One way to attract customers and grow your business is to post videos online, but many people are too intimidated to do this, especially if they aren’t tech-savvy. In this episode of Small Biz TV, Nick demystifies the video-shooting process, explaining what’s necessary and how easily accessible it is.
A picture is worth a thousand words. What about a moving picture with dialog? You’re more likely to attract customers to your business with videos than with text and images. And with social media outlets like YouTube and Facebook, a wide audience may see your videos.
We’ve talked about the benefits of shooting video before, but maybe you’ve thought that the process was too complicated or technical. Creating videos is relatively simple. For a professional-grade product that looks and sounds sharp, you’ll need these six items:
The type of camera that you use is up to you, depending on your budget.
There are excellent SLR cameras in the $1,000 range that take excellent video.
If a new camera is out of your budget, consider your smartphone. The video quality on today’s phones is astounding; it’s a selling point for both Apple and Android products.
Your laptop has a built-in camera, if you purchased it in the last couple of years. Search for “camera,” and you’ll find it. It’s the same one that you’ve used for Skype or webchats.
When shooting videos – especially on a smartphone – hold the phone horizontally (sideways) instead of vertically (tall and thin). This will allow your videos to fill the screen when people watch them.
A laptop is stable, but you’ll need a sturdy tripod if you’re using an SLR camera or a smartphone. Tripods have attachments that can hold smartphones securely in place.
It’s extremely difficult to hold a camera still for several minutes, and you don’t want your videos to have the telltale shake which reveals that someone with an unsteady hand held the camera while you were shooting. A tripod will give you a clean, steady shot every time.
You’re shooting video to get your company’s message out, so having quality sound is critical. A good microphone is priceless.
You can use what’s known as a shotgun mike, which goes on top of the camera while you’re shooting. It’s ideal if you don’t want to take the time to place microphones on every single person who talks in your video.
A lapel mike is the best choice, in my opinion. They’re very affordable. The one that I wear cost about $30 on Amazon. It’s small and attaches easily to clothing, and it picks up sound well. Be sure to hide the wire after you attach the microphone to your clothing, so that it a wiggling wire doesn’t distract viewers from the message in your video.
A clean scene
Choose a simple wall as your background. Some people shoot video in front of a window, but the cars driving by are distracting. You don’t want a lot happening in your background. If you’re shooting in your home or office, make sure that nothing personal accidentally ends up on screen, like a photo of your children or your list of phone contacts.
Establish some distance between yourself and the wall to eliminate any possible shadows. This will also make you pop, or stand out, from the wall, which will help people focus on you and your message.
This is, by far, the trickiest step. It’s a delicate balance, but you want to brighten up the scene without having any lights glaring right on your face. Avoid shooting where it’s too bright or too dark. It may take some trial and error. Have someone stand in where you’ll be speaking, and then look through the camera to see for yourself.
Don’t post your raw video online; you want to cut out the non-essential moments and leave in the key messages. Many people are scared by the prospect of editing video, but today, it’s a simple process that anyone can do – even someone who isn’t good at using computers.
If you have a PC, use Windows Movie Maker. If you have a Mac, iMovie is for you. Both programs are simple to use, but if you have trouble figuring out what to do, watch YouTube videos for pointers. The only skill you really need to master is cutting.
Now that you’ve learned how to shoot videos, you’ve got another tool in your arsenal to let potential customers know about your business. Use your new video know-how to Blow Away The Competition!