I may earn a commission from the companies mentioned in this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.
Want to create video for your online course or business but don’t know where to start? Feeling nervous about getting in front of the camera for the first time?
Today on the Rebel Boss Ladies Podcast, we’re going to talk about how to record video for your online course content. Holly Gillen, from Holly G. Studios, is going to share her tips, tricks, tool recommendations, mindset, advice, and more to get you ready to be in front of the camera.
Holly empowers entrepreneurs to go from confused to competent on both sides of the camera and teaches them the skills that they need to create not just video, but “business cinema”.
Today we’re going to pick Holly's brain all about recording video for online course content, including the tools to use, how to outline your video and how to take the videos you create to the next level.
If you’re feeling timid, shy, or afraid of video, don’t worry. We’re going to cover that, too.
Video can bring a lot to the digital products you create.
Even if you're absolutely terrified of it, including video in your online course can help your audience learn and process the information you’re sharing.
“I think everybody has a different learning style. And the more ways that you can touch on all of the different learning styles, the better you're setting up your clients to actually learn something from the material that you're sharing with them.”
Holly emphasizes that you want to be delivering your material in multiple formats, audio, visual, worksheets, handouts, and more. This will help your audience pick and choose what the best learning style is for them.
Everyone is nervous when they first start out making video.
If you’re feeling camera shy or really nervous about being in front of video, you’re not the only one. All of the people that you see on video, creating courses, they also had to start somewhere too.
Holly says the most important thing to do if you’re feeling nervous is just start getting in front of the camera.
“When it comes to overcoming your fears and getting confident front of the camera, action breeds the results that you're looking for. You can't just think about one day when you're comfortable on video. You have to actually do the work.”
This doesn’t mean you need to jump right in and publish videos across the internet. But you can start by creating little videos, like video messages to your family and friends, to “stretch your video muscles,” says Holly.
Holly remembers the first video she made, and admits that it’s pretty cringe-worthy. “I'm having to transition myself from actually being behind the camera for the majority of my career, to when I decided to start this business in 2013 to the front of the camera and a representative of my business.”
She felt a lot of pressure to make her videos perfect, because that was the product she was trying to sell and the expertise she wanted to showcase. But she realized quickly that she’s also a real person with her own fears and insecurities, and she needed to confront that.
“I literally just locked myself in a room and continued making videos until it wasn't uncomfortable anymore,” admits Holly. And through that, she was able to change her perspective and push past her fear. She had an epiphany – the goodness that she had to share was never going to be seen if she couldn’t overcome those fears herself.
Holly says that you shouldn’t let your fear of making mistakes affect your confidence. Remember that you can’t fail – the only way that you can fail for real is if you don’t try.
She also says that making mistakes can actually be a good thing on video.
“Let go of perfection. Nobody's expecting you to be perfect. And as matter of fact, you are more endearing when you are just true to who you are. And people can see your genuine-ness.”
People love watching videos where they can see the real you. Don’t be afraid of your flubs or quirks, because they make you seem more real to your audience.
It also makes you more relatable to your viewers. “Nobody can relate to perfection because nobody knows anybody who's perfect.”
A lot of people that see or hear themselves for the first time after filming are shocked. They’ve never seen themselves from the perspective of someone else and don’t realize what they actually look or sound like to other people.
Holly says that you should get in front of a camera as soon as possible if you want to start making videos so you can become comfortable with your on-camera self.
“It will help you get more familiar with seeing your image and hearing your voice. Because I got to tell you, it is like, wow. That's what I look like. That's what I sound like… That's not who I am. But in reality, that is who you are. That's who everybody else sees. You just don't get to see it.”
Ultimately, how you look or sound doesn’t matter as much as the content you’re putting out there. “You're going to change people's lives with the things that you have to share, whether you realize it or not. So you need to get over yourself to be able to do that.”
Once you’ve decided you’re ready to get in front of the camera, Holly says there are a few steps that you need to take before you actually start.
First, you need to create a budget for your course. This includes the financial and time investments that you think you’ll need to complete it. Make sure you’re setting realistic goals about the amount of time you’ll need to create your videos, and especially consider that everything will probably take more time, energy and effort than you think it will.
Next, Holly says you should start thinking about what you want the look and feel of your video to be like. What kind of video do you want to make?
Holly recommends looking up inspiration videos to come up with the general idea of what you want your video to be like. Not videos you want to rip off, but videos that you like or respect or inspire you.
“What is it about the video that you like? Do you like the tone? You like the lightness? Do you like the darkness? Do you like the look of it? The way that it sounds? You like the way that it was shot?”
After finding these inspirational videos, Holly says that you should start thinking about how you want your own video to look. Will you be in the frame, or slides and graphics with a voice over? If you’re in the video, what position will you be in? Where will you be?
To start thinking through how long it takes for you to create your video, you need to think through the type and depth of the course.
Holly says your next step is to flesh out your course material and build an outline about what you want to include. She then suggests putting that outline in front of someone else, whether it is a business friend or someone in your Mastermind and asking them to read it over. That person will be able to give you some good advice, like if your flow makes sense or if you’re trying to include too much in one module.
Once you complete your course outline, you can start planning around the complexity of your course and the different modules. Break down the different videos you want to create, think through what is required of each, and then you’ll have a better grasp on how much time you’ll need to take to film each one.
Once you have an outline of your videos, Holly recommends you write a full script before you actually start filming. This will help you break down all your ideas, bullets and thoughts to make sure you’re covering all of the essential parts of what you want to say.
Once Holly has her script fully written, she likes to use a teleprompter when she’s actually filming to make sure that she covers everything that she wants to say.
Her biggest suggestion if you want to use a teleprompter, though, is that practice makes perfect. You’re going to be nervous, so practice your scripts and the timing to make sure you give yourself enough time to breathe, swallow, and say everything without rushing through it. You want to be able to keep up a natural conversation pace while you’re reading the script.
When in doubt, slower is better. “I tend to space mine out a little bit more so then There's room for some impromptu things and mannerisms or hand gestures,” says Holly. It’s also a lot easier to edit out dead air than risk having people be unable to understand you because of your rushing.
Before you can start filming your online course, you need to make sure you have the right tech. Holly recommends first and foremost doing a quick assessment of what you have on hand.
Your tech shouldn’t be an afterthought – you should be thinking about it from the beginning when you’re creating your budget and course outlines. It’s easy to get caught up in the material you’re creating, but your tech is going to be how you make your videos happen. Make sure that you understand what tech options are open to you early in the planning stages so you know what is feasible for your course.
First and foremost, you need a camera to make videos for your course. Assess what you have and what you may be missing. You may have a camera on your computer or phone, but you could look into renting or borrowing a higher quality one.
Holly recommends that if you’re filming video for the first time, you start with what you have and then upgrade as you go. If you don’t have the capital at the moment to invest in a new camera, or are still trying to make sure that creating this course is a viable source of income, you may not want to invest too much initially.
One thing you should definitely invest in no matter what is a good microphone. Holly says that you should never rely on the internal mic of whatever device you’re using.
Luckily, investing in a good mic won’t break the bank. Holly herself uses a Blue Yeti mic, which she says has paid for itself a thousand times over. She doesn’t just use it for filming video, she also uses it every day in her business, from one-on-one consult calls to recording podcasts.
The Blue Snowball mic is also a great investment and it helped make a huge difference in the quality of audio I was recording for my podcasts and video.
It’s important to make small investments in tech like this, because you need to create a quality product that people will be willing to invest in themselves. No matter how good your content is, no one will want to listen if the audio quality is bad.
If you’re anything like me, trying to figure out the best and easiest video editing software was pretty terrifying at first.
Holly recommends using ScreenFlow, a paid tool for Mac and PC that is user-friendly for new editors and has the features you need to make your videos stand out. She says that while free programs can be good for little trims or minimal edits, you really want to look for a paid tool so you can have full control over the editing process.
“When you are trying to put together something that's a little bit more sophisticated, you want to be able to be in full control of all of the elements. And something like ScreenFlow is going to allow you enough features and options that you can get all the things done that you want to get done without being super overwhelming.”
If you want to create videos with slides and a voice over, make sure you’re looking for video editing software that lets you record your screen. That’s another great feature of ScreenFlow, which will let you record your screen with a voiceover.
If you’re looking for more advanced editing software, try something like Adobe Premiere. It may be hard to get used to at first if you’ve never edited video before, but it is quite a sophisticated tool.
If you have the budget and the time, you may want to look into hiring a crew.
“One of my very strong viewpoints is if you are charging people money for what they are going to see, then you need to invest either in yourself to do it at a higher level by working with somebody like me, or by hiring a professional crew who can help you produce and shoot the videos and potentially edit all of the content for you.”
If hiring crew isn’t in the cards for you right now, that’s okay. But it does mean that you’ll need to spend more time yourself learning how to build your set, film, and edit the video.
Holly says that even if you don’t have the ability to invest in high-level equipment, you can make any video look more professional through three things: lighting, audio and graphics.
First, good lighting can work wonders to make your video go from looking good to looking great.
Holly says that you don’t need to invest a ton of money in professional lighting and can first start with what you have. Take advantage of your natural light, and film in rooms with lots of windows. Just make sure that you position yourself so that you’re facing the window and the light is shining on your face, instead of from behind you.
The second part of the professional triangle is audio, because good quality audio can greatly increase the quality of your video. Holly says that even though your viewers may be able to overlook poor video quality, they’re less likely to overlook poor audio quality.
Make sure you’re investing in a good mic to ensure clear audio. If not, you’ll risk getting a lot of complaints about your course, or worse, people just won’t want to listen.
The third part of the professional triangle is graphics. You can easily put graphics into your videos which will make it look extra professional. Creating graphics in a program like Canva can be really easy and using editing software like ScreenFlow to add them is pretty simple once you get the hang of it.[Check out Holly’s training tutorial videos on how to add graphics to video on ScreenFlow here and here].
Holly offers a few final tips about how to create videos like a pro, without breaking the bank.
First, before you even touch a camera or start planning out your course, understand why you’re making your course. You need to know who it’s for and how you can help them. Think about your course from your student’s perspective and plan on creating something super valuable and effective.
Second, make sure that there are people actually interested in buying the course before you put a lot of effort and energy into making it. Test it and make sure that it’s something that people are interested in, because even if you think your product is a brilliant idea, your audience may not actually be willing to spend money on it.
Third, visualize your course. Think through the different elements that you want to include in your video and how you ultimately want it to look.
Don’t feel like you need to put everything and the kitchen sink into your course. “You want to be able to create transformation with quick wins, and not overwhelm people into procrastination,” says Holly. Make your videos easily digestible and cut out the fluff. Even if this means they’ll be shorter, they’ll be just as valuable.
Finally, be engaging. Nobody wants to watch Ben Stein style educational videos. Spice it up, use your personality, and even though you’re teaching, don’t be afraid to insert some humor. At the end of the day you’re not the only one who teaches what you teach, so remember that people are ultimately buying your product for you.
“I have a funny saying. And this this this kind of is the epitome of being a rebel, is if you are not the lead dog, the view never changes. And I, for one, don't want to look at some dog's ass. I am the leader at what I do. Never a follower. And I think that's pretty rebel.”
Are you interested in learning more about creating video for your online course? Holly has just launched a membership site called Video Made Easy, a marketing action strategy plan that helps you to use video in a smart and strategic way.
Video Made Easy was created from the questions that people in Holly’s audience were asking her over and over. She wrapped up all of these ideas into a monthly video package that helps you grow your business and your bottom line.
Each month is a different theme that starts anywhere from creating evergreen video to client relation videos. The membership also includes action hours that will help you actually get the work done and get feedback on the work you’ve been doing, with schedules, checklists, script outlines and other tools and resources to help you on the way.
Take a look at the links below for more information about Video Made Easy.
Holly’s also compiled a great resource where you can learn more about video creation – it’s a checklist that includes a ton of different information. You can also find that in the links below.
//LINKS IN THE SHOW//
Visit Holly’s website, Holly G. Studios – http://www.hollygstudios.com/
Check out Holly’s YouTube channel
Find Video Made Easy here – http://www.hollygstudios.com/videomadeeasy
See Holly’s free resource here – https://www.hollygstudios.com/coursechecklist