Day 26: Consider Video



Video definitely grew up in 2016. It went from a media for a minority of tech savvy videographers to a place where anybody with a smartphone can have a daily broadcast. The popularity of Periscope and then Facebook Live cemented the ease of live video production. If you like talking with people, 2017 might be your year to get comfortable with video.

First, you need a plan.  And it needs to fit your personality. Not everyone should be doing Facebook Live because not everyone has something to say. But there are other ways to dip your toe into video:

  1. Do a short thank you video for your readers and post it on your Facebook page.
  2. Once a week, post a short two-minute book review of a new book in your genre.
  3. Send individual video messages on occasion to core fans or street team members thanking them for their loyalty.

The biggest mistakes people make on video:

  1. Videos are too long. Make them under two minutes. Think TV commercial length.
  2. Poor lighting and sound. Make sure your face is lit and that you don’t sound like you’re in a cave. “Waist up” shots are about as far away as you want to be, especially if you are not using a microphone.
  3. Not ready when camera starts. You’ve got 5 seconds to interest people. Hit the ground running.
  4. No subtitles on video you post on Facebook. The default setting of Facebook videos is muted so put important subtitles in case people don’t turn up the volume.
  5. Blank facial expressions. I know this seems obvious, but many people don’t smile on video. Practice in front of a mirror. Look yourself in the eye and smile when you’re talking.
  6. Wasting people’s time. Again, think of a television commercial. No dead air. This comes with practice and planning. I recommend writing out a script and practicing it off-camera in front of the mirror before you go live or record.

The biggest challenge with video is the tech part. Watch a few tutorials on how to make video with your smartphone. Invest in an inexpensive phone tripod and a lavalier microphone. Those are my two biggies. You can get inexpensive lights as well—white paper shades are preferable. If you have access to an Ikea, they have tons of them.

Action Steps:
  1. Do some research and find authors doing video on their Facebook pages. Take note of the things that you like and the things you wouldn’t do.
  2. Make a couple practice videos with your phone or camera. Don’t concentrate on what you look like—nobody likes how they look on video. Are you smiling? Looking at the camera? Practice makes perfect.

Here are some good blog posts on how to do Facebook Live:

  1. Six Things You Need to Know About Facebook Live from Shelley Hitz
  2. How to Get Started Broadcasting on Facebook Live from Shelley Hitz
  3. How to Get Started With Facebook Live from Amy Porterfield