Using video to market yourself or your business on social media is a necessity. If you want to build your reputation online, or just compete in your business market, you’ll need to get familiar with the basics of using video to promote yourself.

It’s easier than you think though. You already own all the equipment you’ll need to get started anyway.

Why is video so important?

I’m lucky enough to work with Mendel Kurland, one of the best personal brand guys around. He’s so good at it that he attends WordPress events across the globe and folks know him by his first name.

We were talking about one of his side-hustles, Adventures With Geeks. I told him that he needs to start using video to promote his outdoor adventures that he hosts. He understood the importance of it all. He thought it was a good idea. He just never posted videos.

When I asked him about it, he had a common answer that I hear all the time, “I don’t know how to edit it, add music, effects, or anything of that stuff”.

My answer, “You’re not making a reboot of The Breakfast Club, don’t overthink it”.

Remember this, if you’re making a video for social media, keep it short and simple. Seriously.


Things to consider before you start recording

If you only remember one thing from reading this article, remember this: Keep your video under 60 seconds.

If I look familiar, it’s because you’ve probably seen a viral video my son and I filmed in our bathroom. I’ve shared the story countless times, but the part I want to spotlight here is what happened when news agencies re-edited my original video and shared it themselves.

I started to notice a common theme in every edit, they were all about one minute long compared to the nearly three minutes of the original video I posted. In fact, the two most popular versions of our video ended up on Buzzfeed and .Mic.

Here’s a link to their edits, but more importantly, the length of their videos:

Buzzfeed: Watch their edit here

.Mic: Watch their edit here

See more edits on my Facebook page: Facebook.com/isaaciirvine

It reminded me of something one of the best Facebook advertising guru’s, Dennis Yu, shouts from the rooftops to anyone that will listen: “Post lots of one-minute videos to reach the largest audience you can”.

So there’s your proof. Social networks favor videos that are under a minute long.

Tools you’ll need

Recording the video:

Just use the camera on your cell phone. Seriously. It’s easy and you already own one. No need to spend money on fancy setups.


Editing:


There are tons of free editors on the market. I use iMovie because it was free with my laptop. I also love the features available from GoPro’s software. I won’t get too into details here, but a quick search of YouTube and you’ll uncover more tutorials on using these software packages than you’ll ever need.

Lighting:


If you really want to make your videos look great, invest in a cheap light from Amazon. I found a set for under $20.00 that attaches to my phone and it works great. It’s a nice “Good-To-Have” item, but don’t let the lack of a light stop you. Seriously, 100 million people saw my video with poor lighting shot in an 80’s bathroom.

Tripod:


Again, it’s handy if you own one, but don’t let this stop you either. Prop your phone up on something or spend a few dollars on a portable tripod with a cell phone attachment. It’s not a deal-breaker, but they are handy.

You can do this. Seriously.

You can easily come up with hundreds of reasons why you can’t make your own online videos to promote yourself or your business.

Here’s the thing you need to remember. You’re business isn’t competing with large chain stores. Your business is competing with your customer’s trust of an unknown.

If you’re a coffee shop, you’re not competing with Starbucks. I don’t go to Starbucks because they have great coffee that changed my life. I go to Starbucks because I know the menu already and I know the cup of coffee I order in Texas tastes the same as the coffee in Phoenix.

Think about what you do differently. Ask your loyal customers what they love about your business or service and share their stories in your video. If you hear customers telling you that they love the decor of your store, focus on that in a video. If they love the fact that you have a friendly old dog that walks around your flower shop, make a video introducing folks to your store mascot.

Your business is as unique as you are. Showcase it.

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