Video Marketing is Essential This Year
I truly believe this statement. I have seen it in my own work for my business and for clients. The good news is you don't have to spend a lot of money to do video well. You might not have to spend a dime at all to get started. (Isn't that refreshing news?)
I don't have the money can be one objection that I hear, but you can get started with what you have already.
I don't like how I look is another objection. Hey - I don't necessarily like how I look either. It is about connecting with my followers and video is the best way. I stick with videos above my waistline and make sure that I have the right amount of makeup then I keep smiling and keep connecting with people through video. I honestly believe it is the best tool we have right now.
Start with your Smartphone Camera!
Our smartphones have very nice camera's these days. They will take a good video for you. Some keys.
- Put your phone at eye level or above
- Have a list of the key points you want to make
- Smile and look into the camera
Whether you set your phone up on a stack of books or invest in a tripod like I show here, having the camera at eye level does several things. You are able to keep your posture up so you sound better. You look better because you are avoiding creating a double chin by looking down. Your viewers are not looking at your ceiling (which might have a glaring light or ceiling fan).
I bought an inexpensive (OK CHEAP) tripod on my way out of the drug store one day. It works ok.
The longer and adjustable legs would probably be nice too. (Added this to my wish list.)
Sometimes I write out a full script, but even when I do I take it back down to a bullet list of the key points I want to make so I am not reading to my audience. Maybe that is because I want to see someone having a discussion with me and it drives me crazy to see someone obviously reading. Write out a script and read it MANY times over. You might want to read it enough that the others in your household are tired of hearing it and go start their chores just to get away from you. (Can we say WIN-WIN?)
After you are really comfortable with what you want to say, then write out a bullet list of your points to hang near your camera. They will be there to glance at if you get off track, but having a bullet list will allow you to get to the third point, look into the camera. This one I can't emphasize enough. One of the keys to marketing is to develop an LKT with your audience. That means LIKE, KNOW and TRUST. Do you trust people who can't look you in the eye? Probably now. When I am speaking I also am thinking "look into their eyes" and I am looking at the camera lens as much as possible.
Your smartphone is a great tool to record video. If you want to back away from the camera, you probably want to invest in a microphone. The phones will pick up all of the sounds that it can. I recently tried a recording and the could barely hear myself over the other sounds and voices. I recorded it in a museum and had to re-record it in another location that was quiet but was not my desired location. I have a Movo LV1 Lavalier Lapel Clip-on Microphone the usually does the trick. You can watch a testimonial video I recorded with this microphone here. It makes a big difference in the sound quality of the video if you have the camera a few feet away.
Take a Video With Your Laptop
Most laptops come with a built-in camera. Using that for Facebook Live, YouTube Live. or just recording from your webcam is another way to get started without spending more money. Check your lighting and make sure you have a window in front of you and not behind you. You also will need to turn off any lamps and lights behind you for best quality.
I use Screencast-o-matic when I am recording. It works well for both screen captures and from my webcam. It is very simple to use. Spending the $15 for the removal of their branding, editing tools, and longer videos is well worth the money.
Buy a Few Tools to Upgrade Your Videos
Here is my home "video studio"
One of the first things I would get is lighting. Whether it is just a clip for your phone, or a full-fledged photographer's light kit getting good lighting makes a large difference in the appearance of your videos. I bought a three light kit from LimoStudio. If I am in a hurry, I only set up the one short front light and that works OK. The even lighting of the three makes it so I am always very well lit. So far, I have not burned any of the bulbs out, but there are replacements available. You will want to replace the lights with the "full spectrum" lighting to keep the quality.
After reading many recommendations, I bought the Logitech 910. (I recently heard a live streamer recommend the 920 version for its quality but I do not need to upgrade yet.) The difference in the clarity of the video is incredible. I can tell which videos are done with a good camera versus the built-in cameras. Most of the time I now clip the camera to the light pole so that it is up at eye -level and I am not looking down. Clipping it on a pole also helps me to do a video standing up where I have more energy to present. I love to speak to groups, so standing while I am recording helps me to get that same energy that I have when I am in front of actual people (versus virtual people). My voice person tells me it is better for the diaphragm to be standing so you are able to breathe and project well.
To get a clearer recording, I also bought a microphone. Most people recommend the Audio-Technica ATR2100; at the time I was researching many of the reviews were mixed. I went with the Samson Meteor Mic. I have been happy with the quality and will get a mic stand to make it even better.
On my first videos, people kept commenting about the card catalog that I had in the background. It is a great piece of furniture and I love to tell people the story of how it was gifted to me, but it is not what I wanted to talk about when I promoting my business. I felt like it was necessary for me to get a backdrop. I started with a white backdrop which works best when it is clipped tight to the sides. (Yes I should get a steamer to release the wrinkles.) If you need one, make sure you get the frame as well (or make one with PVC pipes). This is purely optional. Many people creating videos are doing them from their home office and you can see the rest of the room. I just like that the focus is on my content when I put up the background.
I am having some fun with the green screen that you can see in the picture above - but that is an entirely different blog. It takes some practice and is not really necessary. I just LOVE gadgets and being technical. I got bored with the white background as well.
So to summarize - here is what I bought to create my home studio.
Samson Meteor Mic
|Optional Green Screen
6X9 Green Screen
Just Get Started!
Start recording videos. Be patient with yourself - you might record one two minute video fifty times (or at least you feel like it is 50). The more you record, the more comfortable you will be. With comfort comes better videos. Better videos get you more fans and more fans mean more people gain the trust they need to hire you and buy your services.
Have questions about online marketing? Click here to chat with me. I would love to talk to you about how you can incorporate video into your marketing. Do you want to feel more confidence and clarity in your online marketing? Join my Online Marketing GPS community. Learn more here.