I’ve always been smugly confident in my ability to write.

I’ve  seen other people really struggle with this process and breathed a sigh of relief that this was one area I didn’t have to stress about.

I love to write!

But, as an entrepreneur I have learned to never get too comfortable!

The age of videos arrived and it brought up all my issues! I was convinced of the importance of video right away so I knew I had to overcome my video fears.

A video uses audio, visual and kinesthetic and this makes it a primo marketing tool.  As an educator I understand the value of teaching via different learning styles.

My early video experiences were hugely anxiety-filled. Once the camera started rolling I couldn’t remember what I wanted to say and I hated how I looked when I saw it after. I think I must have done 50 takes for my first 60 second video and I still wasn’t happy!

Now, after producing at least 20 videos I have figured out some tricks to make it easier. I wish someone had to given me this information right at the very beginning.

Here are a few tips that I have learned along the way.

1. Get a teleprompter program. It saved my life. No longer do I have to remember  the words to say. For only $100 you can turn your Macbook into a teleprompter. I just type in my script and it scrolls at the click of a button. I purchased a laptop tripod stand from a local photo store and place my computer right under the eye of the camera. The camera is on another tripod right behind the laptop.

The one I use is http://presentationprompter.com/  You can make the font size super large so you can read it from six feet away. At six feet it looks like you are talking right to the camera. No one can tell you are reading. It is awesome.

2. Get good equipment. For under $600 I bought a video camera with a mic jack, lights and a microphone with a 30ft cord. The microphone is crisp sound and the camera has a zoom, great quality and downloads straight to my Mac. This is a worthwhile investment if you are going to be doing regular videos. My camera is a Kodak eis and is as small as my I phone.

3. Watch a good YouTube video on how to set up your lights so your face is not washed out and the background looks good.  http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Set-Up-Interview-Lighting-174117077

4. Shoot against an attractive background but not too cluttered. Plants are good! Avoid a white wall as it looks very bland.

5. Find an assistant you trust who is calm and supportive. She will  make sure you are framed correctly, will check the sound, stop, and start. It is worth it!

6. Use graphics to highlight some of your words. Your voice will still be heard in the background. These are easy to create and makes the video more interesting. I have hired someone to do this editing for me! Remember, as a small business owner you don’t have to do everything yourself!

7. I upload mine on Vimeo and use the paid version. Vimeo lets me add captions and you can easily edit the size to fit your web page.

I learned this all the hard way and must have aged 10 years in the process. I hope you have a much easier experience!

Have you done any videos? Do you have any tricks you can add to my list?