You don’t need fancy cameras or a huge budget to start using video to grow your business.
Phones feature decent-quality cameras, and there are many videos you can create yourself.
If you want a definitive list of videos that you could use to grow your business, I’ve created this epic post right here (coming this week). It lists dozens of videos you could be creating to help your business and advice on creating each one.
Once you’ve decided what type of videos will have a positive influence on your business and you’re ready to begin you can begin implementing these 10 tips to film better videos for your business.
Lighting your video.
1. When filming inside, find natural light or light from a lamp.
Overhead lights often look very unflattering, they create dark rings under your eyes and make you look more tired and old.
When you’re filming during the day, try to bring in enough natural light from windows.
At night, lamps close to eye level will look a lot more pleasing than overhead lights.
Place the lamps close to you since your phone often won’t look great in low light.
2. When shooting your video outside, be mindful of lighting and contrast.
You run into the same issue with light overhead when you’re filming outside. Around noon, the sun will be directly overhead, creating that unflattering lighting. It’s generally easiest to find good lighting if you’re in the shade and a lot of the background is shaded as well.
If you’re in the shade but the background is bright, you run the risk of being a silhouette in shadow.
It’s easier to find great light in the first 3 hours after sunrise or before sunset.
The perfect time is around 90 minutes after sunrise or 90 minutes before sunset.
3. If possible, avoiding mixing inside light with outside light (it looks unprofessional).
The sun’s light has blue tones, and inside light has warmer tones. If you’re mixing indoor light and outside light, this can lead to parts of the frame being blue while other sections are orange.
To avoid this, you can stand closer to a window so that the natural light will evenly cast light on your face.
If there’s not a lot of natural light that you can let in, it’s better to use lamps so your video isn’t too dark and grainy, but it’s optimal to use the sunlight if possible (rather than a mix of sunlight and inside light).
Phones don’t do particularly well when there’s not a lot of light.
The image becomes soft, noisy, and grainy.
It’s easier if you shoot in the day, and either shoot close to a window or lamp.
5. Don’t have bright light sources behind you (unless you want to be a silhouette in your video).
This will often mean you’ll be silhouetted and in shadow. Phone cameras often aren’t able to capture a large range of brightness (we call it dynamic range), which means either you’ll be way too dark or the background will be blown out. So, try and shoot without the sun or any bright lights behind you, unless you’d like to be a silhouette.
6. Brace the phone against your body and don’t let the camera shake too much if you’re walking (don’t make your audience sick).
When you’re holding the camera, if possible hold it with both hands and brace your arms against your body to keep the camera steady.
No one wants to get sick watching shaky footage.
If you’re walking, try to walk slow and controlled and be conscious of the camera shaking.
Sound is the most important element of the videos you shoot on your phone.
7. Get an external mic.
An external mic will have better sound quality, the mic will be closer to your mouth, and it will do much better with wind noise. Luckily a decent mic that plugs into your phone is only $22 . It’s pretty much a no brainer.
8. Speak clearly, but also be yourself.
Don’t mumble your words and try to speak in a way that’s easy to understand. However, video is a great opportunity for people to become familiar with you and your personality. If it appears you’re playing the part of a “TV announcer,” it will be obvious you’re not genuine or trustworthy.
9. Listen back to your voice.
We hear our voices differently in our heads than they actually sound. Take a listen before posting and you may find areas where you can improve. You also want to make sure there isn’t too much wind noise and the mic isn’t picking up the sound of clothing brushing against it.
Also, be sure to speak at a variety of volumes. It’s possible to record yourself speaking softly for the test and the levels seem correct, but when you record the video the audio is clipping/too loud.
Want even more audio tips? I put together a full article on this exact topic HERE
How to record your video (and make your business look good).
10. Be prepared to do a number of takes.
If you start getting frustrated that you didn’t get the take right on the first 2 tries, filming your video is going to be a frustrating, challenging experience.
When you’re just beginning, know that it’s normal to need to try something 5, 10, or 20 times to get it right.
It’s part of the process. The more you record, the faster the process will go. It gets so much easier—it just takes practice.
11. Look into the camera lens if you’re speaking directly to your audience.
It will look like you’re looking off into the distance if you are staring at yourself on the screen. Make sure you’re connecting directly with your audience.
12. Shoot your video horizontally for YouTube and vertically for Facebook Business Page or Instagram Page.
On YouTube, 1080p (1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels tall) is still the preferred format.
However, on Facebook and Instagram a square video or 1350×1080 (1080 pixels wide by 1350 pixels tall) perform best
Posting your videos wide on Instagram or Facebook means they’ll take up way less space in the feed.*
When you post your vertical videos, you have the option to post them slightly taller than they are wide or in a square format
You’ll also be able to post videos to your story later on if you record them vertically (1080 pixels wide by 1920 tall).
Bonus Tip: Think of questions your customers ask you often and info that would be relevant to them (turn these into videos).
If you’re having trouble coming up with a list, simply write down a list of questions your clients often ask you. If your existing clients have wanted to know the answer, your potential clients will probably be searching as well. You can also think of information that potential or existing clients would find valuable.
If you’re a realtor, a market update would be interesting for potential clients, while information on taxes and decorating tips would appeal more to existing customers.
The reason you’d want to create content for them is it’s 21 times easier to sell to a previous customer vs a brand-new client.
If you’re having any issues coming up with content, please don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail at Jacob@jacoblevideoproduction.com
Conclusion: You can create great videos for your business on your phone TODAY
If you use the 12 tips I outlined, your videos for your business will have decent quality image, sound, and content. It’s a learning process and the sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be able to improve.
Long term, creating videos helps to build trust and connection, and can lead to you reaching many more clients and customers.
If you have any hesitations about getting started, please feel free to shoot me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment down below.
Do you want to learn how to shoot, edit, AND upload professional videos using your phone? I put together this free 100-minute course.
If you want your videos to do well on social media, check out my ultimate social media tip round-up.
Want some advanced tips on filming on your phone? Check out the video below.