5 steps for getting started with business video

By Paul Tyler

Fidelity & Guaranty Life


With more mobile devices and faster Internet speeds available all the time, video on the Internet is exploding, not only for personal use, but business use as well. In 2010, people uploaded 24 hours worth of video on YouTube every minute. By 2012, it increased to over 72 hours per minute.*

So how do you learn how to make video a compelling part of your insurance marketing efforts? Here is a five-step exercise that will give you good practice and a good video bio to share with colleagues, customers or prospects. All you will need is a smart phone, tablet, or a laptop with a built-in camera or microphone.

1. Script your story. Write out a short, quality introduction about who you are and what you do. Short means no more than 200 words, or three short paragraphs featuring concise sentences. The passage should tell two stories: what you do for people and how you came to find your passion for the business. What makes you excited about insurance? Write it. Read it out loud. Whittle it down. Read it again. Edit it again. Don’t stop until you read it at a normal pace in less than two minutes.

2. Record your story in audio format. Every smartphone has an app that will allow you to record a voice memo. Use the function to record yourself reading your story from the script. Pick one word in every sentence to emphasize. Listen to the recording. Repeat at least three times.

3. Start the video camera. First, find a high place to position the camera that is close to, if not slightly higher than, eye level. If you are using a smartphone you should ideally use a traditional tripod with a clip that will hold it in place. If not, or if you are using a tablet or laptop, get creative. Build a platform with books or boxes that will put the camera high above the desk or table where you are sitting. Turn on the basic, built-in video recording software and follow step two; but this time, pay close attention to both your audio and visual cues. Do your hand movements drive home the right points, or just distract the viewer? Do you smile at the right times? Does the background complement or detract from the message? Just because you use the computer in your study doesn’t mean you need to record there. Try shooting it on your porch or in your living room, a setting where you might actually meet with a client. Record, watch, listen, re-record.

4.Turn on the lights. Good lighting makes a tremendous difference in the quality of the video. Remember this fundamental rule: “camera high, lights low.” Overhead fluorescent or tungsten lights usually won’t cut it. Ideally, find two lights you can put on the desk in front of you on either side of the camera. If you draw an imaginary clock around your chair, face the camera at 12:00. The two light sources should be at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Turn the camera on and experiment with the optimal positioning of the light. If it seems too bright, either move both lights back two feet or turn one of the lights off. Record, watch, listen and re-record again.

5. Go (semi) public. Go to YouTube and create a free personal channel with your Gmail account. Upload the best video you have created and set the privacy setting on the video to “unlisted.” This way, only people to whom you send the link will be able to view the video. Send the link to a lot of trusted friends and associates and learn from what they say.

Effectively telling your story on video will be a required marketing skill within the next two years for every agent. Only through repeated practice will you develop this ability. Once you have posted a video, send me a link and I will be happy to give you my thoughts and suggestions.

*YouTube Statistics