This is a guest post by Stacie Tamakie of The Flirty Blog.
While most people know what blogging is, I’ve found many are unfamiliar with the concept of video blogging (aka vlogging). I’ll admit I hadn’t heard the term vlog until about a year or so ago. As soon as I did I knew I should begin producing video posts for The Flirty Blog, but for several reasons, none of which were particularly valid, I didn’t. First I thought it would be too hard to learn how to use a video camera. It wasn’t. Then I thought once I film something it would be a lot of work to learn how to edit the raw footage. Wrong again. But that’s me, a novice who had no clue how to shoot or edit a video. Which begs the question:
Why are so many professional videographer’s not utilizing video in this manner?
I mean, you have the equipment and the know-how to shoot and edit. Yet, the only videos I usually see videographers post on their blogs are the highlights and trailers of your client’s weddings and special events.
Done well, a one minute or less “welcome” video introducing yourself, work and company to online visitors can give you an advantage over any of your competition who doesn’t use video this way. Adding videos that allow people to see your personality and hear your voice on your blog or website can create a connection with future clients deepening their level of interest in both your work and meeting you in person. In other words, don’t just show me samples of what you do, introduce yourself to me and show me who you are. Believe me, if I’m considering hiring you I want to get to know you 🙂
I’m doing my best to practice what I preach even though I don’t really know what I’m doing and hate being on camera.
I finally began vlogging just last month. I’ve tried everything from sitting in front of the camera (while using a tripod) to create talking head videos about how uncomfortable vlogging feels when you first start out, to hybrid videos using both video and still images (with a voice over narrative) to create stories to share with my blog readers.
I could tell you about them but if the whole point about this post is to inspire people to vlog it may be better to show you what I mean! Here was my first effort at vlogging. It’s not perfect but that’s ok because I knew it wouldn’t be. I made it to create a baseline from which to improve:
After receiving some critical feedback I made my second video discussing what I needed to learn to improve and how I was feeling about vlogging in general:
By my third attempt I’d made a pretty significant leap at being more comfortable and natural in front of the camera and I introduced still images to the video.
So what’s holding you back? I think most people are more comfortable behind a camera than in front of one so that could be one reason. If being on camera doesn’t come naturally to you why not learn how to effectively present yourself through education and lots of practice? Believe me, if you’re a business owner in any field and act as your company’s spokesperson it’s worth the time, effort and expense to learn how to present yourself authentically and professionally on camera. Take a public speaking class or a comprehensive workshop (I took http://markferrell.com) and practice, practice, practice in front of your own camera.
IMO, at the end of the day many videographers are short changing both themselves and their industry as a whole because they aren’t using videography to present themselves to the world on their blogs and websites. The unspoken message viewers may come away with is that the value of videography is limited to only certain purposes and occasions when really the exact opposite is true. Because of the popularity of Youtube, Skype and even iPhone’s FaceTime feature I think video is destined to become as ubiquitous as email or texting when it comes to the next iteration of everyday communication. Vlogging is part of this forward trend so the sooner you start the less you’ll have to catch up later.
Web designer, developer and social media educator Stacie Tamaki loves working with small business owners. After starting her own blog in 2006 and experiencing the benefits of blogging Stacie became a blogging evangelist who now teaches small business owners about blogging and using social media to market their products and services.
Robbie Schlosser (@RobbieSchlosser) says
Thanks, Stacie. This HAD to be said! Now the fellows with all that high tech gear and know-how can follow YOUR lead, adding whatever special features they can, to distinguish themselves. Way to go!
Stacie you are AWESOME…Thanks for putting yourself out there !!!!
stacie tamaki says
Thanks Robbie and Arlen!
I hope videographers become trendsetters when it comes to vlogging in the wedding industry. They really are equipped to lead the way.
I agree that video pros need to do this. As you said, most are more comfortable behind the camera than in front, but in the social marketing world we live in they need to get over this immediately, IMHO.
You definitely improved your video with the cutaways to other imagery. More than about 15 seconds of a talking head is deadly, unless what they are saying or doing is absolutely riveting.
For you, I suggest you remove the picture frame from behind your head (it’s very distracting as a visual tangent) and also get a Zoom H4N or TASCAM field recorder to get better sound quality, and sync in post. Right now it sounds very echo-y as if you are in a very small room with a lot of hard surfaces. Short of that, you could hang some heavy fabrics around the room to deaden the echo from the walls and that large glass case behind you. Quality sound is even more important than picture-people will forgive poor picture quality, but they’ll stop listening if the sound is lousy.
I’ve been to a number of the places you mention, and some of them are quite appealing visually. Shoot as much of that as possible(B-Roll) and cut it in-even try an interview with some of the people there, and send them a copy for promo as a thank you.
stacie tamaki says
Thanks for the great suggestions.
The room is small with hard surfaces. I’m working on creating a dedicated studio where things like the back drop, lighting and sound quality will be addressed. I just had to pick up the camera and get going and stop using not having everything perfect as my excuse to wait.
That is a great idea to interview people and send promo copies out after! I hadn’t thought of either idea.
Thanks so much for the insights. They will help both how I make future videos and how I am able to share them,
Ron Dawson says
Great suggestions jeff. And Stacie, like you said, I like that you didn’t wait on perfection. keep up the good work.
stacie tamaki says
Thanks Ron! Still plugging away. Just learned how to insert a sound clip into a video today and have been working on creating an intro and credits at the beginning and end of each clip. Will soon need a fun and flirty little jingle theme song 🙂 It’s definitely a process but one I’m enjoying very much.
Ron Dawson says
Good for you Stacie. Keep it up!
Thank you for posting this Stacy! I recently published a book that teaches people to be more comfortable when they vlog. I really appreciated the guts it took to make your videos considering you don’t even like having your photo taken!:) If you are ever interested in checking my book out it’s called ‘Naked Lens: Video Blogging & Video Journaling to Reclaim the YOU in YouTube’. One of the things I mention is the necessity to be authentic – that seems to come very naturally to you.
stacie tamaki says
Thanks for the kind words Michael! I’ll go take a peek at your book. It’s great to know there’s an actual book out there to help others get started and those of trying to improve.