Leveraging Your Reputation: Make your videos better

Tom Ciesielka is president of TC Public Relations (www.tcpr.net). Tom has over 25 years of marketing and public relations experience, working with individual lawyers and midsize law firms. He is also a former board member of the Legal Marketing Association in Chicago and has spoken at Chicago Bar Associations CLE programs. Reach him at tc@tcpr.net.

Videos are becoming more popular for attorneys who want to add more media to their websites or who want to upload videos to YouTube or Vimeo. Creating videos is a great idea, but there are some basic things you should know to improve the quality of your videos and to maintain your audience as well.

Audio matters. People assume that having a good image is the most important part of creating a great video, but if your audio isn’t good, people will tune out. Try to record in a quiet place, preferably one that is carpeted, so that there isn’t any ambient sound. You can also get good audio in a few other ways. One way is to hold the camera (or phone, if you’re using one) right up to the person who is speaking, and wear headphones to monitor the quality. Another way is to get an external microphone for your video recorder, or a clip-on microphone to put on yourself or another person you’re recording.

The best way to get good audio is to use a separate recorder, such as a handheld audio recorder, which you can sync up with the video when you edit it all together. That last method requires advanced skills, but if you already know how to edit video, then you can learn how to integrate your audio file into the process so that you get superior sound.

Light the subject. Since the subject of your video is the most important, make sure the most light is focused on him or her. First choose a darker area to focus the camera because it adjusts to brightness. The light source should be behind you, not behind the subject. The best light is natural light, and one way you can get natural  light is by standing in front of a window to allow the light to shine from behind you onto the subject.

Use a tripod. You might think you have a steady hand, but when you use a tripod, it ensures that the camera will be still. Not only does a tripod prevent movement, but it also helps your video look sharp, not grainy or blurry.

Finally, if each video you create covers only one topic and is short (10 minutes or less), your audience will pay attention and will be able to find your videos easier. And as I’ve said before about other types of promotion, be sure to choose a niche so that you become an expert in that area.


One response to “Leveraging Your Reputation: Make your videos better

  1. Tom is absolutely correct. He makes some great points that every attorney who creates video on their own should immediately recognize. You would think these are basics that every new videographer would understand.

    Last week I gave a lecture to really smart attorneys at a legal marketing seminar on the topic of video marketing for lawyers. I showcased 10 videos that were recently posted to YouTube created by really smart attorneys. The only problem with each of these videos was that the quality of the video and audio was awful. I was able to quickly identify each of the technical problems that Tom noted above in every one of the videos that was uploaded to YouTube within the last two weeks.

    Here is the bottom line: If you are taking the time and energy to create content that your potential consumers and clients want and need, the quality of your video should be totally seamless so that your viewer only need listen to the message. If they get distracted by poor video quality, poor audio quality or video you have wasted your time and resources. It’s that simple.

    It should go w/o saying that your message should be clear and concise, but when you don’t use a tripod, your viewer can’t stay on message. When they can’t see your face, they WILL NOT watch you. When the audio stinks, they WILL NOT stick around to figure out what you’re trying to say.

    Thanks for an on-point article Tom.

    Gerry Oginski
    Founder, Lawyers Video Studio

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