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5 Big Fat Myths about Video Production that Pro Videographers Don't Want You to Know

Even though we know that original video means results (more engagement, higher conversions, etc.), most of us are still holding back. We’ve quoted prices from professional videographers and decided that video is simply out of our price range. Maybe we never even considered doing it ourselves. In my experience, many of the reasons I’ve heard from professional videographers and overpriced marketing teams as to why people can’t shoot their own video are complete lies. Here’s the real story:

1) Your video DOES NOT have to be perfect. And to be perfect, it DOES NOT have to be done by a professional.

Of course, anyone who spends a great deal of time producing content is going to be better at it than a novice. But, these days, content doesn’t have to be perfect. It has to be authentic and resonate with your audience.

Did you know that the definition of “authentic” is “true to one’s own personality, spirit or character.” This also matters for brands. You can TELL when a brand is using a service to post to their social platforms that doesn’t understand their brand or their audience. As a solopreneur, who better to talk about your brand than you?

Beyond that, you can still achieve amazing results that mirror what professionals can get if you have a great story to tell. For example, I once had a client make a funny smartphone video that outperformed a video they paid a professional to do on Facebook. More views, more likes, more comments, more shares, more everything. Except, of course, money. (Need to see some numbers? Check it out!).

I’m not saying your videos shouldn’t be high-quality. Your audio should absolutely be easily audible and free of distracting background noise, and no one wants to see your Blair Witch-style shaky video, but you can get quality results if you follow some simple rules.

2) Video is NOT expensive.

Most people who’ve looked into video content know two things: it’s super effective at engaging and converting customers, and it comes with a hefty price tag (usually $3k to $5k per video). But it doesn’t have to be! Most people have a smartphone that can shoot really good video, and there are tons of apps available to edit your content.

Some apps even edit the content for you. They’ll organize your photo and audio into an photo slideshow video, a gif, or a video collage.

For hardware, there are simple, cheap solutions like using lamps to add light to a situation, and using your earbuds as a makeshift lavalier microphone. I’ve even made a tabletop tripod out of cardboard. You don’t need a $500 light kit, a $200 microphone and a titanium tripod. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The kit doesn’t make the video; the story does.

3) Making your own videos is NOT time-consuming.

Not only are there so many easy apps that automate the process, but for most solopreneurs who are close to all aspects of their business, they could easily take their phone out and film a customer testimonial or create a fun video in no time at all.

For example, I did a training session in Austin, filmed for about five minutes, asked the organizer three questions on camera, and built and posted a testimonial video on my iPhone while taxiing to the runway to fly home. Or, for Thanksgiving, I recorded by iPhone screen while I used a paint app to draw my logo into a turkey and wish everyone a Happy Turkey Day, all while I ate a delicious piece of my Grandma’s pecan pie.

Instead of making it another item on your to-do list, integrate it into something you’re already doing.

4) Every brand has stories to tell.

During my years as a journalist, people would always ask, “Why are you interviewing me? There’s nothing interesting about me.” And with every story, I would find a way to prove them wrong. Every person, like every brand, has a unique story to tell. You just have to think like an outsider. (Here are some tips to do just that).

Think about all of the things you do in a day. You meet with customers. Make testimonial videos. You’re introducing a new product. Record a quick demo.

All I’m asking you to do is talk about what you love—your brand. And do it on camera. Talk about why you do what you do. Share your knowledge. If people are paying you for your service, you must have valuable knowledge or skills to share that will attract your audience and keep your company top-of-mind with potential customers.

5) Small brands CAN do it.

Just because the brands that are creating video effectively so far are mostly big brands does NOT mean you can’t do it. Check us out on social media. A perfect example of solopreneurship video production.

If you go look at Google’s Facebook page, you’ll notice the type of video they’re creating isn’t hard to build. They print out images and create fun videos just by placing them in and out of the frame. They record themselves drawing on white boards. They create animated gifs out of simple images and text. You can do ALL of these things, and probably by the end of the day today!

I’m here to tell you that you CAN create original videos. The only thing holding you back is inaction. You have the tools (a smartphone and a story). You just need to get started.

5 Reasons You Should be Producing Your Own Videos

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Almost every brand has a blog these days, but if you can build original visual video, not only will you be able to use social media more effectively, save time building content and stand out among your competitors, you’ll also get to know your audience better AND could even find a new revenue stream for your business.

1) You’re already spending time posting about your brand on social media, but you could be doing it more effectively.

Everyone says you need to be telling your brand’s story, but you also need to be telling it right. Use the media types that are most effective on these platforms.

For example, on Facebook, video posts see the most engagement of any format, with about 2,200 interactions per update, on average, compared to 1,400 for photo posts. On the paid side of things, people are seeing click-through rates of up to 8 percent on video ads on Facebook, compared to 0.1 percent on the average banner ad.

Overall, content with visuals get 94 percent more views than content without. AND, this content can also lead to more sales.

Video drives higher conversion rates than other form of content.

A report by Vidyard and Demand Metric found that 71 percent of marketers claimed video drove higher conversion rates than other forms of content.

2) Save time. Be more efficient creating your content.

For solopreneurs, building content in any format can be time-consuming. But, solopreneurs also tend to be involved in more activities related to their business on a regular basis, from product development, to events and meeting with customers, you have direct contact with everything that could be a story for you. Take the opportunity of being so close to everything in your business to automate video creation.

Why not use your smartphone to start building videos from these experiences? Instead of making it another item on your to-do list, integrate it into something you’re already doing. For example, I did a training session in Austin, filmed for about five minutes, asked the organizer three questions on camera, and built and posted a testimonial video on my iPhone while taxiing to the runway to fly home. You CAN do this, too!

3) It’s a chance to stand out.

So many brands that are succeeding in the content marketing are scared to move beyond their blogs. For example, only one in 10 small brands are using video (and one in four for large brands), but more than half of all Internet traffic is video.

They think it takes specialized skills and/or expensive freelancers. They don’t realize the availability of free and cheap video apps MADE for the general consumer! They’re made for people who are learning how to produce videos, and want to do so cheaply and effectively. Take advantage!

4) Know your audience, and build better products for your audience.

When you build content people enjoy and find valuable, people will be more likely to engage with you. You can use this engagement to research your audience, build trust and increase brand awareness, with the soft goal of making better business decisions. You can use engaging video content to test and research customers, non-customers, influencers, haters and advocates.

For example, does your existing audience have another pain point that you could solve with a new product or service? This information can help you innovate your offerings and develop an authentic voice that resonates with your audience. Having access to your audiences—customers and non-customers—will help you do all of these things.

You can use this engagement to research your audience, build trust and increase brand awareness, with the soft goal of making better business decisions.

5) Monetize your content.

Beyond reaching your audience more effectively, saving time on content creation, standing out AND knowing your audience, producing high-quality videos that resonate with your audience could also become another revenue stream for your business. Consider putting a price tag on your knowledge and your voice!

Ultimately, with today’s technology, entrepreneurs with limited resources can build videos that resonate with audiences and attract customers who love their brand, and use their content to drive their entire business, from marketing and beyond.