Hi there, Lucy Johnson here coming to you from my home in Spain, I thought I’d take some time to answer a question I get asked a lot, which is,  ‘How can I make my videos look as professional as possible?’  

It’s an understandable question because most people in our space are doing their own videos, (which we do as well by the way, we don’t hire out a professional studio).  Most people want to make their videos look professional as possible so they come across in the right way, which is understandable but that desire can mean that they spend forever procrastinating and don’t actually get any content out there.  

So I’m going to give you a few tips, to make great content without spending a fortune or wasting time.

If you want to know specifically what we use, it’s a Lumix GH4 camera but they’re a little bit on the pricey side.  Honestly though until, probably 2 years ago – so for the first 4 or 5 years of our business – we did all of our videos either on someone’s iPhone, or iPad.  Not because we thought the quality was going to be great – it was okay – but because we just wanted it done quickly, we wanted it done as efficiently as possible and we knew it was good enough. It’s better to have a bad video out there and at least people have an awareness of you and who you are, than it is to not do any videos at all because you’re scared they’re not going to look professional enough.  

Small to medium businesses, like you and I, we can get away with a few mistakes in what we’re saying / the dog barking in the background.  Actually one of my previous videos that got the most interaction, I did outside on a really sunny day, and I was talking about whatever I was talking about whilst my dog was just running around in the back garden and then all of a sudden she stopped and just laid down, just flopped on the floor.  We had so many people interacting simply because they were saying ‘Is your dog alright? It looked like it passed out in the background of that video there?’  That seemingly innocuous thing, started the conversation – the interaction between us and our ideal clients.

The two things that you do want to focus on for a good quality video that is going to make a difference is lighting and sound.   

Here are a few more tips for you:

  1. The best lighting you are ever going to get is natural light.  So if you can do your videos outdoors that immediately takes care of any lighting issues. You don’t need then a big lighting kit.  If you have to do them indoors you don’t need to worry about it looking too yellow if you get as close to a window as you can get.  Natural light is definitely best.
  2. Sound.  So big question, do you need a microphone? Well look, ideally yes.  A microphone will give you the best quality sound.  However, good enough sound can come from just making sure you’re in a quiet place, that if you’re doing it outside it’s not a windy day.  The big focus it comes down to you just being very clear about what you’re saying and making sure there’s no unnecessary background noise.

Lighting and sound are the two things that will make your videos as good as they possibly can be.  However, I will stress for the third time, that up until two years ago, I did all of my videos on iPhone and iPad – did some of them look a bit wobbly? Yes. Did it affect me getting clients?  Well, maybe, but I know I got more clients from having an okay video out there – on Facebook, on YouTube – than I would get from, not having any videos out there at all.  Would I have possibly got more if it had been more professional? Yeah maybe, but I got some! And I did it quickly – I did it one day and it was out on YouTube within 30 minutes because I wasn’t faffing about!

My third piece of advice is just get the videos done.  Professional or otherwise – having something out there that’s not perfect is much better than not having anything out there at all.  Actually just one more tip – ‘don’t watch your video back’.  Check the sounds okay, check the lighting’s okay.  But if you get into the habit of watching them back, you’re going to pick up on all the mistakes you made, you’re going to pick up on the funny face you made that you didn’t mean to…and you’ll want to redo it.  And then you’ll want to redo it again! And before you know it, you’ll have done 20 takes of a video that really you could have just put out there after one take and it would have been alright.

So that’s my best advice for how to make your videos look more professional – lighting, sound, smile, relax and talk like you’re talking to a human being, not a camera…and I’m sure it will come off just fine.

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