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Creating Low Cost and Impactful Videos

In this virtual world that will continue indefinitely, you’ve likely realized that the ability to present and share your message on video is now a must-have skill.

You’ve probably also seen the statistics. Video is now the #1 form of media used in content strategies, overtaking blogs and infographics. Including video on website landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80%. Video captures people’s attention five times more than static images.

But creating video content and presenting virtually are not skills that come naturally to most people in financial services. Add analysis paralysis and sticker shock when you begin researching cameras, lighting, sound, editing and production, and you wonder where to even begin.

The good news is that you already have everything you need. And the most important element can’t be purchased – you.

In today’s instantaneous world with endless content, authenticity wins. So much so, some major brands have shifted from staged, highly-produced content to increasing their profits through embracing authenticity. Dove (the personal care company, not the chocolate one) is a great example of this with its Real Beauty campaign.

Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches video was the most viral video ad of all time when it premiered. I encourage you to watch it on YouTube. One reason for its massive success is that it’s all about the top reason people don’t get started with video. We are all our own worst critic.

So keeping in mind that you’re beautiful and perfect just the way you are, let’s look at how you can create low cost and impactful videos.

Camera — The camera quality available on today’s smartphones and laptops exceeds the high end cameras of a few years ago and is all you need to get started.

Lighting — Shooting videos outside with natural daylight can provide a nice change of scenery and beautiful light. Make sure to avoid harsh shadows and shoot on a slightly overcast day or during a ‘golden hour’ – the hour after dawn or the hour before dusk.

Daylight can also work great indoors if you have a window in front of you so that your face is evenly lit. If your window is to the side or you don’t have a window, an inexpensive ring light can be purchased on Amazon to provide that nice, even lighting.

Sound — If you’re using your laptop to record videos, a microphone is a must. Thankfully, your iPhone (or equivalent) headphones with microphone works great. Just be sure that the microphone isn’t rubbing up against your shirt collar or hair which will create a distracting rustling sound.

If you’re outdoors using your smartphone, you’ll want to test whether you need those headphones. If you’re in a quiet space, the built in microphone can work great, but if your environment is noisy a headset is ideal so that you’re clearly heard.

Eye Contact — This is one of the trickiest pieces and takes practice. Eye contact with the camera is just as important as eye contact in person. You wouldn’t sit in a meeting watching yourself talk in a mirror so try to avoid watching yourself when recording video.

Authenticity — The most important piece is you. Your expertise, opinions and personality. Humans are wired for connection and the best way to connect — and therefore build your personal and professional brands, attract your ideal clients and deepen your relationships — is through eye contact, a smile and being authentically you.

With all the basics now in hand, where do you start?

Start with a short, one-minute video outdoors sharing your hobbies and interests. This change of scenery and fresh air helps to avoid overthinking. It also helps to build confidence because it’s easy talking about things you’re passionate about.

It can make for a great video to share with clients so they can get to know you better and you can talk about how you help clients to be able to spend more time on their hobbies and passions.

You can also start with one-to-one videos to clients and prospects, because the most powerful use for video is in building relationships. Consider the difference in receiving a birthday or congratulatory email with an exclamation point and an emoji versus receiving a short, personal, authentic video.

Before your first meeting with a prospect, imagine their surprise and delight when they receive a personal video from you saying that you’re looking forward to the meeting. It doesn’t take any longer than leaving a voicemail but the impression you’ve left will last far beyond.

Like starting anything new, video creation and virtual presentation skills take time to develop. And developing new skills and working to increase your comfort and confidence on camera is an experience best shared with others learning and growing alongside you.

That’s why Adam Owen and I have developed the three-month virtual Video Creation Masterclass. Registration is open until 31st January and It kicks off on Monday, 1st February.

You can learn more and register at the special UK discount of £250.

By Kate Holmes, CFP®

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