You know the importance of producing video content for your small business.
Great! Now what?
Now it’s time to take action.
But where do you start?
How do you produce a compelling video to market your business?
How do you ensure that your video looks good, sounds good, and has a chance of standing out from the crowd?
Well, keep reading. I am going to share with you three tips for creating great video content.
Before you jump in front of the camera, take some time to set yourself up for success.
1. Select the Best Possible Location
Where you shoot the video is as important as the topic.
First, find a quiet place to shoot.
I’m suggesting this for two reasons.
One, making a video is hard enough as it is without distractions. Find a spot that is quiet and allows you to focus your attention on producing the best video possible.
Two, you want the audio in the video to be clean. Having random loud noises can distract your viewer from the message.
So it’s best to select a room that is quiet and free from distraction.
Next, you want to consider the lighting available in the room.
It’s possible the quietest room you can find is a closet. While from an audio standpoint that is great, from a lighting one it might not be the best option.
Most offices have fluorescent lighting which doesn’t always look the best on video.
I recommend you try to find some natural light near a window or door. Natural light has a brighter, purer look on video than fluorescent lighting.
Once you have a good source of natural light, position yourself so that the light is on your face, not behind you. In other words, don’t sit with your back to it.
Putting your back to a window will cause your video to be backlit. This means the camera will show the light coming through the window while creating a shadow on your face.
This look works well for a witness protection video, but not for a marketing video.
While we’re on the subject of the background, take some time to consider what the camera will see.
Find a background that is either interesting or blank.
An interesting background might be a well-organized bookcase or a clean room.
We’ve all seen those selfie photos on Facebook where someone is in the bathroom, and the place is a total mess. Or even worse, they forgot to flush the toilet.
Don’t be that guy (or gal)!
A lousy background in your video projects a bad image of you and your brand. Not to mention they can be a distraction to some viewers.
If you don’t have an impressive background, opt for a clean wall.
2. Check Your Equipment
Whether you are using a DSLR camera, or the camera on your phone, make sure it is ready to go before you start shooting.
Countless times in the past, I was ready to create a great video, but my equipment wasn’t. This usually involved struggling for 10-30 minutes with a technical difficulty.
By the time I overcame the technical issue, my focus on the material or energy level was gone. I didn’t feel much like shooting a video anymore.
Don’t let this happen to you!
The checklist is pretty simple but is not something to overlook.
- Is the battery charged to full or almost full?
- Do you have enough space on the memory card or phone storage to record for a while without worry?
- Have you gone through the “Settings” menu to make sure you’re getting the best results possible?
It’s important to sweat the small stuff here. Try to think of any possible equipment problems that may come up and how to overcome them.
To be completely honest, sometimes no matter how you prepare, equipment will fail. It comes with the territory. I’ve been there more than once.
By doing as much preproduction prep as possible, I can cut 95% of these unforeseen issues.
3. Know Your Topic
At this point, it’s time to figure out the substance of this video.
What is the topic?
What message are you trying to get across to your viewers?
How are you going to structure the video?
When I am creating a “talking head” video like this, three-segment sandwich structure.
The “Talking Head” Sandwich Structure
- Introduce yourself and explain what this video is about (Top bun)
- Give your talk making sure to get your main point or points across (The meat)
- Thank the viewer for watching your video and offer a call to action (Bottom bun)
Breaking your video into these three segments takes the pressure off. It allows you to focus on one piece of the video at a time.
Your sole focus once you hit the record button is to introduce yourself and the video topic.
That’s it! Don’t plow through to the next section. Focus on segment one.
Give yourself 2-3 takes on segment one so that you feel confident that you have a good take.
Once you feel like segment one is complete, check it off your list and then you can begin segment two.
By working each segment in parts, you give yourself the best chance to produce a quality video. Your goal is to create a video that is informative, free of rambling, and polished.
Let me offer a few more suggestions in this area.
1. Don’t Write a Word-for-Word Script
A word-for-word script is never a good idea. Unless you’re used to a teleprompter, most people can’t read out loud in a convincing manner.
It will most likely come off as stiff and uncomfortable for the viewer.
2. Do Write Out Talking Points
In my experience, most people do better in front of the camera when they have some talking points. This way you’re not reading a script, but you’re not memorizing everything you need to say either.
Be careful that you give each talking point it’s due. I have seen situations where the person was nervous and read the talking points.
That doesn’t work either. Talking points should have enough information to give you a jumping off point. Elaborating on the talking point and providing useful information is the goal.
3. Practice In Front Of A Mirror
Let’s face it. Most people don’t like to see themselves on camera.
The camera exposes us. We don’t like how we look or the sound of our voice or our mannerisms.
In this case, practice makes perfect.
Practice standing in front of the mirror and watch yourself giving your talk.
Do your eyes do something you don’t like?
Does your mouth make funny shapes when you say certain words?
If so, then take note of it and train yourself to correct these self-conscious issues.
Practice saying the word over and over in the mirror until you can live with it.
Or better yet, don’t change a single thing. Get used to it.
Our fears of being in front of the camera are very valid.
The camera doesn’t lie and can be very unforgiving in certain situations.
The best way that I have found to overcome this fear is to accept it.
Find the most flattering angle of yourself and go with it.
Also, keep in mind that while you are the person in front of the camera delivering the message, it’s not about you. It’s about the message you are offering.
Keep the focus on the message and the method and as little on yourself as possible.
Let Me Hear You
So what do you think?
Can you do this?
Did I forget to address a significant issue?
Feel free to let me know in the comment section.