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Young professional recording video using mobile on tripod

Five steps to creating your own videos

Ever wanted to join the video trend but not quite sure how? Jenny Pearse from Jenesis Consulting explains how to create videos your clients will be happy to watch.

A well-crafted video can create a lot of impact and cut through the clutter of written communication. If you would like to start creating video for your clients, here are five simple steps you can take. Let’s begin.

1. What’s the purpose of the video?

To get things underway, ask yourself – why are you creating this video and what is the key message you want clients to walk away with?

Once you understand the video’s purpose, refer back to it throughout the creative process. Having a clear message helps to keep all elements of the video on track.

2. Length of the video

It’s really important to get the length right. Having people switch off before the main message is not the desired outcome!

Research the platform you have chosen (based on your marketing strategy) and plan your video length accordingly. Generally, this means you’ll need to do some editing which can be done on your phone or using an app.

Some ‘rules of thumb’

Shorter videos are ideal for social media. Longer videos suit websites, resource/learning centers and vlogs.

As a guide, Facebook recommends 3-minute videos, Instagram posts can be up to 1 minute, and with Instagram TV you can now post a maximum 15-minute video from your smartphone or maximum 60 minutes from a desktop scheduling platform.

3. Choosing the right equipment

Getting the right equipment doesn’t have to be expensive. The three key components are audio, lighting and visual.

Good sound is essential

Great audio will trump mediocre video. You want sound that is clear and crisp - distorted audio will always drive people away. Invest in a good lapel microphone or other external microphone – they aren’t that expensive.

Check out apps that you can use on your smartphone.

Get your lighting right

Having your light source in front of you near the camera works best, at a slight angle from you if possible. Natural light from a window works well or you can place a desk lamp on the floor near you to help with up lighting. The magic happens when people can easily see clear facial expressions and eyes to create a deeper connection with the audience.

Achieving good visual

These days video cameras aren’t essential as great results can be achieved using smartphones. If you’re after a more up close and personal frame, there are high quality webcams which connect via USB to your computer. Composition is key to creating a great visual, look at how the main subject is framed and allow space (but not too much) for hand gestures and background.

When purchasing equipment, match it to your technical know-how; you can upgrade and add equipment as you become more experienced. Have a few practice runs beforehand so you are well versed with your chosen video device.

Note: More detail on a selfie ring/tripod combo I bought recently can be found here.

4. Location, location, location.

Think about the overall setting for your video. What mood do you want to create? Whether it’s an informal or formal location, make sure you take into account any background noise which will interfere with viewers’ experience.

On a practical note, dress appropriately - the presenter is the key focus not the background. Your surroundings should enhance your video so plan ahead to avoid any unintended ‘props’ from appearing in the finished product.

5. The final step…style!

The style of your video is dependent on you and the relationship you want to create with your audience. Being authentic is always a good place to start as this helps develop trust and engagement. By no means does the video have to be perfect, we’re all human after all.

There are plenty of presentation styles to explore. Whether that’s a direct to camera approach, interview style, explainer video or even a live stream discussion. Remember, consider who you want to target and who your audience is.

Many social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and more, allow you to stream ‘Live’ videos. If you’re just starting out, pre-recorded options are a good place to begin. If it’s not what you’d hoped for, you can always have another go!

The important thing with video is to create!

Making a video may be daunting at first but why not take the plunge and see what happens. The simple steps above are a good foundation, and will have you on your way to video success in no time.

Handy hack

The Selvi app is great for beginners and available to download on Apple or Android. It‘s a voice recorder and teleprompter in one!

To record your message you can use ear pods, a headset connected to the phone or the inbuilt microphone of your device (as long as you’re not too far away).

This type of thing is good if you are nervous and want to get a specific message out but lose track of what you are saying. There are many other versions available too

Jenny Pearse is Managing Director of Jenesis – a business and marketing consultancy she founded in 2006. For the past 14 years, Jenny has been helping financial services organisations, financial advisers, business owners and their teams to succeed and flourish in a rapidly changing landscape.

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