Creating 'How-To' and Educational Videos to Help Your Customers...[Video Coaching for Small Business]

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"I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act."

~ Bill Gates

One of the best ways to build your community, build credibility and provide great value to both new and existing customers is to teach them to learn a skill, complete a process or a task that they want to know about or solve a problem, or to educate and inspire them.

How-To and Educational Videos are a great way to do this and there are many different ways to create video to get across the information you want to impart. In fact, there are so many different types of these videos, it's easy to get into overwhelm about exactly where to start and what type of video to choose.

If you've read my articles before, you'll know that I always recommend to start simply and where you are at, if you are creating your own videos. And what I mean by that is, consider what gear you have, because that will determine to a great degree how to approach the video capture and production side of things. 

Things like if you are using a phone or DSLR camera. How many do you have to or two or more? Do you have a microphone or a tripod, and do you have enough lighting? If you're not sure, you can read this post.


Before you begin to create your video, sit down and write down a list of questions that your customers come to you with, around solving a problem or an issue. Are there any things in particular that you get asked a lot about?  This will become your ideas list for your 'How-to' or Educational videos. 

Let's just quickly make a distinction between 'How-to' and 'Educational' videos. In a nutshell, 'How-to Videos' are about using a 'step-by-step' approach. Whereas educational videos are more about 'informing', rather than 'instructing'.

Depending on how your deliver the information will determine whether it is one or the other. However, the terms are interchangeable and in fact they often overlap in terms of format.

In the overall scheme of things, it's not important about the distinction when creating your video. It's more important that you deliver the content in a way that people understand it.

So say for instance you're an IT company, and you get asked a lot, "How do I set up automatic back-up of my systems?".  Write that down on your list, along with all the common questions you get asked.

Once you've written down the list, choose one topic,  then work out what is the best way to get the information across to your customers for that topic.

Here are some hints...

  • If your business, question or problem revolves around making, constructing or putting together things and is highly demonstrable using your hands, you're best to physically show people how-to do it. It's not something that you're just going to be able to talk about for them to fully grasp and apply what you are teaching.

Example of a ‘How-to’ video showing viewers the physical steps of how to sew a patch pocket.


  •  If your business, question or problem revolves around technical processes, concepts or ideas, then there will be less of a physical or hands-on approach.  Your video will need to either explain by just talking your way through it, and/or introducing other visuals and/or digital screen capture, in order for your viewer to be able to fully grasp the process, concept or idea.

Example of a ‘How-to’ video using screen capture/recording.


Example of ‘How-to’ video where a person is talking and explains a concept or idea (called ‘talking head’ video)

The following are a couple of examples of videos which are more Educational style videos, rather than How-to videos, but you can also see in the first video how it is overlapping.

Example of an Educational Video which would also be considered a ‘How-To’ video, using a combination of talking head delivery and simple graphics.

TED Talk videos are a form of educational videos. This type of content is great if you have topics based around intangibles.

Once you've worked out which approach you are going to take and the question, task, problem you are going to tackle, then write out the process or the instructions in a logical sequence. 

Go through each step of the process or each instruction and what you're going to need to take them from start to finish.  

Ask yourself:

  • what equipment will I need? 
  • where will I set-up (if it's a physical location)?  
  • what screen recording software will I need (if you have to take the viewer through a step-by-step process shown on a screen)?
  • how will I record my voice? Can I get away with just recording an audio file or do I need both audio and video? And do I need a microphone or can I just record straight from my computer?
  • what visuals will I need in order to support what I am saying to help the viewer understand? Work out your shot list of the types of things you want to show that match what you are saying - they can be video footage or photos.

You'll find that as you take yourself through this process in a logical sequence, questions will arise along with ideas and pictures will come to mind, so write all this down.

It's then time to sit down and work on a script. The 'how-to' or educational part will make up the body of your video, but remember that ideally you will include an introduction and a conclusion. To find out about a basic structure for a script, see this post.

**HINT:  If you're having trouble working out what form of how-to or educational video to create, look at the videos of other businesses in your industry for ideas. 

RECAP: So this week, sit down and make a list of 'How-To's and choose one to start as a trial video and take yourself through the process. Just to recap what that is:

1. Write a list of your most commonly asked questions, tasks, problems, etc that your customers ask you about.
2. Choose one to create a 'How-to' or educational video.
3. What approach will you take? Hands-on, Talking (called Talking Head video), Screen Capture or combination.
4. Write down the each step of the process.
5. Write down what you need next to each step.
6. Write a script.

If you get stuck, confused or just need a hand as you're going through this process, then shoot me an email so I can help.

Next week I want to take you through other considerations when planning and putting a video together.  It will depend on the level of professionalism that you're aiming for and the complexity, around what and how many production elements you want to include.

This includes both the production side of things, i.e. filming it and also the post-production side of things, i.e. editing and motion graphics, etc.

Have a great week!

Kerry :) x