Posted on / by Debra Alfarone / in General

Here’s why you need to start making videos NOW – how to DIY and still look super professional

It’s a fact. Companies that use video in their marketing convert more leads into customers. Video packs a powerful punch and we’re in the midst of a video revolution. But, before you grab that iPhone, I’m begging you: keep reading. Because it only takes a few seconds of unprofessional-looking video to set a first impression that shuts down browsers and sales. 

Here’s what I learned in my dozen years working in TV news for stations in some of the biggest markets in the country: details matter. 

Furthermore, I’m a perfectionist when it comes to how things look. Design, fashion, beauty, decor – all four have the ability to move me.  So, it eats at my soul when I see a light switch behind someone in a video. Or poor lighting. Or a camera that seems like it’s looking up at someone, rather than being positioned at or slightly above eye level. Ah, the curse of knowing better. And if YOU didn’t work in TV news for a dozen years, you might not notice these things. But, before you think I’m being too critical, hear me out: Think about your company’s logo. When designing it, you wouldn’t leave an extra letter or a random circle just lying there, right? No, you were intentional about it. Well, your video reflects your brand just as your logo does. So, take the extra time to check on these 5 things, and I promise people will take notice and take you seriously. 

1.Please, for the love of God, use a tripod. And, make sure that tripod holds your phone or camera at or above eye level. Buy an extendable one. I have two I use. One is a larger ring light. I bought it on Amazon. it’s called the Newer Ring Light Kit. I use it for a lot of my course videos. For a lot of my live videos, I use the more portable Socialite Lighting’s Clamp Phone Holder.

At $39.99, this is a good value!

2.Which brings us to my next plea – use a light. (the above clamp phone holder has one built in!) A light can “fill” shadows in your face, take years off you, and make your video look professional.

3.Use a critical eye when selecting (or creating) your background. The number one rule is don’t have a light or a window behind you. The camera’s iris cannot handle this, and as a result, I won’t be able to handle it.

Frame it up. There’s no need for a few inches of head room. The top of your head should be close to the top of the frame. 

Use depth of field. Don’t sit with your back up against a wall. Have a few feet between your back and the next thing behind you. And, don’t make it a boring wall. Use a bookshelf or a series of paintings – it’s your set. And your set has to reflect your brand. 

If you’re using a room in your house, make sure there’s not clutter around. Be intentional. Build your set. Don’t just settle for what’s in your house or office. Design it.

4.Audio matters. Get a microphone. Really. I’m begging you. And your viewers will thank you. Here are two you can use:

This one is for your computer. It’s small. It’s called the Samson Go Mic USB Microphone for Mac & PC Computers and you can get it at the world-famous B&H Photo & Video in NYC or here.

This mic for your phone costs $12.98 and will make you sound like $$$. You can get it on Amazon.

5.If you’re posting on YouTube or Facebook, don’t settle for the thumbnail they give you. On Facebook, select a new one. For YouTube, use Canva to design one and upload it. 

We didn’t even get into what you’re going to SAY once you start recording! (That’s our next blog post) But, now you have the tools to instantly make people WANT to listen to what you have to say. 

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