Interview Videos
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How to shoot 2-person interview videos with your phone

Here’s a very simple solution to a really common problem. The problem is that when you are shooting 2-person interview videos with your phone – and you’re about arm’s length away from your phone – and you’re holding your phone, selfie-style – and you’re wanting to talk to your guest who’s right next to you. And the trouble is that you’re trying to get them in the shot and trying to get yourself in the shot – and when you get yourself in the shot, you loose them – and when you get them in the shot, you loose yourself.
And this is the problem.

So, how do you solve this problem?

interview videosWell, I use this very simple and really cool tool – the Techo universal HD lens – a wide angle lens for your phone. What you do is just clip the lens right onto your smartphone and it will give a really wide angle shot.

The lens gives a much wider view so that you can still be an arms length from your phone and still hold it selfie-style and now you’ll have lots of space in the shot for both you and your guest to talk to each other.

If you’re walking around with your phone and you’re wanting to give your viewers a tour of what’s going on around you, the wide angle lens is a great tool for showing everything around you. It’s particularly good for indoor spaces because it can help show an entire room. The video above was shot at Workbar, which is the shared workspace that I work in, and I can give you a view of the entire room once I have the wide angle lens attached.

If you like to learn this kind of video hack for making videos with your smartphone then join my Videomaking Mastermind group on Facebook. Other people are posting their videos and their experimentations and you can learn from what everyone else is doing as well as post your own stuff – and I’ll take a look at it and I’ll critique it and I’ll give you suggestions of how to make it even better. So please join us: https://www.facebook.com/groups/videomakingmastermind/

Video Script
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2 Hidden Secrets to Reading Your Video Script without Looking Awkward

One of the biggest challenges when you’re doing a live video is that you need to talk for a pretty long time. Live videos are often 15 – 20 minutes long or more. What’s the secret to remembering what it is that you want to say in your live video, and not look awkward when you’re looking off camera to try and read your video script that you have pasted on the wall? How are you going to remember all the things you want to say in your video during the time that you’re talking? It’s all too easy to forget some very important thing that you want to share.

Here’s my live video cheat sheet for accessing your notes and looking cool while you do it.

First of all, don’t do a script. If you try to read from a script it will sound forced. It will not sound natural. A better technique is to create an outline with your major points. And then you can take that outline and put it on your tablet. Hold the tablet up with you in front of the camera and use it to refer to your notes.

This looks very natural. A lot of very successful video people doing this. One of the most well known is Marie Forleo. She will sit with her tablet and she’ll be interviewing someone or she’ll be just talking to the camera and she’ll have her tablet visibly in her hand so she can look at it whenever she needs to.

Another technique is to use a table and your laptop in front of you and you can have your notes on the laptop for easy reference.

Try this out. Make an outline. Use a tablet. Post a video to my Videomaking Mastermind group on Facebook and show me how you’re using this technique.

And if you’d like to learn more of this kind of techniques for live video, check out my free 5-day mini course: Live Stream Rockstar http://livestreamrockstar.com

create change
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How to create change and transformation with video

What’s the biggest thing standing in the way of anyone wanting to create change in their life?

Your business solves a BIG problem – you help your clients make positive changes in their life – and that has huge value, right? So, when you start talking with prospective clients, you may be thinking that if you could just show them the great advantages of working with you, they’d be sure to do it. But describing your process or features, and even your benefits, may not do the trick – no matter how good a job you do of describing your work.

You’re fishing with awesome bait. Why won’t they bite?

The reason is… they don’t think it’s possible.

And this isn’t because they don’t believe you. It’s because they don’t believe in themselves. They don’t think they can do it. They’ve already tried a bunch of things to solve their problem – and it hasn’t worked. So they’ve giving up. They’ve settled for living with whatever version of chronic pain they’re dealing with…

What can you do to help them when they’ve become non-believers? …when they’ve lost their faith?

The answer is simple: tell them a good story.

Tell them a story about someone who is facing the same sort of challenges. Who tried many of the things they tried. Who maybe even gave up on themselves – but who found a solution (by doing your thing).

Why would a story work?

When you tell a story – and this works particularly well with video – the people watching and listening will relate to the character (the hero) of the story. And when the hero experiences pain or despair or triumph – your audience will have the same experience. 

This is the way our brains are wired. When you watch a film – and the main character is having an emotional experience – you experience the same emotions.

This ability is an evolutionary advantage that has been handed down to us since the time of humans sharing stories around a fire. When someone showed up with a story about how they met a tiger and then escaped without getting eating – we’d all pay very close attention – so we could learn about how not to get eaten by the tiger.

When you are able to give your audience the experience of the transformation you offer – a part of the solution to the problem your business serves – you help them believe that a solution is possible. And when they have the experience of possibility with you – you become very attractive. This is why a good story telling video works so well.

Create Change Case Study – Let Me Dance!

Watch the video (above) and you’ll see a group of silver haired women moving gracefully in an adult ballet class.

One by one, they each describe their experience of the class – and we witness their transformation – from feeling old and ordinary to feeling beautiful and able. Listening to the music, watching their movements, hearing their stories about their own transformation – helps us feel the same things they are feeling – gives us the same experience – and helps us believe that we, too, could move gracefully and be beautiful…

How did this video work its magic?

The video was made for an adult ballet class in a small town in the UK. The teacher wanted to attract more students so she engaged a local videographer. The ballet students were shot while they were dancing and also in one-one-one testimonial interviews.

We never hear from the teacher – only her students – who talk about their experience. There’s no script. The whole thing was shot with one camera and available light.

It proves how one simple video – one good story – can create change in our mindset. The dancing women transform – becoming beautiful and graceful before our eyes – making us believers. I couldn’t help thinking, “I hope I’m moving like that when I’m their age,” or better, “I could be moving like that right now!”

And it worked its magic on a multitude. The video has been seen over 1.7 million times on Facebook.

Two things to take away from this video:

1. Testimonial stories can be more powerful and persuasive than talking about what you do yourself.

2. If you pick a beautiful and inspiring story – people will share it (which is how this video has been seen so many times).

If you’d like to have a bigger conversation about the kind of story you could be telling to help your prospective clients believe that their transformation is possible, then contact me for a free Video Strategy Session >

We’ll explore the three things holding you back from telling your story with video and uncover one sure way to move forward with attracting your ideal clients with a better story.

Steady Video
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How to shoot steady video without a tripod

Here are my favorite smartphone steadycam hacks that will create remarkably steady video when your shooting with your smartphone, iphone or android. When you’re away from home and have an idea for shooting video with your smartphone, you probably aren’t carrying your tripod with you everywhere you go. So how do you get a really steady shot, of yourself or someone else, when you’re just holding your phone in your hands?

The first thing a lot of people do is that they hold their phone in the vertical position – as though they are going to take a picture.

And you don’t want to do this.

Turn your phone sideways and shoot in the horizontal mode. Everything is wide screen and so your video will look a lot better when you post it on social media in wide screen format.

When you’re holding your phone at arms length, it tends to move around – creating shaky video that’s hard to watch. So grab a hold of your phone with one hand (as shown in the video above) and bring your elbow into your chest which creates a very steady support for your camera.

You can use this when you’re interviewing someone and it’s solid as a rock and basically turns you into a human tripod.

A great tool for keeping your video steady is the Stayblcam which acts as a counter weight and allows you to move your phone to follow action shots – and keeps the camera steady and smooth throughout your shooting.

I’d love to see you try these techniques in your next video – and post your video in our Videomaking Mastermind group on Facebook

smartphone videos
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How to make Smartphone Videos that make you look smart

My friend Terri Ann Heiman has been thinking about making videos for awhile. But something’s been holding her back. She’s been afraid of how she looks on video – something we can all share, right? We’ve all seen videos others have made that didn’t turn out so well. And we’re afraid because we don’t want to be that person. I mean, what if you made a video that’s just not how you want to be seen? Especially in front of all your friends on Facebook? It’s enough to keep anyone from hitting the record button.

Here’s a beautiful story of how Terri overcame her video anxiety and made a couple of simple smartphone videos (to promote her podcast). It’s a perfect case study because she made some of the most common mistakes that almost everyone makes when they start making videos with their phone. And with three simple tweaks – she created something really nice – and now feels inspired to do lots more.

Terri posted her first smartphone video on Facebook – and then called me out because I’d been pushing her to make smartphone videos.

“Ok Brad… I did this with you in mind. It was easier to “just do it” without the worry of what I looked like. But still fighting with that issue! I will overcome… right!”


I wrote back, “Hey Terri – You look great & sound fabulous!! And most importantly enthusiastic! – I think I caught your spirit 😉 Way to jump out there… Let me know you’d like some handy hints on how to look and sound even more fabulous.”

She replied, “Yes I would for sure!”

OK, Step #1: watch the video below on ‘Vertical Video Syndrome’ and then just say, ‘NO’ to vertical video.

Step #2: Raise you phone up so that it’s at the same level as your eyes. You’ll look even more beautiful if you do this. You can use a large box or a stack of books or what I use is one of these little iphone tripods with bendy legs that grab onto just about anything and mount almost anywhere.

 

smartphone video(Terri commented: “Hello ..I have one of those tripods sitting next to me! Thanks!”)

Step 3: Position yourself so that your room light hits the front of your face – instead of the top of your head. Overhead lights = very harsh + deep lines.”

(Terri commented: “Hmm… that’s going to take some staging! Going to play with that one!”)

So I said, “You might not have to move. Just turn off the overhead light. Open up any windows and/or get a floor lamp or desk lamp with a diffuse shade and aim it at your smiling face.”

Then, just after recording her podcast, Terri posted this second video, “Wow.. Brad Powell what a difference! Thanks!”

Here are some of the Facebook comments after this second video:

smartphone videos

One more suggestion: Terri’s phone is mounted in a way that’s causing some camera shake. So, mount your phone on something that isn’t connected to your movement.

Here’s a third video Terri made that keep’s the camera nice and steady.

BTW – I love the in-the-studio-with-Terri look…

Terri commented, “I’m noticing the likes from the video creating more attention for the podcast. Excited (did I say that?!) for my next video posting now that I know these tips!”

Terri’s first video received 150 views and the second had 280 views and the third broke 300. This is a minor hit – and a simple way for Terri to grab attention for her podcast.

And how does Terri feel about this process? She writes:

“Brad and I talked about using video for visibility and he challenged me to just start doing it. Use my story. That people would be interested in seeing me. Like getting ready for my radio show with the head phones on, etc. So I took his challenge because I knew I was missing out on opportunities to get my message out. His tips helped my videos to look 100% better! So I kept trying! And he was right about visibility. And about getting more comfortable about doing them. Because I was feeling more confidant on video I was able to reach out for the TV interview too!”

“I can’t believe the visibility I’ve gotten from my last video post (see video above). Over 500 views! Thanks for the encouragement!”

Terri’s done a great job getting started with getting more comfortable and confident in front of the camera – and she’s learning the first basic steps in how to produce simple videos with her smartphone. But this is just the start of how to show the transformation you bring to your clients’ lives and demonstrating the solution your business offers on video.

If you’d like to have a bigger conversation about the kind of story you could be telling with video – to help your prospective clients believe that their transformation is possible, then contact me for a free Video Storytelling Strategy Session >

Set up a time to talk with me below and in our conversation we can develop a strategy to help you…

  • get clear on your story
  • get comfortable in front of a camera
  • get psyched about becoming highly visible.
Send Video Email
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How to Send Video Email to Anyone

Want to get someone’s attention? Here’s a great hack that will help you stand out in someone’s inbox…

Let’s say you want to connect with someone special. You could contact them via their email address, their twitter handle, their Facebook ID, their linked profile – but which route will get their attention?

We all know how well we respond to email from perfect strangers. We don’t open those emails.

But imagine if someone took the time to record a video with a personal message just for you – wouldn’t you be a little intrigued? Hmmm…?

Welcome to video email.

Send a standard email to a new contact and you’ll likely get no response. But send video email (that is personalized to the person your approaching) and you’re much more likely to receive a reply.

If you have a list of potential clients – send them a video email.

If you want to touch base with a current client (or former client) to keep yourself top of mind – send them a personal video.

If you need to reply to a client query – send them a video answer and catch them by surprise.

If you have a long list of emails to do – try sending a series of video emails instead – it’s more fun!!

If your email open rates or click-thru rates are not going so well – try video emails

You can learn how to send video email for FREE and in the next five minutes. Here’s how:

All you need are three things:

1. A relatively new computer with a webcam. Late model Apple imac, macbook or even ipad mini will work fine.

2. A good location. Quiet. Distraction-free background. Well lit with natural light. (Find a location where you can sit facing a window so that you are evenly lit from the front)

3. Recording software: I record messages using Zoom.us – You can get a free account and zoom will give you the best quality webcam video.

Make Your Video Email Short and Personal

Don’t talk for more than 60 seconds. Be personable and conversational. Smile. Thank the person your talking to.

Upload to Youtube

Upload your video to Youtube and save it as ‘unlisted’ so it will not show up in the Youtube search or public display.

Take the url of the video and paste it into the text of your email. Once you send your message, the thumbnail of your video will appear in the email and your recipient will be able to click on the image to watch.

Here’s a screen shot example of a short video email message. Note how you can see the video thumbnail at the foot of the message below:

Storytelling Video
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3 Simple Steps to Awesome Video Storytelling

What are the 3 essential steps to good video storytelling? And which one do you think is the #1 thing that most people completely miss?

Hopefully, I’ve just modeled the first basic step to good video storytelling which is…

1. Grab your audience’s attention

You’ve only got 10 seconds to grab people’s attention – so give them a challenge, ask them a question or just share something you’re curious about – and, hopefully, they’ll be curious about too.

Basically, you’re selling them, you’re convincing them, to watch the rest of your video.

2. Give them your story

Step number two is to give them the content you promised at the start. In this case you want to tell your story. And your story wants to be about the challenge that you described and the struggle that it takes to overcome that challenge. Talk about struggle. Talk about pain. Talk about the people in your audience that you’re talking to and their struggle and the kinds of things that they need to do to overcome this challenge. Those kinds of solutions will be very helpful for them and they’ll see that as high value.

3. Galvanize with a call to action – at the end of your video.

This is the one thing that many people completely miss when they’re working with video. When they tell a story on video, they don’t think to give a good strong call to action at the end. So don’t miss this essential step.

I’m going to give you a call to action which is: join my Facebook group where you can learn more strategies of how to tell your story in a way that will attract new people to come into your business and into your world.

Video Notes:

This video is part of an ongoing experiment in smartphone video production. It was shot on my iphone using just the selfie camera. For sound I was using the earbuds mike that came with the phone (held in my left hand close to me but out of the shot). If you have any comments or questions about this video please leave your comments on my Facebook group here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/videomakingmastermind/

Live Video Hacks
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Three Live Video Hacks You Can Do Anywhere

In getting ready to lead the Live Stream Rockstar Video Challenge – I made this bonus video with three live video hacks 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.

live video hacks
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 >