March 1, 2022
Shoot to Thrill
As a member of the video production team, I’m often asked the same questions time and time again, so in this column I’ll address the best solutions for these repeat queries. Besides the most obvious: “What equipment should I use?” “How do I edit?” etc., one of the most important items many people tend to overlook is how to best communicate their individual brand – before filming commences – and where to distribute their video once it is finalized. “Where do I start?” is a common concern when considering adding video to your marketing mix. And, once the video is complete, “What do I do now?” – people want to know how to best distribute to their desired audience.
Well, you start a YouTube channel, of course!
If that seems a little vague, you’re not alone, so here are a few steps to consider that will start you on your way:
Determine your strategy. Sure, plenty of people seem to post videos on a whim – about hobbies, cooking, favorite meals, pets, political views, etc. However, if you plan to use your channel to promote your business, you really need to define your goals before you start filming.
Know your audience. Probably the best advice of all. Do your homework, research other YouTubers, take notes of what makes them successful versus the videos you pass by.
Massage the message. Typically, the best and most actionable videos are less than 90 seconds in length. Short and sweet. Brief and brilliant. Less is more. Before you write your script, think through your intentions. Try to keep your main points to three. Any more than that and the viewer will get lost in the detail. For example, you can 1) Introduce yourself and describe what the video is about; 2) Deliver the content; 3) Ask for action.
Write a script. Unless you’ve had extensive media training or are especially skilled at public speaking, you will benefit from thinking through your remarks and preparing notes. At the very least, jot down a few focused bullet points you can draw from if speaking impromptu. You don’t have to read an entire script verbatim, but a few reminders of key points you’d like to make during your video will help immensely.
Practice makes perfect. So, you’ve determined your overall strategy and you know your content – now comes the fun part. Presentation. You want to strike a balance between being yourself on camera versus coming off as overly rehearsed. The one thing you don’t want to do is stifle that spark everyone sees in you. Too much practice and you might come off as a wooden, rehearsed robot. Not enough practice and you could end up rambling with no defined focus.
Lights, camera, action! When setting up your shoot location, be aware of the background and lighting. Simple background, without distracting imagery is best. Perhaps one piece of art, a bookcase, plant. You get the idea. You want your audience looking at you, not out your window at the scenery. Once you are set up, record several times for practice and then a few more to get in the groove of your message. You will know when you feel you “got it!”
Polish that edit. Edit, add music and any graphics if you like and then render and upload to YouTube.
Promote yourself. Once posted to YouTube, build your audience by sending an email to notify them of the video and posting the new video link on your social channels.
And, that’s a wrap!