Studio lights

Videos on your website: My ‘good enough’ kit list

Paul Green Content, getting new clients, Videos, websites & social media

The number one engagement tool on your website is video.

Engagement is good. People who don’t know much about IT support buy with their heart not their brain. So they have to be persuaded emotionally, not cognitively.

Video done properly talks directly to people’s emotions.

Your videos don’t have to be perfect, Hollywood productions. “Good enough” and on your website is better than “perfect” and still in production…

I produce loads of video, including a weekly marketing video for my MSP Marketing Edge members.

Here’s my kit list. It’s not the perfect set-up. It’s a semi-pro set-up that works for me and hasn’t cost too much money.

You’ve already got a good enough camera

In 2017, the biggest video challenges lie in the lighting, sound and controlling the picture.

You already have a perfectly good camera. A couple of them, probably.

Your mobile is more than good enough for decent video. I use a three year old iPhone 6 Plus for mine… although I suspect I’ll soon be upgrading to the iPhone X

When I’m doing tripod work indoors I use my three year old Canon EOS 70D (now replaced by the EOS 80D)

Controlling the picture

When the camera isn’t moving, this is easy. You just need a decent tripod. I’ve bought a couple of Hahnel Triad tripods and been very happy with them.

I’ve also got a magnetic GorillaPod, which you can use to attach your phone to almost anything. This is the SLR version.

Of course, these days, you watch any TV and the camera is always moving. I saw an episode of Not Going Out being filmed last year, and was struck by how all the cameras were moving, all the time.

So a few months ago, I bought this.

The DJI Osmo mobile phone stabiliser is wonderful.

You attach your mobile phone to it, and it uses a series of motors to keep your mobile steady while you move. It’s the same technology used in drones.

You can use the DJI Osmo app to automatically track and follow an object, such as your face.

The results are quite impressive. Here’s a video I filmed for my MSP Marketing Edge members a few months ago.

I’m literally just wandering around a field in Milton Keynes holding the DJI Osmo out in front of me!

Lighting

If your video looks amateur, it’s probably because you didn’t get the lighting right.

The easiest way to avoid this is to film outside.

If you have to film inside, then switch all the lights on; do some test filming; and watch it back on your laptop to see what it looks like.

I bought a cheap pair of studio lights to give me a lighting boost indoors.

Sound

Getting the sound right is another pro tip. I use a microphone for every video I shoot, even when my phone is just a few feet away from me.

It makes a real difference and costs very little. This is the microphone with a very long cable I use. I seem to break them every few months, but they’re cheap enough to order 2 or 3 at a time.

Recording your computer screen

Because of the nature of what you do, being able to record your computer screen quickly and easily is a major bonus.

Plus you can still produce a video even if you’re having a bad hair day… 👍

There are hundreds of tools around. For very short videos, normally sent to one person to demonstrate something, I tend to use Jing. It hosts your short video for you making it very quick to film, load and share.

It also includes an excellent screen shot tool.

For more in-depth videos where I want to be able to edit, and add effects such as a highlight where my cursor is on the screen, I use Camtasia.

For these videos, I use this lovely Samson Meteor USB microphone. The sound quality is great. And it looks so good, I could lick it.

Editing software

Again, this is one of those areas where there is so much choice, you can try out different options till you find the one that best suits you.

I actually use Camtasia for all my video editing. I’ve found it to be the most stable, easy to use editor, and can easily combine live video with animated video and footage I’ve captured off my screen.

I’m a Mac user and the bundled iMovie is a sophisticated piece of software that’s very easy to use.

These days we all have access to the same tools that Hollywood uses, at a fraction of the price. Lightworks has been used to edit films you’ve probably seen.

A word of warning – if you use software that’s too complicated you could waste too much time learning how to use it.

It’s fun to learn new stuff. But always better to use a simple editor and get videos finished. Videos can’t get you new clients or sell more to existing clients, while they’re stuck on your laptop for days on end.

Hosting

You need to host your videos somewhere. Your host generates a piece of code which you can use to embed your videos into your website and on social media.

There’s nothing wrong with good old YouTube. Because it’s part of Google, there are some “Google juice” benefits to putting your videos into your own YouTube channel.

But if you want total control of how your video looks and the quality of the hosting, you really can’t beat Vimeo.

An alternative idea: Get a professional to do it for you

Just as it’s a solid investment to use an accountant rather than mess up your tax return yourself, if the thought of creating video fills you with dread, then use a professional.

There are thousands of people who can help you. Look on PeoplePerHour or Google for video people in your local area.

Pick someone based on their demo reel. Find a video style you like and ask them to do yours like that.

My recommendation is my friend Darren Wingham at Wideo.co.uk.

He’s a former radio presenter like me and knows exactly how to communicate a message, efficiently and effectively. His pricing is very good, too. Say I sent you.

You can see some studio work I did last year, in his demo reel.

If you’ve got any questions, ask in the Facebook box below. I’ll answer each one personally.

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Hi, I'm Paul. Couple of times a week I send great marketing advice to 1,826 other MSPs around the world. Want to join them? I'll also send you a free copy of my book Updating Servers Doesn't Grow Your Business 😃