Shooting a vlog can be a great way to introduce an audience to the people behind a brand, tell the story of how a company started, or a fun way to keep in touch with friends and family! Here at Electric House, we vlog to tell our story, and we love it! So, we decided to outline a few key tips to help you get started too.
First and foremost there needs to be a reason why you’re starting your vlog. What’s your story? What are you trying to achieve? Who is your audience? Answer these questions before you start recording anything. Is your story even worth telling? Probably not, but that doesn’t stop others from vlogging! I think an important part of all vlogs is to inject a bit of humour. Give your vlog some personality, that will keep people coming back.
The simplest way you can capture what you need for your vlog is by using your phone (not your old Nokia). Modern phones have surprisingly good cameras that can capture footage in 4K resolution and have great sound (just be careful outside in the wind, do a couple of test lines and then listen back). You can either go handheld or buy yourself a selfie stick. Alternatively, a mini tripod can be used as your selfie stick and then as it’s intended use for when you’re shooting pieces to camera indoors.
If you are worried about sound quality outside you can purchase a small mic that plugs directly into your phone to capture better sound. You can upgrade to better equipment whenever you feel ready and there are many options when you do, but do your research. Techradar is a great site for comparing cameras and other recording devices.
This can be the trickiest part of the whole vlog process. Firstly, if you know someone who edits, get them to help you. If not, there are hundreds of ‘how to’ videos on YouTube that can teach you the basics. There are also a couple of great free bits of editing software out there. iMovie for Macs and DaVinci Resolve for Mac and PC. These both offer simple editing tools that will really help you bring your vlog to life.
If you’ve had sound issues, you may want to think about subtitling your vlog. Some social media channels generate subtitles automatically but they’re not always accurate. Think about the vlog length also. Start off with a bang to hook the viewers in and then keep things snappy. I know you could talk about yourself or your business for 7 hours, but no one is going to watch that.
Your vlog is ready and you want as many eyes on it as possible. Where are you going to upload episode 1? Whether you’re promoting your business or just yourself, whatever social channels you have, pick your most engaged platform and upload there. For businesses I’d suggest LinkedIn as video content typically performs well. Ask your friends, family and colleagues to watch, like and share. Then remind them, because they definitely won’t do it.
Your first vlog is out and already you’re thinking about what you could have done better or differently. This is a good thing. Why not cut out any bitesize clips or unused footage and share it as ‘micro-content’ between full vlog uploads. Ask questions in your vlog and encourage viewers to answer in the comments to spark a conversation for the next vlog. Watch other people’s vlogs and steal their ideas…I mean ‘borrow’ ideas and adapt them for your own vlog. Think about structure, film an A and B storyline if you can. This keeps the viewers watching as it breaks up the action.
In the future you will look back on your first ever vlog and laugh at how rubbish it was, even if at the time you thought it was a masterpiece. This is growth, this is vlogging.