Even though we know that original video means results (more engagement, higher conversions, etc.), most of us are still holding back. We’ve quoted prices from professional videographers and decided that video is simply out of our price range. Maybe we never even considered doing it ourselves. In my experience, many of the reasons I’ve heard from professional videographers and overpriced marketing teams as to why people can’t shoot their own video are complete lies. Here’s the real story:

1) Your video DOES NOT have to be perfect. And to be perfect, it DOES NOT have to be done by a professional.

Of course, anyone who spends a great deal of time producing content is going to be better at it than a novice. But, these days, content doesn’t have to be perfect. It has to be authentic and resonate with your audience.

Did you know that the definition of “authentic” is “true to one’s own personality, spirit or character.” This also matters for brands. You can TELL when a brand is using a service to post to their social platforms that doesn’t understand their brand or their audience. As a solopreneur, who better to talk about your brand than you?

Beyond that, you can still achieve amazing results that mirror what professionals can get if you have a great story to tell. For example, I once had a client make a funny smartphone video that outperformed a video they paid a professional to do on Facebook. More views, more likes, more comments, more shares, more everything. Except, of course, money. (Need to see some numbers? Check it out!).

I’m not saying your videos shouldn’t be high-quality. Your audio should absolutely be easily audible and free of distracting background noise, and no one wants to see your Blair Witch-style shaky video, but you can get quality results if you follow some simple rules.

2) Video is NOT expensive.

Most people who’ve looked into video content know two things: it’s super effective at engaging and converting customers, and it comes with a hefty price tag (usually $3k to $5k per video). But it doesn’t have to be! Most people have a smartphone that can shoot really good video, and there are tons of apps available to edit your content.

Some apps even edit the content for you. They’ll organize your photo and audio into an photo slideshow video, a gif, or a video collage.

For hardware, there are simple, cheap solutions like using lamps to add light to a situation, and using your earbuds as a makeshift lavalier microphone. I’ve even made a tabletop tripod out of cardboard. You don’t need a $500 light kit, a $200 microphone and a titanium tripod. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The kit doesn’t make the video; the story does.

3) Making your own videos is NOT time-consuming.

Not only are there so many easy apps that automate the process, but for most solopreneurs who are close to all aspects of their business, they could easily take their phone out and film a customer testimonial or create a fun video in no time at all.

For example, I did a training session in Austin, filmed for about five minutes, asked the organizer three questions on camera, and built and posted a testimonial video on my iPhone while taxiing to the runway to fly home. Or, for Thanksgiving, I recorded by iPhone screen while I used a paint app to draw my logo into a turkey and wish everyone a Happy Turkey Day, all while I ate a delicious piece of my Grandma’s pecan pie.

Instead of making it another item on your to-do list, integrate it into something you’re already doing.

4) Every brand has stories to tell.

During my years as a journalist, people would always ask, “Why are you interviewing me? There’s nothing interesting about me.” And with every story, I would find a way to prove them wrong. Every person, like every brand, has a unique story to tell. You just have to think like an outsider. (Here are some tips to do just that).

Think about all of the things you do in a day. You meet with customers. Make testimonial videos. You’re introducing a new product. Record a quick demo.

All I’m asking you to do is talk about what you love—your brand. And do it on camera. Talk about why you do what you do. Share your knowledge. If people are paying you for your service, you must have valuable knowledge or skills to share that will attract your audience and keep your company top-of-mind with potential customers.

5) Small brands CAN do it.

Just because the brands that are creating video effectively so far are mostly big brands does NOT mean you can’t do it. Check us out on social media. A perfect example of solopreneurship video production.

If you go look at Google’s Facebook page, you’ll notice the type of video they’re creating isn’t hard to build. They print out images and create fun videos just by placing them in and out of the frame. They record themselves drawing on white boards. They create animated gifs out of simple images and text. You can do ALL of these things, and probably by the end of the day today!

I’m here to tell you that you CAN create original videos. The only thing holding you back is inaction. You have the tools (a smartphone and a story). You just need to get started.

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