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Make Your First Online Video – Then Delete It.

Creating your very first video is hard – I’m not going to lie. Cameras, technology and figuring out what to say can be intimidating. Your second video will be 100% better and easier. And much like learning to ride a bike, before too long you’ll be speeding along effortlessly and creating unmatchable value for your brand.

Getting started is the hardest part.

The first thing you need to do on your video journey is start making a video your audience will never see. Take our your smartphone right now and start the camera app and switch it to video mode. I mean it. By the end of this blog post, I want you to have your first video – one your audience will never see and one that will start to break down the intimidation and set you on a path towards confidence on camera.

Online Video

Step One

Find some decent light.
The first mistake I see in DIY videos is bad lighting. Either too dark overall, or the background is too bright.

For your first video, find a window where no direct sunlight is coming in – you’re looking for soft light – the kind you see on a cloudy day, or in the shade of a building.

Stand in front of the window. Hold your camera against the window – or even tape it to the window – with the screen facing you and the volume buttons facing down. And place the lens at mouth level.

Step Two

Record decent audio.

The next most common mistake is recording bad audio. Either there’s a lot of noise in the background or there’s a refrigerator humming or your voice isn’t loud enough. If you step back arms-length from the window, and the room you’re in is quiet, and you speak in a regular speaking voice, you should capture good sound.

Step Three

Plan your content.

Mistake #3 is failing to produce content with your audience in mind that, is short and sweet. . Just like a blog post, you need to produce video content that is compelling and persuasive for your audience that can be watched in three to four minutes. . Plan your content around these three questions: What is your audience’s pain point? How are you solving it? What is your ask?

I like to use this 4-point formula as a quick reference:

  1. Tell them what pain point you are going to solve (5-20 second)
  2. Introduce yourself as the expert that will solve their problem (5 seconds)
  3. Solve their problem as quickly as possible (30 seconds – 3 minutes)
  4. Ask them to do something such as subscribe, sign up for your email list or post a comment (10-20 seconds.)

Step Four

Look at the lens, push record and start talking.

Mistake #4 is looking at the screen instead of the lens. Remember – your audience is inside the lens – to look into their eyes you need to look into the lens. If you set your camera at mouth level and you are arm’s length away, your eyes will be in the top half of the screen – with a small amount of space above your head. Take a deep breath – look at the lens – smile – push record – and start talking.

And when you are done talking – push stop. This video won’t be perfect – or even close – this is your icebreaker/intimidation-breaker video.

I’d like to hear how you did with your first video in the comments below.

Take a look – is the lighting good? Does it sound good? Is this something your clients would find helpful? Are you looking into the viewer’s eyes? Is it better or worse than you had imagined?

Now go ahead and delete this video. Your next one will be way better.

And, here’s the great news – if you followed the quick instructions above, your video is already better than 90% of all the videos on YouTube. Congrats — you’re an A student. A little practice will get you to A+ and you’ll be ready to share your videos with the world.

Brighton West Brighton West helps professional coaches attract clients using online video. He’s been creating online video since 2005 (before YouTube.) He loves a great documentary – or a great parody – and even better – a parody documentary! Brighton has a passion for marketing and persuasion, and loves that his business allows him to bring his skills and passions together. Brighton produces weekly videos on his blog teaching people how to create better online videos – you can find those lessons at Find him on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Lisa

    EEK! I did it! I bit the bullet, followed the instructions above (thanks for the permission to delete, BTW! 😀 ), and made not one, but FOUR first videos! It had been on my to-do list well before your email landed in my inbox with the reminder link at the bottom, so I just took about 15 minutes and did it.

    So now my questions are:

    – Portrait, or landscape? I thought I heard somewhere that landscape is better, but Periscopes are all in portrait, so….?

    – Does anyone else feel like they look SO STRANGE LOL!? 😀

  • Ahhh yes. The ole ‘just do it cuz it’ll suck anyway’ strategy. Always works like a charm.

    I remember my first video — the most awful piece of rubbish you could ever see. Horrible outfit, regrettable hair, audio with what sounded like the overlay of an ocean wave, and lighting (lack thereof) that made me appear like a cave hermit.

    But I did it — I got that shoot down. And then deleted it. Now, videos are a pinch. I’m not a video star by any means, but hey — that’s why you do it. To practice. To improve.

    And at the end of the day, it’s not about me. It’s about the value my audience wants.

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