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Three Live Video Hacks You Can Do Anywhere

I’m getting ready to lead my Live Stream Video Challenge – so I made this bonus video showing how you can easily make beautiful looking video – using minimal equipment and available light.

If you haven’t yet joined, this is a free 5-day training where you can learn things like:
  • How easy Live Video is to produce.
  • How to be more confident on camera.
  • How to get viewers to do what you want.

…you can learn more and sign up right here >>

Here’s a couple of my favorite live video hacks to make it as simple as possible for you to make awesome videos – and use Facebook Live. I’m not going to get into fancy equipment or fancy set-ups. I’d like you to be feeling very empowered and that you can do this easily, anywhere and any time.

1. Use Natural Light
The first thing to notice (in the video above) is that I am using available (natural) light. There’s no artificial light in the room. I have three great big windows off to one side – two windows slightly in front of me and one slightly behind me offering some backlighting. In addition, I have a neutral colored, plain wall as my background – so it’s non-distracting.

You’ll see that I have beautiful light coming down on one side which provides great contrast across my face. And I’m about five or six feet away from the wall so no matter what I do or no matter how I move, there’s no shadow cast on the wall.

What I’m going to suggest is that you look for locations that are like this – that have a neutral, non distracting background and have a lot of natural light. Note that the sunlight shouldn’t be direct – you’re going to want reflected light coming in through your window – and it’s really beautiful and really natural.

smartphone video
2. Use a small tripod and phone mount
A really simple camera setup for you phone uses a small flexible tripod and a mount that clips onto your phone. The cool thing about these is that you can mount it just about anywhere. (note: make sure you mount your phone horizontally)

3. Use an office chair
In the video above I’m showing how to mount your tripod on the back of an office chair. The nice thing about using an office chair is that by swiveling the chair, you can do cool little pan shots – or by rolling the chair across the floor, you can get a really nice, smooth, dolly shot.

I carry my little, bendy tripod and phone mount with me all the time – wherever I go. I always have it. So, any time I want to take a video, I can. And in my world, I know where some of the coolest, natural light rooms happen to be – and those are the places that I shoot a lot of video.

I hope these live video hacks are helpful and I’d love to see how you put these into practice.

And you can get started right away – by joining my (free) 5-Day Live Stream Challenge where you’ll learn things like how easy Facebook live video is to produce and how to make video that gets people to do what you want.

Join the Live Stream Rockstar Challenge >

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Surprising Reasons Why Instagram Video Length is Ideal

Why is everyone so afraid of video marketing?

Because they think it takes too much time, it’s too expensive, it’s too difficult or it’s too scary!

Instagram Video Length is ideal to make awesome videos in no time.

Here’s a style of video marketing that’s just way to easy not to do it. Instagram has become a community where you can share visual moments, with your smartphone camera, simply and beautifully. Some moments, however, need more than a static image to come to life – which is why Instagram video was born.

Until fairly recently video has been missing from Instagram. The Instagram video length of 15 seconds allows you to make short videos in no time at all and share them across your social platforms on a regular basis. With Instagram video you can make stunning short form videos that build your brand and rock your business.

15-Second Video Marketing

instagram video lengthYoga instructor Kaitlin Daddona promotes her yoga practice with 15-second videos – made with her iphone – that she uploads to Instagram. She now has a group of 2,000+ people who follow her and every time she posts a new video she gets a couple hundred likes – which means that her followers are making her video visible to others.

Making a video like this is the exact opposite of the perfectionist’s method of spending hours planning your shots and then more hours tweaking the edits. It takes Kaitlin less than five minutes to create a new video start to finish.

And while this works great for a yoga instructor like Kaitlin – imagine the many, short, 15-second videos you could make showing visual parts of your work. Whatever reasons you’ve been hanging onto for why you aren’t yet making your own videos: “it’s too complicated,” “it takes too much time,” “i don’t have the right equipment,” this leaves you with no excuse. Everyone has a smartphone with a video camera – and everyone has ten minutes to put one of these together.

Instagram Video Length of 15 seconds leaves no excuse

Whatever reasons you’ve been hanging onto for why you aren’t yet making your own videos: “it’s too complicated,” “it takes too much time,” “i don’t have the right equipment,” this leaves you with no excuse.

Everyone has a smartphone with a video camera – and everyone has ten minutes to put one of these together.

So, get inspired to make your own Instagram video, and when you do please share it in the comments below!

How to make cheap, awesome videos

This is how I make awesome videos really cheap

When I started shooting video, I was traveling to places like Europe and South America and I was shooting live music videos. And what this meant was that I wanted equipment that was very light. I was often shooting hand-held. I would be shooting for hours on a stage at a time. And I needed something that was easy to carry, easy to travel with and inexpensive – so that if it got damaged or it was stolen in transit, it would be no big deal.

The Camera

I found this canon Vixia camera on Craigslist $250 (new price was $1,500). Look on Craigslist, or look on Ebay, and find yourself a deal.
So, why do I like this camera?
The first thing is that it has a great big lens. I know that a lot of people like to use their smart phone to make video, but this lens is going to beat the heck out of any lens that you have on your smart phone. And by the way, at $250, this is cheaper than your iphone.

There’s a nice flip out lcd screen – and I can turn it around so that if I’m shooting myself, I can see myself. The other nice thing about this screen is that it turns at every angle so that no matter what kind of shot I’m trying to get – if I’m holding the camera up high or down low, I can shoot from really hard angles and I can still see what I’m getting.

cheap awesome videosIt’s so small and light that on this particular shoulder mount that I use, I can do all kinds of great moves with the camera that are very smooth. And the camera also has an external microphone jack and an external headphone jack. (most dslr cameras do not have a headphone jack – so you can’t hear the sound your getting through the camera)

Sound

I have a nice set of Sony headphones so I always know whether I’m getting high quality sound. This is terrifically important. You can have a video that has issues around what it looks like but the sound always needs to be of a certain quality.

The same is true for a microphone. When I’m recording audio in a studio, what I use is an external microphone set up on a microphone stand – above my head. A microphone, a cable, and a microphone stand so that I can keep the microphone close to my mouth but moved up out of the shot – and then attached to the camera about 10 feet away.

Lighting

The last thing I’ll mention is lighting. There’s a lot of attention given to getting studio lights, LED lights, expensive soft box arrangements – and I don’t use any of that. Because I want to be mobile and light and inexpensive, I use entirely natural light.

One of the ways that you do this well is that you choose your location as carefully as possible. In this case I’m in a room with a lot of natural light. The light is coming in off to my right. It’s very soft and diffuse. It’s hitting my face evenly and I have a nice, plain, well lit background behind me. And I’ve got myself separated from the background by about four feet.

You can look for this kind of location when you’re setting up your shots and get really beautiful, wonderful, gorgeous lighting that is going to be better than anything you can do with studio lights – and it costs you absolutely nothing!

I’d love to hear from you what kind of equipment you’re using and what kind of inexpensive tricks you’re trying out to make awesome video – on the cheap. And I would love to see videos that you’re creating.

One of the places you can do that is to join my Facebook group
facebook.com/groups/standoutbiz

We have a bunch of people there who are joining together to grow their business, to grow their enterprise, to grow their big project – and some of them are making awesome videos! (like me)

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Where’s the bleeding Twitter conversation?

I got some advice recently (from Tara Gentile) about how to engage online – which I thought was pretty good advice.

Listen.

Take the time to listen in on the conversations that are going on among the people you most want to engage with and learn what their concerns are (and their problems and worries and struggles). Do this and you’ll know what they’re looking for and then when you offer them something you’ll know that it’s what they’re looking for.

The new social wisdom is that it’s never been easier to do this what with all the conversations happening on social media sites – like Twitter.

Searching for the Twitter conversation

So, I was like, “Cool, let’s jump on Twitter! I have a Twitter account and over a thousand followers. How hard could it be, right?”

Well, it turns out that most everyone on Twitter is doing pretty much the same thing: They’re broadcasting stuff. They’re tweeting and re-tweeting things they think other folks will like – so they’ll get more followers. And the most common conversation-like comments I can find are, “Hey, thanks for following me.”

But still, I figure there had to be some regular folks (who aren’t just into pitching their thing) so I went a bit deeper by creating lists – of people who fit some criteria of who I might want to converse with. And I pretty much found the same thing.

All talk. No (real) exchange.

Some people on the lists I made are so prolific in their tweets that I had to take them off because they completely took over the list feed.

I did find a couple of exceptions. For instance, people at an event will exchange about what’s going on. And people taking a class or seminar will give feedback and answer structured questions – so I guess you could facilitate an event or seminar and then ask questions and get answers that way…

And it appears that as soon as you establish a level of Twitter celebrity status, then lot’s of people start listening to you and you can ask questions and folks will answer. One artist who does this well is the musician Amanda Palmer. She talks with her fans constantly. And, she has over 1 million Twitter followers.

But finding a real conversation among the common folk that you can listen in on and learn what’s on their minds? On Twitter? Where is it? Am I missing something?

(I hope I am – so if you know where, please tell me).

Want to have a real Twitter conversation? Especially about what your struggling with? Hit me up on @bradpowellvideo – or join my StandOutBiz group on Facebook.

I promise, I’ll be a good listener…