The making of our first video
When Amy and I decided we were going to give our website a makeover for our 10th anniversary, we decided that it would be a neat idea to include a video to give our clients, and future clients, an up-close and personal look at how work and why we are a good fit to design their website. We embed videos into our client websites everyday, but making a video for our small business was a new experience, and even though we knew we wanted a video, we were both a bit nervous about the process and how it would turn out. A lot of research went into the preparation of the video, I’ve listed below the steps we took to get to our finished product.
Find a videographer
I’ve seen a lot of really great small business videos made by amateurs, but since Amy and I are web designers and not movie stars, we wanted a videographer behind the scenes who would give us the confidence we needed to know our video would be professional and personal. I’d like to give a quick shout out here to Jack Klink, of JACKLINK Productions, for the great job he did guiding us and creating our video.
Decide on a message
We knew our video would only be a few minutes long, so the topic needed to be simple and concise. After a lot of brain churning and thought organizing, we decided we wanted the message in our video to be: We make small business websites that will meet the needs of you and your target audience and we make the process easy. That seems simple enough, but it took a long time to narrow down a topic that seemed focused enough for a very short video, but also elaborate enough to explain what we do.
Create a script, sort of
It doesn’t have to be word-for-word what you are going to say, just a general idea that will give you talking points to remember. We wrote down questions that are often asked by clients and used them as a guideline for our script. There were many questions we wrote down, but here are the three main questions wanted to address:
- “What is involved in the creation of a website?”
- “What happens after the website is done?”
- “Will a website help my business?”
We also wanted to have some client testimonials in our script to add credibility to our message. We asked a few clients if they would share their experiences about working with Sumy Designs, and they were happy to do so. We figured between our client testimonials and answering the frequently asked questions, we could get our message across. I’d like to thank Tim, owner of Crystal Clear Pools, and Brian, owner of Absolute-U-Fitness for taking the time to help make our video a success.
Choose a location
We shot our video at a place called Matchbox Studio, which was selected by our director, Jack. Matchbox is a shared space work studio with a nice urban, industrial feel. It seemed like a perfect fit for our occupation. We shot our video on a Saturday so the studio space was predominately empty and we could move around and shoot in different locations. Plus, they have an indoor slide, always a bonus.
Decide what to wear
It may seem strange to some folks, but deciding what to wear on camera induced some unnecessary anxiety. I did a lot of exhaustive research, so if you are trying to decide what to wear in your next video, here is my abbreviated research:
- The best colors to wear on camera are jewel tones like shades of deep rose and pink, cerulean and indigo blue, kelly and emerald green, and most shades of purple and plum.
- The worst colors to wear are yellow and white because they give off too much light.
- Black is tricky because it requires extra lighting, but this extra lighting can wash out your complexion. Ditto for navy.
- Red is bad because it creates a fuzzy or halo effect around your body
- Stick with solids, anything with a pattern is also a big no-no because it creates a moiré effect.
- Sparkly jewelry is too reflective and dangly jewelry is too distracting
With these things in mind, I went looking for something to wear and, of course, nothing considered appropriate from my wardrobe research ever looked or fit right. My advice to you is to wear whatever makes you feel confident. We broke all the rules and Amy wore a black sweater layered with a white shirt with dangly earrings and I wore a red shirt with a sparkly necklace, dangly bracelets, with yellow shoes. What can I say? We’re rebels and we look fabulous. I could also insert another paragraph, or twenty, here about hair and makeup, but I’ll just leave you with the wardrobe scenario. Here are some photos our friend, Katie, took during our video shoot.
Shooting the video
I prefer not to be on video, but I knew it was a good idea for our business. If you’ve done your planning, everything will fall into place. Just remember to go rehearse what you want to say until you feel comfortable. Smile. Be yourself. Know that you are going to be nervous, and you are going to mess up, and that you get to do multiple takes and that everything will be okay.
Editing, editing and it’s done
We are lucky because we were able to hire a professional to do our filming and editing. It was two weeks later that we were able to finally see the first draft of our video, and when we got the video link Amy and I watched it together via Skype. After all the anxiety and planning, we were pleased that the video turned so professional. We went through another round of minor edits and then we were done.
If you didn’t get a chance to see it yesterday, or you just want to watch it again, here is our first small business video:
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