13 Video phone hacks (tips)

13 Video phone hacks (tips)

Some companies literally spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to make videos they only share online. Kudos to them. However, this fact often intimidates small business owners. They think they have to have thousands of dollars to make effective videos. Well, that's just a myth. Better video does tend to sell better, but the real question is does your service or product fill a buyers need? Can you, with just your smartphone, have all the tech you need to make a video that sells? Yes. Pretty much everyone has a cell phone with a pretty decent camera/video recorder in their pocket right now. In this tutorial, I've compiled a few solid hacks (aka tips) you can use to make a decent video which speaks to your local clients needs, and shows you have the solution for a customers need.

Tip 1: Plan ahead with story boards.
Think about what you want to say and how you want to say it. Story board (outline) the general flow of your narrative. For this particular hack, I wrote out a very simple story board, took a photo to use in this video, and knew what I wanted to say and what the final video would look like before I even turned on the camera.

Tip 2: Use a video camera app.
Work with the gear you have and know its full capabilities. For example, default camera control tends to be limited on phones. However, there are many apps you can install to give you more control of exposure, white balance, etc.

Tip 3: Be aware of ambient noise.
Cells phones tend to have poor omnidirectional microphones. So, be aware of ambient sounds and record in a space, with limited noise.

Tip 4: Stabilize your camera.
When possible, reduce "shake" by stabilizing your phone such as your dashboard phone holder, prop phone on desk

Tip 5: Lighting and composition.
Consider lighting and frame composition before you shoot. Knowing where your light source is and avoiding light spot burn-outs is always a good thing.
(See "phone video hacks : 5-8 tips" above.)

Tip 6: Look into camera lens.
Know where your camera lens is on your phone. When speaking to your audience, look at the lens, not the screen.
(See "phone video hacks : 5-8 tips" above.)

Tip 7: Horizontal vs vertical.
Shoot horizontal vs vertical. Most social networks require a horizontal format, and if you shoot in vertical you wind up with a smaller screen presentation with "gutters" around the side. The except to this is when shooting only for IGTV and SNAPCHAT. They both have verticle options. IGTV requires it.
(See "phone video hacks : 5-8 tips" above.)

Tip 8: Wardrobe, hair and make up.
Consider wardrobe / hair / make up. You might have an awesome product, and creative fun video, but if you are wearing an offensive t-shirt and your hair is a mess, and your make up looks like the walk of shame, that might, undermine your objective of building trust and winning sales. Maybe not. Depends on your product and audience. :)
(See "phone video hacks : 5-8 tips" above.)

Tip 9: Edit still photography.
If you are using still photography in your video, edit your photo before using it. Most phones have some basic photo editing tools where you can crop, pop color, sharpen, etc. A little bit of editing can go a long way.

Tip 10: Professional Intro/Extro
Invest in a standard branding intro/extro and store in the cloud for easy import to your mobile editing platform. Expect to spend anywhere from $100 - $500 for a custom branding intro/extro. It will increase your professionalism and overall brand awareness.

Tip 11: Visual cues for editing
When shooting yourself, or a model, be sure to take a pause, look into camera, smile for a heart beat or two, then begin. This will give you a solid visual cue as to where to trim your video clip. Do the same at the end. Finish speaking, smile, hold, then move to turn off camera. Myself, I like to give a little wave at the end which is friendly, yet also makes editing much easier, especially on a phone where you don't have nearly the editing precision as using a desktop and mouse.

Tip 12: Keep it short.
In general, the online audience has a very short attention span. You want to be succinct and direct vs rambling on and on and on. How many times have you stopped watching a video because the speaker was rambling or just going to long? It's better to make multiple shorter videos vs one long video. It was also help with your SEO.

Tip 13: Share direct.
There are many platforms to share your video. Obviously, there is YouTube, but that's not all. You can also share your video on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked, etc. You've taken the time to make a video, so share it! When you do share, be sure to load the actual video file in the specific platform vs just sharing a YouTube link. An actual video loaded to Facebook, will get more engagement than just sharing a YouTube link. In all shares, be sure to use relevant #hashtags as well as a link back to your parent website if appropriate.

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