If the technology side of creating videos is scaring you, get over it. The technology is so much simpler than you think it is. Not only has it never been less expensive, it’s more than likely, depending on what type of computer you have, that you already have a lot of the technology you need to create perfectly amazing videos.
- You Need a Video Camera
You’re going to need a video camera. If all you have right now is your webcam on your computer, that’s good enough to get started. If you want to get fancier, try getting a good HD video camera or upgrade your webcam. If you have an older FlipCam, that’s fine. You can even use your smartphone, believe it or not. You really don’t have to be too picky about cameras. If you want to be super professional, there are many different cameras to choose from, but to get started you can use what you have right now. Don’t over think it.
- You Need to Learn About Appropriate Lighting
You will need to learn a bit about lighting your videos. Almost more important than your camera is learning about lighting your videos. It will take a bit of practice, but once you figure it out, it’ll be so much easier. You can use incandescent and fluorescent bulbs and work lights from your local hardware store to light your videos. Experiment to see how you prefer to do your videos. The best lighting is full spectrum lighting, which you can buy at any hardware store. Just test out how you look under various lighting and choose what you like best. Test the lighting each time before you start doing the main video. You can also buy affordable kits for around $100 on Amazon when you feel an upgrade is warranted. I used the points on a credit card to buy my kit.
- Invest in a Good Quality Microphone
The other thing that is very important is an appropriate microphone. The microphone included with cameras usually isn’t good enough to get the right sound quality. You can use your microphone with your headset, but do you really want to be in a video with a headset on? Maybe. If it’s just you, you can also just use the camera’s mic. But, if you want better quality sound, you can get an inexpensive microphone to ensure that you get the right sound. A simple Lavalier External Mic, or the Audio Technica ART-3350, with a Sony wireless WCS-999 system, will work fine for just talking and interviews.
For more than two people, each person needs to have a microphone, you’ll need an adapter to be able to plug in more microphones or you’ll need to use the wireless system. For tutorials, you can get a USB Blue Snowball Desktop USB Mic. When you use microphones outside of your camera mic or microphones that do not plug into your camera, you’ll need to ensure that you have the right video editing software to mix the sound correctly on your finished product. Always do a quick test on audio before spending time making your entire video.
- Video Editing Software
You probably have some on your computer right now. Windows computers come loaded with Windows Live Movie Maker. If it’s not there yet, you can get it free from the Microsoft website with a search. For the Mac, it’s iMovie, which usually comes preloaded on your computer. There are other more professional software products that you can buy eventually, but these can work very well. If you want to invest in more professional software, it’s advisable to learn to use what you have first.
“Upgrades” might include Adobe Premier Pro, Final Cut Pro, Sony Vegas Pro and Magix Video Pro. Google them to find out more about current prices. In the meantime, get familiar with what you already have free on your computer. Most of these choices include the all important screen-capturing software that you’ll need if you want to do great tutorials.
There is More to Video Than YouTube
When it comes to marketing your business with video there is more than just YouTube, but it is the most popular place to start. Your videos can and should be marketed in multiple places in multiple ways.
- Your Blog — Yes, you should most definitely be putting your videos on your blog. Your blog or website should be the hub from where all content flows. If you don’t have most of your content also on your website where you’re linking to it, then you’re missing out on the entire reason for marketing yourself using video. The point is to get more targeted traffic to your website, right?
- Facebook — With Facebook, you can upload videos easily by choosing Add Videos, and then upload the video you have on your computer prepared in the right format for Facebook, which is mostly all of them. The best, of course, is the MP4 format.
- Google + — Google plus has some amazing features like Google+ Hangouts and Google + Hangouts On Air. You can use Google + to record a video blog, to have a round table discussion on air that others can view where you share your slide shows, Youtube.com videos and more.
- Pinterest — You may or may not realize it, but you can pin more than just images on Pinterest. You can also pin videos. Just go take a look for yourself; look for videos in the categories menu on Pinterest to see all the different videos that have been pinned already.
- Twitter — Many people don’t realize it but you can link to videos and upload videos to Twitter too. You can use apps like Vine.
- Vimeo — You can use Vimeo as well to promote your videos online. If you create super high quality videos, Vimeo pro might be what you need to market your business better. You can even earn cash via Vimeo’s “tip Jar” and sell your work with Vimeo on Demand.
3 Fun Apps You Can’t Live Without
- Instagram — You’ll need to download a video recording app and Instagram app to your phone, if your phone doesn’t already have it, but once you do just record, stop recording, then share your video to Instagram. There are apps for iPhone and Android phones. Your videos on Instagram need to stick to 3 to 15 seconds long. The awesome filters that Instagram offers can make your videos as beautiful as your images. Get it from the Apple App Store, or from Google Play.
- Vine — This is the mobile app offered by Twitter to help you share short video clips. It’s similar to Instagram. Download the app to your phone so that you can create, edit and sent short videos that are just a couple of seconds long. You can get it from the App Store or Google Play.
- Videolicious — This is actually video editing software that will make your HD recordings look fabulous. You can take still shots from your mobile phone and put them in order, put them to sound, and make a wonderful show. You can add your message easily to create excellent professional looking videos that you’ve taken with your mobile device, webcam, or any type of video.
How to Let Go of Your Insecurity and Get Creative
You’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed right about now. This is a lot of information to absorb. But, the truth is, most people just get in the way of their own ability to be creative. They let their insecurities and lack of knowledge stop them from actually trying something new and learning something in the process.
- Set Goals — Decide on the fact that you’re going to create at least one video for your business. Then set goals for the video. Define how long it will be, and what it will contain. You can repurpose information that you’ve already created in some other fashion into a short 2 to 3 minute video if starting something totally new freaks you out.
- Be the Expert — You may not be an expert in creating a video yet, but you are an expert in your business and in your niche. Don’t allow your inexperience with video make you lack confidence in your expertise.
- Enjoy the Process — Nothing is going to go perfectly the first time. You’ll likely feel the need to make many different “takes” and start over a lot. You may need to adjust the lighting, or the sound, or change your script or create a script if you didn’t. Remember that the learning will come with the process. Enjoy it.
- Start Small — Don’t set out to make a 20 minute tutorial video from the start. Do something small. How about recording a planned Google Hangout, then the entire thing isn’t even about you, it’s about everyone. This can be a small way to get into video with something you already have planned. The more you do, the more confidence you’ll build.
- Take Risks — No one became famous or succeeded in anything without putting themselves out there taking a risk. Risk is part of doing business. There is no guarantee that anyone will even look at your videos, but there is no reason why they won’t, and why they won’t be a huge success. Take the risk so that you can find out.
The important fact to take away from this is to ignore your negative self-talk and go forward with creating your first video. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and it doesn’t even have to be great. But, you need to get started because that’s half the battle. Your competition is going to start doing video if they haven’t already. The onus is on you to differentiate yourself and that’s easy because you’re the only one who is uniquely you.
Next time we’ll talk about marketing your videos for the most exposure.
If you like this sort of thing, stay tuned for Chamber sponsored webinars where we talk about social media, positioning, marketing, and other business topics all of the time. Past webinars are archived at http://chamberwebtraining.com
About the Author: Ken Ivey, affectionately dubbed ‘the Web Czar’ by peers – has been helping businesses embrace technology for 27 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 920-645-2700