Getting Started With Video Content
Video can be a wonderful form of content. It has a lot of benefits that written content just can’t provide. But it has it’s own challenges as well.
Because there is a video camera on practically every device, it is easy to think that you can just whip out a video on your own. And you could! I am the first person to say that you shouldn’t let perfection hold you back, otherwise you will likely never make a video.
Accept the fact that your first video isn’t going to be perfect (mine isn’t!). It is going to be a starting point. Everyone who has built a large following using regular video content had to start somewhere. Recently some of them (Marie Forleo and Gary Vaynerchuk) showed some of their early videos just to compare. It was pretty entertaining!
I am not a videographer and this post isn’t about how to do great videos. This is about what you need to think about to get a video done – period.
The reason to consider doing video is that it is such a power form of content. It captures people’s attention for much longer than written content. It is extremely effective at building relationships with viewers, as well as converting them into followers and clients. This is because we are wired to interact with each other face-to-face. We download a ton of information in seconds when we can see someone’s expressions, appearance, and body language.
So, I encourage you to put out a video, even if it is just to post on Facebook at first. And when you do, here are some things to consider:
In a video, there are three components to the location you choose: the background, the lighting, and the sound. Outside videos can be nice for background and lighting, but are often challenging with sound, whether it is other people, cars driving by, birds honking overhead. It is a little less predictable than an indoor location. Decide whether you want a plain background or if you don’t mind seeing something behind you. (Although probably not your dirty laundry!)
Your own appearance in the video also plays a role in how you are perceived. Think about what you will wear, your hair and make-up. It doesn’t have to be over the top, but it should match your branding, your personality, and how you show up in your business. Depending on the lighting, a little extra makeup can give you more color and make sure you don’t look washed out or shiny.
This part is what holds a lot of people up. Being in front of a camera is a skill that must be practiced. Many people seem awkward or flat when they first do it. The best advice I’ve gotten to lessen the nerves around speaking on camera is to practice, practice, practice! Stand in front of a camera and speak. Do your elevator speech or introduction until it rolls off your tongue. When you are in front of a camera, you have to add a little more “personality” than in normal conversation. And watch how fast you talk, as it is easy to rush.
The first three items need to be considered no matter what level of video you are creating. Here is where you start to have choices. Will you take video with a simple mobile device or computer, or do you have a video camera? How about a microphone? Do you need a tripod? And there is much more as you get higher on the continuum of video quality. I’ve seen videos at all levels, and I encourage you to use what you have to get started. That way you can make educated choices as you improve. I thought I was doing great with my HD camera and lavaliere microphone, but I ended up with a buzzing noise throughout my video that had to be edited out. So, don’t over complicate things unless you are ready.
Do you need video editing software to make the proper cuts and changes? What will you do with your video once it is created? Posting it to YouTube or Vimeo requires a certain amount of technical expertise. If you have tools for this and are reasonably tech savvy, it is possible to take it on. Otherwise, you may need to get some help in this area.
No matter what you decide when considering these things, it is a really good idea to have some help along the way. Having done video on my own, I won’t be doing it that way again! If you can afford a professional videographer, then go for it! They have the equipment and expertise to make the whole experience smoother. If not, at least get a video buddy. Someone who can check your hair, press record, and monitor the camera. If you schedule a video day with another person, you are more likely to stick to it. Plus it’s a lot more fun!
Consider scheduling a video shoot as part of your content creation plans. I can’t wait to see it!