It is a truth universally acknowledged that many small business owners know that video is a powerful way to promote their business, but get stuck in a mental block in making this happen..
This block is usually about fear and shyness – shy about being in front of a camera, or the fear of not looking good or getting it wrong.
But like any new skill, it’s always easier than you think – remember the first time you got into a car to learn to drive?
So video making is far far easier and here are my six steps to make it easy for you to get started.
1. GET HELP.
Just like learning to drive or ride a bike, making videos is easier with someone to help – especially on your first few attempts. So do look around your team or your family and find someone who can actually record you talking into the camera – in a safe environment where you can make lots of mistakes and get constructive feedback.
2. WORK WITH WHAT YOU HAVE.
One of my central tips I give to trainees – don’t feel you have to go out and buy a ton of expensive equipment to get started on videos. Start with the equipment you have i.e. your laptop webcam. You have an inbuilt camera there and you are doing Zoom or Teams calls all the time now – use that to record an interview with someone or record yourself. Look into that camera lens though – not at yourself! A Zoom recording of a presentation or webinar is one of the easiest ways to make a video about your business or service.
3. GET FAMILIAR WITH YOUR SMARTPHONE CAMERA.
The smartphone cameras are so good now – even the ones that are several years old have great High Definition (HD) cameras and can do so much to enable you to look great. Easy to practice on and easy to record something going on – a little spontaneous video telling your clients about your work or latest offer – go give it a try.
People often ask – what will I talk about in a video? One of the most effective is the Frequently Asked Questions video – write down the top 5 or 6 questions that your clients always ask about your service. Then make a video giving the answers. Not just easy to start practising with but also very useful and good Search Engine Optimization for your website.
4. MAKE A SMALL FINANCIAL INVESTMENT
Small businesses run on tight marketing budgets, but it’s a worthwhile investment to buy a quality microphone and decent tripod to up your game in smartphone videos. Sound and steadiness is essential in my opinion to make those videos look well. Our recommended equipment can be read here.
5.MAKE A ONE-HOUR TIME INVESTMENT
People think videos can take a lot of time – but one hour can achieve a lot. So put that slot into your calendar, and put the time in and get a great return on that investment. An hour to brainstorm and plan videos, practice your piece-to-camera (FAQs for example) and then record.
6. CHECK OUT THE OPPOSITION
It’s always good to do this anyway, but even better to check out what videos that others in your business niche are doing. That can be a very useful way of getting you thinking of video options, or styles. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel and you now get a chance to see what works for others in your industry.
I hope those tips are useful for you in your small business. We have more blogs with useful and practical advice on media production on our website here.
Aileen O’Meara is a Media Consultant, Producer and Trainer., formerly of RTÉ.