Lights, camera, action! Video is the future. Cisco said earlier this year that video will account for 69% of consumer traffic by 2017. It’s time to get over being camera-shy if you want stand out.
Must you do video? No. If your audience doesn’t watch video (the stat would suggest otherwise), then you can ignore this post. But, don’t let video production scare you. For a lot of people (myself included), it often feels easier than writing.
Recording video doesn’t have to be expensive, super time-consuming, or require that you have extensive technical knowledge. You can create videos on a low budget with nothing more than your phone and a microphone.
I recently recorded some videos in my home for my new free branding course “Stand out . . . in a good way”, and you know how much it cost me? An afternoon recording, an evening editing, a morning of uploading, and only $20 (I had to go out and buy a wireless mouse because I couldn’t find mine).
You don’t have to be a professional broadcaster. You don’t have to have a professional studio. Stop letting those things be barriers to your creativity.
I’ve forever had a fear of public speaking because I cannot memorize a script or speech to save my life.
For my video series, I wanted to get my point across clearly and succinctly. I wanted my videos to be short and easy for viewers to get through. There was no way I was ever going to memorize three videos worth of content without rambling.
I’m a DIY kind of girl, and I hope you have a little of that problem-solving spirit in you as well. Here are some video hacks that will help you make great videos on a budget.
Use your laptop as a teleprompter.
If you’re like me, you need a script. Teleprompters may be out of your budget, but you already have a laptop! I wrote my talking points out in huge font, placed my laptop on a tall table behind my camera (with a number of adjustments), so that I still faced the camera as I talked. I used a $20 wireless mouse to scroll through the script. That way I could control the timing. I filmed far enough away that the glow from my computer screen didn’t illuminate my face, and I sat for my video so that I could use my thigh as a mouse pad.
Use a big window for lighting.
I shot my video on a gloomy day, so the outdoor light wasn’t great, but it was DEFINITELY better than the light from the fixtures in my house. If you have a big window, sliding glass patio doors or some other natural light coming through, use that. Your light will be brighter and more natural looking.
If you do use lamps to illuminate, cast a white sheet over them to soften the light. Otherwise you’ll probably end up with dramatic shadows. Also, shoot during the day if you can.
If you spend money on one thing, buy a microphone.
Nothing is worse than bad sound. It’s distracting, and comes off as unprofessional. For under $100 you can purchase an external microphone for your smartphone or camera. Don’t forget to buy extra batteries & turn the microphone on when you start recording.
Plan, plan, plan.
Write your scripts and practice them out loud in advance. You want to sound natural, so you will need to edit your script to match your speech rhythm. If you’re amazing and don’t need a script, go through talking points and practice what you’d like to say.
Plan to shoot more short videos instead of one long video. This makes it much easier both on your viewer and you. If you mess up, you don’t need to record the whole thing over again, just a section. This is essential if you’re not comfortable with video editing.
Plan for each video to have a start, middle, and end. Start with an introduction of yourself, the video, or your program, then deliver the content, and then end with an action item to engage your viewer.
Use Youtube to cut video.
If you need to clip out the bits of your video at the beginning and the end where you’re setting up and hitting record or stop, you can use Youtube’s video editor. WeVideo also has a free editor. Are these apps as powerful and flexible as something like iMovie or Adobe Premiere? No, but they’ll do, and they’re easy to use.
So, get out there and practice. Allow yourself a reasonable amount of time for lots of takes. You probably won’t nail it on the first try. Be patient with yourself, breathe, and have fun with it. Remember, people love REAL on video, so be yourself. Your quirks will be appreciated, just as long as your quirk isn’t rambling for 60 minutes (unless you’re Matt Bellassai).
And you HAVE TO check out “Stand out . . . in a good way”, my free branding course. I walk you through the steps to creating authentic brand guidelines. It’s all the info. you need to build a clear, consistent brand that attracts clients that love you as much as you love them.
Keep it real, and stay rad.