Video tips to promote yourself online
“A picture is worth a thousand words,” as the saying goes, and the same holds true online.
“People are visual, and they often prefer to watch videos over reading lots of content,” says Lisa Sims, MS, an online instructor in the IT program for University of Phoenix. So if you’re looking to land your next job or to highlight your small business, creating a short video can be an ideal way to promote yourself.
Sims, who also hosts a radio talk show aimed at entrepreneurs, offers seven tips to help first-timers make a video that looks as professional as possible:
Keep it short.
“Anywhere between two to three minutes is a good length when you are first starting out making videos,” Sims advises. “That length won’t overload the viewer with too much information all at once.
“If you saturate someone with 10 minutes of your talking head,” she adds, “they are probably going to tune out” after a few minutes.
Write a script.
Whether you talk to the camera, showing your head and shoulders, or shoot a computer screen of your website, you’ll need to write a script in advance.
“Try to keep the dialogue conversational, like you’d sound when you’re talking to a friend,” Sims says, “and avoid using jargon.”
Provide useful information.
Although you’re making the video to gain exposure for yourself, know that your audience wants to get something valuable out of it, too. The content of your video should give viewers something they can use, Sims emphasizes. “If you’re talking about your work experience, for example, frame the conversation around how your skills or knowledge can help someone else,” she says.
Pay attention to details.
Scope out a suitable background for your video. “A bookshelf can look professional,” Sims notes. “Or [use] a simple office that isn’t too cluttered, or even a clean, blank wall.”
Avoid glare from windows by checking the image on camera before committing to the shot. And make sure kids, dogs and other sources of noise and distraction are out of sight and earshot.
Test your sound.
Make sure your volume is set at an appropriate level and that it captures sound clearly. Shooting with your iPhone® video camera may work well in terms of visual aspects, but you’ll want to consider buying or borrowing a higher-quality microphone for better sound.
“You don’t want to hear any static or crackling that will likely happen when the microphone you’re using isn’t up to speed,” Sims says.
Edit your footage.
Take the necessary time to edit what you shoot, Sims recommends, “so that you can remove unnecessary pauses or smooth any transitions between shots.” Both Windows® and Macintosh® operating systems feature free video editing applications.
Make your work available.
Upload your video to YouTube™ and Vimeo® online sharing platforms, and then link it to your website, blog, Facebook® profile, or any other of your social media sites.
“It’s important to use the right keywords to classify your video when you upload it to YouTube,” Sims stresses, so people can find it. She recommends the Google AdWords™ keyword tool to help find the best choices.
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