Video has become the preferred format for content. It’s a great way to get information across to today’s extremely time poor audiences. And it can also be extremely engaging when done correctly. So why don’t more LinkedIn users post videos on their personal profiles? I suspect one of the reasons is that many believe video production is much more complicated – and expensive – than it actually is.
I’m going to share tips that will (hopefully) convince you that making videos for LinkedIn is a lot simpler than you think.
Invest in a good microphone.
It might surprise you that I consider audio to be more important than video quality. Think about it. First of all, you’re going to have a hard time finding a new camera that shoots in less than Full HD or 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels). Nowadays, even the front camera in laptops and smartphones are already in Full HD. So video quality is almost a given.
Poor audio, on the other hand, leaves a bad impression no matter how good the video quality is. So if you’re going to invest in hardware, start with a proper microphone. I use the Rode PodMic, which is a professional-quality XLR microphone (about USD 110). However, a standard lapel mic with a 3.5mm jack should be perfectly sufficient for personal videos and they are compatible with most laptops or smartphones. You can buy one for under USD 60. (Note: just make sure you know the difference between TRS and TRRS jacks.)
Pay attention to lighting; natural light is best.
As mentioned, any laptop will have a front-facing camera that shoots in HD. Since I prefer to do my videos on my desktop so I use a standard Logitech Webcam, (around USD 80). Depending on how bright your room or office is, you might need to invest in additional lighting. My office / studio is in the basement of my house so I use a small LED studio lamp (about 35 USD).
As much as possible, I suggest you shoot using natural light. Find a spot next to a window or other naturally bright room to do your videos. (If you’re finicky, you can also do further color corrections. But more on that later.)
Staying on script.
Extemporaneous speaking is a special talent that few possess naturally. Like any other talent, it can be developed and honed over time. So unless you have experience working on camera, for right now you’re probably going to need a little extra help. Technology to the rescue!
Consider using a teleprompter. I use something called the Little Prompter, available online for about 200 USD. It does the same job as the prompters used by news anchors on television yet is designed to easily fit it over your laptop’s webcam.
The prompter is used in tandem with a mobile app such as PromptSmart Pro to display your script. Write a script, import it into the app, place it on the prompter and follow the script as you present the video. Best of all, the app is smart enough to recognize the words as you read them and scroll the script automatically as you read. To the audience, it looks like you are talking to them because your eyes are always facing the camera.
If you add up everything I’ve just gone through: the camera, the lapel microphone, the LED lamp, the prompter and the prompter mobile app: that comes to around USD 395.
If that still sounds like a lot of money to you, in a pinch you could do a decent enough job by shooting with your smartphone or laptop, while using a lapel mic.
Finally, if your goal is higher quality videos that feature editing and multiple video sources, color correction, music and graphics, you might want to invest in video editing software. The one I use is called Filmora, which starts at about 60 USD for the basic version and 150 USD for the Pro version.
Start experimenting with video. You will find that in terms of reach and engagement, video will perform much better than long form content like this. I hope all of that inspires you to start creating your own videos so that you can share your thoughts and opinions and build your personal brand on LinkedIn.