"Never overlook the power of simplicity."
- Robin S. Sharma
Last week we looked at the first step to easy video creation, to stop the overwhelm when creating videos for your business, which is to CREATE A VIDEO STRATEGY.
This week we go into STEP 2: START WITH 3 SIMPLE TOOLS. It really is that simple, but we as humans tend to overthink and complicate things, coming up with excuses to why we can't get started. But if we're honest with ourselves, we know that all we need to do is have plan, and then get out of our own way and get started.
If you're a micro or small business owner, then making videos can seem like an expensive exercise. But it doesn't have to be. So today I'm going to share with you three affordable and easy-to-use tools for you to start making professional looking videos RIGHT NOW!
Now remember that these tools are just a starting place and is a general recommendation. If you've read last week's post on creating a video strategy, and going through the exercise of working that out, then you may find that depending on what kind of video you want to create and your strategy, that your specific needs require to buy alternate equipment. If you're not sure, then feel free to ask by leaving a comment or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are the 3 SIMPLE TOOLS and what they'll cost you.
1. SMARTPHONE - Cost: $0
2. PHONE TRIPOD - Cost: $10-$99
3. LAPEL MICROPHONE - Cost: $70-$90
If you're in business, then you will already have a smartphone (hence the cost is $0). The more recent your phone, the better quality and video you'll be able to take. In fact, you don't need all three tools to even start taking video. You only really need your phone.
Have you taken photos or videos on your phone of your children, pets or while on holiday or just out? If you are, don't discount these skills. Take that same approach and those skills you have, across to your business. Have some fun when you're starting out. Play with it. Have a laugh at yourself. If it doesn't work the first time, then delete it and try again. It's not a waste of time, because you're getting better each time.
So if you want to start practicing with your phone, here are a couple hints:
HINT 1: To steady your phone to reduce shaky video, hold with two hands or place both elbows on a surface while holding your phone to video, or lean against something solid to support your body.
HINT 2: Use the 'Self-timer' on your phone. This way you have time to get into position before the video begins.
HINT 3: For the most flattering angle, hold your phone at eye level or above and look towards the camera on your phone.
2. PHONE TRIPOD
Using a phone tripod is the best way to stop the shake in your videos. By placing your phone on a tripod, it stabilises your phone and allows you to use both hands, and place your phone at any distance you want to. They are also small, light and portable, allowing you to easily take them anywhere and set-up.
Phone tripods are the most affordable option to start, and is best set-up on a flat, even surface like your desktop or bench. Just make sure that your phone is at eye level or above to where you are sitting or standing.
If you like standing then you may want to invest in a standard camera tripod so it will be at the right height. Just make sure you have a phone bracket that you can put on the tripod, as only phone tripods come with phone brackets.
Here are my recommendations for what features to have for a phone tripod:
a. Sturdy legs and base.
b. Central column to extend the height.
c. You can adjust the phone to tilt forward or back and sideways.
d. (optional) Blue Tooth remote will allow you to stop and start your video from a distance.
Also, I would recommend getting a phone tripod with a phone bracket that you can detach. This way, if and when you want to use a standard camera tripod, you don't have to buy another phone bracket for it.
You can buy phone tripods from department stores, stores that sell camera gear (like Harvey Norman) or dedicated camera stores.
3. LAPEL MICROPHONE
Lapel microphones are the easiest and cheapest type of quality microphones you can buy when starting. I highly recommend the RODE Smartlav lapel microphone (pictured). It's captures great quality sound. Lapel microphones, because they are close to your mouth will pick up your voice clearly over any ambient sounds in the background or surroundings. They plug straight into your headphone jack on your phone.
If you like to stand at a bit of a distance from your phone, you can also buy extension cables for your microphone, so you can stand a bit further away and still get clear, crisp sound.
*N.B. If you have an iPhone 7 or more recent, you will need your adapter, as the latest iPhones don't have a normal audio jack, but have a USB jack.
So that's all the equipment you need to get started.
It is simple. Much simpler that using a DSLR camera. These tools require little technical knowledge to be able to use them, which makes them ideal for those of us who aren't technically savvy.
It's the perfect combination tool kit...easy to use, quick to set up, portable and best of all, you can create great looking video for your business!
So what's stopping you? Go out there and just start playing and practicing.
And remember, if you have any questions about using the equipment, or what to buy or what's going to suit you, then shoot me an email at email@example.com, and I'll be able to set you off on the right foot.
Have a great week!
Kerry :) x