Do you want to add online video to your business? Want to attract more clients through video?

Today I’m going to show you how to get started with online video – what equipment you’ll need, where to post them, know what successful videos do and the mistakes you should avoid making.

Online video equipment

There’s a lot of equipment you can use when making videos, and we’re going to go through them by level of expertise. FYI – there are some affiliate links in this post – buying something here supports my blog – and I only recommend products I believe in.

  1. A laptop with a built-in webcam, or a desktop with a webcam attached to it. These usually have a built-in microphone. As long as you have an Internet connection that’s all you need – and you may be able to start with even less!
  1. A smart phone – an iPhone or Android phone – with, of course, a camera.
  2. Microphone – you can add a microphone if you want to improve your audio recording.
  3. Tripod with an adapter – for mounting your phone.
  4. China ball – for some nice, soft lighting. You can also shoot near an open window as an alternative to get some natural light.
  1. DSLR – or a Digital Single Lens Reflex, which helps you create gorgeous videos.
  2. Separate audio recorder – for example, the H4N recorder. A DSLR does not do very well when it comes to recording audio, so having this in your studio would be great.
  3. Wireless Lavalier Microphones – make sure to buy the more expensive ones (like a Sennheiser,) if you don’t want your money to go to waste.
  4. Wired Lavalier Microphones – significantly cheaper than the wireless ones, but still high-quality.
  5. Three-point Lighting Kit – you can buy one starting around $50. This can help enhance your video further especially when you’re using a DSLR.

When it comes to equipment, it’s up to you if you want to use the equipment you already have – a laptop/smartphone – or go for more expensive gear like a DSLR. If you’re still starting out, I recommend that you use what you currently have.

Video sharing sites

  1. YouTube. If you want your videos to be found, YouTube is the way to go.
  2. Vimeo. If you’re the artsy filmmaker type, you can share your video here. If you want to host a video on your website, Vimeo would be a great choice.
  3. Wistia. If you want to sell your videos, or have your audience pay to get access to your content, Wistia is the perfect website for that.
  4. Facebook. If you want to activate your customers, get them sharing and talking about your video, then you should consider posting your videos on Facebook.

Three things all videos should do

These are the three things you’ll notice in many successful videos on YouTube and everywhere else. Almost all of them do (at least) one of these three things.

  1. Educate. How-to videos are very popular on YouTube. For example, if you’re in the plumbing business, you can create a video that explains “How to install a faucet,” which is something that people actually search for. Posting a video like this will not only help solve this particular problem; it can also get you leads for your business when viewers realize they’d rather hire you!
  2. Entertain. Pranks, cat videos, parodies – you name them, YouTube has them. If you can use humor to promote your business, great! Just be aware that what you think is funny might not be as funny to others, so make sure you test it out first.
  3. Inspire. Inspirational content doesn’t have to be spiritual – it’s all about opening people’s eyes to a world of possibility. You can create a video of top 10 tourist destinations to inspire people to travel. Creating a video of five innovative pasta dishes will make pasta lovers want to cook. The possibilities are endless on this one.

Mistakes to avoid

  1. Don’t put your head at the center of your screen. Put your head close to the top, with a little space above your head.
  2. Don’t hold your phone sideways/upright. Don’t be THAT person. No one wants to see those black bars on both sides of your video.
  3. Don’t look at anything other than the camera lens when recording video. Make eye contact with the viewer by looking at the lens, not at the screen.

If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below and I’ll answer them the best I can.

Enjoy creating your videos!