Creating your Fan Finder Videos - Budgets


Before beginning the journey of creating a Fan Finder video, we need to identify the best course of action for you specifically.

In this lesson, I’ll be comparing three different approaches you could take. You could:

Hire a professional to make it for you.
Shoot it yourself using your own smartphone.
Shoot it yourself or with the help of a friend using a DSLR or mirrorless camera.

Which option suits you best depends on a number of factors. Everyone’s situation is different, which is why I want you to take this lesson to think critically about what you want your video to look like as well as what’s going to work most effectively for the campaign you intend to run with it.

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of these options one-by-one.

Hiring a Professional

This could mean hiring a videographer to come shoot your video, hiring an editor to put together footage you shot yourself, or hiring somebody to do both.

If you have a visually ambitious concept for a video involving one or more moving cameras, you probably need to bring in outside help. Many of us default to asking for favors from friends and family in situations like these, and sometimes that works out perfectly well, but if you have a budget you’re able and willing to spend on video creation, there are a multitude of advantages to hiring a pro.

When you hire a trusted professional videographer, you’re not just paying for somebody to stand behind a camera. You’re paying for the camera itself and the gear they are able to lend to the shoot, their expertise using that gear, and in some cases their creative intuition and help producing the video shoot altogether.

Generally, a pro should be more reliable, more competent and less likely to be combative or personally offended if you give them notes or direction compared to an unpaid friend or family member. Above all, ideally you’re paying for a higher quality product at the end of the day.

Also, if you need a video turned around quickly or just don’t have the time or energy to learn how to create the type of video content you want on your own, hired help is a good solution!


  • Saves you time and energy
  • Broadens your video possibilities
  • (Usually) results in a technically higher-quality video
  • Spares the feelings of your loved ones
  • Ideal when a deadline must be met


  • Takes away from money that could be put towards your ad budget
  • Finding the right videographer or editor can be a chore, and depending on where you live,
  • might not even be an option
  • Taking a chance on someone you haven’t worked with before always poses some amount of risk

Check out the How to Hire a Videographer lesson in this module for more tips on what to look for and expect when working with a professional.

Filming Yourself With Your Phone

Sometimes simply shooting with a phone is the best option for a fan finder campaign. This method obviously spares you the expense of hiring help or paying for gear. There’s not much of a learning curve when it comes to recording this way since most smartphone cameras are point-and-shoot with no additional required input. This is by far and away the easiest option.

That doesn’t mean it’s the inferior option, however. Phone-recorded videos are the most natively uploaded videos across all the relevant social media platforms and that means a fan finder shot this way is more likely to look like native content at a glance and less like a sponsored ad. A phone video can look more spontaneous and natural, and running an ad that looks and feels like an organic post can produce great results.

The point I’m trying to make is this: some Fan Finders are better suited to be shot this way, but not all. For instance, a solo performance on acoustic guitar in a well-lit bedroom could look and sound terrific when recorded on an iPhone. A six piece rock band recorded the same way could come out as an incomprehensible jumble of chaotic nonsense. It all depends.

If you don’t have the budget to hire help and don’t have access to a nice camera, you shouldn’t let that stop you from producing a Fan Finder video as long as you have a smartphone. Even if it doesn’t seem ideal, finding the video that nails this campaign can be an iterative process and it’s always worth a shot, especially if recording this way is your only option.


  • Costs nothing
  • No camera expertise is needed
  • Looks like native content


  • Less “professional”-looking
  • Can blend into the social media feed which may hinder the pattern-interrupt effect
  • Might feel cheap or awkward for some artists depending on their brand

Filming With a DSLR or Mirrorless Camera

For the average user, DSLR and mirrorless cameras are effectively the same in practice. Both of these types of cameras make use of interchangeable lenses and can produce excellent, professional-looking video content.

Shooting with a nice camera (or multiple nice cameras) can enable you to get more creative with your shot composition. High quality footage is also generally more editable in post, more receptive to creative color treatments and less noisy and grainy than footage shot on cheaper cameras or smartphones. Even if you’re shooting a single take video and merely setting your camera on a tripod, footage from a quality DSLR or mirrorless camera can be more easily cropped and reframed without revealing noise or grain.

These cameras and lenses obviously can be expensive, and if you don’t already own this gear or don’t plan on shooting a lot of video content in the future, consider renting some gear for a few days to save money. If your city doesn’t have a local camera gear rental place, is able to ship to all 50 states in the US.

If you’re based elsewhere, a quick Google search for “video gear rental” will likely produce some local results.

Making the most of these cameras requires a bit of video know-how and they generally have a higher margin for error than smartphones and camcorders. If you decide to record with a DSLR or mirrorless camera and you’re new to videography, make sure to study the Setting Your Exposure and Camera Settings lessons in this training at a minimum before shooting anything!


  • Professional-looking
  • Highly editable in post (if shooting in a high-quality video format)
  • Dramatic depth-of-field possible


  • Can be cost prohibitive
  • Higher margin for error

At the end of the day, if learning how to use one of these cameras properly feels like a big chore, you might be better off shooting with a phone or hiring a videographer instead of simply winging it with more expensive gear.

That said, if you’re interested in upping your game and willing to learn how to get the most out of a DSLR or mirrorless camera, it can pay dividends and you’ll be able to produce sleek, professional-looking videos from home on a whim.

Hopefully, by this point, you have an idea of what approach you want to take in creating your Fan Finder video.


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