9 Steps to Better DIY Business Videos

January 9, 2017 Video Tutorial 0 Comments

Portrait of a cheerful young woman making selfie photo on smartphone isolated on a white background

Better DIY Video For Businesses

Run a business?

Need video but don’t want to pay every time you need one?

Want to Do It Yourself?

Then read on!

I have noticed, like most, that the use of video in business is on a rapid rise. There are a host of options that you can turn to, from a fully produced video by a production company in the city, to a video you have done yourself with nothing but your phone and everything in between. Noticing some of the DIY video online recently, I thought I would post this:

This is my no messing, insider techniques to attain better video for anyone thinking about doing their own videos. Following these tips should leave you with brighter, better sounding, more professional looking, well structured video for your business.

And subsequently your family videos should take a step up in quality too!

So, no messing is what I promised, so let’s get stuck in:


  1. Types of video.

This might seem obvious, but different videos will need different content, so first consider the type of video you want to make and what you are trying to achieve with it. An example list of video types are below;

  • Promotional/Branding
  • Selling
  • Webinar
  • Lead magnet
  • Vlog
  • Tutorial/explainer
  • Testimonial
  • Emotional Piece
  • Culture videos
  • Animation
  • Micromercial (<15 seconds)
  • Interviews
  • Live Broadcast (Periscope/Merkat/Blab etc)

This list was off the top of my head so I am sure there are more, but as you can see the end result or desired effect of each could be very different.


  1. You, your passion, your video, your CONTENT.

I’ve talked about not talking about yourself too much in your videos in another post (*LINK*), but how you come across in your video is extremely important. You are trying to create connection and trust. So, first and foremost, you need to communicate your passion for what you do. Work out your message, what do you want to say, what is your end goal. I have another post on content planning (*LINK*) which you might find useful. Some people can just turn the camera on and ad-lib, some can’t. Work out which one you are and be okay with that. Present yourself well, but be yourself. Be authentic, be helpful and give value. If you don’t normally wear suits, don’t wear one. You need people to be able to say “wow, when I met you, you were exactly the same as you are in your videos”. If you get that, you’ve nailed it! Oh, and try practicing, you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes. And if you really don’t want to be on camera, well, there are ways to achieve that too. More information on that to come soon!


  1. Lighting.

Lighting is so important to a video and some very simple techniques can improve a video with no lighting consideration remarkably. There are several types of lights that can be used, including your lamps at home, but if you are going to do a lot of videoing, I would suggest just getting a 3 point lighting kit from ebay (normally around A$120). This is all that anyone really needs. Three point lighting has been a standard for many years and is something that can be used by everyone. This is the ideal set up with the Key light providing twice the brightness of the fill light (twice as bright or just closer!); this gives great definition and shadows. If you don’t want to buy any lighting, then just use a large window as the Key light (at 45% to the face) and a white sheet as a reflector for the fill light (reflectors are A$10 on ebay) and forget the back light. Outside, always stay away from the overhead sun (10am-3pm) and if you can, shoot during golden hour (an hour before sunset).


  1. Audio.

If lighting is important, audio is critical. A viewer will accept poor video with amazing audio much more readily than amazing video with poor audio. It’s ironic, but it’s audio that makes a video. Obviously there are many different mic’s out there, but for all-round use I would strongly suggest a lapel mic with a long cable or an extension (to allow you to move around). These can be picked up really cheaply on Ebay and Amazon.


  1. Your camera.

If you have a DSLR, great! Use it. Depth of field, aperture, focus, ISO control are all great things to have. But if you don’t, do not rush out and buy one. Take out your smart phone and now in your hand you have an amazing video camera. It depends on what you are trying to achieve and obviously an iphone 6sPlus will totally outperform an iphone 5, but that said, most smart phone cameras are adequate for what you need for online business videos. One way you can dramatically improve the control you have over the phone camera is to use an app that give you that control and not the standard camera app. I use Filmic Pro, but there are others that I am testing at the moment, such as Camera+ and Movie Pro. All have their strengths; find the one that suits you.


  1. Framing & Background.

Remember to look behind you before you start filming! By that I mean be conscious of your background. Is it too busy, distracting, not fitting to what you are talking about? Check that you don’t have a tree growing out of your head! Nothing worse than if you are trying to deliver a serious or emotional message and you are stood somewhere that makes your entire video seem comical. Also, check to see if the rule of thirds enhances your shot. As a rule I use this whenever I can, but it is only a guideline. The rule suggests the screen is split in to 9 equal sized boxes and then all subjects are placed around those lines and intersections. This is much more pleasing to the eye and also allows for titles and graphics in the blanks space.


  1. B-Roll and cutaways.

Assuming you are going to do a little bit of editing (see point 8), using other pieces of footage can greatly enhance your video and remove the static feel of someone just talking to camera. What it essentially means is if you have a talking piece to camera, the video can cutaway to other, relevant pieces of video, while the voice from the original video continues. Again, much more pleasing to the eye and will keep viewers away from that dreaded click where your video just disappears in to the ether!


  1. Editing (yes you can edit your video very easily!).

There are so many software packages available to you these days, from the pro packages like Adobe CC and Final Cut Pro X, through the mid tiers and down to the free packages like iMovie and Windows Movie Maker. For those of you wanting to just cut footage together and add a sound track, then the free package on the Operating System you use will be sufficient. If you do want a bit more control then I would suggest Davinci Resolve 12. This is a free package (its paid if you want 3D environment and 4k enabaled – you don’t!) that is a professional grade piece of software. The reason I suggest it is the control that it gives over colour correction and image stabilization. While it has a steep learning curve for the novice, the parts that you will need are very easy to grasp and I will be putting a video together to explain this very shortly; alternatively I can show in person at my workshops.


  1. Using Video.

It does occur that, once a video is complete and the project handed over, that questions start being asked that should have been asked at the beginning (my processes now include this step!). Questions like “what should I do with this video?” or “once this video is on my website will clients just start coming to me?”. These questions needs to be dealt with right at the start along with, “where will this video be used?” and “for what purpose or desired outcome?”. We’ve already looked at the different types of video, but each video can have multiple uses. Don’t get a video produced, post it and leave it at that. Repurposing is the word we need to remember. A video that features a particular product can be transcribed and changed in to a blog post. You can strip audio from an interview and use as a podcast. You can produce helpful tips that get sent out weekly, and if you keep hold of them over some months, suddenly you have an e-course, or transcribed they become an e-book. Compile several videos in to a webinar by narrating over the top. And all of these can be used as lead magnets and as significant parts of email marketing and client funnels. The possibilities, well they’re not endless, but there is much more to it than just produce, publish and forget. A video with great content will continue to serve you long after its first outing.


So… *takes breath* that was a lot of information, but if you follow all or even some, it will become second nature and it will definitely improve the overall look and feel and hopefully content of your videos. There is a great deal more I could go in to but I have already broken all the rules in terms of the length of this post, so I’ll leave that for another day… If you would like to know more, then you will definitely want to read my post on creating better, more engaging structured content:

CLICK HERE for better content

I would love to hear what your experience is with using video in your business, what tips you may have for others through what you have found works and any questions you may have as a result of this post.

Click on the link below for 3 free tutorial videos detailing even more of this information, including how to work out WHAT content you should be making, how you can achieve all this on your phone (no transferring to your computer) and other great techniques.

CLICK HERE for my FREE 3 part video training series