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Video tips to action

Don’t just hear about it, DO IT!

Diane Hall


Camera set up

Pre-pandemic, I attended a number of workshops and masterclasses that aimed at helping me further my business. I found all of them good in many respects; however, one thing they couldn’t help me with was my sense of motivation.

In all the sessions, I would be raring to go. I’d listen to the information, make big plans and an actionable list, and enjoy plenty of visualising concerning where I wanted my business to be.

Stepping out the door after each session, all that get-up-and-go would vanish, and whilst the theory of everything I’ve learned is still in my head and notebooks many years on, I haven’t actioned a single thing.

I’d love to attend an interesting, appropriate and valuable masterclass that actually sees me do/achieve something.

Brett Riley-Tomlinson from Novus Marketing Solution

Brett Riley-Tomlinson from Novus Marketing Solution

Brett Riley-Tomlinson from Novus Marketing Solution

I had this conversation with Masterclass Master, Brett Riley-Tomlinson, who is about to start a run of virtual masterclass sessions in collaboration with Launchpad.

Brett says, ‘It’s very common for people to come out of a workshop-style session with a head full of knowledge but a feeling of either overwhelm or more confusion that paralyses their actions. Finding the time to attend sessions—virtually or in person—is difficult enough for small business owners, and many fail to set aside the time to apply what they’ve learned, too.

‘This is why I build in an easy and effective task in my masterclasses. I want attendees to be able to see the merit of their learning long after the class has ended. Because what’s the point of more knowledge if you’re not going to do anything with it?’

Brett’s first masterclass will be on the subject of recording and using video within your business’s marketing mix. He understands that most business owners won’t have the budget for slick video presentations, which is why he will explain how they can create a quick, effective video themselves, using only their smartphones. To prove the point about how easy this really is, he will task the attendees to create a short video within the session.

You may be one of the lucky ones to have bagged a place on the masterclass in question; however, if you haven’t, here are some pointers from Brett that you can take away and apply…if you have the motivation and willpower to do so. Remember: knowledge is useful, but the theory of something doesn’t really change much—it needs combining with ACTION.

woman in front of digital SLR camera

woman in front of digital SLR camera

What’s the purpose of your video?

What do you want the video to achieve? Try to focus on one outcome.

What value will it deliver?

What value will the video bring to your audience? Will it educate them, teach them how to do something, entertain them, trigger their emotions…?

What message does your video get across?

What would you like the video to say? What story are you trying to tell?

Where’s the video going?

Are you putting it on social media? If so, which channels will you be putting the video on? Be aware that different platforms have their own specifications in terms of videos. If it’s going on your website, on which page/section will it go?

How long will your video be?

Your video can be as long as you like; however, you need to make sure it’s as engaging as possible.

So, what’s the ideal length? We suggest clients trim their videos to one minute; that should still be long enough to tell a story.

Think about the production before you begin

Before you start filming, consider the set-up of the filming, so that you can eliminate as much post-production/editing as possible.

Do you need a storyboard?

If you’re planning different shots in your video you need to think about these beforehand. Will there be natural ‘cut-aways’ that you can action? For example, if you’re talking about your dog, it would be great to show a quick clip of your dog with your commentary over the top. Not only will this make the video more eye-catching, it will add more depth.

What about your lighting?

Have you eliminated as many shadows as possible? Have you made sure you’re away from a wall and that there’s lighting in front of you as well as around you? Does the colour of the light compliment you, or does it make you look as if you have a fake tan or you’ve never seen sunlight? If so, move the lights back so that they have less of an effect.

If you plan to do talking head videos, invest in a ring light. Having the correct lighting makes such a difference.

Have you tested the audio?

Have you made sure there’s no reverb (echo) when you're talking? If there is, try adding more soft furnishings to the room to break up the soundwaves. Try the ‘clap test’; clap your hands, and if there’s no echo, your acoustics will be fine. If, however, the clapping sound lingers, you’re experiencing reverb.

Also, use a microphone, if possible. A lapel mic is around £14.99 from Amazon.

Have you set the camera?

If you’re using just your phone camera, have you changed the settings to what you need? Many phone cameras today record in 4K, and your device may also have multiple camera lenses. When setting up shots, avoid digital zoom where possible, as it will ruin the quality of the video. One tip is to make the camera stable in a tripod, or a gimbal if you’re moving and filming at the same time.

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