So you are a life coach on a low budget and you wish to gain exposure through life coaching videos? But you don’t have expensive equipment, just an iPhone or a Smartphone? You may even lack editing software, and skills. And since Youtube is the second biggest search engine, and videos are a lot more popular on social media these days than blog posts will ever be. Now what?
It may surprise you, but when I hired a professional videographer he (next to a regular camera) also used his iPhone. And in the final results, I can’t tell which video was taped with the iPhone! I had to learn by trial and error making my life coaching videos. And I am still learning, and I am making errors. . Here are some easy steps to make your own life coaching videos, and avoid the mistakes that I made.
Step 1: Purchase a tripod, and an attachment that you can mount on it to secure your phone! This will prevent your camera from moving around, which instantly gives the video a more professional feel (see image.)
Step 2 (optional): If you don’t like the microphone quality of your phone, consider buying a lapel microphone. A good one is the SmartLav lapel microphone from Rode, but you can certainly go cheaper. Hook the mic up to your clothes and your phone (check if you need to purchase an additional 3.5 mm plug extension to attach your mic to your phone.)
Step 3: Click the button on your phone that allows you to see yourself, as if you are taking a selfie instead of making a life coaching video.
Step 4: Now you are going to check the light. Keep in mind that light behind you creates a white out behind you. Bright sunlight on your face, may actually flush you out and make you look a little sickly. Just navigate around your office or living room, and see what gives the best quality video image. Maybe move some lights around.
Step 5: Consider what is behind you: do you stand out against the background? Wearing different color clothes than your background helps. Is the background disturbing? And did you remove any objects that may be off-putting to a potential client?
Step 6: Now position yourself correctly; making sure that your chin is not right at the bottom of the camera view. If it is, it will produce the look of a chopped off talking head when someone is watching the video. I always prefer to have part of my chest in screen, but not my stomach (because the camera adds 500 pounds right?) Then enough space above your head, so it looks perfect, and you won’t risk the top of your head moving out of shot if you move a little. If you put yourself on the left or right side of the shot, instead of in the middle, I think it looks better. You can clearly see the difference in the videos below.
Step 7: Write down some key words as to what you are going to say. Don’t script, as that will come across unnatural, I think life coaching videos need to be natural to be effective for marketing. I tape my cheat sheet onto the tripod, so I can actually see it while taping my life coaching videos and do not have to divert my eyes from the camera. I close my eyes for a second, and I imagine what it is I am going to say. Then I put myself in a really good state, the “I know what I am talking about, your ass is mine” state.
Step 8: I then start imagining I am a life coach self talking or teaching a client about something. I imagine that the camera is actually my client. As I am a public speaker, I imagine that the camera is an entire group of people. This helps me to sound natural on video! You want to avoid sounding like a newscaster, or worse, a boring therapist, or a law firm infomercial. In fact, you only want to indirectly market your life coach business. Quality content is the best way to market yourself.
Step 9: If you do not intend to edit, you need to practice turning the camera on and off, with some speed, so you don’t see the whole movement with your hand and arm turning the camera on and off. Practice!
Step 10: If you do intend to edit a little and have some fancy intro page, then pause for a few seconds after you have turned the camera on. Then pause again for a few seconds before you turn the camera off. This makes the editing process much easier, to take out the “turn camera on and off.” Also, when you make a mistake, stop, give it a second or two, and start again in the place you were right before you messed up. You can actually edit your videos inside YouTube, and you can also check for video tutorials how to do that there.
I am adding an examples of my learning curve making life coaching videos, I only recently started as you can see. My iPhone is on its last legs, and has sound issues.
Last of my life coaching videos: iPhone 4s, lapel microphone. I couldn’t remove the mirror on the left, and I did place a desk lamp right next to the camera as it was evening time. I could only position the camera in one spot, or glare would come in from outside. Notice how placed myself on the left side, it looks better, maybe a bit distracting. The yellowish look could have been prevented by purchasing professional lights. But since this is about doing life coaching videos at a budget…
My first attempt outside: again same set-up as above. This is in a very public park in Amsterdam, and it was extremely noisy around me. The lapel microphone really helped. The mic is right below camera view. Lesson learned, perhaps next time, have a tiny bit of T-shirt still in view of the camera….I look like I am potentially flashing some boobs almost there. Notice how placing myself against a neutral background works. It was just a random object in the park, and I sat against it on the ground.
My life coaching video before that: iPhone 4s, tripod, no mic. Mistake made, I picked a more office environment, but perhaps should reduced the noise a bit of background. It does look like I literally was at work, and turned around the talk. Which does give it a natural feel I suppose.
My first among my life coaching videos: no special lights, iPhone 4s on its last legs, no microphone, taped in the evening. Though this is my living room, my customers said…remove the hippie stuff.
Tip: Since you are a life coach, and not a video editor you may want to make it easy on yourself and use the Youtube video editor itself (inside your youtube account.) There are YouTube videos online explaining the process.
Tip: for social media and youtube, keep your life coaching videos under 3 minutes!