Evidence based advisor marketing

Six Tips for Creating World-Class Video on a Small Town Budget

Video Marketing Works. Here’s how you can create great video on your own.

I probably don’t have to convince you about the impact of video.

Video appears in 70% of the top 100 search listings.  It increases the length of time visitors will remain on your website and it enhances the level of trust established with your viewers.

Video has two distinct disadvantages:   1.  Done poorly, it can erode your credibility; and 2.  Most videos are deadly dull and fail to engage your audience.

Here are six tips to help you create professional looking videos, acting as your own producer, that will avoid these pitfalls.

How To Create a World-Class Video on a Small Town Budget

  1. Assemble a competent team

    You’ve heard the expression “garbage in, garbage out.”  It also applies to video.  While we can do a lot in post-production, we can’t totally fix poor lighting or bad audio and we can’t create more interesting camera angles.

    I recommend you retain a cinematographer, also known as a Director of Photography.  They tend to be very experienced and often have extensive equipment.

    Production Hub is a good resource for sourcing cinematographers (and other video professionals) in any location.

    You will probably only need them for one half-day session.

    Specify two cameras, HD minimum.  You want two angles so the viewer is not looking at the same shot for the entire video. 

    They will know how to light your video and how to ensure audio is high quality.

  2. Use a studio

    Your cinematographer can recommend a studio to rent.  Don’t try to save money by shooting in your office.  A studio is set up for professional looking video.  The difference in quality is pronounced.

  3. Be aware of your appearance

    HD video is merciless.  Every flaw will show. Be sure your clothes fit properly.  If you can afford it, retain a stylist to do hair and make-up.  The stylist will also ensure your clothes are unwrinkled  and will spot other issues that can be difficult (or expensive) to fix in post-production.

  4. Don’t use a script

    Have a colleague (either in-person or on Zoom) ask you the type of questions a stranger would ask upon meeting you for the first time.  Talk about who you are, your family life, your hobbies, what makes you laugh, you values, and why you do what you do.  Be spontaneous.  Let your real personality come through.

    In post-production, the questions will be eliminated, and snippets of your responses will be pieced together.  The result will be a compelling video.

  5. Shoot B-roll

    B-roll is alternative footage that breaks the monotony of watching a talking head.

    Here’s an important tip:  Minimize traditional B-roll and go for something really creative, like recording an actual meeting or other real interaction.

    B-roll can be especially effective when it “humanizes” you by showing an imperfection. I recently saw B-roll showing an advisor tripping and catching his balance before entering his office.  It made him more relatable.

  6. Pay attention to video editing

    If you have the technical chops, you can edit your own video using software like Adobe’s Premium Pro.

    If not, you can find video editors on any of the major freelancer platforms, like Upwork.  You’ll want someone familiar with video editing software, who has experience doing post-production on videos similar to yours.  They should be able to show you their portfolio.
    Here’s a tip that can save you big bucks by reducing the time your video editor needs to spend reviewing the raw footage. 

    Upload the footage to a service like Scribie. They will transcribe it.  I find it’s well worth it to pay for their manual transcription which costs $0.80 per minute. Within 36 hours, you’ll receive a transcription that’s 99% accurate.

    Cut and paste the sections of the transcript you want to see in the video into a Word document and send it to your video editor.

    You’ll be amazed at how efficient this process will be.

Don’t be intimidated by undertaking something new.  After you delve into it, you’ll find it gets easier.  The video you produce using these tips will be well worth the effort.

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