March 8, 2017

When it comes to social media, there are a lot of things I enjoy. When it comes to content creation, I love me some blogging - duh! One thing I do not like - videos.

I don't like filming videos... and not for the reasons you might normally think. I actually just. don't. like. videos. Period.

But, in today's online world, videos are dominant and we need this content in our strategy to capitalize on diverse audiences. So, yes, I do videos. But I don't like it. And I'm so not ashamed to admit it.

Why don't I like videos? I am too impatient to sit through a video. I'm the person who always scrolls ahead and skips half the video. I don't listen to podcasts very often because I'd rather skim over a blog post. That's just how I'm wired. So filming videos is frustrating because I hate to edit them, and play back, and listen over and over.

And for me, I can crank out a blog post in under an hour, and have it uploaded and ready to share quickly. It's painless and doesn't stress me out. Videos, on the other hand... ugh. A 15 minute video will take me so much longer to actually prep, record, and produce. It's just not my favorite way to create content at all. (And, yes, I realize there are plenty of people who are the complete opposite of me.)

If anything, most of my videos are filmed in one take - I don't worry about flubs or small mistakes. It's just less painful for me to keep going and have one complete video 😉

That being said, I have filmed dozens of videos that I absolutely hate. And I've published them anyways. For a couple reasons which I won't go into here... but along this path, I've learned some things for myself that I hope will continue to improve my own video production - and I hope may help you too.

So here are the 6 things that I've learned about filming videos - and which will hopefully help all of us create better video content.

Lighting Matters

Oh, gawd, does it matter! Take a look at any great video and they always have the most perfect lighting. Everything is illuminated in just the right way - for whatever desired effect.

Lighting matters.

I've learned this the hard way too many times. I don't have great lighting in my current home office. And the lights I have just don't do the trick. And my videos prove that. I don't look good. The video doesn't look good.

Yes, I need to invest in some lighting equipment. Lesson learned.

Do the same. It'll make a huge difference.

Have a General Script

Before you shoot your video, know what you're going to say. Plan out your intro, know your key talking points, nail your call-to-action, and have a great sign off. You can even keep notes or cue cards handy to reference during your video.

It's important to know what you're going to cover and the flow of your video so that you can stick to it and have a valuable piece of content to share with your audience. Random ramblings won't keep your audience coming back for more.

Let the Conversation Flow

Just because you have a general script, doesn't mean you should have the whole video content memorized and rehearsed. You'll come off awkward and uncomfortable if you try to read a full script. Instead, know your talking points, and let the conversation flow naturally.

If you go down a bit of a rabbit hole, that's ok. Just come back to the key talking points in your outline to stay on track. If you stumble or giggle or pause, that's ok too. That's normal! So let your conversation take that natural course.

Talk to the Person on the Other Side of the Camera

This is one of the hardest things (for me too). When you're talking to a camera, it's hard to be natural and conversational. We are more stiff, and rehearsed, and cautious.

Some of my best videos are when I do live videos on Facebook and Instagram. The reason they're so much better is because people are there leaving comments and interacting with me. I stop "thinking" about the video and just start having a conversation - to real people. And it makes such a difference!

Imagine someone is behind your camera. Or have someone actually sit behind your camera. Feed off their cues, reactions, and facial expressions to be more conversational and authentic in your videos.

Be Yourself

Speaking of being authentic - be your own dang self in your videos.

Look, I'm the crazy chick who waves her hands all over the place when she talks. I talk fast. And a lot. I say random sarcastic stuff. I say "like" more than I should. I say "literally" more than I should (yes, I know what it really means!). When I embrace these things, my videos are so much more smooth and entertaining and valuable to my audience.

Too often, I try to put on the "professional" video face and speak more eloquently, or more slowly. And I hate every one of those videos. Because they look forced and they're just so not "me".

Embrace your quirks, nuances, silly language, accents, and whatever else makes you "you". Your videos will be so much better for it.

Relax

Finally, when it comes to videos. Calm the eff down. Seriously, relax.

Some of my worst videos are because I was rushed. I had to get it done in a certain time frame or I procrastinated and was rushing to complete it on deadline. Or I had too many things going on at that moment and I was stressing to get the video done so I could get to everything else. Every time - the videos look forced. Because they were.

If you really want to have great videos, do everything above, but also, chill. Take some deep breaths, give yourself more time, clear out the distractions going on, and just enjoy yourself. After all, it's just a video!

 

How about you? Do you have any great video tips that you've learned along the way? Chime in below in the comments!

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  1. This is great advice, especially for people who haven’t had a lot of film experience. Even just editing a short clip can be so time consuming and listening to the same voice over and over to edit out an “um” can drive you up the wall. I think the happy medium is shooting great photos and visuals to go along with a blog post to spice it up.

    1. Thanks Anissa! And yes, mixing up the medium with photos is a great way to alleviate the video pressures 🙂

  2. what is a really good video editing software that won’t burn a hole in my pocket? I’m a rookie and learning how to do quality videos. Thanks.

    1. Hi Perla! To be honest, I haven’t yet found a video editing tool or software that I like (for Android or Windows). Right now, I use the Movie Maker software on my desktop and it’s ok (and free) but not great. If you have a Mac, the iMovie software built in is actually very functional.
      Since I’m not much help, Ian Cleary is my go-to-guy for all things tools related and I’m sure he has some good info on video editing options.

  3. I have learned to like creating videos over the years, but like you, I am impatient when it comes to editing them. And seeing as I am still a one-woman show yes, I am the one stuck with editing lol 😉

    One other thing is sound. A will watch a not-that-good video IF and only if it has good sound. I do have a couple of mics I use but quite honestly I’ve been going rogue lately and just using the mic in my iPhone. Works well and adjusts well to my changing voice pitches.

    Thnx for sharing your tips and love/hate relationship with video, Jenn 🙂

    1. lol – I default back to my stock headphones all the time! I have my beautiful Yeti, but sometimes, the little ear bud microphone is all you need for a good video 😉

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