5 Tips for Filming Simple Author Videos

Videos. Wonderful…horrifying…hard…mandatory.

These are all words that probably flit through your mind when people say you need to use video within your author brand.

While we do have our Fear Free Filming Course over at Reading Transforms, I wanted to break down a few basics for you, so in this week’s episode of RT TV I’m giving 5 Tips for Filming Simple Author Videos.

Now before we jump in, let’s talk about why videos are so important…okay, let’s face it, mandatory.

We live in a world dictated by social media algorithms. These algorithms index our business pages, rank our posts and decide what our fans will see. The algorithm values text post the lowest, then photos, then video, and finally live video comes out on top. If you aren’t implementing video and live video, chances are your content will not been seen by very many people (unless you pay to play) so creating and working with video is essential.

I’ve done so many trainings on how to use video as an author that I’ve lost count and I’ve channeled the best of everything I know into our Fear Free Filming course…but these next few tips are ones I commonly share with, well, everyone who is making videos for RT or author projects.

1.) Hold your camera landscape.

This pretty much goes without saying when using real cameras, but it needs to be said when using your phone as your camera. If you hold it up and down you will get those icky black bars on the sides of your video (black bars=unprofessional and inexperienced…there is only one exception to this rule and that is if you pull your content from IG Stories or Snapchat Stories where it’s mandatory to hold it up and down. Check the video for tips on how to handle this situation.)

2.) You must have quality lighting and sound.

People will not listen to a video with poor audio and if your lighting is bad it will distract them tot he point where they won’t listen to you message. Check out the video for tips on how to avoid these downfalls.

3.) Keep it short.

Don’t make a ten minute video out of something that could be three minutes. People like short. Communicate you point in the short, most effective way in order to get more views.

4.) Know what you’ll say.

Prepare in advance, take notes, memorize what you want to say if you need to. You don’t want to get in front of the camera and stumble around for words, get lost or confused, or have awkward silences. Have a good idea of what you’re doing beforehand and you’ll look and feel much more confident.

Pro tip: Don’t swear or be inappropriate. You want people to be able to watch your video at any time in any place. If they know you swear or are not appropriate in some of your videos, when they find your newest video and they’re in front of children or out in public and can’t risk playing your video, they might forget and not come back to it at all. Make sure all people are comfortable watching where ever they are at any point throughout the day.

5.) Get it in one take.

Clipping up you footage, having it jump around, creating breaks in your video all lead to distraction. People want to listen to your message, but if there is a spot that obviously time jumped, they’re going to wonder what happened-did you mess up a line? did the books behind you fall? did you stop for a snack?-and while they’re busy recovering from your cut footage, they will have missed part of your message.

Get it all in one take. This may mean filming it several times until you get a take that is acceptable (pro tip: it doesn’t have to be perfect) but that’s not a bad thing. The more times you actually do it, the better you get at saying the words and the more concise you can make your message and deli every of that message. Plus you look so much more professional if you can it one take, and because you are your brand and you need your brand to be professional, your goal should always be to look as high end as you can.

There are tons of great tips within the video that I didn’t mention here, make sure you check it out!

What is the next video you will be creating within your author brand? Let me know in the comments!

Stay inspired,


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