As someone whose goal was to start making money from my computer doing the things I know and love, one of the things I had to learn how to do (and get comfortable with) is how to create video content solo.
I recently went and ventured out to a spot in Maryland known as the King and Queen seat. It’s both a beautiful drive to get to, through rolling hills and along streams through closely winding roads, and also a beautiful view once you’ve hiked (or in my case, driven) to the top!
While I’ve been there several times just to enjoy the atmosphere (it also happens to be one of the first places my now husband took me to when we had first started dating), this time I went with a specific purpose: to shoot a commercial.
Okay, technically it’s a video ad, but they’re essentially the same thing with the only difference really being the platform, ie TV vs. Internet.
You’d think in order to shoot a video ad or commercial, you’d need a bunch of high tech equipment and a few people to help you out. Fortunately for us, in today’s day and age, that is no longer the case.
Long gone are the days where you needed a huge production budget and crew to put together a 45-second commercial to reach a mass audience.
Now, with a few easy-to-use pieces of equipment, you can do the entire thing yourself in just a few hours.
That’s what I did, and I recorded the entire process to show you how you can do the same thing!
Most of the content I create for myself and my brand is done solely by me, whether it be videos, pictures, graphics or any combination of digital media.
This is my process!
1. Plan Before You Start
Before I did anything, I imagined how I wanted my end product to look. After I came up with the general idea and flow in my head, I then wrote down a short description of what I wanted each scene to look like:
Scene 1 – Walking through the woods to give a continuous theme throughout the entire video
Scene 2 – Brief description of what I’m into (hobbies, interests) to connect with people of similar interests, with B Roll of some of my other content related to those things, ending with “hiking” to continue the video theme
Scene 3 – Me telling the viewer a little bit more in depth about what my goal is with Apex Haus, with more B Roll of related content
Scene 4 – My call to action “join me, empower yourself”
Scene 5 – Transition to the view of location to give grandeur, and also to utilize one of my other hobbies: drones.
I planned for none of these to be any longer than 10 seconds, in order to keep my video ad under 1 minute. This is because a) people’s attention spans are short already, and b) I also planned to utilize the same video (with some minor differences in cuts and format for specific platform styles) to post on TikTok, Instagram Reels, and my Instagram Story, which all have a limit of 60 seconds or shorter.
2. Get Yourself Setup
After I figured out how I wanted each of my scenes to look, it was then time to get myself setup to actually go and do the video recording. This included making sure I had all the gear I was going to need in order to record the videos.
The gear I planned to use was a combination of my tripod, a DJI gimbal for my phone (which is what I used to do the main recording), my digital camera and GoPro for the background or side views, as well as my drone.
I made a list of all the equipment I was going to need, then packed it all up and checked it off my list as I added it to my bag to make sure I didn’t forget anything.
I suggest always making sure you have a spare SD card on you as well! If you watch my video on YouTube, you’ll see there was a moment where I thought I didn’t have one for my GoPro! Luckily, I had found a spare one sitting inside my bag still in the package. This was one of the things I had forgotten to verify on my list!
Here are links to all of the equipment I used to make my video:
3. Create Your Content
This one is pretty simple. This is where you actually go ahead and record all of the scenes you planned out in Step 1.
Have fun, experiment, and try capturing footage from different angles!
Also feel free to deviate from your initial scene ideas if suddenly in the middle you think of something different!
It’s always better to have too much footage options, than not enough! Just make sure you at least get your initial scene ideas, that way if you end up not liking your new ideas come post-editing, you still have your original plan to fall back on.
4. Edit Your Content
I always love a good adventure, but recording the content only gets us half way there! Now it’s time to edit.
Fortunately, like mentioned above, I already had an idea of exactly how I wanted my overall video to look. So now it just comes down to creating the individual sections or scenes, then stitching them together.
I use a program called Wondershare Filmora to do my video editing. I love it because:
- It’s relatively inexpensive and only costs a one-time payment vs. some of the other softwares out there that charge monthly subscription fees.
- It has a very simple and easy to use interface with nothing overly complicated. It’s perfect for people who are beginners at video editing, but has enough customization features that also allow for some more advanced video editing once you get the hang of it.
They also have some great, beginner friendly (and free) tutorials on their website to learn both the basics and advanced techniques of video editing, in addition to how to use their software.
Check them out!
While I strongly suggest learning the basics of video editing and starting to create your content yourself, at least in the beginning until you’re making some extra income from what your content brings, if this isn’t something you want to do or feel you don’t have the time to do, there is an alternative option!
The other thing you can do is use a platform like Fiverr to hire someone to do your video editing for you. The downside of this process is that simply, it costs money.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m trying to make more money, spending it on something that I know I could do myself just doesn’t make sense to me. But, to each their own!
Fiverr is a great platform to hire freelancers for any number of things related to digital media, whether it’s web design, video editing, graphic design, copywriting, and more!
If you decide to go this route, just make sure you’re checking the reviews and number of jobs completed. I typically will only hire Fiverr freelancers who have completed at least 100 jobs and have at least a 4 star review. Though keep in mind the “better” they are, the higher their prices are most likely to be.
Lastly, you could also hire a Virtual Assistant from somewhere like the Philippines for just a few dollars an hour (this is actually something I’m getting ready to do myself) that you could use to do all of your video editing.
5. Post Your Content
Congratulations on finishing your content! Now it’s time to share it with the world. Keep in mind that the more platforms you share it on, the more visibility your business or brand will get, thus increasing your free and organic traffic.
Following this method makes it easy to generate multiple pieces of content for multiple platforms and different media types by repurposing and transforming the original piece.
The only time you should look back is to see how far you’ve come. Know your goals, and take actions every day to move towards them. Dedication and consistency is all it takes to get to where you want to go.