Three Critical Mistakes to Avoid with Business Videos

More and more professional firms and individuals are using video on their sites to promote their business.

And while video can be incredibly powerful in building a connection with potential clients – some of the videos I’ve seen are pretty poor and do more harm than good.

I’ve been using video on my websites for over a year now – and although my videos are far from perfect, I have learnt a few lessons along the way. In this short video I share 3 critical mistakes to avoid when making business videos.

Comments

  1. says

    Good tips – thanks! What do you think about using a neutral or white-screen background (as you did in your video), vs. some other natural setting? Of course, the natural setting would have to avoid clashing with the subject matter and not be distracting – but I’m wondering about your opinion on this in general.

  2. says

    Really good question Steve.

    Partially it’s a matter of preference. I fell in love with the pure white backgrounds when I first saw them so that’s the main reason I use them.

    They give a kind of modern feel – and they isolate the presenter. In my case, the main impression I want to get across is contained in my message so I want the focus to be only on me and what I have to say.

    In other cases you may want to give other impressions. Perhaps a more relaxed, friendly tone. Or maybe a highly professional one. If so, different backgrounds can definitely help. Foliage, or a bookshelf for example.

    The white background is actually quite dificult to do. You need studio lighting and you have to overexpose the background to get it to be pure white. On this video I didnt get it quite right – it looks a little bluey in places. On the other hand, overexpose too much and you wash all the colours out.

    Rgds

    Ian

  3. says

    Ian-
    Helpful tips. Very practical.
    I notice that a lot of your focus with video seems to be on offering overviews,tips and educational material. Have you been doing anything on using video to present case studies? Have you seen any work that you find impressive and effective for case studies?
    Thanks…lwf

  4. says

    To be honest Lee, I haven’t. I’ve seen interviews with clients work well generally but I don’t have ny exemplars or case studies.

    Cheers,

    Ian

  5. says

    Great advice. I participated in a video session recently and we got most of it right (laptop with word prompts, good background, good eye contact with camera) apart from the sound.
    It sounded like we filmed in a cave next to a busy motorway. An external mike would seem to be an essential piece of kit.

  6. says

    Hi Ian,

    These are great tips, there is so little out there about using video. Just wondered if you could be more specific on what you use as telepromp on the iphone. This would be a great asset as my memory isn’t brilliant. I’ve heard of Adobe Communictor which has this funtion but pretty expensive, although it also has the function to have different backgrounds as I just use a plain wall at present. Your iphone teleprompter solution sounds brilliant for keeping your eyes towards the camera.

    Many thanks,
    Linda

  7. says

    @Michelle – that’s a real shame on the sound front. I had to redo an entire video for that reason – too much background noise.

    Sometimes it can work to your advantage – I did a video a while ago in my “studio” (which doubles as my garage) where at the end you hear some geese honking as they come in to land on the pond next to our house. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing on the video and it kind of worked well – added a touch of humour, so I kept it.

    @Linda – I use Pro Prompter on my iPhone which works well. If I had my time again I might look into Teleprompter+. The reason is that Pro Prompter only has 15 speed settings. That sounds like a lot, but I find that speed 9 is a little too fast for me and speed 8 is a little too slow. You really need it to be prompting at exactly your normal speaking speed.

    I get round it by adding the odd blank line into the text to slow it down a little – but it would be better if it had finer gradations on the speed.

    I believe Teleprompter+ has 100 speed settings. I can’t vouch for the rest of its functionality though. But at only a few dollars it’s worth testing it out.

    Ian

  8. says

    Ian,

    Great job. I really enjoyed and learned (and will blog about it). We are struggling to use video. From the comments, I see that your “studio” is your garage. I love the white background and since all our office walls are white (we have a modern-styled office), we can shot from our office without going off-site which is a key for us in getting a video done instead of just talked about.

    We figured out the external mic (very helpful) but what kind of camera and lighting do you use? We’ve worked with a camera that is one step above a Flip and bought it so our professionals could take it on the road and record from, say, a hotel room. But without proper lighting, it’s a nightmare.

    If we have to go off-site for a video shoot, we’ll never get them done. Any help is appreciated. Thanks for all your great content!

  9. says

    Nice tips. The only thing you should of left out to say that your videos are “far from perfect”. I found your presentation pretty good expect for hearing you say that your videos are “far from perfect”

  10. roughhouse01 says

    Very good tips, Ian, all of which I’d agree with – and you have a really nice relaxed presentation style.
    One tip for you – why not tuck the mic just inside your shirt so you can’t see it?

  11. says

    Hi Ann – you’re spot on! Some months after doing this video I got one recorded by a professional video guy who did just that – tucked the mic inside my shirt.

    I don’t always do it these days – it can be a bit fiddly and sometimes results in noise from my shirt rubbing on the mic – it depends on the shirt actually I find some it seems to be easy to do with, others it’s a pain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>