These are tough times for many businesses but one way for business owners to put their time to good use is to take their business online and start communicating and sharing their expertise in video calls or pre-recorded videos. But how can you do that if you’re in lockdown and haven’t really used video as a way of communicating before and have no idea where to start?
First of all, know that you’re not alone. Many people are throwing themselves into the deep end now, feeling absolutely petrified, confused and inept. But they do it anyway, because they must carry on. And after a little while, they realise that it wasn’t as bad as they thought. They’re getting into the swing of it.
The most important thing to remember when taking the leap online, is that you’re communicating with individuals, not a massive group all together. Video is a personal communication tool, so imagining that you’re just talking to one person is the best way for you to feel relaxed in front of that lens. This also keeps you focused on your target audience and their needs. The more you can stay yourself, unscripted and personable, the better it is.
Here are a few quick tips on how to get started.
Your message is the most important part of your video, it’s not you, your hair or any fancy editing tricks. So, make sure you have something of value to share.
What’s valuable? Only you know what your particular target audience needs. If you don’t know, it’s a good time to get to know them better. Ask! What can you do for them right now? Do they need direct actionable advice? Do they need inspiration? Do they need practical tutorials? Or do they just need soothing words and a community right now? There’s a video for you right there, go ask and engage with them. The last thing you want to do is to go out on video with nothing of value to say.
Stay on brand
Everything the viewer sees and hears in your video will be connected to your brand, so make sure you know your brand values and stay aligned with them when you talk. What does your brand look like and how can you make your environment look the best for your brand?
Have a decluttered background when you’re filming, and if you can add something that represents your brand, it’s great for recognition.
If you want a background, you can use a blackout roller blind. You can also order a coloured pop-up backdrop that you can use anywhere.
It’s great to have an area set up where you know everything is ready to go, so you don’t have to spend time moving furniture and toys before you go on camera.
There are a few pieces of equipment that will raise the quality both of your image and your audio. Of course, you can start filming on your smartphone if you don’t have a video camera, most camera phones now are decent quality and good enough for social media.
A video light will make your video look crisper and sharper. A clip-on microphone will make your sound much better. A smartphone stand or tripod will stabilise your camera and free your hands.
But more than anything, please feel that your expertise is more valuable than anything else. Your audience needs you and are waiting for you to support them.
About Mi Elfverson
Mi Elfverson is a business vlog expert and the founder of The Vlog Academy, supporting thousands of people to communicate better on video, get more confident in front of the camera and connect on a deeper level with a larger audience.
Educated at Stockholm Film School, New York Film Academy and New York University, Mi has 25 years’ experience in high-end international film and video production. From Stockholm to LA, New York to London, Mi has worked as a production manager and casting director with global brands and renowned Hollywood films, ranging from Kellogg’s adverts to James Bond films.
Mi launched The Vlog Academy to share her expertise with business owners and organisations, helping them to increase their online visibility and communicate with confidence via video. She soon saw that women needed their own support platform as they had different questions, different fears and different needs. This prompted her to launch Eye Storm, an online programme, teaching women how to use smartphone video to become more visible online and be seen as the go-to expert in their field.
As a director and vlog coach, Mi’s forte is to calm the nerves of people who have never been in front of the camera, to make them feel relaxed and more conversational, and be able to resonate on a deeper level with their audience.
The Vlog Academy: http://www.vlogacademy.com/
Eye Storm: https://www.eyestorm.org.uk/about-eye-storm