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.

Want lot’s more video hacks like this one? Then join my FREE Videomaking Mastermind Group on Facebook

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

I just made this video with three live video hacks showing how you can easily make beautiful looking video – using minimal equipment and available light.

I’m on a mission to help you 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 by joining my FREE Videomaking Mastermind Group on Facebook 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.

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) Videomaking Mastermind Group on Facebook 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. You can share your own videos, get positive feedback and get inspiration from others.

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