5 Tips for Running a Top-Ranked Upwork Video Agency

It’s no secret that the professional world is going remote. Virtual services are not confined to individual freelancers anymore. Rather, a lot of digital businesses are shifting their set of services online.

With the help of remote collaboration platforms like Upwork, you can also set up a completely virtual agency that has geographically dispersed talent.

Creative businesses like video production and digital marketing services can benefit greatly from setting up an Upwork agency account.

Working through Upwork helps agencies in:

  • expanding services by hiring skilled professionals that might not be available in your region;
  • hiring talent that’s only needed for specific projects rather than as a regular part of the team;
  • maintaining a steady influx of leads in the sales pipeline;
  • boosting visibility and authority upon successful completion of each project;
  • saving time that’s spent pitching to potential clients; and
  • saving up costs (taxes, bills, etc.) that come with running a brick and mortar business.

Listen to MotionCue’s founder Osama Khabab chat with Jeff Cinadr who’s the Strategic Account manager at Upwork, about the benefits of hiring remote talent.


MotionCue has been a top-ranked Upwork agency since 2015. We provide a 360° video production and marketing experience through the platform.

That means offering a wide range of services from animation, illustration, and video editing to content, SEO, and promotional services.

Over the years, we’ve acquired loads of wisdom on how to build, run, and grow a freelance video production agency.

And we’re eager to share our experience so that the budding video agencies may learn from it.


1. Running a virtual creative business

For a creative business, it’s important to have employees who see things from different lenses. That’s how creative agencies keep coming up with new ideas and keep things fresh.

Moreover, who people are and their life experiences reflect in their creative works.

Having an Upwork agency account allows you to hire talent that’s native to your target audience. It helps them produce content that resonates well with your niche.

Whether you’re a completely virtual Upwork agency or setting up in a centralized location, it’s important to build a team that’s diverse yet compatible.

Striking that balance can define your company’s success.

Related: How to Do Effective Remote Collaboration in Video Production


2. Hiring talent for an Upwork video agency

Upwork has a solid system in place through which it vets and boosts talent profiles. Usually, agencies like to go for talent who have a strong footing on the platform.

Profile strength, successful projects on Upwork, and client reviews are some things to consider while hiring. However, we like to keep an eye on fresh talent as well.

New creatives on Upwork may have years of experience off-the-platform that can be valuable for your business.

At MotionCue, when we’re skeptical about making a hiring decision that’s not backed up by the Upwork algorithm, we:

  • have an experienced creative review their portfolio;
  • refer to creative platforms like Behance and Dribble to check out the designer/animator portfolio; and
  • evaluate our top freelancer picks with a small test job and choose the best fit based on performance.


3. Aligning team and client processes


Project expectations

One of the things that concern video agencies about offering their services online is bringing the teams and the clients on the same page.

It’s hard enough to streamline tasks, schedules, and delivery dates in a physical setting. However, virtual collaboration through Upwork can make things easier.

When working with a client or hiring a freelancer, set clear expectations about the project from the get-go.

Keep in mind that creative work is highly subjective and is perceived differently by different individuals.

It can also be challenging for video agencies to handle clients that micro manage. So, ask for creative freedom in your initial communications and promise to deliver high-quality deliverables.

In this clip Osama talks about the importance of trust in the client-agency relationship:


To ensure that you and your clients are in-sync about the quality of work, break down your video project into multiple stages, and get consistent feedback.

For video projects, we usually ask the client for thematic and conceptual references or provide some ourselves to see what clicks with the client.

After that, we get regular client input at the scripting, storyboarding, and editing/animation stages.

Through an Upwork Agency account, you can set a milestone for each stage and fund it individually.

That way, you can ensure that both parties can resolve any payment issues before moving ahead.


Communication and file sharing

Choosing the right communication channel is also vital for successful video projects. Some clients prefer email, while others find it easier to communicate over the platform.

To keep things transparent and easily trackable, we usually prefer to keep all communication and file sharing on Upwork.

Since video projects require back and forth sharing of high-resolution files, we make excessive use of Dropbox.

It helps us keep all our deliverables in a centralized and safe space, and makes them easily accessible for clients.


Point of contact

When conducting business virtually, define which team members will be communicating with the client for each project.

Having multiple points of contact for the same role can cause confusion and unnecessary delays.

For us, assigning a single project manager for each project has worked the best.

Clients find it easy to communicate with the project manager, who is responsible for relaying their feedback with the internal team.


4. Managing the sales pipeline

As an Upwork Agency, the better track record you have, the more visibility and opportunities you get on the platform.

When leads start to come in, it may tempt you to take on more load than your team can handle.

But compromising on the quality of your work may lead to unfavorable client reviews and hurt you in the long run.

One of the hardest things for a video agency can be to maintain the balance between their resources and the workload.

As an agency owner, you must build a system that automates your project workflow.

To keep things seamless, it’s important to delegate responsibilities and choose the right people for it. This way, you can free up time and energy to invest in appealing to prospective clients.

On Upwork, the key to landing new jobs is posting more proposals. To reach out to more leads, you shouldn’t waste time on creating a new proposal from scratch every time.

Related: How to Write an Effective Video Production RFP

To balance the customization and the number of proposals sent out, we use a short standard pitch for most jobs.

It’s created while keeping in mind the features of freelance video production. We customize some of its portions according to project needs.

It’s created while keeping in mind the features of freelance video production. We customize some of its portions according to project needs.

It’s convenient to use a customer management tool like Pipedrive to remain on top of your sales funnel. Such tools help video agencies keep track of the actions they need to take to move the sales pipeline.

You can keep an eye on which leads need to be contacted, the ones you’ve interacted with, sent proposals to, and the one’s you’re in negotiation with.

They also let you set reminders for follow-up sessions.


5. Networking to boost the business

Even on Upwork, your goal as a video agency should be to turn one time clients into loyal customers.

Nurturing your clients on and off the platform can create long-term relationships for sustained growth.

We recommend using two methods to establish goodwill with your clients.


Build an email list

Once you’ve successfully completed a video project, you can stay in touch with your clients via email.

Create an exclusive email list for your past Upwork clients and send them valuable content regularly. It will help you stay top-of-mind and make you the first choice for future work.

As a video agency, you can use your email communication to send video content in different styles and formats. It’s a great way to exhibit your range of video expertise.


Connect on LinkedIn

Reach out and connect with your Upwork clients on LinkedIn. It showcases your intent to network and build your professional relationship.

Engage with your client’s posts regularly with valuable perspectives. Also, keep your LinkedIn profile updated with content that caters to your clients’ needs and pain-points.

Don’t hesitate to send in proposals if whenever your client seems in need of relevant professional services.


Wrapping up

Working as a freelance video production agency has been working great for MotionCue. We even encourage our off-platform clients to hop on Upwork for better collaboration and streamlined processes.

In a world of increasing remote work, we encourage young video production and marketing agencies to offer theirs virtually.

Thinking of starting a video agency? Check out our free e-book on building video marketing campaigns.

How to build a video marketing campaign for startups

Download Our Ebook


Posted by Komal Munawar

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