There’s a lot of reasons why online business owners decide against creating videos. Time, money and equipment are the big three - in fact, they’re the big three excuses for most things. With video, they’re all actually valid issues because videos do take time, and equipment, and - yes - sometimes even a little money to create.
But probably not as much of all three as you may think. Especially if you have a plan.
When I first started my business, I did what most people do when it comes to recording a video. I decided on the thing I was going to talk about, pressed record, and then spent the next hour or so struggling to say anything that coherent.
Finally, I would decide enough was enough and I’d import my iPhone footage into my free editing software, take a deep breath, and settle into my desk chair for the long haul.
And then I’d spend the next week trying to make something out of the mess I’d recorded. There were late nights. There were copious amounts of carbohydrates. There was even some crying.
By not putting in some thought before I picked up the camera, my videos were never particularly clear - in fact, they were a bit of a mess. Because trying to create a video that doesn’t have a strong message is like trying to change a tyre while drunk - it’s stupid and it’s ineffective. Really, you’re just asking for trouble.
I mean, if you’re going to spend all that time and effort making a video, wouldn’t you want it to be something that’s going to provide value to your business as well as your audience?
So I did what I should have done in the first place, and went back to my television production training. Because, well, obvs.
I sat down, and I came up with a plan.
You may not want to go down that rabbit hole, at least not completely. But if you want to use video for your business and have it actually help you meet your business goals, give your audience something valuable, AND take half the time to put together? Then you need to do some thinking before you press record.
Luckily, there’s really only five things you need to think about. Actually, that’s a bit of a lie, but if you only do these five things your videos will magically:
- Be quicker for you to film
- Be easier for you to edit
- Help your audience understand what you want from them
- Provide value for you, your business and your community
And who doesn’t want that, right?
Decide your outcome
The first thing you need to figure out is what you actually want your video to do for you. This is the goal you want your video to achieve for your biz, and the goal you want your video to achieve for the people watching.
They’re pretty much always going to be different - I actually can’t think of a time they’d be the same, but never say never!
Pick your call to action
The second thing follows on from the first thing: call to action.
You should only pick one. Make it easy for your audience to do what you want by only giving them one option.
And it should support the outcome for your video - so if you want to position yourself as the go-to resource for pet care, then asking your audience to grab a related opt-in on how to groom all the animals would be an appropriate call to action. So would asking them to subscribe to your video channel. It’s all about deciding which wider business goal you want this video to support … and don’t forget you can make other videos for your other goals!
What’s your story?
Thing three is deciding on the angle you’re going to use in your video. This is your story, and - again - you should be sticking to just one. Anything that doesn’t support that one story shouldn’t end up in your edit because it dilutes the power of your message, and no one wants that. So figure out what story (or angle) helps you reach your outcome the best, then run with it.
Write a script
Then you take all these things you’ve decided, jot down a couple of key takeaways you want for your audience, and flesh them out into a short script. Emphasis on short, you don’t need to give Avatar a run for its money.
Doing this helps you get clear on what you want to say, why you want to say it, and how. It also means you’ve got a roadmap when it comes to editing your video together.
Cut up your script
Now you may hate the idea of a script, and I get where you’re coming from, but hear me out: scripting lets you break up your content into small pieces that are easier for you to remember. It prompts you to remember props (pet brushes anyone?), and it can help you make your videos more engaging. You’ll have to watch my video to see what I mean by that, it’s easier to understand when you see it in action.
What were my things?
- Position myself as an expert, and provide actionable information for the viewers
- Grab a copy of my script (and get on my newsletter list)
- You can save time and frustration by following these steps
As you can see, all three things support each other. There’s no random, unrelated information, I don’t go off on long tangents, and there’s no uhming and ahing while I try to ramble my way through a thought. Using this process doesn’t need to be complicated, it’s simply a way to offer clarity on your video content and provide a checklist for you to edit against.
If you want to see the script I wrote for my video, where I’ve put all these things into action, head over to torsg.co/scriptmeup to download it. I’m a fan of colour coding, so as an added bonus it’s pretty too!
Remember, most of your competitors probably don’t use video for their business, so if you’re on the fence now’s the time to climb onto that horse. And if you pay attention to things one to five, your videos will be epic
By Tors Grantham
Tors is the founder of Mynydd Creative. She spent almost a decade working in television production offices across London and south Wales where she soaked up all the knowledge she could before deciding to try out life in the ‘real world’.
She created Mynydd Creative as a way to use her past life skills and she now works as a video coach for online biz owners who secretly yearn to rock the world with amazing video content. She lives in the mountains (or mynydd) of Wales with her large wolf dog and small cat.