I’ve been reading a lot about how writers are using youtube.com for business promotion.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been testing out my cameras for sound quality, scouting out locations, trying to figure out how to get rid of unflattering shadows etc. Then there was the whole – what am I going to say, how am I going to say it, what image do I want to present information that I needed to have clear in my mind before I started.
It’s a complicated process.
My ‘author’ persona is much more casual than my role as a small business owner. There is a lot less ‘stuff’ to think about when filming an informal video, so it made sense to do the test run as Sue Nelson Buckley, the author.
Tips I’ve learned:
Most important. Stand still for 3-5 seconds with a calm, pleasant expression on your face before you begin to speak. Otherwise your starting frame could be you with an unflattering expression on your face. For example – look at the first of my videos below to see what I mean.
Get some good video editing software. I’m still looking – which is why the videos were done in one continuous shot. Editing software will also allow you to pause and restart if you make a mistake so you can edit it out later, instead of having to start over again. Also it will allow you to increase the voice volume and mute background noise – in one of my videos, you’ll notice I got ‘planed’, that’s what I get for living under a flight path.
Rehearse. No matter how good you are at improv speaking, it’s best to rehearse a few times to make sure you say what you want to say. Speaking to a camera is a lot different that speaking to a live audience. You can pause or look away from a live audience but doing so on video wastes precious file size and lessens the impact of what you’re saying
Look at the camera. Just like a face to face conversation, your audience will become disengaged with what you’re saying if you don’t make eye contact.
Do not read from notes. Watch any award show and you can tell who is reading from a teleprompter and who isn’t. The ones reading are much less believable and entertaining.
Be yourself, but also be conscious of the image you’re presenting. After all, even though you love working in your garden after a long day at the office, you wouldn’t walk into a board room wearing gardening overalls. In every video I do, I will be happy and enthusiastic. That’s my personality and the way I work. But, my author videos will be more casual, my consulting and e-publishing videos will be more polished. I’ll most likely do them inside, have my hair tied back, use more moderated speech and not raise my eyebrows so much (which I think makes me look ditzy, but Mom says I look enthusiastic – thanks Mom)
Watch other videos (including mine if you’d like) and look at presentation style, content delivery, language, background etc. Make your own list of dos and don’ts. Check out your competition to see if they’re promoting via video. If they are, you should be too. If they aren’t, this could give you an edge.
Use Youtube.com. There are many reasons I suggest using youtube. 1) it’s easy and doesn’t take up your bandwidth. 2) Because youtube.com is such a huge website, having viewers link from there to your website is great for your search engine standings. 3) People go there to see videos, it gives potential customers another way to find you.
Add tags. Don’t just post your video, ad tags to categories it so that anyone searching for ‘awesome stuff you sell’ will see your video. Youtube.com has a really good ‘fill-in-the-blank’ form to make sure you don’t miss any information.
Advertise your video. If you post it and don’t let anyone know it’s there then it won’t do you much good. Add the link to your website, blog about it, tell your friends and family on FaceBook, add it to your LinkedIn profileand Twitter about it.
To that end – here are the twoauthor videos I’ve done so far. They are intended to be very casual and informative.
Fast facts about me and some writing advice (note the opening facial expression – do not let this happen to you).
Describing the Dual version of my Novel.