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04 Jun 14

Want To Get Started With Video? Here Are 3 Golden Rules

Are you using video in your marketing mix?

I dabble with video. I share short clips on YouTube and social media and often receive feedback about how useful they are. (Maybe you’ve watched one or two?)

Ellie Scarborough BrettHowever, I spend ages trying to find the right backdrop in my Cambridge home as it’s pretty low on natural light. I’m making do with my iPhone and a mini tripod – is that sufficient, or is it time to upgrade?

Well, who better than former NBC news reporter Ellie Scarborough Brett to guide me – and you – on how to shine in front of the camera.

In this 17-minute conversation, Ellie’s drawing on her background in TV to share her three golden rules to help you you to get started with video: from framing to lighting, to the tech tools you can use right now, and how much of your message to share.

Watch now to remove any “I can’t do video” excuses.

You’ll discover how long your videos should be, what to do just before you start shooting, and how to instantly increase your authority and “Celebrity Factor”.

Over to you

Already using video? Been holding back, but now inspired to give it a go? Leave a comment, let us know. And do you accept our challenge?! Record a video TODAY and share the URL below.

(And click here to join Ellie’s community – and her upcoming video challenge.)


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© Corrina Gordon-Barnes 2014

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  1. Holly Worton

    Great video! I put off doing videos for my business for so long, until something clicked and I finally understood exactly what types of videos were right for me. And now I love it!

    For me, a huge part of it was understanding that my videos didn’t have to look like anyone else’s…they had to represent me and my own style. And that’s what made it easier.
    Holly Worton´s last blog post ..[SHP 45] How to Build Self Awareness in Your Business, with Mary White

    1. Corrina

      Holly – I want to see one! Post a link :)

  2. Christelle Maignan

    This interview with Ellie was exactly what I needed! So many good tips! Thank you so much for sharing it, Corrina. All I need now is the courage to do it.

    1. Corrina

      Christelle – Brilliant. Go on, be bold. We all start somewhere. :-)

    2. claire stone

      You can do it Christelle – seriously. Just have a cup of tea and then do it. Don’t worry about anything at all – aside from anything else, just so that you get over the surprise of seeing yourself on video (not that I expect there is anything wrong with you, but seeing your own random habits can be unnerving for the first few times!) so just record yourself talking about something really fun that you love!
      claire stone´s last blog post ..I wrote a book for you!

  3. anne-marie

    I used to post videos on my blog answering questions about what I do and how and what it could give to the person. I got a LOT of critics about how how my personality and my “look” was contrary to the “aura” people where expecting from a shamanic practitionner (like healthy looking, serious, older, a bit transcendant, all of which I’m not…) and also that I was not a native or a metis, I didn’t have the right to teach that. The comments following those 5 videos where like a very cold shower on me and this is still preventing me from doing it again even if it was a lot of fun to make!
    I only kept one video that was professionaly produced on my YT channel:
    Maybe I don’t target the right tribe or, well, I don’t really know anymore…
    Thanks for this great interview!

    1. Corrina

      Anne-Marie – Oh your beautiful voice! And smile! And the feeling of tranquility. Please, please keep going with video.

      1. Anne-Marie

        Thank you Corrina,
        thank you for your comment! It always lift up things to receive positive comments 😀

        Ok! I’ll try it again :) I know its in french but I’ll send the link of a new video at the end of the weekend.

        1. Linda Anderson

          Your video is wonderful, Anne-Marie. I love the idea that opening sacred space is like opening the door of our office and workspace.

          Yes, please please keep going with video!
          Linda Anderson´s last blog post ..I was so overwhelmed

  4. Lisa McLoughlin

    I love, love, love this blogpost! It is not only extremely useful, but it is perfectly timed for me.

    Ellie is fabulous!!

    I am about to get back on to the video thing again after a break, as I have finally started to find my authentic voice in business.

    Watch this space for my video…..;) It’ll appear somewhere real soon.

    So tempted by the challenge and will be hopping over there to take a look!
    Lisa McLoughlin´s last blog post ..Sick of not knowing what your designer is doing for your money? Try this…

      1. claire stone

        Yeah – well done – you did it!!!! The first one is always the hardest, but you did great. And love the hair colour!
        claire stone´s last blog post ..I wrote a book for you!

      2. Linda Anderson

        You’re so funny, Lisa! Will the sock-puppets be coming out again too? If so, I’ll have to follow you on your video challenge 😉

  5. Ann Brown

    Yes! Yes! Yes!!!! Woo hoo! This is fabulous, thank you Corrina for bringing Ellie to our attention! I learned so much from this, (I’d never thought about lighting!)
    As you know I have recently discovered my video ‘voice’ and have hugely enjoyed creating some videos recently (my last blog post shared the first part of a video interview I did).
    I will definitely sign up for Ellie’s video challenge (how exciting!!) – but my question now is ‘Ugh! What kind of lamps?’ – do they have to be the downward pointy ones, or will any lamp do?
    I have a couple of lamps I could use, but they’re not particularly bright – if I was to buy new lamps – what kind should they be? What type? What wattage bulb/ type of bulb? …
    Looking forward to learning more!
    (and Corrina – which software do you use to edit your movie, and add those captions underneath?
    Ann :)
    Ann Brown´s last blog post ..Video Interview: The Top Two Benefits Of Being Authentic!

    1. Ellie

      Ann! Great question. You can really use any lamp you have, and play with the strength of the lightbulbs (or taking off the shade as I did in the video).

      For the main light (or key light) you’ll want it to be a brighter light source, so make sure you have a lamp that shines lots of lovely, warm light on you. For the secondary, or fill, light, you will want it to be softer. I would suggest buying a japanese latern style light with the thin paper creating a softer effect.

      But, the most important thing is just to play until you figure out what looks good!

      Ellie´s last blog post ..getting ready for a live event…

    2. Corrina

      Ann – You’re such a budding video queen! Love it. We just use iMovie and the lovely Madeleine chops off the start and end of the video and adds captions. No other editing beyond that – keep it simple, sweetie :-)

  6. Claire Bradford

    Awesome – thank you Ellie and Corrina for this great kick up the backside. I especially liked the lighting tips (although you’ll see that I’ve eschewed them completely in my hastily filmed video response here!)
    I took part in VEDA (Vlog Every Day in April) this year and learned a lot, so I’m looking forward to finding out more about Ellie’s challenge. Here’s a blog post I wrote about what I learned: xx
    Claire Bradford´s last blog post ..Magic for Muggles – Liquid Luck

    1. claire stone

      Wow, Claire – I love your video. Yes, it’s unpolished, but you are so natural and smiley and friendly in the video. Either the challenge you did really helped, or you are just a total natural anyway! Well done, I’m really impressed!
      claire stone´s last blog post ..I am not skinny

    2. Corrina

      Claire – This is so freaking cool! Go you with the Just Do It attitude – and just before the school run. An inspiration.

      I think you’d benefit from a little tripod to hold your phone camera in place and keep it steady during filming – if indeed you’re using a phone.

      I use the Joby GripTight GorillaPod; it’s featured in this free behind-the-scenes guide to the tech tools I use in my business:
      – enjoy! :)

  7. claire stone

    Ooohh, what a brilliant, useful and inspiring video.

    Handily enough, today was the day I recorded a short video about my book, but was fannying around, wondering whether to put it up or not (it’s been a while since I last did a video, and I have only done a few anyway…!) but this forced me to do something about it. Here it is:
    (I know it’s not very good, and I hope I’ll have a chance to re-record it at some point, but I figured now was a good time to just get the video up!
    I do have a question though: is it possible to put a link to a website in the description? I’ve put a link in, but it’s not a hyperlink, and I have no idea how to do that!
    claire stone´s last blog post ..I am not skinny

    1. Corrina

      Claire – YES!!! You’ve been a beloved member of this community for so long but I’d only ever seen your gravatar image. Now I see you moving, speaking, and can hear your voice – SO much better. Love it – and I’m so happy this inspired you to get into action.

      I tend to include a link in the video and also in the description below the video on YouTube (which is hyperlinked). I think there ARE ways to make videos WITHIN the video hyperlinked but I don’t know them – does anyone else?

      1. claire stone

        Thank you Corrina! That’s the thing that I keep trying to remind myself: that one the very things that makes me a unique kind of nutritionist, is the actual me doing the nutritioning, and that the best way to show me to prospective clients is to just show me. Which is really hard because like many people, I really don’t feel naturally comfortable with a camera pointed at me. But it does help to remember that it’s not about me looking or sounding super pro, but about me sounding and looking like me, which is the whole point! Phew.

        Will try to add a hyperlink to the video later – thank you!!!!
        claire stone´s last blog post ..I wrote a book for you!

  8. Kirsty Norton

    Great to hear you Both and the wise words and advice. I’d love to know what you think about my Wellbeing and Yoga YouTube channel, I literally started it a couple of weeks ago.’ I have done short tutorials and some slightly longer ones. I know you recommend 2.5/3 mins but what do you think for yoga? I am building up my 8/10 min videos that people can then join together for a longer class if they wish. But also keeping other ones short and sweet. Love to hear what you guys think. Oh and of course subscribe if you like it :)

    1. Corrina

      So good to see you, Kirsty. I personally tend to only have a 3 or 4 minute concentration interest for talking-head style videos. Interviews can engage me for up to 20 or 30 minutes. Let’s see what others think as yoga tutorial videos are a different category.

  9. Lynn

    I love this post! Thanks Corrina and Ellie. I’ve been toying with the idea of starting to vlog but this has really inspired me to just do it! I thought it would be fun (despite the initial nerves!) and you both totally confirmed that :) Now I just need to figure out how to use iMovie…

  10. Stella Tomlinson

    Fabulous post and so timely (and wonderfully energising & inspiring too!)

    I’ve literally just started dabbling in video and made my first one a couple of weeks ago which is here:

    (…just me, my smartphone, natural daylight and, ahem, prompts sellotaped to the window – well, you’ve got to start somewhere!!)

    Feeling v enthusiastic about creating more vids soon relating to yoga, relaxation and mindfulness :)
    Stella Tomlinson´s last blog post ..Stressed, tense and need to relax? Try this …

    1. Ellie

      Go Stella, go!

    2. Corrina

      Stella – Your confidence shines through. Huge congrats for getting started – and for sharing it here :)

  11. Siegmar

    yesterday i did about (felt) 10 videos and wasn’t really happy with one to publish. then, after reading/watching your article/video, i just did an intuitive mixtape with some “outtakes”…
    though it’s in german the message works anyways – don’t worry to spread your story!
    THANK YOU, dears! :)
    p.s.: cool domainame&branding – media bombshell!
    Siegmar´s last blog post ..Outtake s Mixtape – Mach’ deine eigene Zeitung!

    1. Corrina

      Siegmar – Yay! So good to see you after our interactions on Facebook. Gorgeous background and your style is beautifully relaxed and personable.

      Meine Grosseltern sind Deutsch – so it’s lovely to hear the language.

  12. Derek

    Yet another spot-on post, Corrina – I definitely need to learn from this!


  13. lesley pyne

    Great video thank you & some fantastic tips especially about lighting.
    I’ve done 2 and I found it easier when I was teaching a process – see
    I really struggle with remembering what I want to say – in the one above I had a sheet with bullet points behind the camera (which was on a tripod), but when I’m talking to camera somehow I forget everything & it’s really obvious if you look away to read notes.
    I guess the best way to get over this is to practice.
    And if anyone has any other tips I’d be really grateful please.
    Thanks so much,
    lesley pyne´s last blog post ..Who are you now? (or how I re-discovered myself by way of butterflies, lights and snow)

    1. Corrina

      Yay Lesley! You’re very authoritative and confident – love it.

      Yes to practice. Imagine you were in a café chatting with a friend – you wouldn’t need notes :-) So when I look into my web cam light, that’s a friend I’m talking to and it flows.

  14. Naomi

    Excellent interview, thank you very much.
    I love doing videos, I was so scared doing my first one in February and was very wooden during the first few minutes. 20 videos later I am in my element! I still get really nervous before each video but do an energy workout (a mixture of mindfulness and EFT) to both calm down and give me the energy need to do video.
    I run an online fertility support course which includes a video each week and the participants say that they really feel that they know me so when we have Skype therapy sessions they are at ease straightaway.
    I recorded my first ever public video last week and have had 107 views so far!
    Naomi´s last blog post ..3 weeks of Embrace mindfulness/CBT/EFT course for FREE

    1. Corrina

      Naomi – Wow, your audio quality is amazing! Great to see you :-)

      1. Naomi

        Hi Corrina, Firstly sorry for the bad grammar in the post above I use voice recognition software and need to remember to proof read!

        I record my sound separately on a Zoom H1 mike and then sync to video (or rather my technical department does so – the hubby. I am now experimenting with a lapel mike but think I fidget too much!!
        Naomi´s last blog post ..Introducing Emotional Freedom Technique EFT

      1. Naomi Woolfson

        Hi Linda, (Just tried to send this via your website but won’t let me send – sorry everyone else for using comments to chat!)

        Been meaning to get in touch, loved your video with Corrina and I am coming to the July network, did not get the chance to talk to you at last one. We are working in a similar field, I was due to launch my career confidence online course in July but due to personal circumstances I am now focusing on expanding my fertility support group and am running my Embrace fertility support course over the summer and have put the confidence course on the back burner. Such an important area to focus on, I created my course based on the many conversations I had in the pub following college training days and the fears and worries my fellow students have in setting up a practice. (I graduate in cognitive hypnotherapy and NLP next month)I look forward to speaking to you at the network event. Thank you for your comment on EFT vids too.

  15. Erica Marie

    Corrina, just wanted to take a moment to thank you for this video & your website. I’ve been lurking for awhile, but in a recent blog you mentioned acknowledgement, so here I am! I am in learning mode & not ready to do much yet, but I love so many of your blogs, I have learned so much & your messages & your kind & gentle presence resonate with me. Thank you.

    1. Corrina

      Erica – I appreciate that so much. Thank you!

      While in learning mode, if there’s any question that arises that you’d like me to cover in a future blog/video, do drop me a line. And I wish you every happiness and success with your path.

  16. Linda Anderson

    Wow, what a great interview! Thanks Ellie and Corrina.

    I also took part in the 30-day video challenge last year and watching all the great videos here has inspired me to start doing more.

    Meanwhile, here’s a link to one I made as part of the challenge, with some EFT/Tapping to help overcome our fears when we first start vlogging. The sound is a bit echoey and I’m not feeling totally relaxed, but it might help some of you start dipping your toes in the water :-)

    I’d love to hear your comments/feedback – and to know what you experience if you tap along.

    Keep going, people, as Ellie says, this is an amazing way to get your message out!
    Linda Anderson´s last blog post ..I was so overwhelmed

    1. Corrina

      Linda – Your confidence with video has just blossomed! You look relaxed and comfortable – and your framing is peaceful.

  17. Sarah

    Great stuff, thank you. Any tips on an easy way to alter YouTube thumbnails? I pluck up courage to do a video…and then sometimes have a choice of 3 terrible shots to share with the world! Sigh.

    Feeling out of place at the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace was what provided the inspiration for this video…

    1. Corrina

      Sarah – Soooo good to see you again!

      When sharing on social media, my wonderful team-mate Madeleine takes an attractive (!) screenshot from the video and we share that as an image, along with the video link, so it’s that image that shows up in the social stream. Hope that’s the solution you were looking for. :-)

  18. Tiina Mokvist

    Brilliant Corrina and Ellie!
    Thank you!
    I have been thinking about this for a long time and now after watching this I am finally starting to do it.
    I have done my test runs (me finding a good spot in the house, figuring out the lights, looking into the camera saying testing, testing while attempting at the same time not to look at myself – tihiii).
    Anyway thanks to you amazing ladies I am well on my way!

  19. Tiina

    Hey again!
    Here’s a question to you all who are more experienced at this than I am. When recording a video – either on Youtube directly or on Windows Live Movie Maker – there is an awful crackling, weird kind of sound that I cant get rid of. The house is totally quiet and I figured out that the sound only appears from the computer(!) when I am recording. It does not sound good when watching the recording. Anyone else had this problem? And what did you do about it?

  20. Michele willmott

    It’s a wrap, yay!!! I have just finished my video after only 150 million takes, exhausting!! Thanks for this blog post it was really useful and inspired me to actually do it! I also spoke to a male photographer friend and he recommended using natural light or artificial not both and the time of day according to the light coming into my house, plus he lent me a little tripod to put under my camera which meant I could play around with angles. It sounds a bit technical but his advice along with yours made a huge difference.
    Thanks again
    Michele willmott´s last blog post ..What do you appreciate about yourself?

    1. lesley pyne

      Congratulations Michelle, I’ve just come out after spending 2 days recording a few short videos for a new product I’m launching. soon. I know what you mean about the number of takes, in the end I decided that they were good enough.
      For me it required the use of lots of behind the scenes props & in future if anyone tells me I’ve completely lost my Yorkshire accent I will refuse to believe them :-)
      I imagine you feel really relived to have got the first one in the can and you know that the next one will be better.
      Thanks again Corrina for the tips.
      lesley pyne´s last blog post ..Inspirational Stories – Karen Malone Wright

      1. Michele Willmott

        Thanks so much for your comment Lesley. Yes, you hit the nail on the head, relieved is the word! Good luck with your new product :)


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