Editor’s Note: We are excited to welcome Joan Goodspeed of Break + Remake to the Dear Handmade Life blog. Joan organized the craft supply swap and led some DIY make and takes at Craftcation 2017. It’s been so cool to watch Joan (in a pretty short period of time) hone her DIY video skills and on-air persona. If you’ve been thinking about getting started with video to promote your business, build your branding or just have fun – Joan has some awesome tips below. A quick note about the equipment I use to make videos (like this one for our Photo Styling online workshop): I use this DSLR camera and for shots with depth of field (blurry background) I switch to this 50mm lens (it’s reasonably priced and makes a HUGE difference). A tripod like this one with a lateral arm comes in really handy for overhead shots. This $10 wireless camera remote has been a life-saver. -Nicole S.
Getting discovered online is your number one goal if you are an online seller, or trying to build a business with a presence online. By making videos you are dramatically increasing your special “findability”. YouTube is the second most used search engine, and Facebook videos are shared more than any other content. So, if producing fun stop motion videos or sharing a craft tutorial sounds fun to you, get filming!
To make your life easy, start as cheaply as possible. If you keep your costs low at the beginning it won’t slow down your production and you can get your ideas out, out, out! Be sure to check out some words of wisdom to get you inspired from two of my favorite video-makers (Amy Tangerine and Jennifer Priest) at the bottom of the post.
If you have an Iphone series 5 and up, you can totally make videos with your phone. Create videos that serve a purpose and share good content and you’ll do fine. Borrow equipment from your family and friends, if you can. Or if someone you know has a fancy camera, like a DSLR or a nicer point and shoot, trade them baked goods for allowing you to borrow it for a day. I *ahem* borrowed my mic is from my dad (Thanks Dad!). When I started I had a camera that took ok-ish videos, but it was more for still photography, and had no option for an external mic, but I used it to shoot my first episodes. The only caveat I have is lighting. Make sure your subject is well lit and in focus. *See specifics in the editor’s notes about the equipment Nicole uses for when you’re ready to invest in a more professional set-up.
In keeping with low cost production you can edit on your phone or in YouTube. If you have an Apple computer like I do, use iMovie. One day, I’ll graduate to Adobe Premiere, but until then I’m gonna toodle along with iMovie. There are some great video editors for your phone! iMovie or Splice work great for iPhone + Filmorago or Quik Video Editor are great for Android. If you edit on a PC, share in the comments below and tell us which programs you like best! If you ever get stuck, Google your issue, read tutorials and ask teenagers to help. Teenagers know everything!
When you first start out, your website doesn’t have to be fancy. You can sign up for a free hosting site like Tumblr or Blogger, which are used by some famous YouTubers. When I started, I made the decision not to sink very much money into my website, and I still use Blogger. It’s been almost two years, so now I feel ready to jump onto a platform that is more slick and customizable than Blogger. So when you are ready, you can make the upgrade.
Sharing your ideas
Post to Facebook and YouTube. Post where your audience is; if you have a big following on Facebook, post there. If they are on Instagram, cut your video into a 15 second trailer and add the link to your bio. Pinterest is tricky, but it can work with video if you are smart about posting. Find out how by listening to this Simple Pin Podcast episode: How to integrate YouTube into your Pinterest strategy. Always ask your audience and friends to share. A little free advertising never hurts! The hardest part of my journey was reaching 100 subscribers. Sharing your video across platforms is the key to success.
When I started Break + Remake, my sustainable craft show on YouTube, I hadn’t edited a video since the dawn of Adobe Premiere. I knew going into the project I needed to keep my expectations low (because perfectionism kills the process) and stick to a consistent release schedule. The schedule I set for myself was one video every month. My comfort level increased, so I boosted my production schedule to once a week. Getting better is a volume game: the more you make, the better you get.
Amy Tangerine says learn and keep learning:
“Everyone has to start somewhere, so don’t let the intimidation of thinking your videos have to be perfect keep you from recording content. It’s always awkward to look at a lens and talk to it, but the more you do it, the more comfortable you will feel. I recommend learning the process from start to finish of making a video – planning, shooting, editing, uploading, but then if you can get to the point where you don’t have to do it all yourself, that is great! There is a lot of learning to be done and part of that might be learning that you’re better off hiring someone else to edit your videos so you can create more content. Just start with a smile and remember to enjoy the process!” – Amy Tangerine
Here is a video of Amy talking about her set up: How I shoot My Videos by Amy Tangerine
Jennifer Priest of Smart Fun DIY and Rainmaker Media Works has this to say about getting started:
“The biggest thing stopping us from making videos is ourselves. Many YouTubers we consider successful are making videos with their smart phones … the same phones we all carry around! Turn on the camera, start recording, edit with a free app on your phone, and you’ll have a video in minutes. All of the edits, text overlays, and animations don’t happen overnight. People build their videos up to that point so don’t compare yourself to them. If you want to do video on the cheap and start now, my best advice is to do one new thing every time you make a video; maybe you add a second camera angle or you try that “fade to black” transition in your editing software. If you try just ONE new thing each time you make a video, you’ll master the software and get a bunch of experience under your belt. Your videos will look better and be more interesting too!” -Jennifer Priest
Here are some quick tips to get you started:
1. Decide what you’ll use to shoot – your camera, phone or borrowed equipment.
2. Find a place to film that’s clear of clutter and well-lit.
3. Write a bullet point script. Nothin’ fancy! Intro, steps or talking points, outro.
4. Plan your shots. If the word “storyboard” makes you nervous, just make a list of the shot ideas and the angles you want to capture.
5. Decide how you will edit your video. Explore software and watch some tutorials on editing.
6. Pull out all your “ums” and pauses. Keep the flow of information going.
7. Lay text over your videos, or fill in the Closed Caption.
8. Figure out where you’ll post your videos – Facebook? YouTube? Vimeo?
9. Come up with a promotion plan – where will you share your videos?
10. Choose a frequency for how often you’ll post new videos.