Last week I coughed up bucko bucks to hire Kevin Anson of VideoBuilders.net, a top-level video production shop for an upcoming website launch. Since this project is without question my most ambitious and focused marketing effort to date, I didn’t want there to be a single “what if” post launch. And while hiring a producer was the right choice for me, depending on the stage of your current venture you might not be able to justify professional video production in the budget just yet. Fortunately, Anson is generous with his knowledge and shared some actionable tips for improving a business videos that are perfect for entrepreneurs. There’s no (good) excuse to get any of these production elements wrong just because you’re on a budget.
What to Wear
Before hitting record, take a look at what you’re wearing. Is that screen-print tee something you would be happy with if you viewed in 5-years? Does the clothing reflect you’re brand message you’re trying to portray? Put some thought into the outfit. People will make immediate judgements based on your overall appearance, good or bad.
Bonus Tip: If you’re recording with a green screen don’t wear glasses. These can be difficult to “key out” or remove from the video later. Also, they can often cause glare depending on the lighting.
Where to Record
Shoot in a quiet environment where you’re unlikely to encounter distractions. Someone’s home or office can make ideal locations. A remote corner of a park or college campus can also work well if you prefer an outdoor setting.
Places to stay away from: 1.) Rooms with an echo. Bathrooms and gymnasiums usually have this problem. 2.) Windy Areas. Don’t record a video out in a remote field on a windy day. Same goes for mountain tops. Excessive wind will make a video more difficult to edit for the producer and watch for the user.
How to Prepare
Know what you’re going to say before it’s time to record a video. People can immediately sense if you’re nervous on film and a lack of preparation will be evident within the final product. It’s okay if you’re not a natural presenter. You’ll just need to do some additional prep work. Here’s what to do.
Write a Script: Write out exactly what you want to say on video. Then practice reading it aloud to confirm the copy sounds natural when you speak. Keep practicing until you feel comfortable.
Keep it Short: Keep the script of each video as short as possible, ideally under 2 minutes in length each. You can always organize the video into multiple sections during the editing process.
Use Technology: Do some dry runs and practice recording yourself speaking on a FlipCam or iPhone before the big day. You’ll probably be able to find a few quirks in your speaking style that you can improve upon. Got an iPad? Check out this teleprompter app. This app is a slick way to stick to the script and can help you maintain a consistent pace for the duration of a video.
Image by Andy Roberts Photos
Brett Lindenberg is currently bootstrapping his self-funded venture at www.500amonth.com. Visit his website to learn more about entrepreneurship from home.