So many of my fellow blogger friends and small business owners keep telling me they want to get into video creation as one of their 2017 goals. This totally makes sense, video content is SO important for growing your presence online. It's key to expanding your reach, increasing your traffic, and developing a stronger audience base. Plus, videos convert.
To help you on your path to creating awesome videos, today I'll share some of my best tips for getting started with YouTube. YouTube is the second largest search engine on the internet and the best place to put your videos to get exposure, hands down.
The Best Tips for Getting Started on YouTube
Setting Up Your Channel
Setting up a channel is extremely simple on the YouTube platform. I suggest you create a new, fresh account if you don't have one already. That way you have one that's separate from the account you may have used in the past for just pleasure.
- Upload a channel icon as well as channel art to brand and personalize your channel
- Add a description to your YouTube channel that lets new viewers know who you are, and contains relevant keywords to the types of videos you'll be creating.
While nice equipment immediately makes your videos look nicer and more professional, you DON'T need the best equipment to get started. My first video ever was filmed on a small, handheld, $99 camera. It's still up on my personal channel if you care to take a gander. Don't let not having the best equipment hold you back from getting started.
That being said, here are some of my best suggestions.
- Camera considerations:
- One with full HD or 4K. 4K is the future of video, so if you're investing in something new, I'd say it's worth it. Otherwise HD is currently the norm.
- One with a flip out screen. This will make your life a lot easier when you're getting yourself into frame.
- Higher AF points is always a plus, just like any camera you'd use for static images.
- When it comes to audio, most cameras have an in-camera mic. These mics are just fine for getting started. However, when you're ready for a higher-quality sound consider an on-camera mic or shotgun mic to pickup better audio.
- Adding a lighting kit is a great investment for creating videos. It ensures that you will always be able to control your light and be properly lit. A video that has poor light or has a subject that isn't well-lit can be very distracting. Typically I suggest LED panel lights. These are a little pricey, but don't take up tons of space and offer really high-quality, controllable light. If you're not ready to spend the money, umbrella lights or soft boxes can often be found for more reasonable prices, but they lack the ability to be adjusted and the light can't be controlled as well. Additionally, they take up more space.
Actually sitting down to film is probably the thing that catches most people up and prevents them from filming their first video. It certainly feels a little uncomfortable at first, but with some practice you'll get the hang of it.
- Get comfortable. One the the most important things is that you're comfortable while filming so you can feel like yourself. Make sure you're wearing something comfortable and are in a position that feels natural. I tend to feel more animated when I'm standing, which is why I opt to stand in most of my videos. Find what feels best to you.
- Have a plan. Sitting down to film without a plan is like setting a boat to sail without navigational tools. You should always take some time to do some pre-production to ensure you have a solid plan and understanding of what you're doing in this video and have everything you need laid out. Get my free video planners below!
- Do a test run. I can't tell you how many times I filmed and entire video just to look back and realize something was off. I had the boom mic slightly in frame, there was a fuzz ball stuck in my hair the entire time, the lighting was bad. Now, I always do a quick 1 minute test run first and play it back to myself to make sure everything looks just right!
Editing and Post-Production
Editing you videos is 100% your own style and you'll develop a look and style you like as you get better with editing and more comfortable with the software you use. Here are some of my best tips.
- Don't rush through editing. A mediocre video can become great with proper editing.
- Cut out all the repetition. I had an English teacher in college who taught me the fine art of removing ANYTHING from my writing that was repetitive. Get to the point. I apply this same method to my video editing to remove places that feel like they are repeating something. If you're video is redundant, people will get bored and click off.
- Create a kick ass thumbnails. Your video thumbnail should NOT be an after thought to your video. You should know what your thumbnail is before you even film the video. The video's thumbnail is the one thing that will convince someone to click on your video and watch it or not. It doesn't matter if it's the best video ever created, if the thumbnail sucks, no one will watch it.