Professional Talent or Non-Professional Talent?

When it comes to producing video content, marketing and advertising firms often need to work with their clients to decide between hiring professional talent or utilizing non-professional talent. While, at first thought, it may always seem better to hire a professional, there are instances in which non-professional talent is more appropriate and effective. Here are quick differences between the two options as well as what to consider while making this decision.

Professional Talent

  • Generally speaking, hiring a professional will increase production value.
    • Combining professional talent with additional professional services, i.e. make-up, hair and/or wardrobe, will further increase production value.
  • Professionals can handle longer time on camera, with more lines, and fluidly work with a deeper script.
    • The ability to look natural on camera is a skill that professionals develop. Professionals aren’t camera shy.
    • Between looking natural and being comfortable in front of a camera, professionals require less reshoots.
    • Less reshoots means lower cost and less time spent.
  • If you have a video with a dynamic storyline or character(s) to play, you will want a professional.

Special consideration: Professional talent won’t impact an employee/employer relationship; an employee could spotlight in a piece of media only to leave employment soon after.

Non-Professional Talent

  • Fits certain brands.
    • Consumers can spot a professional, especially in video. This may detract from a brand’s message and identity.
    • Sends an authentic message, which connects on a more personal level.
    • Utilizing non-professional talent often fits better for non-profits.
  • Heartfelt messages connect deeper when coming from a real consumer, employee, or patient.
  • Works better for interview-based videos and media.
    • Non-professional talent will be more comfortable simply responding to questions asked, speaking in their natural tone (removing the script).

Special consideration: In B2C industries, customer testimonials work almost across the board – using a professional testimony is often unnecessary and a waste of resources.

Ultimately, when deciding between professional or non-professional talent, you’ll have to consider additional factors such as time, cost, availability, and feasibility prior to weighing out the pros and cons of each option. Looking for a case-specific example? Visit our Kids Like Us case study to see how we successfully sourced professional talent.