My Top Tips & Tricks for Using Video For Your Business - FYI FRIDAY I via sophiecallahanblog.com I #equinephotography #photography #equineblogger

I’ve been weekly vlogging for coming up to a year in June and have noticed so many benefits from introducing video into my marketing strategy, so I wanted to write a quick blog post to give you some of my top vlogging and video tips and tricks, incase you fancied giving it a go yourself.

I’d highly recommend vlogging for business. I write about the benefits of video in this post. But overall, it’s been so much fun and so worthwhile for me. I feel like it’s really just boosted my business to that next level and opened up a whole world of opportunity for me.

I’m working more closely with various brands and have become an ambassador for equine and country jewellers, Hiho Silver, I’ve had more written, audio and video interview requests, my clients feel more comfortable with me and my social media following as increased. It’s just been so positive all round.

My Top Tips & Tricks for Using Video For Your Business - FYI FRIDAY I via sophiecallahanblog.com I #equinephotography #photography #equineblogger

So, if you fancy giving it a crack, here a few little hints to get you off on the right foot…

  • Audio is King
    Studies show that, contrary to what you might expect, your audio quality is even more important than your visual quality, when it comes to video. A viewer is more likely to abandon a video halfway through if they can’t hear what is going on, than if they can’t clearly see what is being shown.
  • Get a Good Camera
    If all you have on you is your smart phone, then by all means, use it. Don’t let your lack of high-tech equipment stop you from getting started or make you miss out on a great piece of content. However, with the first point in mind, iPhones often don’t produce great audio, so if you’re in the position to do so, I’d advise upgrading a to a camera that is more fit for purpose. I currently film with a Canon PowerShot N2 and will soon be looking to upgrade to a Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II.
  • Learn to Edit
    If you’re planning to upload regular videos (and hopefully by now you understand why I feel you should!) then you’ll need to learn how to edit them properly. You’ll need to cut clips, add an intro or a logo, add music, fiddle with sound settings, add clips together, etc. If you’re on a Windows PC, you can use Windows Movie Maker and if you have a Mac, you can use iMovie. Both of these are great to get you started and then there are more expensive software options, such as Final Cut Pro, if you want to move on to something more capable and advanced.
  • Use Music Legally
    Speaking of adding music, you can’t just go ahead and add any old tune you might fancy, over the top of your video. You’ll be in breach of copyright and breaking the law. There are various places that you can download copyright free music, such as this Youtube channel here.
  • Film in Landscape
    This is a mistake that is easily done, when you’re first starting out, especially if you’re using an iPhone. However, your videos will save in a landscape format, so it just looks more professional and cohesive, to film all of your footage in landscape.
My Top Tips & Tricks for Using Video For Your Business - FYI FRIDAY I via sophiecallahanblog.com I #equinephotography #photography #equineblogger
  • Film More Than You Need
    It’s easy to feel like you’ve filmed tons of your day and then when it comes to editing, realise you’ve actually only got a few minutes worth of useable footage. It’s always better to have more than you need, than not enough, so make sure you film more than you think you need. Even lots of short clips that can be turned into a montage, are super useful!
  • Talk To Your Friends & Family
    If your new vlogging habit is going to involve your friends and family, you must talk to them about it. Some people aren’t comfortable being on camera and if that’s the case, you have to accept their wishes. It’s also important to explain to them exactly why you’re vlogging.
    Aswell as this, when I first started, my friends would always clam up and stop what they were doing, as soon as I turned the camera on. This made things feel awkward, unnatural and looked like I had really boring friends! Lol! Now they know to just carry on with what they are doing and trust that I will edit out anything that they’d prefer wasn’t in the final vlog.
  • Be YOU
    Aswell your friends feeling comfortable in front of the camera, you also need to be able to be yourself. We all have a ‘phone voice’ that comes over us as soon as we are talking to somebody important on the phone, and it’s no different with video. But being yourself on camera will be something that feels more natural with time. Afterall, your true personality is what sets you apart and is what will attract the right viewers for you, so be proud of who you are and don’t try to be anything you’re not.
  • Accessorize
    No, unfortunately I’m not talking about pretty jewellery. Although that always helps! I’m talking about the little pieces of equipment that will make your vlogging life a whole lot easier. I have an attachment that allows me to fix my PowerShot to my DSLR, so that I can video behind the scenes at my shoots. I have an in-car phone holder, which fits my camera in, so that I can video hands-free in the car. And I have a tripod, which allows me to set my camera up in a corner and film, or allows me to film myself without having to hold the camera. Think about the things that you might want to film regularly and have a little shop around for the accessories that will help you do this.
  • Share the Good and the Bad
    Obviously there are going to be things that you don’t want to share. And it’s important to set those boundaries for yourself very early on. Do you want your kids/home/bedroom/friends in your videos? Or do you want to keep that private? There’s no right or wrong, but you must work out what is right for you.
    However, I also think it’s important not to only share the great parts of your life. The point of vlogging is to break down the barriers between you and your audience and give them a real insight into you and your life. You want to appear human and relateable to your viewers. I recently spoke about losing our family dog to cancer and was genuinely in tears whilst filming. I also shared the experience of completely forgetting to turn up to a client’s shoot, a huge mistake on my part, but these things happen! (Thankfully not very often at all!) And they all make my viewers trust and relate to me more.
My Top Tips & Tricks for Using Video For Your Business - FYI FRIDAY I via sophiecallahanblog.com I #equinephotography #photography #equineblogger
  • Be Consistent
    Rather than just videoing and uploading when the mood strikes you, it’s much more effective to come up with some kind of schedules for your videos. Not only will this teach your audience when to expect new content from you, it will also make things easier for you. Whether you decide to upload once a week or once a month, having a schedule will keep you accountable and ensure that you prioritise this content. You are more likely to find time in your schedule to get your video edited and uploaded, if you know that people are expecting it on a certain time and day.
  • Pick ‘Interesting’ Days to Film
    If you’re filming a diary story vlog, like I do, and you’re uploading weekly, that doesn’t mean you have to film every single day. Look at your diary at the beginning of the week and choose around three to four days (you might want to do more or less) that will create interesting content and film those. This will allow you ‘off’ days, where you can go make-up free and don’t have to worry about creating content, which will, in turn, make your ‘on’ days easier for you.
  • Learn About ‘Story Arcs’
    Ok, now we’re getting really technical. But this is such a great tip that I’ve found really helpful when creating content. Basically a ‘story arc’ is your narrative. You will have longer running story arcs, that go on for a period of time. And you will have shorter story arcs which might wrap up in one video. A longer story arc, for me, is my impending wedding. I talk about out ongoing wedding plans in most of my videos and my regular viewers have been following our progress. A shorter story arc might be a trip to a horse show. I will film an introduction, telling my viewers where we’re going. I’ll film footage from the show itself. And then I’ll often film a little conclusion, on the way home or once I got home. That, essentially, is a full story arc. And story arcs are what will keep your viewers engaged for the long haul.
  • Create Your Own Thumbnails
    When you upload a video to Facebook or Youtube, you will be given the option to upload your own thumbnail. I would highly recommend creating custom thumbnails, using something like Canva. Your thumbnails are the first thing people see and they, along with a catchy title, are what viewers will subconsciously use to decide whether they want to watch the video or not. A custom picture is much better than an auto-generated, unattractive still of you mid-sentence.
  • Develop a Process
    Unfortunately using video is not a case of ‘build it and they will come’. If you upload your video and then just hope people will find it, you’ll end up disappointed. You need develop a process to make sure you get maximum number of eyeballs on your content. I upload my video to Youtube every Monday, at 6pm. I then embed the link onto a post on this blog. Following this, I share the video to Facebook, Twitter and my Instagram stories. Find a process that works for you (write it down if that helps) and make the most of your video content.

 

I hope that the above tips have helped you see not only why video is so great for business, but how you can really make the most of it.

There are many different types and styles of video and vlogging and it’s important to find the style that suits not only your business and brand, but your personality and the message you want to put out online. Whether that’s a weekly diary style vlog, or informative videos about your product or service, hopefully this blog has helped.

Thank you for reading and see you next week for another FYI Friday!

Specialist equine portrait photographer, blogger & vlogger. Essex based, travelling throughout the UK.