A lot of us shy away from doing video. Not only is it difficult to put yourself “out there” on camera, but then you try it and realize how “hard” it is to get right!
One time, I shot roughly 27 takes for a super simple, improv selfie video that I was shooting from my iPhone. Six of those takes were to figure out exactly where to look in the phone!
Yet whether we like it or not, video is here to stay. It’s by far the best way to market yourself or your business, and create a connection with a complete stranger. I’ve been amazed at how many people have said to me, “I watched your videos on your website and I feel like I can trust you, or I know you, or I feel like I can work with you.” It’s that powerful.
The stats support that power, too. According to Social Media Today:
- 5 billion videos are watched every day on YouTube
- 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook, DAILY!
- People who use video to market grow their revenue 49% faster than non-video users
- Of all executives, 65% will watch a video from a potential vendor. Of that 65%, 39% will call a vendor after watching their video.
I’ve been shooting videos for a bunch of different programs and projects we’re launching. When I first began I didn’t know where to start, what to say or how to act on camera. My video editor Brian used to write scripts for me even though he was simply using my words about topics I spoke about all the time. Yet I still stumbled and fumbled, taking hours to film two-minute videos about things I know like the back of my hand!
On top of that, not only did my videos require a lot of editing but my poor husband was on the other end of the camera helping me loosen up and keep things light (you know, the way I sound in real life!), so he was putting hours into this, too.That’s it—no more scripts. Each time you speak from your heart you sound a million times better. #personality Shooting videos doesn’t have to be hard. Here’s how: Click To Tweet
After weeks of this Brian said, “That’s it—no more scripts. Each time you speak from your heart you sound a million times better.” He was right, so I started to improvise and only wrote down a few key points I wanted to touch on while shooting.
Let my pain be your gain! Here are some tips to help you get started making videos easily and effectively:
- Impromptu is the way to go! Improvise and capture the moment and the energy of that moment. Don’t overthink it.
- Think about your camera frame and head space. You want to fill the frame. If there is too much empty space above or around your head you look too small and lack authority.
- Don’t try to read a script, you will inevitably sound robotic.
- Consider the “bokeh,” which is the effect that makes you (the subject) clear and focused while the background is slightly blurry. “Portrait” mode on iPhone cameras automatically creates a beautiful bokeh effect and helps you stand out.
- If someone is shooting the video for you, make sure you’re comfortable with them and they know you well enough to tell you to relax, smile, or loosen up. The more you’re at ease with the person on the other end of the lens, the more natural you’ll be.
- Consider your clothing when you’re on camera. Solid colors or big patterns work well. Small prints can create odd patterns. Make sure things are smooth, tucked, pulled down, and adjusted. I am always amazed at how much we notice on camera.
- Don’t wear sparkly jewelry. Light reflects it in unpredictable ways.
- Your background should project your vibe and your brand. Don’t stand in front of an open closet, a cluttered, disorganized bookshelf, or anything that looks sloppy. Remember you might be making a first impression.
- Lighting is always ideal if natural and bright. You can buy some great lighting kits online at Amazon if you’re going to start shooting a lot. Here’s the one that I have. And remember, as long as it’s light outside you can always get outside if your inside lighting is dark.
- Sound quality is super important. Nothing will ruin your video quicker than poor sound. I HIGHLY recommend buying a lavalier mic that you can attach to your iPhone or Android. I bought this one for just under $25 and it works wonders.
- Speaking of quality, the quality of all of your video elements—like lighting, sound, background, and clothing—says something about your brand. Make sure they’re as top-notch as possible!
The ONE thing that will help you more than anything is to shoot many, many takes. The more you do, the more comfortable you’ll become.
Put yourself out there and give it a try! I’m confident you’ll see results from your videos that will make the extra effort worth it.
About The Author
Rachel Gogos is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for people, the web, and creating strong personal brands. She started her career at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, where she helped create the look and feel for the organization’s first website. Today, in her current role running brandiD, Rachel channels over 15 years of marketing and communications experience into each and every website for brandiD’s clients. Find out more!