How to make a quick and easy professional video for LinkedIn (that doesn't suck)
Here's exactly what you need for creating remarkable professional video content for LinkedIn.
January 11, 2018
I get this question every day, so I thought I would share a quick and easy setup for shooting good quality video and audio to help share your message with LinkedIn's native video offering.
I've parlayed my concert photography skillset to video over the past couple of years, and I can tell you that once you get the right gear along with a mindset for video, it's remarkably easy to create a good quality video on the fly. The goal is to create a video that will cut through the current wave of shakey, vertical (why, oh why vertical???) video that is many times accompanied by equally bad audio.
With just a few simple fairly inexpensive tools, you can help your message break through the noise. This kit below will cost you around £100, but it's worth it. Think of it as an investment into your portable video studio and don't forget to share the love with the office so that they can leverage this as well for video consistency.
Here's what you need to make a quick video that doesn’t suck:
Mini Tripod for Smart Phone – This is pretty simple. Don't hold your phone; camera shake is incredibly annoying. A simple mini tripod will keep your shot stable. Rhodesy RT-01 Octopus Style Portable Tripod Stand Holder for iPhone, Any Smartphone, Camera with Universal Clip (£9.99)
Simple Lav Mic – I recommend the Rode Smartlav+ Lavalier Microphone - There is a native app for the iPhone but not for Android. I'm not a fan of iPhone and prefer Android, so the workaround is to download the RecForge II app from Google Play. It works flawlessly with this mic and sounds fantastic. (I always recommend recording audio separately and syncing in post, but that's for the next level of video which I will post about next) (£48.95)
LED Light – Light is your best friend when shooting a video. Don't get caught with a bad light source, carry your own. I recommend the Commlite CM-L50BII Dimmable 50 LED Ultra High Power Panel Camera LED video light, Universal Mini camera Light (£24.00) The great thing about this LED light is that it also works with DSLR cameras so you can take it with you when you upgrade later.
Remote Shutter Release – This is ESSENTIAL if you are a one-man-band recording your video. Not only will this cut out any need for editing (that is if you can do it in one take) but it's also great for interviews on the fly. I recommend the CamKix Wireless Bluetooth Camera Shutter Remote Control for Smartphones (£9.99)
Editing is Storytelling
Video editing has come a long way and is now easier than ever. As a good marketer, it's vital that you learn basic video editing as soon as humanly possible. The good news is that there is a slew of great software/ apps to help you, and they are super easy to learn, but you will have to commit some time to learning the basics of editing. Once you get the basics down, you can start to get creative and make your videos stand out even further with edits that enhance the message/ story you are telling. I can tell you from experience that once you get the hang of it, it becomes addicting.
I recommend starting out by downloading a free trial of Camtasia and watch the tutorials. No need to go crazy but watch the getting started and the editing basics. The good thing here is that once you learn this interface and you decide to upgrade to Adobe Premiere or FinalCut, the basic workflows are similar so you can continue to grow and expand your editing capabilities if you decide you need more robust features. There are several free tutorials on the TechSmith website, or you can take it up a notch and check out the offerings from LinkedIn Learning.
Thoughts on 4K for Business
4K video (and even 6K) is the new shiny object for videographers but don't get too far ahead of yourself. Even the iPhone X can shoot 4K now, but is it worth it? In my opinion, no. There are only one or two phones on the market at the moment that has a screen capable of playing 4K. Even major content producers like Netflix and Amazon are struggling to produce enough 4K video to make it worthwhile. For the time being, focus on learning the basics of video, and by the time 4K becomes mainstream, you'll be ready to take full advantage.
Bonus Tip for Editing
If you really want to take your video production skills up a notch, add in some B-roll footage and music. Stock B-roll footage can add another dimension to your storytelling and help break up the corporate talking head. Music can add drama and evoke emotion and it's super easy to drop in during editing. I recommend Videoblocks.com and Audioblocks.com. Both of these are subscription based with unlimited downloads of stock video footage and one hell of a collection of unlimited audio downloads. Simply type in your keywords or choose the mood you are trying to convey, download the clips and drop them into the editor.
I realize the irony of posting a text article about video production, but this is simply a list of the equipment I started off using and still use on occasion. I'm focusing on shooting with my DSLR and recording audio on the Zoom HN4 in 2018, so stay tuned for my latest and greatest setup as I will post about the next level shortly. Remember that there is no right or wrong way to shoot a video, this is the best setup I've found after TONS of research on how to do a quick, professional video on the fly.
Have fun shooting and make a better video than you did yesterday.