How to Shoot a Great Video and Engage Your Audience!

3 minute read

It doesn’t really matter what your audience is, whether it be real estate, fitness or social services – if you are going to make an informative video and publish it on your blog, there are a few little secrets to success. Do it well and do it often!

A Great Intro/Exit Screen

Invest in great intro/exit screens from a professional media designer and stay away from anything you think looks good. Supply your high resolution logo and tell them you want a clean modern font. More than likely what you like is the Comic Sans font and a picture of a dancing baby, so leave it to a professional and stay out the way! A great intro/exit screen screams professionalism and once you have this and a great font you can create the rest yourself.

Act Like a Pro

Even if you are a one person shop or a small team you can still shoot a video like a pro, you can even make it look like you have a whole production unit in play. Shooting it in a style that looks like you are being interviewed makes you look important, it gives you a certain gravitas! So ditch the webcam mode and act like a pro

Natural Lighting

Who really cares how many awards you have won (except maybe yourself) and no one looks good in front of a wall. So get yourself positioned beside a window with great natural light flowing in, maybe some plants or flowers behind you. Even better outdoors in a park, but that is more difficult with sound.

Keep it short

Keep each video under 3 minutes, right about the maximum attention span of your audience! Create a series of videos each with its own topic and go over in your head what you would like to say. No looking at notes, remember we want this to look like you are being interviewed and giving advice.

Corcoran Group Video New York

This group do it well, notice natural light/colors in the background, notice how it looks like she is being interviewed? (most likely by no-one) and notice how it is short and sweet.

What you need to get this right in Production

  • Easel
  • HD Camera (FlipHD or similar will do)
  • Quiet Setting
  • 30 minutes a week!

What you need to get this right in Post Production

  • Computer or Laptop
  • iMovie or Windows Movie Maker
  • Photoshop Elements (For Screen Edits)

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  • Shane Dale
    Posted March 20, 2012 at 9:58 am 0Likes

    Motherhood statements risk being wallpaper ( what time is right for you – list in the spring or fall, but what if you want to avoid the rush? etc etc harmless stuff). However they are inoffensive and sound right.

    Thus my observation is – make nice wallpaper, as it is probably what is most achievable for the agent and least controversial.

    The potential vendor is really assessing – your personality, if they like you, and your presentation – do you look professional? Look good, and approachable.

    If you are terrible in front of a camera, then your video is just advertising your lack of presentation to a broader audience. Get a professional voiceover and creative to make it for you while minimising your on screen “talking to camera” skills.

    The same applies for professional photography if you are not able to handle a flash and a tripod – your photos may be doing more harm than good ( every property ad you do just screams “I cant market YOUR property – so dont list with me!) – unless of course the competitors in your area are equally unimpressive 😉

    If you can throw in a few localised comments such as we have seen strong demand in 4 particular streets in suburb X and interesting enquiries coming from southern suburb Y – sounds like powerful expert deep local knowledge.

    This is the equivalent of saying in the video – important trends for those living in west Blogsville – of course if you live in west blogsville, the prospect’s interest level spikes instantly.

    If you have a speciality – then state it – if you specialise in Prestige Waterfront property – state it clearly. Make it the centre of your video message across all content in some way.

    You cant specialise in sales, rentals, residential, prestige and commercial – thats a confusing mishmash. Pick a clear message if you need to make an impact.

    Hmm, as a professional observation here – doesn’t seem like many agents I know will actually be able to handle this project, as the mindset of an agent is different from the midset of a video producer.

    If you are an agent who can – you have a clear and easy path to differentiation from your competitors.

    • Peter Ricci
      Posted March 20, 2012 at 1:37 pm 0Likes

      Hi Shane

      To be honest, to get that quality only takes the time to get the setting right. Yes for property video shoots etc, you might hire a professional but this was all about weekly updates and I doubt any agent could afford to hire a professional week in week out.

      There are community colleges that you can go and do a 4 night course and that will be suffice for this type of production.

  • Dave Platter
    Posted March 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm 0Likes

    “the mindset of an agent is different from the midset of a video producer”

    Great point, Shane. Maybe the typical agent needs to hire a video person?

    • Dave Platter
      Posted March 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm 0Likes

      PS: Nice post, Peter. Thanks!

      • Peter Ricci
        Posted March 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm 0Likes

        Thanks Dave

        • Shane Dale
          Posted March 21, 2012 at 11:03 am 0Likes

          Hi Gents,

          I used to supply agents with a Do it yourself virtual tour system – a super easy single shot hand held one and it was a lesson in how so many agents cant manage even a simple process like that. Often comically so.

          Peter – you are right, its just a course and some time to learn a simple editing program.

          However in observation I just dont see many agencies that seem to be able to make it happen for a variety of reasons – time, interest, skill, equipment etc.

          Hence I say – probably simpler and more profitable to just get a professional at a reasonable price to get the job done unless you have the time and headspace to do the job. The savings in time, equipment and concentration may be a false economy for those not naturally suited to the task. Usually the video guy is kind of passionate about the process – hard to beat that!

          Just my opinion. Hope it helps.

          • Shane Dale
            Posted March 21, 2012 at 1:01 pm 0Likes

            By the way – using the sample video as a reference – has a lot of nice “pro” features, which might be difficult for amateurs. These “pro” elements give a really effective environment for the agent to shine.

            They are not immediately apparent to the inexperienced videographer. However – those wishing to learn – take note!

            1. nice depth of field blurring to background – ensure the focus is on the person, its a fashionable look, and keeps attention on the person without distracting details of background. Very chic.

            2. exposure and lighting is nicely balanced between harsh bright external and internal soft face lighting in a modern office – avoid harsh fluoro downlights or shadows casting on the face from overhead lights. The background is a gorgeous green on a sunny day – dont forget to arrange the weather!

            3. minimal, discrete logo or captions – corcoran – is restrained and professional, almost feminine.

            4. They obviously have a forumla for getting this right – which, once established can be easily set up again and again. That is a good idea.

            5. Talent – there is no doubt this woman is good in front of the camera, always emphatic, yet approachable and expressive in a relaxed professional way. I used to get friends in my student videos when i was at Uni – boy it was hard to get a polished on screen presence from them. I guess agents dont need to be Brad Pitt and being genuine works too. However I have shot agents who just couldn’t manage 2 sentences consecutively on camera without a blooper.

            We edited around that with short one sentence quotes!

  • Andy
    Posted March 20, 2012 at 4:53 pm 0Likes

    What you need to get this right in Production

    . Easel

    You do mean a tripod , don’t you Peter?
    It would take a while to paint the video/animation!

    anyway ….I havent heard sound on this yet, but from the look, The person doing these has “an eye” for compostion and light that not everybody has…thats a fact.

    I do agree with you even though my other life as a filmaker/videographer could be at risk with these heinous statements. I was telling a client the other day just that, they can do this , they need to do this in house…because its quantity with the quality that will count and they can’t afford to get a filmaker in all the time.
    I see my role in guiding them to acheive what they need to and being there for the bigger more complicated productions.


  • Peter Watson
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:22 am 0Likes

    I think the point about keeping it short was simple, but very important! Capture your audiences attention early and get to the point. Otherwise they will be scrolling towards the ‘back’ button before you know it.

    Another tip to consider is making sure you use a reputable company to produce the video and don’t always go for the cheaper option.

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