Creating Video Content Part One: Getting In-front of the Camera

TJ Payne - Content Creator - 06/11/2020

There's no shortage of information out there on the value of creating video content as a marketer. I won’t bog you down with statistics, nor will I lecture you on why making video content matters. Instead, I want to offer you the absolute easiest ‘How To’ you’ll ever encounter in your life. You might be afraid to jump into this crazy world, but don’t be. To borrow from Professor Dan Purdy, “…Fear is actually an acronym. False Events Appearing Real.”

Why You’re Here

If you’re taking the time to read this, then you probably fall into one of three camps. The first camp is the most common. That’s the type of person who doesn’t like the spotlight but might know a bit about getting around on a computer. If you’re really lucky, maybe you even have some applicable knowledge related to editing media. With the time and resources of a student you most likely can’t afford to find any actors or directors, which may feel like an insurmountable roadblock. If this sounds like you then don’t you worry, this stage-chewing-attention-junkie has got your back.

The second camp is the one that I fall into. I’m one of those rare few who really likes to be the center of attention. With a life spent on the stage, taking the leap to creating video content seems like a no brainer. On the flip side, I hadn’t so much as looked at a piece of video editing software in my entire life. I don’t own a camera or have a fancy microphone. My only workstation is a repurposed dinner table that’s primarily used by two overactive cats (except right now, when Noodles is sleeping on my lap).

Sleeping kitten

The third and final group is someone who’s stuck in the middle of this Venn diagram. They’re the person without a lot of experience in either category, and they’re probably the most nervous of all. Even you, oh worried reader, will be able to get through this.

What Can We Do?

Obviously, reading this article isn’t going to make you a Hollywood star, nor will it transform you into the greatest editor of all time. People spend their entire lives in those pursuits. What I can promise you is this: by the end of this series, and with a little practice, even you will be able to create video marketing content.

Camps One and Three: Getting in Front of Things

Part one of this two-part series will take place here. Getting around the camera. There are a lot of places here that tend to spook someone that’s new to this game. Luckily, it’s 2020, and you’ve already got a video camera in your pocket. So… what comes next? Well, there are two steps here really. Getting the idea and getting on camera. If you’re in marketing (which, if you’re reading this, I assume you are), then getting the idea going is the easy part. Just in case you’re struggling to remember the steps, I’m going to go ahead and put this infographic up that I use whenever I start a new creative project. It’s not specific to video content, but it should get you well on your way. Feel free to download it, print it off, or distribute it however you like. Reference it whenever you need during your career.

Content workflow: Content Ideation, Content scheduling, Content creation, Content editing, Content publishing, Evaluate results

4 Easy Steps to Learn How to Speak in Public

Getting started is the hardest part, so without further ado, here’s a numbered list of things we do in the theatre.

1) Focus on the Scoreboard, Not Being the Goal Scorer

That might seem odd. The first part of being the center of attention is to… stop being the center of attention? YES! Think of it like the adage, “there’s no ‘I’ in team.” Instead, focus on your message, your true purpose. You’re there to tell a story, not to be the story. Wayne Gretzky is a great not because of how many goals he scored, but because of his assists. When performing for your video, or any time when you’re in the limelight, take a moment and remember why your audience is there. They’re not there to watch you, they’re there to hear about the topic.

2) Stop Scaring Yourself

Next up, then, would be getting in front of the camera. Deep breath. You’ve got this. F.E.A.R. is just an acronym, and the imaginary holds no power over you. So, let’s talk about stage fright.

First and foremost, know that you’re not alone. Public speaking is recorded as being the single greatest fear in America, beating out flying, spiders, finances, and even death.

What are you so afraid of? % of Americans say they fear... 26% public speaking, 24% heights, 23% bugs/snakes/other animals, 18% drowning, 17% blood/needles, 17% claustrophobia, 14% flying, 11% strangers, 8% zombies, 7% darkness, 7% clowns, 6% ghosts (bar chart, percentages approximate)

3) Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Of course, as with all things in life, the best way to get good at something is to practice. Video lets us practice our public speaking in the absolute safest setting possible. No one in the world will ever see your video until you choose to publish it. That includes your outtakes, pauses, missteps, and on the fly rewrites. Better yet, you can go back and look at your footage and your own performance and adjust yourself accordingly. All they see is your final product, and that’s where you get to put your best foot forward.

4) Don’t Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Good

Today’s innovations are the result of yesterday’s imperfections. My inclination is to revise, edit, and destroy my work endlessly until there’s nothing left to show. If instead we embrace the imperfections in our work, we can discover gold.

For me, I really struggled with this step. To be honest, I still do. Most of my progress in this field came from improv theatre. For you, likely a business student, you probably don’t have the want/time/desire to do that. To help you better adjust to this new way of thinking, set concrete goals for yourself before you begin your project, I’d even write them down. If/when you come to your point of frustration and you think you just can’t get X, Y, Z, right, refer to your preliminary goals. If you meet your requirements set by this document, then let your product loose into the world. After all, even if it doesn’t turn out as well as you had hoped you’re still left with a fantastic learning opportunity. Measure what went wrong, then learn how to fix it next time.  I’ll be practicing this very step right now as I get ready to send this blog off to my editor.

That’s a Wrap

Congrats on making it this far. Hopefully, some of what’s been covered here will help you not only in creating video content, but with stage fright and public speaking in general. Moving forward, you can expect to see another blog releasing soon for our other group of campers: the tech averse.