t give you references, move on.
Yes, you must have a written contract. Before you panic, that can be in the form of an email that sums up your understanding of exactly what you’re hiring for and your expectations. If you cover the points above about defining the project, you’ll be in pretty good shape. And yes, an email like that is enforceable. Of course, the goal is to have as much clarity about the job understood between you and the producer – when it’s clear it’s much more likely to turn out the way you want it.
Got questions about content producers? Ask us and we’ll get you an answer.
Before Anne Wayman became a writer she sold real estate in Southern California. She worked with her father who learned the business from his father. Not surprisingly she learned a few things along the way. Since then, she has been freelance writing for over 30 years – she is a grandmother, loves cats and writes about a wide variety of topics including real estate.