“How many of you would like to be the star of your own TV show?”
Almost every hand in this room of 200+ attendees went up in response.
Then the speaker said, “Great! How many of you are posting content regularly to YouTube or Vimeo?”
Only 10% of the people held up their hands – less than 20 people in the room!
Are you one of those people? Are you someone who WANTS to be known for the work you do, yet you aren’t taking advantage of the single most powerful and FREE tool available to make that happen?
Video viewership isn’t just on the rise (and it sure is!) – it’s effective.
Stats posted on Hubspot show that:
- A video in an email can increase click through rates by 200-300%,
- A video on a landing page increases conversions by 80%,
- After watching a video online about your product, viewers are 64% more likely to buy.
Those are significant differences. Those should make you pay attention if you’re running a business, or working in one where you need to attract leads.
If you aren’t using video in your business you are missing out. Period.
But, you probably have some really good reasons for not doing video, right? Well … what are they? Maybe you aren’t sure what technology you need (I’ll help you with that below). Possibly, you are worried you don’t have anything to say (I’ve got you covered on that below too). Maybe you think you need to lose weight or that you’re not good looking enough. If that is you, Coach Deb Cole had some great words of wisdom for the folks at my Brand Evolution Bootcamp a few weeks ago. She said:
Guess what? You’re never going to be as young as you are today and you’re probably not getting any slimmer – so ditch those excuses and get in front of the camera.
It’s never been easier and more affordable to become a celebrity on YouTube. That said, it’s not ‘post it and they will watch’ anymore. Once upon a time ANY video was better than no video. That’s not the case anymore. You have to pay attention to a few critical details. But, with that handled, you can still get out there and start using video to improve sales for your business, get your name known, and impact a lot of people with your messages.
Here’s my five best tips for creating videos for your business that people will watch:
- Plan your shoot. I don’t mean script out every word, because I actually don’t recommend you do that. What I do recommend you do is think about WHERE you’re going to shoot, what the lighting will be like, and what your key message(s) need to be. A lot of video is really terrible because it’s done on the fly without any thought. This is ok (right now) for Facebook Live as it’s new, interesting and ‘on the spot’, but I suspect the expectations of quality will quickly increase for Facebook Live too. But, if you’re posting a video to YouTube with bad sound and lighting – nobody is going to watch for more than a few seconds.
You don’t need to film the majority of videos in a studio (although there probably are some key marketing messages that are best done in the absolute highest quality recording space you can afford), but a well lit space with a lapel mic (like this simple mic for your iPhone) and a tripod to stabilize the video, will take your video to an entirely different level than the guy filming in his car. One simple tip is to face a window (have the camera’s ‘back’ to the window) to get the natural light on your face and film there. Standing in front of bookshelves or other personal spaces can make for some interesting viewing – it’s definitely better than a white wall … you just might want to make sure there’s nothing in the shot that you don’t want the world to see.
- A little equipment goes a long way. Spending a few hundred dollars on some key pieces of equipment can increase the quality of your video significantly. And, remember, video is going to increase the attention you receive from existing clients, boost sales from prospects, and attract a lot more attention – so really – can you afford NOT to take this seriously and invest a few hundred dollars? As mentioned, a lapel mic can increase the quality of your video audio dramatically. The next level is lighting. Cowboy studio in Canada makes a great lighting kit and it sells for somewhere around $250 (you can see the two soft box lights in the photo from Brand Evolution Bootcamp to the right). The screen was sold separately.
Note: if you’re going to film on a blue or green screen, you’ll need at least a third light. Two lights is NOT enough to get a quality shot from a green screen. It needs to be really well lit to work right. The professionals will use six lights.
The cowboy studio lights come with a carrying case, and once you have set them up once you will find they aren’t too tricky to set up and take down. They are also relatively portable if you want to shoot some videos on the road (I wouldn’t fly with them – but they fit easily in the trunk of a car and aren’t too heavy to carry).And finally, a tripod to stabilize your shots is a must! If you are using your smart phone (which, by the way, is such a high quality video camera that you really don’t need much more than that for most business videos these days), you will need an adapter, like this one, so your camera will sit on a regular tripod.
- Short and Sweet for Most Videos: We have grossly short attention spans these days. In fact, the same Hubspot article mentioned above says that 60% of viewers stop watching after 2 minutes. If you’re not highly entertaining or your video isn’t brilliantly edited, then your videos must be short or even the best content will bore your viewer and they’ll click away.
Focus on a key message, a single lesson, or a big tip and share that. If you have a little story or anecdote to go with it – great! Practice what you want to say a few times, and then get in front of the camera and shoot.
Stuck for ideas? Write down the 10 most frequently asked questions in your business. Start with those. Sometimes the answer will need to be broken up into parts to make three or five short videos – that is ok. That just means you now have 15 – 20 video ideas instead of just 10. Or, think about what you know a lot about that your friends are always asking you about … start there. That’s how I created the popular series on my YouTube channel on Self-Publishing.
- Have Fun and Let Your Personality Shine! You may wish to have a couple of perfectly polished videos for your website that clearly communicate the most important marketing messages for your company – like who you are and why you do what you do and, possibly, a really fantastic sales video. But, for content that builds a relationship with existing and potential customers, you’re not going for perfection. You are much better off to come across as someone the viewer would want to have a beer with than someone that is stiff and unemotional.
If you find that you stiffen up when you face the lens, I have two tips that might help. First, hit record, do something ridiculous that makes you laugh and then start talking to the camera. Don’t try too hard to regain your composure, just start delivering your message. Cut the silliness out (or, use it as an outtake for the end of the video) but let yourself have fun with it. This increases your energy in the video enormously.
Second, have fun. Even if your jokes are bad or you’re not really a funny person, a little effort will go a long way. This video I did on making people laugh is a good example of just having fun with your message (you can see the thumbs ups relative to the views – this is a decent ratio). My personality does come through in this video … and most viewers respond to that.
- Start Simple – Grow from There. It’s easy to avoid video because you feel like you are going to need to buy fancy software and learn to edit videos (or pay someone to edit them for you). Or, to think that you need to set up a studio or have a crew.
Your first video is not going to be your best video, but very few people will probably ever see it. And if it is really terrible, you never have to post it. But, you do have to start. And, if you want to make yourself feel better about your first video … here’s my very first YouTube video.
But, quality does matter, so what I would suggest is that you DO make some simple edits to your video like trimming the ends, adding a lower third (the writing that has your name and website on it), and adding some text to highlight key points. You can do that editing right inside of YouTube now. You could even add a bit of music at the start and end – just make sure it’s music you have the rights to use that music in your video. [This is a great article on using music legally in your videos]. And, if you really can’t or don’t want to tackle it, you can find someone on Fiverr.com or Upwork.com (here’s how to hire someone on Upwork.com) to help you with video editing for $25 – $75 a video. But, please, don’t let any of this hold you back. Just start.
Another Coach Deb piece of advice was this: Your first video will be your worst video. So … let’s get it over with, shall we?
If you enjoyed this article, you may also like:
- Are you missing sales that are right under your nose?
- Double Your Productivity – How to Hire the Right Virtual Assistant
- 5 Self Publishing Mistakes that Kill Your Book Before You Start
Image 1 Credit: © Ryan Jorgensen | Dreamstime.com
Image 2 Credit: Julie Broad from BrandEvolutionBootcamp.com
Hubspot Stats: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/video-marketing-statistics#sm.000000ckcwmizjqfknw0qa2f6x78c