Since the coronavirus hit, it’s been tough to meaningfully connect with your network virtually. I have been getting a lot of questions from financial advisors asking how to record your own videos so they can communicate with clients and share important information. So today I want to walk you through my process and give you some tips and tricks.
Tip #1: Decide if the DIY route is right for you.
It’s important to realize that do-it-yourself (DIY) videos are never going to be as polished as professional videos. But one good thing about the coronavirus lockdown is that expectations of video quality have come way down. Even top news anchors and the cast of Saturday Night Live are broadcasting from their homes.
If you want professional videos for your home page or website, I recommend going to a professional videographer and getting those done in a studio with a white screen behind you. The great thing about videographers is that they have all the audio equipment and lighting needed to make you look really great. Plus, they do all the editing for you and add in music, disclosures, and logos.
Here are three examples of professional videos I’ve done with a videographer. I pay around $2,400 for six videos including editing.
- Meet Claire Akin – Indigo Marketing Agency
- Why Financial Advisors Choose Indigo Marketing Agency
- Why Financial Advisors Should Embrace Digital Marketing
But during the pandemic, if you want to record more casual videos, then keep reading. I personally find it much easier to jump in front of a camera and talk than to write up a blog post, send an email, or call all of my clients. It’s a really personal way to get your message in front of people, so that’s what I’ll talk about today.
Tip #2: Get a decent camera.
The first step is to get a decent camera. I use a MacBook Air to record most of my videos, which is a laptop with a high-quality built-in camera. It costs around $1,000 and makes a great laptop for travel.
You can also buy a webcam from Amazon and connect it to your computer. Or you could buy a tripod and use your iPhone. The trick here is to position your iPhone (or webcam) far enough away from you and above you so that it’s shooting down. This gives you a more flattering camera angle and helps prevent people from looking up your nose or thinking you have a double chin.
Tip #3: Edit the video.
A video editor can do a lot with even a low-quality video. They can brighten up the picture, fix the sound quality, and add your logo and disclosures. We have a great video editor on our team, so reach out to us if you’d like us to edit your videos for you.
Tip #4: Use natural light.
Perhaps the most important trick to getting flattering video is to have a lot of natural light if you can. My office has floor-to-ceiling windows that are south-facing, so there’s a ton of light around noon. I also have a light above me and beside me. This may sound excessive, but the key is to really light up your face to get rid of any shadows, which will help you look brighter and more rested.
If you don’t have a window in your office, there are two types of artificial lights you could get. The first type is called a ring light, and it’s really easy to use (I recommend this one, this one, or this one depending on your budget). Just as it sounds, a ring light goes around in a circle and lights up your whole face. I recommend them because they’re inexpensive, work well, and are compact, so you won’t need a big place to store them.
Another option is to buy a big studio light. These do a better job of lighting up your face and your environment, so I recommend those if your office is really dark. The downside is that they’re bulkier and take up a lot of space.
Tip #5: Declutter your background.
My next tip is to declutter as much as you can. Ideally, you want to have a plain background with a few plants or a simple picture. To limit distractions even more, wear a solid-colored shirt that compliments your skin tone. Pro tip: Avoid black or white; it tends to wash out your complexion.
Tip #6: Consider your audio.
Next up, we need to talk about audio. If you have a MacBook Air, use the built-in microphone. If not, I recommend the Yeti Blue microphone. It’s easy to use and pretty inexpensive. I just click it into the USB port on my computer and it records everything from there. Then my video editor goes in and cleans up my voice a bit more post-production. Once again, we can help you edit your videos if you need it.
Practice, practice, practice! Do a few test recordings and watch them to see how you look. The more videos you do, the easier it is and the better you will get.
And smile! You wouldn’t meet someone in person without smiling, so don’t do it virtually either. A big smile goes a long way to warm up your videos.
Recording your own videos isn’t completely professional, but it’s more authentic and gives you the ultimate flexibility to record at any time. I recommend it if you want to:
- Quickly get a message out to your existing clients
- Reassure them about a market downturn
- Talk about a specific issue relevant to them
- Record a short invitation for an upcoming webinar
If you’re looking for the products I recommend, be sure to check out the links in this article. As always, feel free to drop any questions in the comments below. Thanks for your time!
P.S. If you have a Yeti Blue microphone, I also have a few tips on how to optimize the sound. Let me know if you’re interested.