As we discussed in our last blog post, 2019 is set to be the biggest year of video since records began. A video is a great way to engage with your audience and build a relationship with them without ever having to meet them face to face.
This is most evident on LinkedIn with many businesses and business owners talking to camera and educating their audience on themselves and their business offering.
But how can you get in on the action, and more importantly without breaking your bank account? Well we have a few tips to help get you started.
Planning is key, no I’m not exaggerating.
Before you even think about sitting in front of the camera make sure you plan what you want to say, this can be anything from bullet points, flashcards, or a full-blown script. Whatever works for you. If you sit down without this preparation work your mind will go blank as soon as you hit record.
#2 The Camera
Everyone has a camera in their pocket these days. That’s right your mobile phone camera is the perfect tool for low budget video production. Whilst you won’t get the professional level features from a specialist £2000 camera you get enough to jump into making short videos for your business.
Or if you want to film while at your computer you could use a webcam, the Logitech C920 is an incredible little camera coming in at only £60 and offers you full HD recording.
Just make sure your camera is steady, no filming in selfie mode on your phone. Invest in a tripod and a phone holder for said tripod in order to give your viewers an enjoyable experience. Nobody wants to feel seasick while listening to you.
Make sure you are in focus.
Get someone to stand behind the camera before you start talking to make sure you are in focus, there is nothing worse than sitting down for an hour to record and putting the footage on your computer only to find it is all a blur.
#3 The Sound
Sound quality is the most important part of your videos, I’m sure you’re surprised I said that as you would think it is the video quality. However, studies show that people are more likely to forgive lower quality video so long as they can hear what you are saying clearly.
And ultimately that is what you want, you want them to hear what you have to say, so make sure they can hear it. Now while your phone does record audio and so does the C920 webcam they are prone to picking up every little noise within earshot and beyond. Someone is making a cup of tea or your chair is slightly squeaky? Your viewers will hear it.
It is worth investing in a good microphone. If you are working with your phone, the Rode SmartLav+ is hard to beat, you may need to buy the SC3 adaptor if you’re using an Android phone or if you don’t have a headphone jack but the quality of the recorded sound is exceptional.
If you’re working at the computer with your webcam you can’t beat the Blue Yeti or its little brother the Blue Snowball.
Just make sure you do a few test recordings in Audacity or with your phones video/audio recorder and play with the settings to make sure you sound your best.
#4 The Location
Location is less vital but still plays a role in your video production, you should pick somewhere that you are comfortable in but take in consideration what is behind you as well. Make sure your background is tidy, don’t put up your roller banner, and make sure you stand out from your background. No white t-shirts on white walls today.
If you work in a specific field you may want to consider having your background backup, even if it is just a small hint to the audience that you are the expert. If you’re a business coach, for example, sitting with some business books, perhaps a motivational sign, all send subconscious hints to your viewer.
#5 The Lighting
This is the final step, now I said people will forgive you for lower quality video if they can hear you. That being said they don’t want to look at an image that looks like it was recorded on your Nokia 3310 if the 3310 had a camera of course.
The cameras in phones and webcams are incredibly small, so you will need to make sure there is ample light in your location, if you are outside on anything from an overcast to sunny say this won’t be a problem.
If you are inside try and position yourself somewhere well lit, perhaps near a window, but make sure you keep the window to your side and don’t sit directly in front of it. This will create a bright halo around you and make you indistinguishable in the video, which won’t leave a good impression.
However, if you can’t film outside, or if your office is dark and dingy, bring in some lights. One of these small LED lights are bright enough to make the difference, they run on AA batteries and they aren’t that expensive to boot.
Where to look
This is going to sound intimidating but look straight down the barrel of the lens on your camera and try to keep that barrel on eye level when you set up the camera. This will have the effect of making it look like you are talking directly to your viewer and maintain eye contact helps build trust.
If you’re finding this difficult, stick a googly eye directly above the camera and look at that, we are naturally drawn to look at eye shapes so this will help you focus on that sweet spot without feeling like you are staring into the abyss.
Hopefully these tips will help you to jump in and start harnessing videos for your business. You can find links to all the recommended gear at https://kit.com/matchcutvideo/budget-film-kit