A sizzle reel is a powerful, emotionally gripping video that drives home the core of your brand in four minutes or less. It’s also known as a presentation reel or a demo reel. It’s used by branding agencies, by media professionals, by corporations seeking to build their brand or raise funding, or by entrepreneurs who want to make a powerful impression on potential clients.

In this article, we’ll go into what makes a great video reel, along with a bit more information on how to actually get a great reel produced.

=> Step One: Determining What Goes in the Reel

The first step is to determine exactly what you want the reel to accomplish. Is it to impress potential high-ticket clients? Is it to raise funding? Determine both the reason and the target audience.

Then determine what kind of emotional vibe and impact you want your reel to have. The kind of reel you’d want for a potential client, which might be high impact, fast and gripping, is likely totally different than one you’d show a potential investor, which might be more informational and trust building.

Once you’ve decided how you want your reel to look, then you’ll come to the question of whether you should produce it yourself or hire a specialized firm.

=> Do It Yourself or Hire It Out?

The bottom line comes to cost and quality. Unless you’re a professional videographer and editor, you probably won’t be able to produce a sizzle reel at the same level of quality as a professional firm.

That said, a professional firm can be very costly. Hiring just a moderately experienced professional would cost you between $5,000 to $15,000 just for the editing. Hiring a professional firm could cost even more.

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That’s not including the cost of filming any footage necessary. All footage should be shot in high def, almost definitely with a professional camera man to get the best angles, lighting and shots. Again, it’ll cost you a fair bit of change to hire someone and either rent or buy the cameras.

At the end of the day, you should expect to spend between $10,000 for a low end sizzle reel, up to as much as $100,000 for a very high end, professional quality sizzle reel.

=> What Should Go in a Sizzle Reel?

Your sizzle reel needs to highlight your top accomplishments, your brand’s primary elements and include a call to action.

For example, let’s say you’re creating a sizzle reel for a hedge (money management fund) that’s had a great last year. You might include snapshots of all the articles your company’s been featured in, cut together at a fast pace with exciting music in the background. You might highlight one or two achievements, such as your rate of return, displayed in bold font.

Then, you’ll want to highlight your brand’s primary elements. Make sure your brand’s colors are dominant in the video and make sure to point out what your brand stands for. Why should people trust you? Why do people come to you? Hammer that point home.

Finally, the call to action. What do you want people to do now? In this case, it might be to invest in the hedge fund. Or to call a fund manager.

To sum it up, a sizzle reel is a reel that highlights the best things about your company. It’s an emotionally compelling piece that sums up the best of the best.

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