Paul shares some tips for getting started with creating video content. From choosing a video type, to a very simple hardware set-up, sound, lighting, plucking up the courage to get started, crafting your message and more!
Here is the full transcript:
Episode 31 how to produce great video for your brand. Part One. Hi there. I’m Paul Urwin and welcome to the freelancers and entrepreneurs Podcast, where freelancing meets entrepreneurship and business. We discuss clients sales, marketing, outsourcing, mindset, and much, much more.
Find out more at freelancersandentrepreneurs.com Welcome to Episode 31 of the freelancers and entrepreneurs podcast. This podcast. This session is all about video how to produce great video for your brand, something that I think is increasingly important for freelancers and for entrepreneurs. Don’t forget to check out our Facebook group. If you haven’t already. You can find the link on the homepage. It’s www dot freelancers and entrepreneurs doc And there’s also a video challenge within that Facebook group so you can post your videos, you can get feedback on your videos, and we can all help each other to produce better video, it really isn’t as difficult as you might think it’s easy to get started. It’s easy to create or to produce simple and effective videos that are really going to help you to increase engagement to boost your brand to get more people interested and to get your message out there.
So why is video so great? Well, first of all, I’m going to share a few statistics with you. These ones are from overload. com that’s OBRL calm, and they are as follows 85% of all internet users in the US watch video content 85% of all internet users in the US watch video content and demand for video. content is increasing. Customers have expressed that they wish to see more video content. So this is something that is definitely on the up. If you look at all the statistics over the last few years, video is the place to be there’s a massive increase in demand for video. People are watching more and more video, people are watching more and more video on mobile devices. And another one is that 88% of video marketers are satisfied with the return on investment ROI of their video marketing efforts. 88% of video marketers are satisfied with the ROI of their video marketing efforts. In other words, they are really working video is really working for the vast majority of marketers or video marketers out there. videos also engage users for longer on your work. website.
Well, why is that important? Well, for a number of reasons, really, I mean, if you if you are going to have people visit your website you want them to be there for for longer, you don’t want them to, to, to land on your website and then leave immediately or leave very quickly. That can affect your your bounce rate. If you have a high bounce rate where someone is coming to your website, and then leave leaving immediately, that is not good for your Google ranking, for example. So you really want people to come onto your website and look around and click on different things and explore different areas of your your website. Apart from helping your your Google ranking, that is going to help your brand as a whole because people are actually consuming your content and the more they consume your content, the more they are going to feel at home with your brand that the more they are going to become familiar with your service and ultimately, the More likely they are to buy from you at some point. So really important that you have people for a longer time on your website and video helps you to do that. Another statistic, this one from wise owl in 2018, where both video and text are available on the same page 72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service. So where both video and text are available. 70% of 72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service people love to consume video content they find it easy, they find it really, really easy to consume, easy to watch, and they generally seem to prefer video content over and above other forms of content. According to Forbes, viewers are 95% more likely to remember a call to action after watching a Do competitor 10% when reading it in text format well that’s an amazing difference and calls to action are are really really important on your your website and as part of your your content so if you as a 95% more likely to remember a call to action after watching a video then I think that’s, that’s pretty powerful. mobile video consumption rises by 100% every year, according to insignia. So this is something as I’ve said, that just keeps increasing video content consumption consumption is going up all of the time. And according to HubSpot, social media posts with video have 48% more views 48% more views with four social media posts that have video. And well let’s add to all of that the fact that YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine. Really, video is increasing. incredibly powerful, it’s not going anywhere. Video is just becoming more and more important. More and more people are consuming video all of the time. So I think if you’re not producing video, have a have a think about the statistics, perhaps it might be time to produce some video of your own. Now what are the barriers to producing video? Well, it’s certainly not as high as they used to be. Back in the old days, it was much more complicated to produce video, you really needed a very good video camera, you really needed to invest in hardware, editing software was difficult to manage and so on. It really wasn’t very easy to produce video but now anyone with a smartphone can get out there and shoot video and it really isn’t that difficult and that’s what I aim to. To show you talk a little bit about in this podcast and encourage you to get started and have a go. If you haven’t, if you haven’t already. Now, in terms of producing video, there are many many different types of video. So you can produce a talking head video, which is just you talking to the camera, you can, you can go for an explainer video, which tends to they often tend to be animated videos with a voiceover just explaining how a product or service works. You might choose to produce a PowerPoint video, a PowerPoint video or a presentation video where you’re just running through some slides and giving an explanation to or giving a voiceover to those slides so lots of and other types of video as well of course. Now what kind of video would I recommend in order to get started one of the easiest videos to get started with is a talking head video and it’s just you talking into the camera incredibly, incredibly, incredibly simple. You just set up a camera pointed at yourself and off you go really isn’t a lot more to it than that. And that’s why I think that’s one of the easiest ways in which to get started. Now if you are going to do that kind of talking head video, there’s a few things that you should keep in mind. The first one is the length of the video, I think it’s pretty evident that people have really short attention spans these days, and therefore you should try and keep your video fairly short. I like to see videos that are in the one to two minute range and really stick to a quite a simple message just one main idea or two or three main ideas maximum. Don’t try and over complicate things. If you have 10 different 10 different products. Well why not make 10 different videos, don’t try and cram everything into into one video. Keep it simple. Keep it really nice and simple.
So a few of the basics now in terms of hardware, what do you actually need in order to produce this kind of video? Well the first thing you’re going to need is a smartphone and I’m guessing that most of you have a smartphone. So that’s a, that’s a big advantage compared to creating video historically, because you don’t need an expensive video camera. The quality of video that you can get from your from your smartphone really is quite spectacular. And you don’t need any any specialist video equipment really. Now of course, if you have if you have a video camera, then you might choose to use that. But you can do a lot of these videos just with with a smartphone and you can also do it with the built in microphone on the smartphone that in most cases is going to be perfectly good in order to get started. If you want to produce something that is a little bit more higher quality, then you can use an external microphone and plug it into your smartphone. I tend to use a, a, an external lavalier mic. So just a little little lapel mic that I plug into my smartphone, I then fix it to my shirt and and off I go, I’m recording with with sound that is a little bit a little bit better. Now the other thing that you might choose to use is some kind of tripod. Now I’ve been through a few various various attempts on this I have tried, I have tried recording video without a tripod, just by sort of positioning my smartphone, either on the top of my computer monitor, or I’ve tried, I’ve tried sort of just positioning it on top of some books or something like that and that that can that can work. It’s a little bit fiddly sometimes but you can you can make that work. So just fix your smartphone to something even if you do it a little bit sort of in a basic way, even taping your phone to something just to make sure that it doesn’t move around too much so you can do something like that. But I have I have actually now purchased a tripod just a small tripod that has a little attachment on the end specifically for phones so I can just attach my phone to the end of that tripod and then it gives me a nice firm base.
I’ve also tried recording recording video by just holding the phone holding the phone up a little bit holding my arm out like a like a selfie stick and and recording video you can use a selfie stick as well, just to to give yourself a little bit more distance between the screen and yourself. So you can do that. The The problem with that is that you need to be able to hold the hold the selfie stick or hold your arm reasonably reasonably steady in order to get a good image and that’s why I recommend if you’re starting out then then a really simple cheap tripod, it’s only going to cost you 10 or $20. A really cheap price tripod is going to help you to sort of fix your, your image. So you’re going to get yourself into a nice, a nice position, put the smartphone in selfie mode, and then you are more or less ready to start recording.
It’s also worth thinking about lighting lighting is quite important when it comes to recording video, you really want the light coming towards you, of course, so you don’t want to record with a lot of light behind you. You want to record with a lot of light in front of you. And you can just try out different positions before you actually start recording. But ideally, for example, if you have if you’re in a room and you have a window, you really Want to be facing that window so that natural light is coming coming in through the window and directed towards you. So have the light source coming towards you. Ideally, that light source shouldn’t be off to one side it should be more or less straight in front of you. And then you might have a wall or something else behind you. You can use artificial lighting as well, you might have a lamp or something like that that you that you fix in front of you and direct towards you. So just try out a few different setups until you get something that you think is going to work for you. Once you’ve got to that point. Then the next thing you want to be looking at is your position on the camera. You don’t want to be too close to the camera. I find it a little bit sort of a little bit uncomfortable if the person is right up against the camera and really takes up all of the screen and similarly if you’re too far And you look too, too too distant, that’s not going to work that well. Either you want to sort of take up a reasonable amount of of the screen and preferably be in the center of the screen as well so, so just play around with that as well and make sure that you’re happy with your position on the screen of on the camera screen. You also want to consider the background. Just a light colored wall or something like that works works very well or very plain background can work perfectly well. But you might also want to try other backgrounds, you might try recording outside or you might try recording against a bookcase or something a little bit more interesting. I think if you have a background that’s a bit more interesting, then it does get people’s attention a little bit more. So I think that’s, I think that’s worth considering. So just just play around with the setup and make sure that you are happy. Make sure that you’re happy with how you look as well. I think your personal appearance is important on camera. As much as anything else, it’s important that you feel comfortable so that you you you feel comfortable in the clothes that you’re wearing you feel comfortable with your, your appearance, and you just feel happy before you start recording. So all the all different things to to keep in mind. Now when it comes to actually recording your talking head video, I think one of the things that you really want to aim for is a situation where you’re not going to have to do a lot of editing, editing, at least not at the beginning. Now as I go through this video series, I plan on talking about different types of video. So as we get more advanced, we can include different different camera angles, or we can include B roll and we can include transit And then all kinds of things that really help help maintain a viewers attention. But right at the beginning, I’m just going to suggest that you you start off with with something really simple, and it’s just you talking to the camera. And ideally, you don’t want to be doing lots of editing at the beginning. And the reason for that is that, that if you have to do lots of editing, then it adds another step to the process and it becomes really a bit more complicated and a bit more time consuming, and it might it might put you off at the beginning. So the ideal situations where you can simply point the camera at yourself, record a video for one or two minutes. And then with no editing at all, with no editing at all, you can then upload that video or share that video. So that’s what you should be aiming for, in my opinion at the beginning something that does not require any editing, and I think this ties in with The idea of authentic content as well, something that I’ve, I’ve talked about before, I really believe that brands, businesses and services attract companies today through the use of authentic content, so you don’t need to have an overly produced video if you can think think in terms of a of a TV commercial, a TV commercial, it’s usually something that is really really highly produced. It has all different camera angles, it has different action shots, perhaps if you can think of a perhaps an advert for for an SUV or or something like that, it might have a really persuasive voiceover that goes something along the lines of take a trip in this amazing new SUV and carve out your own destination. So something like that something with a kind of powerful, produced, produced voiceover really what are Color, a little bit of the outcome, a little bit of an old style advertising and of course, it’s it still works. But I think a lot of people are attracted these days by authentic content that just has someone talking about a product or service and just someone talking in a natural voice saying, Hey, you know what, this is what I do, and this is how it works. And if you’re interested, just get in touch.
So I think I think that natural style is really much easier to to produce, you don’t, you don’t need to have any kind of, you know, highly produced voiceover or anything like that. The other thing to consider is your voice. Try and speak try and speak naturally, but try and speak clearly as well. You are probably going to be serving a worldwide audience in many cases. And therefore you just want to try and speak as clearly as possible and use a language that is that is fairly straightforward. Saying, able to be understood by, by by everyone so, so keep it simple. That’s the message throughout. Throughout this and in terms of in terms of the video itself in terms of the content, I would suggest a very brief introduction, you don’t need a massive, massive bio or massive, long introduction at the beginning, explaining exactly who you are that can turn some people off. If people want to find out more about you afterwards, this surely going to be a link that you’re going to share alongside with your website or direct people to your homepage at the end of the video. So you don’t need to really worry about telling people everything about yourself, because they will be able to find out more about you or your service fairly easily anyway. You want to get straight into the meat of the message into the real substance of the message. Otherwise people could could tune out, you really want to get going as quickly as possible. If it is a slightly longer video, then you might want to say to, you might want to indicate what’s coming up towards the end of the video to try and keep people watching until the end. And when you get to the end of the video, it’s always a good idea to have some kind of final question or call to action, don’t just end the video, because then people are going to stop watching your video and golf somewhere else. try and encourage some kind of interaction. So please tell me what you think about this or please share it or please find out more here are some kind of call to action that is really going to get people to take the next step. I think a lot of these videos can form part of a content funnel if you like. And you want to keep people around. You want to keep people looking around your website. You want to keep people in contact with your brand and your services. And one way to do that is to have a final Call to Action. Now you might be thinking, well, that all sounds very well and good, but, but I’m a little bit nervous or a little bit apprehensive about appearing on camera. I don’t really like the idea of seeing myself on camera. And I’d love to do video because I think it’s a great idea, but I just don’t feel great about doing it. Well, how can you overcome that sort of fear of appearing on camera? Well, one way is just to just to practice just to practice, practice, practice, practice makes perfect, of course. And in the case of video, not just about practice making perfect but practice is going to make you feel much more comfortable. on camera. When you record your voice. I’m sure you’ve recorded your voice before and when you play it back, it often sounds a little bit strange and that’s because you hear your own voice internally differently to how your recorded voice is going to sound to or your voice is going to sound to someone else. So it’s always a little bit strange to hear your own voice being played back to you. And similarly when you appear on camera it can seem just a little bit strange at first that because it will help it uncomfortable and you might have, you might sort of end up scratching your face or, or scratching your your hair or your nose or something, you might, you might have a little habit like that that you’ve that you find looks a little bit strange on camera and you might feel a little bit uncomfortable with it. While the more you practice the more you are going to feel relaxed about it and feel that it is something that is quite normal. Also, if you are recording in selfie mode, then you are going to see yourself on the camera you’re going to actually be talking to the camera and you’re going to be viewing your own image and that can be a little bit off putting as well but if you practice, then it is going to get much much easier. So really, just try try this
The great thing about recording video recording video on your smartphone is you can do as many takes as you want before you actually publish it. And I know many people, a number of people in the video challenge have said that they’ve taken 10 or even 15 takes before releasing their first video. And you know what, that’s absolutely fine. It’s also absolutely fine because as you get more experienced, then the number of takes is going to reduce dramatically. Nowadays, I often release video that is the first take is just absolutely the first take. I’m happy enough with it. It’s not perfect. And remember that perfection is the enemy of progress. It’s not absolutely perfect, but I normally find that I’m happy enough with it on the first take. Or sometimes I I go for two or three takes normally in that in that range. But it’s certainly come down from a higher number that I would have had to produce At the beginning, before I was happy with a particular video, so practice is going to enable you to produce video really, really quickly. And once you’ve produced that video, if it doesn’t need any editing, then it can be uploaded to Facebook or LinkedIn or somewhere like that in a matter of seconds in a matter of seconds. And I think this is also something that’s really, it’s really efficient in terms of producing content, because sometimes it can take quite a long time to produce a blog post that you’re happy with. Or it can take quite a long time to produce a podcast that you’re happy with. But just releasing a video, a one to two minute video can be done very, very quickly. And you can really get your message out there really, really, really really quickly and then you can get on to the next thing on your what I’m sure is a very long task list. And a lot of people are frustrated that marketing activities can take up a lot of their time. And you know, this is something that really shouldn’t be Taking up vast amounts of time. Yeah, sure, it does take some time. But it shouldn’t be taking ages and ages, you should be able to have an idea, write down a couple of ideas, record a video, and then release it on social media very, very quickly. So that’s another great thing I love about video. So my overall message in this session is really to keep it simple. And also to get started, I promise that you can do this and I also really, really believe that if you haven’t started then by starting you’re really going to benefit your your brand, your service your company, so So give it a go. And if you need a little bit of support, remember that it’s always good to have a little bit it’s a little bit of support in these things. Then come on over to the Facebook group and in particular, the video challenge the f&e video challenge which is part of that Facebook group. You can find it in The left hand side tab when you’re when you’re in the group under the events section look for the f&e Video Challenge even if it says past event that doesn’t matter because it is an on going event so click in there post your video and watch some other people’s videos that will give you an idea of how everyone else is is going about it. So I think this is really really something that can help you help your brand it’s not that difficult to get started please give it a go and please do let me know in that Facebook group.
If you have any questions of course, you can find out all of this information. You can find the link to the Facebook group, www.freelancersandentrepreneurs.com. So I wish you all the very best I really hope you can get cracking with some video content creation. I promise you, you won’t regret it at all facts really going to help you all the very best. And until next time, thanks for watching. And bye bye