I would never market myself as a video producer. If you want someone good, go see Mike Perlman. But if you want short videos to stick on your Facebook page with light editing (as in maybe a title shot and closing credits with maybe some background music that fades in and out), I’m your gal.
So in talking about making these social media videos with a new client, I wanted to get at what her ‘style’ was. Here are a few I’ve come up with:
Option A: The Highly Produced Video
Pros: Short, edited, and educational, these videos are meaty without being overbearing. They are conversational, sure, but not much fluff.
Cons: You need a professional to make things look this great, which means having a budget and something specific you want to accomplish. Assuming you are able to put professional looking aspirations aside, you’ll be needing something to drive it in terms of content (ex: user questions, a very clear topic). Probably not likely to ‘go viral’ but, as you have probably figured out, that’s not what it’s all about.
Option B: Interview Style
Pros: Involves other people, zero production value. To be fair, most of the big shots (Marie Forleo above included) started with these kind of videos. Also all you need is a webcam, a mic, (headphones too so there is less echo), and some screen capture software. You can get this whole tech setup for under $50. Clearly who you interview is infinitely more valuable. Plus, not only do you get to share the video on your network but also the interviewee will likely share it to theirs. Double exposure!
Cons: When you involve other people and have low production value (see the ‘Pros’ section), you have to be interesting. Because you are the interviewer, you should be ready to carry it if you have to (some people are not fun in an interview situation). Also, since you may each be in your own individual location, while you can control things like lighting and sound quality on your end, you have to trust the person you’re interviewing is taking an equal amount of care.
Think of interview type videos as the ‘you gotta walk before you can run’ of online video. It’s a good way to start.
Option C: Teaching Session
Pros: Can cover more material (or in more detail), can have notes, can market a series of these as a course in the future (yay money)
Cons: Makes people think of school so you have to be extra interesting about it (Look at the way Moz lays out the notes and this dude’s mustache as examples of this.)
This is an often overlooked style because few can pull it off. But if you’ve got interesting material that’s not going to ‘happen’ in less than 5 minutes, this allows your video to be meaty and get people your content in both visual and auditory ways. If you create videos this way, you can also turn them into an online course (more on that in a future blog post). Websites like lynda.com and Skillshare are popular for a reason!
Option D: Scripted
Pros: Scripted, can make it pretty short
Cons: Having to be ‘clever’
So you may ask yourself, Nicole, why did you separate this from the ‘Highly Produced’ option? Well, I’d say this kind of video (which I get is a commercial) is more scripted. I am doubting in Option 1 Marie Forleo has scripted everything she is going to say and has it down to the letter. I’m also doubting she’s thinking about scenes or storyboarding out what each frame looks like.
If you are a less confident presenter, having the script (and potentially working with other people, having multiple camera angles, etc.) gives you options.
As important as what your video is about, having a style can give you a structure to work with, especially if you are feeling a little blocked. I’m sure now that I’ve named these, you can think of other examples of each. If you are thinking one style speaks to you more than the others, watch videos like the style you want to emulate for more pointers. How long are they? What are good things you should copy? What’s the pace like? Take notes and you can keep these in mind as you make your videos.
So stop thinking video equals perfection. It doesn’t. People just like watching videos… so go make one already!