A Media Expert Shares Her Top 5 Secrets for Creating Irresistible Videos
01 Jun 2015
If you’re working on building a successful brand or business, the reality is you also need great content that will help you stand out from your competition. The fastest-growing type of content being produced today is video. Consider these statistics:
• 74% of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video.
• 52% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.
• 71% of consumers say that video is the best way to bring product features to life.
• Retailers say video increases purchases by 40%.
Take advantage of the growing popularity of video by incorporating these secrets of the pros to create the type of content your audience will love.
1. Be Yourself
There’s nothing worse than watching someone on video who, quite frankly, is just not comfortable in their own skin. Have you ever felt this way? The camera’s ready, the content is there, but your throat is dry, you blink more times than you should, and your palms…could they get any wetter? Yeah. Video for you, (like most people starting out) can be pretty scary. So in these moments, it’s important to remember a few tricks to get in the zone.
• Get silly on camera. Go ahead…make faces, weird noises, yell, dance, tell jokes, laugh…do whatever it takes to loosen up and get comfortable in the space where you are recording. Give yourself permission to become a total goof ball for like, one minute straight (off camera of course). And it’s okay too—because no one will ever see it!
• Think beyond yourself. Yes, you are going to be the one on camera, but the mission is bigger than you. Just think about who needs your content—what will happen if you just up and quit?
Your audience needs to see and experience what you have to offer. Give it to them with confidence, and don’t hold back.
• Wear clothes, accessories and make-up that best represent who you are. If you normally don’t wear three-piece suits, then why for Pete’s sake do you have one on on camera? Be you. That’s who people really want to see and connect with.
2. Connect with Your “Why”
Ask yourself: what is the goal of this video? Am I doing this “just because”, or is there a deeper reason or calling? Who is this for? Why should they watch this? What is my core message? What is the action or step I want my audience to take after they watch this?
Believe it or not, your audience can tell if you are passionate or not within the first three seconds of pressing play.
So before you press record, make sure you are speaking on something that completely rocks your boat! It should be something you can’t wait to talk about, and you’re willing to kick fear in the gonads to get it done. Your “why” is the heartbeat of the video you’re creating, and your audience should feel that thing beat and come alive through the screen.
3. Treat the Camera like Your ‘BFF’
As a TV personality, I have had the pleasure of speaking to hundreds of people on camera. Before the show starts, my guests are comfortably talking to me like normal human beings should—laughing, joking and having a great time. But the moment the cameras start rolling, they immediately crystallize into alien robots who blabber, temporarily forgetting their first and last names. It’s okay too, because a good TV host has to always be prepared to de-ice the situation.
That’s why I tell all my first-time TV guests to breathe, have fun and imagine the camera is an old buddy or best friend.
This usually puts them at ease. I used this trick with a group of university students—most of whom were creating video for the first time—and it worked like magic. Their resulting promotional videos made most of them look like pros. Try it for yourself!
4. Who Said You Had to Be Perfect?
Flub ups, mess ups and mistakes can sometimes seem like three playground bullies ready to pounce on you when you press “record”. I know, because I’ve often felt the same way. But don’t go giving those bullies your lunch money. Why? Because you’re not alone.
If you listen to some of the world’s greatest radio, TV and internet show hosts, you’ll realize every single one of them make mistakes—and they still have a job.
This means that no one will fire you over a stuttered word, fragmented line or forgotten phrase. If and when it happens, just smile, pause, and keep it moving. We’re all human. And perfection? Well…it’s over rated.
5. Lights, Camera, Action!
It’s no secret that the real deal behind taking your video from good to great is all about the equipment. Now, if you’re just starting to dive into recording, don’t go out after reading this post and buy thousands of dollars worth of video equipment. It’s not necessary. The equipment I’m talking about can be found right in the comfort of your own home. Here are a few great tricks to help you make the most of what you already have:
• Lights: Use tall floor lamps and desk lamps in your house that have “daylight bulbs.” Daylight bulbs can be found at your local hardware store and create more of a studio “white” light, which gives a more professional look. Regular soft-white bulbs tend to give a yellowish tint on screen, making your video look amateurish.
TIP: Shooting by a window that receives great natural light is perfect for video too!
• Camera: If you have access to a smart phone or a computer, chances are you can record video with that thing! Cell phones have become the leader of video production on the web. If you have one, make sure you record with the smart phone positioned horizontally and not vertically. Horizontal shooting is better for mobile devices and other playback social media networks like YouTube.
TIP: Use your cell phone with a tripod selfie stick until you are able to invest in a feature-rich camera. For clearer audio, use a plug in mobile microphone that connects to your smart phone’s headphone jack. I use this one by Audio-Technica.
• Action: Make sure you’ve done plenty of tests before you record to check and ensure everything is working properly with your camera. There’s nothing like finishing your recording session, only to discover that your camera wasn’t recording video at all! Check your video after you record it, paying close attention to things like wires, background noise, extraneous objects behind you, etc.
TIP: If you feel uncomfortable or distracted when you watch your video, chances are, your audience will do the same. If you have time, adjust and re-record the video to put your best face forward.
BONUS TIP: Speaking of faces… Make sure you always wear a translucent powder to buff down the natural shine on your skin. Trust me: you don’t want to look shiny on video. Translucent powder (found in your local pharmacy or drug store) has no pigment or color, so it’s perfect for guys and gals of every tone. Whether you wear make-up or not, this is a staple.
Even if you’re an amateur at creating video, these tips can help you look like a pro. As with all things worth doing, practice makes (almost) perfect. The most important thing is to get started. The world is waiting to hear what you’ve got to say!
Here’s a client video I created which captures many of the tips I’ve outlined in this post:
Which of these tips will you use in your next video? What would you add to the list?
BONUS: If you’re working on a video, we want to see it! Post the link below with your comments and we’ll give you professional feedback.
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What My Teenage Daughter & My Distressed Mac Can Teach You About the Power of Your Words
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Definitely working on more YT videos. I know some try too hard to be relatable but it can come off as unauthentic. I want to build my prescense and geuninely interact as if I am their bff so good info!
Kiwi, I agree with you girlfriend…so many people try to be what I call #InstantOprah, instead of being natural and genuine with their audience. Ugh! The key to keepin’ it real (literally) is to just let go, and let your heart do the talking. Glad you stopped by!
Thanks for these awesome tips! The one that got my attention is "Yes, you are going to be the one on camera, but the mission is bigger than you" I think if one keeps this in mind it takes the pressure off and reminds one the purpose for the recording. Thanks for sharing!
Hey there Mary! Yes, even I get caught up in the “Oh Lawd, who gone* watch this here vid-joe?!” blues…and what usually snaps me out of it, is the very fact that this video is supposed to do something, perform in the world, create a result. And that result should have (for the most part) nothing to do with us. When we do things for others, or, for a greater good, it softens the overwhelming notion that the video has to be “perfect”. Thanks for joining the conversation Mary!
Tameka! Thank you SO much for the great tips. And for your detailed responses. I gained a lot from reading the comments too. I think of myself as mostly a writer and not really an "in front of the camera girl." So the statistics you mentioned about video in 2017 are the swift kick I needed to take video seriously.
Thank you so much for your generous offer to give us feedback! I'm a little scared, but I want to get better so here's my video: http://myfamilyfantastic.com/the-power-of-sowing-and-the-principle-of-reaping/
Hey Simone! And welcome to the conversation! We're cooking in here, I tell ya! Video has got us all just a buzz….speaking of video, I got a chance to sneak over to your blog and what a treat! I really felt like you connected with me, sharing your story (you're a great storyteller) and you pushed beyond writing to animate your page with video. How delightful! YOU need to do MORE! Don't hold back! LOL. Thanks for giving us a peek. You rock!
Stay Vibrant Friend!
These are all great tips! As a video maker I can definitely agree with all of them..especially #1.
This is my most recent video 🙂 https://youtu.be/8SFbTNabMW8
Hey Vashti! Thanks so much for stopping by! I tried clicking on the link and I got a forbidden message. Pretty please repost the link? We want to see!
These are awesome tips! I struggle with showing my personality on camera. I come off pretty boring which is not me in real life
Hey Adanna! Thanks for joining in on the conversation! I hear you on the whole personality thing. Even in my own head I think: if I show too much, will I be percieved as a goof ball? Or, If I show too little, will I be thought of as boring? Lord. It can really be a chore! But the #1 thing I think about is: do what is real, what is natural and what I would do if a person was sitting right in front of me, verses a camera. How would I talk or act with my mom? With my boo-thang? With my best friend? With a stranger I just met? This will help your mind "loosen" up, and let that beautiful personality show through. Remember, the people on the other side of that lens are ROOTING for you. Breathe, relax and let 'er rip! Adanna, you've got what it takes!
Wow! Just WOW! As a newbie to the video production world these points are so incredibly helpful. I am definitely taking notes and will be pinning this to come back to later. Thanks so much for sharing! xoxox
Hey Apryl, thanks for sharing and pinning us to your boards! That's so special. Be sure to stop back though if you have any questions!
Great tips. I am still trying to get comfortable in front of the camera. I have almost always been behind it. It is especially weird when I am out and people are looking at me crazy.
Ms. Holly I can relate. There is a completely different energy one must have on camera than behind the camera. And for some reason, your comment today really touched me because at one point in my career, I remember NOT feeling 100% comfortable on set, let alone on camera. I remember how the lights and the attention made me feel: tense. Nervous. Shy. But somehow, through trial and error, I pushed through, eventually realized that perfection is over-rated, accepted my faults (<–or, areas of improvement) and kept on PUSHING THROUGH IT. Eventually, it became easier; I remember the rust leaving my body, allowing my personality to shine through like the brightest, most beautiful day I had ever seen. Holly–when I got there–it felt good. BUT–it took time…and LOTS of it! Years! So, if you just don't feel comfortable 100% yet on camera…know that that's completely apart of the process. You must go through the "unbearable" before you break through to see the land of possibility. Honestly. These things take time and practice. So, I encourage you to not give up. Get back on camera, look that lens in the "face", muster up a fresh batch of strength and just push through it. You can do this Holly! *virtual high-five*
These are great tips and they come right on time as I'm in the process of growing my You Tube channel. I most definetly will bookmark this page as my go to reference. THANK YOU!!!!!!
Siobhan! Thanks so much for stopping by! It's an honor for you to bookmark this page as a reference! Whoooop! Please share your fabulous YouTube page with us. We wanna see!!!!! LOL. Much love.
Awww shucks it's TAMEKA HARRIS LIVE!!! Let me tell you…Tameka has seriously transformed the way I feel and think about video. Up until recently, I hated doing video and was fighting it even though I know I needed it. But now, I've incorporated a lot of these tips to feel more comfortable in front of the camera and looking forward to shooting reguarl videos in the very near future. Love this!
Christine THEE St. Vil!!!! LOL. I appreciate you MORE than you know! You are the reason my brand popped off the way it did; then you introduced me to your sister Julian and well…the rest is history! THANK YOU for your everlasting love and encouragement friend! You ROCK!
Awesome tips! I'm seriously taking notes! My sister and friend are always telling me to start doing youtube vids to go along with my personal style blog, but seeing myself on-screen scares me, lol. These tips will definitely help make me a little more comfortable if I ever start to record.
Thanks for stopping by! I completely understand what you're talking about–I never liked hearing my voice let alone watch myself on a screen! But, sometimes you just have to shrug your shoulders and say, "it is what it is!" Ha! You are more than enough and what more, you're beautiful to boot! Here's my tip for the "I can't stand to watch myself on the screen" blues: don't watch the playbacks of your videos by yourself. Always watch with a group of girlfriends, family members or your best friend. Usually (if they love you) the people around you will gaze in awe at you and have some pretty neat things to say about you which, should make you feel good inside. Before you know it, you'll be able to watch yourself, by yourself, on the screen all (or most) of the time. Just try it!
These are great tips. Video is my weak spot but I'm determined to get better and more consistent. Thanks for sharing the info for the cell microphone. I have a bells and whistles camera but I prefer my cell for on the go impromptu moments
Hey there MJ!
Yeah, it took me some digging to find the microphone I now use today. To be honest, I've decided to use my cellphone more on the go than my more ritzy camera too…it's just easier, isn't it? Yeah.
As it relates to video, when you say "weak spots" what do you mean exactly? What makes you feel uncomfortable the most? I'd love to help. (smile)
These are great tips! This is going to be very helpful if I ever do video. Thank you for passing along these insights!
You are so very welcome! Can't wait to see what you've recorded!
Great post and tips! I'm for sure camera shy and never really comfortable trying to do videos but I really need to work on this with being a travel blogger. Thanks for this!
Hey Nicole, you know, those darn cameras can make us all feel a little "sheepish" at times…what's up with that?!
I think it's because we feel like this inanimate object has 'human' recording abilities and is rudely all up in our space! Ha! That's why I completely love telling people to think about the camera differently. That camera is there to record you, not intimidate you. So the next time you get on camera, try to sit there for a few minutes, looking real hard in the center of the lens. Say some crazy stuff to that lens. Get silly and go nuts! Laugh at yourself, and then smile. (This helps you to loosen up and release tension.) You've just made that camera a new friend of yours!
Perfectionism is what usually holds me back, I feel like everything has to be perfect, and I need to work a bit more on improving editing, etc…This is really great and makes me want to get back on putting focus on my Youtube channel, thanks for sharing
Hey there Nancy!
You are not alone, girlfriend! I too can find myself shaking in my boots from time to time when it comes to video. But here's a little secret I'll share with you: try to keep your video short. Like WAYYYYYY short, like 15 seconds at a time, until you get used to the idea that recording video isn't so bad. If you have little time to say what you have to say, then usually limiting your time period helps you get over the hump. Remember, it doesn't have to be long, just powerful!
great article…and timely too!
Thanks so much Rob!
I recently started vlogging and I think all the tips that u provided are what I constantly remind myself whenever I make a video! I always try to remember that you're your own worst critic and to relax and be yourself!
Tanay, we are our own worst critics, and this usually holds us back from moving forward. Thanks so much for reading my post, and I'd love to see your videos! Feel free to post a link below!
Have been seriously thinking about doing videos you article is loaded with information to easy any newby nerves. I especially love Bonus tips never knew need facial powder to decreace shine , different lights all play a part in having a great video.
Hey there Patrice, and welcome to the world of video creation! The world is waiting to see what great things you have to share. Just jump on out here and start recording! Can't wait to see your videos!
I always love me some feedback.. i don't think I've ever received it from a professional so here goes, here are a few of my videos to date. I didn't want to overload you so I'm just going to leave you with my most recent video. Would love to know what you think. Great read.. thanks so much.
Hi there Diana! Girlfriend, you ROCK on camera. I love your energy, your positive vibe and your message….honey, you've got what it takes!
I especially love how you're using video to position your brand. Taking a look around on your website, I see a woman on a mission to not only encourage people with your gift of doing hair and sharing your hair expertise, but you are passionate about your message of one's "beauty within". This is that "heartbeat" I talked about in this artcle that resonates far beyond the screen. You've managed to genuinely connect with people's hearts! YOU ARE AMAZING GIRLFRIEND! Whoop!
I would be more than happy to connect with you to share more in depth notes when you have time. Please feel free to connect with me on Twitter @THARRISLIVE. Thanks for reading and sharing with us Diana!
Tameka J. Harris