Our society is at peak selfie. We have gone from awkward double chinned photos to full on video production. Your forward-facing camera is now your best way to talk one-on-one to your customers. There are five things to consider when creating the best selfie video possible, so that you can engage your audience, and not make them think the clip is going to end with a ransom demand. You want to put your face forward (see what I did there?).
Location, Location, Location
There is nothing interesting about a blank white wall. There is nothing interesting about a conference room with an enormous monitor behind your head. There is definitely nothing interesting about your living room. You want to find a space that is dynamic, without it taking center stage.
Think about what represents your brand when picking a backdrop. Is it outdoorsy? Fashion forward? Funny? Artsy? Find a backdrop that tells that story before a single word comes out of your mouth. Once you’ve found it, take a long hard look at it. Does it interest you? If it doesn’t, it won’t interest your audience either.
Frame Your Shot
You can have the best background in the world and it won’t matter if your shot isn’t framed well. The first thing you need to consider is how you are going to orient your camera. It used to be that vertical video was strictly verboten, but with the advent of Instagram and Facebook stories this is no longer strictly the case. Let where you will be posting this video inform your decision of whether to go with horizontal or vertical video.
Once you know how you are going to be holding your camera, take steps to get the best shot ever. This means not simply holding your phone in your hand. You can get a tripod for a relatively small amount of money. Or, if you are going to be moving while speaking, spend a little more and invest in a stabilizer. You won’t regret it and you won’t make your audience nauseous while watching.
When it comes to the actual framing remember the rule of thirds. Your face and body should take up no more than two thirds of the frame. Any more than that and your audience will feel like you are invading their space. You need to fill at least a third of the frame though, or else you will seem too far away.
Find Your Light
For the love of all that is holy make sure your shot is lit correctly. If it isn’t you might as well be doing radio. Do not use the flashlight on your phone as lighting unless you are doing a remake of the “Blair Witch Project.” Any YouTuber worth half a like and comment will tell you to buy a ring light to get that perfect “I woke up like this” glow around your face. They cost about ten bucks and will make you look like a million.
If you are wanting to do a video outside, find your natural light. Yes, it will hurt your eyes not to stand in a shadow, but it will hurt your brand if you do. Face the sun, but not directly into it. Make sure you are fully lit. Also, if you have more than one person in the shot, make sure all of your skin tones are taken into account. Unfortunately, the light readers on many phone cameras are still a little racist. You don’t want some in your shot to be perfectly lit at the expense at others. Fix the shot in your light balance mode before you start filming.
Look Your Best
You are shooting a professional video, so don’t look like a hobo. I mean, unless you are selling professional hobo services. Put on a nice shirt. Make sure your hair looks nice. Put on some makeup (yes, you too, fellas, it’s 2019 and we all need a little concealer).
Once you are totally gorgeous don’t muck it up by being awkward on camera. Make sure you are looking at the camera, and not at your face on the screen. Also, don’t move around a lot. You aren’t leading an aerobics class, you are talking to your audience.
Can You Hear Me?
Nothing in the above advice will matter if you message is not heard. You want to make sure your sound is clear and audible. It used to be that a good microphone would cost you a couple hundred dollars. Luckily for you, that is no longer the case. Buy a microphone, learn how to use it, how it works best with your voice, and make it your best friend. That will lead to you sounding like yourself in your videos, and not like someone trying to be adequately heard via a phone mic.
Now you are ready to show yourself(ie).