8 Little Known Ways to Build Personal Branding Using Video:
If you’re using video to build your personal brand, this video will help you – especially if you’re a little camera shy, or if you’re just starting for the first time – this video will help you.
But I’ve learned a lot about personal branding and video during my 2 year of trial-and-error.
Ths short video compresses 2 years of trial-an-error into 8 practical tips.
And I promise that those tips wil save you from all that wasted time and frustration that I experienced. For example,
Tip Number 1 – Limit your face time to 20-30 seconds
You’ll notice I started this video with 30 seconds of me speaking into the camera and then we cut away to the first slide – just 20 or 30 seconds of face time is all you need to make a personal connection. You need not be in front of the camera for more 2, 3, minutes or more. This is HUGE! Minimal memorizing. Minimal retakes.
I am not a naturally effective presenter on video. But I CAN make myself look like the CBS Evening News for just 20 or 30 seconds – and so can you.
You absolutely need to show your face to make a real connection on video – but you need not be in front of the camrera for 2 or 3 minutes.
Avoid using a teleprompter – most look really bad reading from a teleprompter, and you don’t need one if you do my 30-second thing.
2 – Outdoor versus Indoor
I like outdoor backgrounds – they’re more interesting than a white screen – and usually the natural lighting looks better. This video opened with Manhattan skyline in the background – boats on the East River in the background and so on.
Tip number 3 – if you’re doing the video outside, bring somebody to help you.
As soon as you set up a tripod, you will start attracting nuts. True! While you are facing the camera, people will walk behind you and give you the finger, or they’ll shout – after you do a few outdoor videos, you’ll discover the world really full of assholes – worse than you ever imagined!
In addition to warding off people behind your back, a partner can spot all kinds of other problems. You can’t see the problems because you’re so distracted remembering your lines.
Also a partner can improve the lighting by holding up a lightweight reflector. Easy! Everything goes better when you bring somebody.
4 – Use a script!
Start with a script – really, a script is nothing more than a blog posting.
I started this very video by writing a short arcitcle called “8 video tips.” To turn the article into a script, all you do is read your blog posting out loud. As you read it aloud, you’ll find yourself stopping and rewriting until the words sound right.
Your words must sound like ordinary conversation. When you get to the point where you can read your article straight through without stopping and backtracking, that is your script.
Some people recommend a different approach. They say, “just write out your key points – or draw some key frames – and then narrate your video on the fly – just wing it.” This is a bad idea for most people – you’ll mess up and you’ll have to redo it over and over. .
Writing the script – basically just an article – makes everything go faster. It’s the basis of everything – that’s why doing a video is really a writing exercise and not a video exercise. In addition to its basic purpose – the audio – you can slice-and-dice the script for other purposes, for example, the “description” area of youtube.
5 – Your video equipment doesn’t matter
I use a simple camcorder from Canon – Vixia R300 – it’s very popular, about 300 bucks. It’s handy and it’s got a jack for an external microphone, which can be important (most low-end cameras don’t have a jack for external mike). I’ll get to that in a minute.
But you get the same video quality from your iPAD as a camcorder. There are all kinds of accessories for iPAD – external microphone, apps for editing video and sound – just look up TABLET VIDEO on you tube.
At this level, you probably won’t see any difference in your video unless you step up to a really good video camera – like the pros use, maybe a Canon 7D – that runs about $1800 and you WILL see a difference in the video. But it’s all over kill for our purposes.
For our purposes, the video equipment doesn’t matter.
The secret is that your video editing software makes everything else look good. The software is sooo good, it covers all your mistakes.
I use a simple program called Camtasia – very popular, especially for capturing video and images from a computer screen. If you use a Mac – or an iPAD or an iPhone– these same video-editing capabliitles are already built into your device. And you can enhance them with hundreds of apps. Research this on youtube under TABLET VIDEO – you’ll see what I mean.
Number 6 – Unlike the video, your audience is super-sensitive about your audio
People are much more sensititive to audio – especially any noise in the background. In fact, the audio trumps the video. I discovered this too late. Especially of you are outside, the background noise is intolerable unless you’re doing a family vacation videos. The camcorder microphone picks up all the background noise.
If you are speaking on camera, at the very least, you should use an external, directional microphone that plugs into your camcorder. That can be a lapel mike with a wire or a wireless lapel mike. These are okay.
The best way is to record your audio separately. Record your audio separately and, later, use your editing software to synchronize the audio with the video. If you’ve never done it, this might sound complicated – but it’s incredibly simple.
7 – Music intro makes a difference
A musical intro can pull people into your video. I don’t mean electronic tones or techno music. I mean real tunes that are easily recognized. You can buy a music license from BMI or ASCAP for about $350 annually. This gives you access to millions of tunes. Very restricted license, but covers anything you’d want to do in short video. If you play the right tune at the beginning of your video, people will hang in there longer. I know this from watching the stats on my own videos.
Final tip, number 8 – Do not “be yourself” in front of a video camera
I’ve heard many gurus say, “just be yourself.” That’s a big mistake. The video camera is like a funhouse mirror. It distorts you. If you “just be yourself,” you will look like a boring, monotonous blob. By the way, that is why video resumes will never work. Most people look awful on video, unless they’re willing to be coached. But if you follow my advice in point one – limit your face time to 20 or 30 seconds – you can generate enough personality for a succesful video.
You straighten your posture, get your energy up, and look enthusiastic. If you had to sustain all that for 2 minutes – and remember your lines – that is hard to do for most people.
But YOU CAN look alive on video if you limit yourself to just 20 or 30 seconds. You’ll make a personal connection. Mission Accomplished! That’s the main point of this presentation. I’m outta time – thank you for visiting, and good luck with your next video!